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Exclusive: Safety concerns rise at big Texas refinery a decade after disaster

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 03:26
By Erwin Seba TEXAS CITY, Texas (Reuters) - U.S. workplace regulators are probing accident data reported by Marathon Petroleum Corp at its huge Texas refinery, as laborers and union representatives raise concerns that safety practices implemented a decade ago following a deadly explosion are being rolled back. The inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at Marathon's Galveston Bay Refinery, where the worst U.S. refining accident of the last 30 years occurred under former owner BP Plc, came "in response to a complaint regarding the recording of workplace injuries and illnesses," a Labor Department official said. BP sold the plant, which used to be known as the BP Texas City refinery, to Marathon in 2013 as part of a $2.4 billion deal. Marathon, the country's third-largest refiner with seven plants nationwide, confirmed "OSHA initiated an investigation regarding the proper classification of a handful of incidents." OSHA investigations are fairly common at the nation's 142 refineries and the launch of a probe does not necessarily mean the agency believes there has been wrongdoing.

College watch list a 'caution light'

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 03:21
By Liz Weston LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Regulators recently made public a once secret watch list of around 550 colleges under scrutiny for financial irregularities. The list gained attention because of the Corinthian Colleges collapse last year. The education department placed Corinthian on the "heightened cash monitoring" watch list over concerns about the for-profit chain's practices and finances, and then last summer restricted its access to federal financial aid, including loans, grants and work study. Until last week, though, the education department kept the list a secret, citing concerns that revealing a school's regulatory status could cause it "competitive injury," said Michael Stratford, a reporter with trade publication Inside Higher Ed who filed repeated FOIA requests over several months for the information to be made public.

Truck flips on NJ Turnpike in Bordentown

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 03:21

Truck flips on NJ Turnpike in BordentownA tractor trailer flipped on the New Jersey Turnpike in Hamilton Township on Monday afternoon.

Ex-convict pleads not guilty in fatal Arizona shooting rampage

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 03:20
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A former Arizona convict accused of an hours-long shooting rampage that killed one person and wounded five others in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa last month pleaded not guilty on Monday to multiple felony charges. Ryan Giroux, 41, shackled and wearing faded, striped jail clothing, denied 23 counts including first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault, during a brief arraignment in Maricopa County Superior Court. Giroux, who was flanked at the appearance before Commissioner Casey Newcomb by his two county public defenders, is being held without bond for parole violation. A county grand jury indicted him on March 27, nine days after the shooting spree that began in a Mesa motel room and ended in his arrest by a police SWAT team in a vacant condominium.

Key players in Rolling Stone magazine's U.Va. rape story

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 03:18
The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism identified several key players involved in Rolling Stone magazine's discredited article, "A Rape on Campus," about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity.

States ask U.S. Congress to launch inquiry of herbal supplements

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 02:44
By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of 14 state attorneys general on Thursday asked the U.S. Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry after a New York probe of the products turned up ingredients that were not listed on labels and raised safety concerns. The group, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, also asked Congress to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more oversight of herbal supplements. "We believe the safety and efficacy of these supplements is a matter of deep public concern across the country," the attorneys general said in the letter, urging "swift action." In February, four major retailers, GNC Holdings Inc, Target Corp, Walgreens and Wal Mart Stores Inc, halted sales of certain supplements after being subpoenaed by the New York attorney general.

FBI investigating 2 attacks with alleged Ferguson references

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 02:43
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether hate crimes were committed during two St. Louis area attacks where suspects allegedly made reference to Ferguson, including the assault of former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Ford, investigators said Monday.

Alabama agency closes Harper Lee elder-abuse investigation

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 02:33
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An investigation into potential elder-abuse of author Harper Lee — sparked by the surprising announcement that she would publish a new book — is closed, with no findings of any abuse, officials said Monday.

Driver of car in Southern California bus crash dies

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 02:13
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say the driver of a car that collided with a bus carrying 17 people in Southern California has died.

Drought-parched California expecting welcome dose of spring rain

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 02:09

A sign advising to pray for rain hangs above an exhibit area at the 47th Annual World Ag Expo in Tulare California.By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A spring storm was expected to bring several inches of rain to some areas of drought-parched California and up to two feet of snow to mountains beginning late on Monday, just days after Governor Jerry Brown ordered sweeping cuts in water use. Meteorologists said the early April rain and snow would be welcome in a state suffering through a devastating, multi-year drought, but cautioned that it would not make a significant dent on California's water-shortage problems. Brown last week ordered residents and businesses across California to cut water use by 25 percent in the first such mandatory statewide reduction in the state's history. "The impact (of this storm) is going to be pretty minimal on the drought," National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sukup said.

Teen killed Camden County triple shooting identified

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:59

Teen killed in Camden County triple shooting identifiedAn 18-year-old man has died and 2 teenage girls are hospitalized after gunfire erupted at a party in Camden County.

1 teenager shot dead, 2 others wounded after party in Camden County

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:55

Teen killed in Camden County triple shooting identifiedAn 18-year-old man has died and 2 teenage girls are hospitalized after gunfire erupted at a party in Camden County.

Legally carried gun accidentally fires at Easter vigil Mass

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:51
ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — The bishop of a Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania is discouraging people from carrying guns into churches after a weapon legally carried by a man accidentally discharged during a weekend Easter vigil Mass.

Gifts being left at homeless Jesus statue at Buffalo church

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:49

An April 3, 2015 image from video shows a work by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, a blanket-shrouded Jesus identifiable only by the crucifixion wounds on his feet, outside St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, NY. The unveiling of the statue on March 31 has prompted people to leave money, food and other items at the bronze sculpture. The offerings are apparently meant for Buffalo's homeless. (AP Photo/courtesy of WIVB-TV) BUFFALO OUTBUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The unveiling of a statue depicting a homeless Jesus sleeping on a park bench in downtown Buffalo has led people to leave money, food and other items at the bronze sculpture.

Bristol-Myers could spend $2.2B in deal with Dutch biotech

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:48
NEW YORK (AP) — Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of the world's largest drugmakers, will team up with a Dutch biotechnology company whose first approved drug could cost more than $1 million.

Aide to U.S. Senator Ayotte arrested in prostitution sting

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:46
By Ted Siefer MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - A top aide to Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has resigned following his arrest in a prostitution sting. David Wihby, Ayotte's state director, was arrested at a hotel in Nashua on Friday and charged with one misdemeanor count of solicitation of prostitution. Ayotte said she was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the arrest of Wihby, whom she described as a longtime friend.

New Jersey Supreme Court to take up pension funding appeal

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:45
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the state's appeal of a lawsuit over pension contributions, a case with billions of dollars of public funding at stake and the end of a budget year looming. Governor Chris Christie's administration last week asked the state's highest court to take up the appeal directly after losing a key decision in a lower court.

NC resolution seeks Billy Graham statue at US Capitol

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:45
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some General Assembly members say it's time North Carolina native Rev. Billy Graham is honored with a statue inside the U.S. Capitol. His likeness would replace a statue remembering a former governor with links to the white supremacy movement over a century ago.

Three dead after van carrying musicians crashes in Georgia

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:45
The 15-passenger van was carrying 12 occupants and traveling southbound on Interstate 85 about 65 miles north of Atlanta, near the city of Commerce, when it went down an embankment and collided with a tree, the Georgia State Patrol said in a statement. Police would not release the names of the victims or the bands.

Phillies seek to fight low expectations

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 01:42

Phillies seek to fight low expectationsThe Philadelphia Phillies took the field on Monday for the start of the 2015 season with the intent of disproving all who suggest keeping expectations low.