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Yahoo! National News

With legalization possible, pot growers become lobbyists

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:01

Patrick Murphy, a marijuana grower from Willow Creek, and a member of the Emerald Growers Association, discusses the group's upcoming efforts to lobby lawmakers on proposed legislation affecting their industry, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Marijuana producers from Northern California's infamous Emerald Triangle are hiring veteran lobbyists, forming political action committees and taking elected officials on fact-finding tours — even though large-scale pot farms remain illegal under federal law and growers risk being raided and prosecuted. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's marijuana farmers have existed in a legal gray area during the 18 years since the state became the first to allow residents to use the drug for medical purposes.


Tennessee attorney general says Bible bill unconstitutional

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:53
By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - Tennessee's attorney general said on Tuesday a bill under consideration in the legislature to make the Bible the official state book would be an unconstitutional endorsement that the sacred text does not need. The bill would violate both the U.S. Constitution and Tennessee's state constitution, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III said. He said Tennessee's constitution states that "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship." Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican, also has opposed the measure, which was debated on the floor of the state House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill has also drawn criticism from religious leaders and others who say it violates the separation of church and state under the U.S. Constitution and Tennessee's constitution.

State attorney general to investigate a top Hawaii official

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:50
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii attorney general's office said Tuesday it will investigate Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi's use of his county-issued credit card, after he acknowledged using it to cover personal expenses that included nearly $900 at a bar.

Jury seated in Colorado theater shooting trial

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:49

In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes is seated in court in Centennial, Colo. Jury selection in the Colorado theater shooting case enters its final stage Monday, April 13, 2015 when attorneys begin questioning prospective jurors as a large group. Prosecutors and defense attorneys will whittle 115 remaining candidates down to 12 jurors and 12 alternates serve in the months-long trial of Holmes. Opening statements are scheduled for April 27. (Andy Cross,/Pool Photo via AP, File)CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A jury was seated Tuesday in the death penalty trial of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes after a selection process that experts say was among the largest and most complicated in U.S. history.


Surveillance shows vehicle in West Kensington hit-and-run; $10k reward offered

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:33

Surveillance shows suspect vehicle in West Kensington hit-and-runA mother and her young child were seriously injured after a hit-and-run crash in the West Kensington section of Philadelphia.


Lyondell Houston refinery workers reject offer: union official

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:26
Striking Houston refinery workers on Tuesday rejected Lyondell Basell Industries' final contract offer to settle a two-and-a-half month work stoppage, said an official of the United Steelworkers union (USW), which represents the hourly employees. In response, company officials told the USW that Lyondell would declare an impasse in the negotiations and impose their last offer beginning on April 20, Jim Lefton, union international representative, said. More than 400 hourly workers have been on strike at the Lyondell refinery since Feb. 1. "We are ready to meet them any time and any place to continue negotiations." In a letter posted to the company's website, Lyondell Executive Vice President Kevin Brown encouraged striking workers to cross picket lines and come to work under the terms of the company's final offer.

California drought renews thirst for desalination plants

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:25

Water valves are seen as construction continues on the Western Hemisphere's largest seawater desalination plant in CarlsbadBy Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California's 3-year-old drought has thrust seawater desalination into the spotlight as San Diego County, Santa Barbara and other cities push ahead with treatment plants that will soon turn the Pacific Ocean into a source of drinking water. Desalination has emerged as a newly promising technology in California in the face of a record dry spell that has forced tough new conservation measures, depleted reservoirs and raised the costs of importing fresh water from elsewhere.


After reporting to prison, Jodi Arias has new mugshot

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:25

This undated booking photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Jodi Arias. A judge sentenced Arias, a convicted murderer, to life in prison without the possibility of release, ending a nearly seven-year-old case that attracted worldwide attention with its salacious details. (Arizona Department of Corrections via AP)PHOENIX (AP) — Jodi Arias has reported to prison to begin serving her life sentence for murder, and she has a new mugshot.


Latest in Scott case: Comments from a friend; arrest details

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:20

Malik Shabazz, the president and founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, speaks at a rally in front of North Charleston, S.C., City Hall on Monday, April 13, 2015. Shabazz said his group will do its own investigation into the fatal shooting of a black man by a white North Charleston police officer in a case that has renewed the national debate over blacks being killed by white officers. Shabazz has also called for a special prosecutor to investigate. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A statement from the last man to talk to Walter Scott, more details about the arrest of the officer charged and action by South Carolina lawmakers are the latest developments in the case of a black man shot and killed by a white North Charleston Police officer.


US Justice Department to review California city's police

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:16
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday that it will review hiring, training and oversight in a wide-ranging review of the Calexico Police Department, a step city officials said would help restore public confidence.

Police: Texas woman helped starve boy to rid him of 'demon'

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:14

 Texas woman helped starve boy to rid him of 'demon'A woman who operated a church at her suburban Dallas home has been arrested for allegedly helping starve a 2-year-old boy to rid him of a "demon," then holding a resurrection ceremony shortly after he died to try to revive him, investigators said Tuesday.


Spokesman: Air Force plane inspections to be done Tuesday

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:12
ENID, Okla. (AP) — Most of the hundreds of training aircraft grounded last week by the U.S. Air Force because of a potential malfunction in the engines' oil line are expected to be back in the air Wednesday, according to a military spokesman.

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:08

A taxi driver steers his classic American car through Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, April 14, 2015. President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:


Christie proposes overhaul of Social Security benefits

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:07

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie proposed pushing back the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare for future retirees on Tuesday as part of a plan to cut deficits by $1 trillion over a decade, an approach he said would confront the nation's "biggest challenges in an honest way."


Survey: Most Vegas tourists married, many from California

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:02

 45-year-old married people making $40,000 or more with one-third of them coming from neighboring California. The agency released its latest visitor survey statistics this week, the result of 300 interviews with random visitors each month, providing a glimpse of some of the 41.1 million people who visited in 2014. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says it has a pretty good idea who visited the destination last year: 45-year-old married people making $40,000 or more, with one-third of them coming from neighboring California.


Sister of man killed by police says he was rebuilding life

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:00
CLEVELAND (AP) — A man killed in a hail of police gunfire after a high-speed chase 2½ years ago struggled with addictions and mental illness but was trying to fix his life, his sister testified Tuesday at the voluntary manslaughter trial of a Cleveland police officer.

Jury of 19 women, five men picked for Colorado cinema massacre trial

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 08:38

James Holmes sits in Arapahoe County District Court in DenverBy Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - Lawyers in Colorado's cinema massacre case picked a jury of 19 women and five men on Tuesday to hear the long-awaited murder trial of gunman James Holmes, which is due to start this month. Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student, was arrested wearing a gas mask, helmet and body armor at the scene of the shooting in the Denver suburb of Aurora.


Calpers raises pension plan funding in California by 6 percent

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 08:28
(Reuters) - The largest U.S. public pension fund announced on Tuesday that the state of California and its schools will increase funding of employee pension funds by 6 percent starting July 1. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, said the increases were driven by payroll growth, salary increases and retirees living longer. The state of California must increase its contribution by $487 million to $4.7 billion. The state pension plan is roughly 72 percent funded, while the school plan is about 86 percent funded, as of last June.

Police: College shooting possible hate crime; victim was gay

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 08:27

Kenneth Morgan Stancil III is seen in a booking photo provided by the The Volusia County, Fla., Department of Corrections. Stancil, 20, wanted in the shooting death of the print shop director at at Wayne County Community College in North Carolina on Monday morning, was arrested in Florida early Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Goldsboro police said. (Volusia County Department of Corrections via AP)DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A former community college student dismissed from a work-study program for too many absences is accused of fatally shooting his former supervisor, who was gay, and police are investigating the campus slaying as a possible hate crime.


Conservation groups push back on federal lands transfer idea

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 08:25
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Stung by a recent vote in Congress, national conservation groups are mustering opposition to the increasing call from many western states to transfer federal lands to state control.