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New Jersey's storm recovery chief steps down, replaced by deputy

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:11

New Jersey Gov. Christie walks in before speaking at the second day of the 5th annual Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" Policy Conference in WashingtonThe director of New Jersey's response to Superstorm Sandy stepped down on Tuesday, almost two years after the storm tore through the state, and was replaced by his deputy, Governor Chris Christie's office said. Marc Ferzan, who was appointed in the early days of the recovery in 2012, has been criticized for delays in doling out recovery money and accused of allowing politics to interfere with the distribution of funds. In a statement, Christie said that Ferzan served with "great professionalism, effectiveness and with the needs of Sandy survivors always in the front of his mind." Sandy crashed into the Jersey Shore in late 2012, tearing up beach-front boardwalks and leaving entire towns with extensive flooding and storm damage. Christie's initial response, especially his public embrace of President Barack Obama in the days leading up to the Democratic president's re-election, was widely lauded, and the governor himself cruised to re-election the following year.


New Jersey's storm recovery chief steps down, replaced by deputy

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:11

New Jersey Gov. Christie walks in before speaking at the second day of the 5th annual Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" Policy Conference in WashingtonThe director of New Jersey's response to Superstorm Sandy stepped down on Tuesday, almost two years after the storm tore through the state, and was replaced by his deputy, Governor Chris Christie's office said. Marc Ferzan, who was appointed in the early days of the recovery in 2012, has been criticized for delays in doling out recovery money and accused of allowing politics to interfere with the distribution of funds. In a statement, Christie said that Ferzan served with "great professionalism, effectiveness and with the needs of Sandy survivors always in the front of his mind." Sandy crashed into the Jersey Shore in late 2012, tearing up beach-front boardwalks and leaving entire towns with extensive flooding and storm damage. Christie's initial response, especially his public embrace of President Barack Obama in the days leading up to the Democratic president's re-election, was widely lauded, and the governor himself cruised to re-election the following year.


Father helps deliver baby girl on Route 1

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:09

Father helps deliver baby girl on Route 1A Camden, Delaware family expanded over the weekend.


Prosecutors in NYC's Brooklyn won't pursue low-level pot cases

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:08
Prosecutors in New York City's most populous borough of Brooklyn will no longer prosecute low-level marijuana possession cases, particularly for first-time offenders, the office said on Tuesday. Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, who campaigned on limiting criminal penalties for people caught with small amounts of pot, said the new policy will lift the burden placed on the criminal justice system by thousands of low-level arrests that are ultimately dismissed. The move, which does not affect New York's four other boroughs, comes at a time when states and cities across the United States are adopting more lenient stances on marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. Fifteen U.S. states have made possessing marijuana a civil offense, and 23 including New York allow medicinal pot.

Florida lawyers fired for calling Palestinians 'swine,' 'cockroaches'

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:04
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Two South Florida public defenders were fired Tuesday after making inflammatory remarks on social media about Palestinians allegedly celebrating the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. In one Facebook post attorney Gary Sheres wrote: “they are the filthy swine they don’t eat,” referring to the Muslim custom of not eating pork. “That’s why the Palestinian people are considered the cockroaches of the world,” lawyer Bruce Raticoff wrote. “Burn them to the ground.” The public defender’s office first became aware of the comments following an inquiry from the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper on July 2 and was soon bombarded with criticism from equal rights groups and individuals.

Convention another step for Cleveland's comeback

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:54

A man sits on a picnic table with a view of downtown Cleveland Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Cleveland won the unanimous backing of a Republican National Committee panel on Tuesday, all but guaranteeing the GOP's 2016 presidential pick will accept the party's nomination in perennially hard-fought Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND (AP) — The vote by a Republican panel to make Cleveland its host for the party's 2016 national convention could be a big step in the city's efforts to remake a hard-bitten image forged by decades of misfortune.


Warring Episcopalians in South Carolina court over $500 million in property

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:50
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON South Carolina (Reuters) - A dispute between the U.S. Episcopal Church and a breakaway diocese angered over its acceptance of gay rights wound up in court on Tuesday as a trial got under way to decide the fate of $500 million in historic real estate. The fight pits the Diocese of South Carolina, consisting of some 50 parishes, against a national church it left in 2012 after the larger organization moved to ordain gay clergy and bless same-sex marriages. "We don't just want to get the buildings back and keep the roof on a colonial structure," said Holly Behre, spokeswoman for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, which is affiliated with the national church. "We're more concerned about the people and wanting them to come back to the church," she said.The breakaway diocese sued in January 2013 to protect it from property seizure by the U.S. Episcopal Church and 27 affiliated local parishes.     The breakaway group has kept the name of the Diocese of South Carolina and has remained in historic buildings including St. Philips Church, originally built in 1681, and St. Michael's Church, erected the following century, both in Charleston.     In addition to the disputed properties, at issue in the trial being held in rural St. George, is the name of the diocese, Behre said.    The breakaway Diocese of South Carolina predates the national Episcopal Church by four years, said diocese spokeswoman Joy Hunter, who said it formed in 1785 and incorporated as an independent nonprofit in 1973.

Two dead in shooting at Washington state medical center - police

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:42
Police said two people died on Tuesday in a shooting at a medical center in Spokane, Washington, and that it appeared a man shot a woman before taking his own life. The Spokane Police Department said it appeared to be a case of domestic violence, adding that officers were securing the area and asking the public to stay away. "Early investigation indicates man shot woman and then himself," the police department said on Twitter. "Major Crimes detectives are investigating scene, however there is no threat at this time." Citing unnamed relatives and friends, local broadcaster KHQ said the dead woman was an employee at the Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center and was the mother of two children.

Hospital pharmacist charged in theft of 200K pills

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:31

This Tuesday, June 8, 2014 photo provided by the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office shows Anthony D'Alessandro. The former pharmacy chief for Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital in Manhattan allegedly stole nearly 200,000 oxycodone pills from the medical center over more than five years and has been charged under a state drug-kingpin law more often aimed at accused street dealers, narcotics prosecutors said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office)NEW YORK (AP) — A pharmacist who oversaw a major hospital's vault of drugs stole nearly 200,000 powerful painkillers he was supposed to safeguard and dispense, narcotics prosecutors said Tuesday as they unveiled a case that makes unusual use of a state drug-kingpin law.


Man kills wife, self at Washington medical complex

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:30

Sara Lavigne, right, and her mother, cancer patient Jana Lavigne, leave Deaconess Health and Education Center after witnessing a shooting in the Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Spokane, Wash. Police say a gunman fatally shot his wife Tuesday morning before turning the weapon on himself at a downtown Spokane medical center. Spokane police said a man went to his wife's workplace in the Deaconess Medical Center complex and opened fire. Police said no one else was injured in the shooting. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Colin Mulvany)SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Police in Washington state say a gunman fatally shot his wife Tuesday morning before turning the weapon on himself at a downtown Spokane medical center.


Report: Prison health-care costs stabilize

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:23
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — States are spending slightly less on prisoner health care after nearly a decade of steady increases, according to a report released Tuesday.

Parents decry no charges for deputy who killed boy

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:21

File - This Nov. 4, 2013 file photo shows Rodrigo Lopez, left, and Sujay Cruz, parents of Andy Lopez, as they walk to a news conference in San Francisco. Prosecutors said Monday, July 7, 2014, that they will not file criminal charges against a Northern California sheriff's deputy who shot and killed Andy Lopez, an unarmed 13-year-old boy, whose death last year sparked protests and criticism that the officer acted too quickly. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — The parents of a 13-year-old boy slain by a Northern California sheriff's deputy said they felt they lost their son again after prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against the officer who mistook the teen's pellet gun for an assault rifle.


Three hurt in electrical accident at NYC's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space museum

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:20
Three people were injured on Tuesday in an electrical accident at the New York City pier where the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is located, fire officials said. Two people were transported to a local hospital with burns to their arms, and a third was being evaluated at the scene after the morning accident involving a malfunctioning transformer, the New York City Fire Department said.

Washington pot shop customers cheer 1st legal sale

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:14

00 a.m. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)Cale Holdsworth strode to the register at Top Shelf Cannabis after inspecting and sniffing a glass jar filled with marijuana and said: "I'll take two grams."


Connecticut school shooting responders honored

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:14

Connecticut state Trooper First Class Matthew Bell, left, talks with state police Sgt. Troy Anderson on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in East Hartford, Conn., following a ceremony to honor first responders and others who helped in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Bell was among the first police officers to enter the school after 20 first-graders and six educators were shot to death in December 2012. Bell and Anderson, who runs the state police behavioral health programs, were among more than 300 people honored for outstanding and meritorious service. (AP Photo/Dave Collins)EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Matthew Bell thought he would never again experience an event as momentous as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when he helped people evacuate lower Manhattan as a member of the Coast Guard.


South Carolina Episcopalians take fight to court

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:02

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein presides over a trial in a lawsuit between the Diocese of South Carolina and the national Episcopal church on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in St. George, S.C. The diocese broke away from the national church two years ago, and now the national church is demanding the breakaway churches return $500 million in land and buildings. Goodstein will rule on the suit without a jury. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) — About 50 conservative Episcopal churches in South Carolina are in court this week, trying to keep their name, seal and $500 million in land and buildings after they broke away from the national denomination in a wide-ranging theological dispute.


Body count up to 17 after Chicago's bloody holiday weekend

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 04:53
The death toll from a spree of gun violence in Chicago during the Fourth of July holiday weekend has risen to 17, the medical examiner's office said on Tuesday. The holiday weekend brought an explosion of gunfire to the third-largest U.S. city, with 53 people shot, including five by police, according to the Chicago Police Department. Cook County Medical Examiner Anthony Brucci said the tally of dead after a series of shootings on Friday through Sunday came to 17. "We've got a big job on our hands." At a news conference on Monday morning, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy called the violence unacceptable and blamed it in part on a "proliferation of firearms." There were 21 shooting incidents on Sunday alone, police said.

2 charged in police chase, shooting in Wilmington, Delaware

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 04:52

2 charged in police chase, shooting in Wilmington, DelawareTwo men have been charged after an undercover police vehicle was hit by gunfire in Wilmington, Delaware Monday afternoon.


Car service Uber, New York AG reach deal on emergency pricing

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 04:52

New York Attorney General Schneiderman speaks to reporters during the New Eastcoast Arms Collectors Associates Arms Fair in Saratoga SpringsBy Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc, a car service that allows users to summon a ride on their smartphone, has agreed to cap prices during emergencies and natural disasters in New York state to prevent price gouging, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday. The company also agreed to announce a national policy to limit pricing in emergencies, Schneiderman said in a news release. The three-year agreement calls on Uber to limit pricing during "abnormal disruptions of the market," to abide by a New York price-gouging law passed in the late 1970s amid escalating heating oil prices, according to the news release. Uber, whose rates rise and fall with demand, will cap prices during such disruptions to the normal range of prices charged in the preceding 60 days, Schneiderman's office said.


Chicago mayor's panel recommends hiking minimum wage to $13

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 04:48

Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel arrives at the public unveiling of Motorola Mobility global headquarters in Chicago(Reuters) - Chicago's minimum wage would rise to $13 an hour from $8.25 by 2018 under a proposal announced on Tuesday by a panel that Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed to chart a path for raising the wage floor in the nation's third largest city. The proposal, which would be phased in over four years, would affect about 410,000 workers in the city and add $800 million to the Chicago economy, the panel said. The panel recommended waiting to act on its proposal until Illinois residents vote in an advisory referendum in November about a proposed state minimum wage hike and state lawmakers have an opportunity to address the minimum wage later in 2014. "We don't think it is wise at this point to raise the minimum wage and in doing so it potentially could do more harm than good to the local economy," said John Carpenter, the chamber's vice president of external affairs.