LOS ANGELES (AP) — Artist Jay Shells was in his New York City studio last year, painting while listening to rapper Big L, when some lyrics booming through the room grabbed his attention: "On 139 and Lenox Ave, there's a big park. And if you're soft, don't go through it when it gets dark."
CHICAGO (AP) — Scores of people dressed in parkas and polar bear outfits gathered along Chicago's lakefront Sunday morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of comedian Jimmy Fallon when he jumps into Lake Michigan.
By Kevin Murphy SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (Reuters) - The pages are brown, faded and stained, but the handwriting is meticulous and the words detail a 150-year history of the U.S. prison system through the eyes of one of its most famous inmates. Robert Stroud, known as the Birdman of Alcatraz for his painstaking study of birds while in federal prison, wrote a four-part book about brutality, sex, bribery and what he saw as the monumental failure of prisons to rehabilitate inmates. The stacks of manuscripts stored at Stroud's former lawyer's house in Springfield, Missouri, have been converted into the book "Looking Outward: A History of the U.S. Prison System from Colonial Times to the Formation of the Bureau Prisons." "If there is anybody who could write about federal prisons, it was him," said J.E. Cornwell of Springfield, the book's publisher. Stroud entered federal prison in 1909 at age 19 after being convicted of manslaughter for killing with his bare hands a man in Alaska who allegedly beat up a prostitute.
Iditarod competitors from all over the world will set off from a frozen lake on Sunday for the true start of Alaska's famed sled-dog race, a day after the 69 mushers and their canine teams made a ceremonial jaunt through Anchorage. The nearly 1,000-mile (1,600-km) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates a 1925 rescue mission that carried diphtheria serum by sled-dog relay to the coastal community of Nome, which remains the final destination in this 42nd edition of the event. The official restart will be held on an ice-covered lake in Willow, a small community about 50 miles north of Anchorage, which on Saturday hosted the race's untimed, ceremonial start. Fans reaching out to high-five competitors lined the streets of Anchorage.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A thunderstorm that brought sorely-needed rain to drought-plagued California is winding down after sending mudslides down foothill communities, flooding roadways and opening up sinkholes.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — We're in the beginning of a world in which everything is connected to the Internet and with one another, while powerful yet relatively cheap computers analyze all that data for ways to improve lives.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Saturated mountainsides loomed over foothill communities on Saturday as a storm centered off California rotated bands of rain into a state that sorely needs the moisture but not at such dangerously high rates.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations asked an emergency session of the Security Council on Saturday "to do everything possible now" to stop Russia's "aggression" as its troops took over the strategic Crimea region.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The University of Oklahoma for more than a decade has exhibited a piece of Nazi-looted artwork bequeathed to it by the wife of an oil tycoon. But renewed claims by a family that owned the oil painting before World War II has drawn the U.S. school into a fight it thought was settled in Switzerland more than 60 years ago.
California Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a $687 million drought-relief package to deal with a water shortage he has called the worst in the state's modern history. The largest share of the drought relief package - $549 million - comes from accelerated spending of bond money voters previously approved in two ballot propositions. Those measures will fund storm water recapturing, expanded use of recycled water, better management of groundwater storage and stronger water conservation measures. While much of the United States has been pummeled by a series of snow storms, California in recent months has struggled with a drought that threatens to inflict the worst water crisis in recorded state history.