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Highway operations to be reviewed after 40-vehicle wreck

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:45

The scene of a multi-vehicle accident that closed the New Jersey Turnpike Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, near Cranbury, N.J. A highway pileup involving 15 or more vehicles including box trucks, tractor-trailers and a bus on Monday night left at least one person dead and several others injured. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)CRANBURY, N.J. (AP) — The state's transportation commissioner has ordered a review of the New Jersey Turnpike's winter weather operations following a deadly 40-vehicle wreck.

History of lynching in U.S. worse than believed, study finds

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:44
By Rich McKay ATLANTA (Reuters) - Lynchings in which mobs raided jailhouses to hang, torture and burn alive black men, sometimes leading to public executions in courthouse squares, occurred more often in the U.S. South than was previously known, according to a report released on Tuesday. The slightest transgression could spur violence, the Equal Justice Initiative found, as it documented 3,959 victims of lynching in a dozen Southern states. The report cited a 1940 incident in which Jesse Thornton was lynched in Alabama for not saying “Mister” as he talked to a white police officer. Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Montgomery, Alabama-based EJI, said that while current events did not directly equate with lynching, "what happened then has its echoes in today’s headlines." He cited racial differences in reactions to last year's shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer.

Three white Mississippi men sentenced for hate crimes

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:42
By Therese Apel JACKSON, Miss. (Reuters) - Three white men who pleaded guilty in Mississippi to hate crimes that included a black man's death were sentenced in federal court on Tuesday to between seven and 50 years in prison. The three defendants included Deryl Dedmon, 22, who was driving the truck that ran over James Craig Anderson, killing him in a hotel parking lot in 2011. "The defendants targeted African-American people they perceived as vulnerable for heinous and violent assaults," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. "These sentences bring a fitting end to the case against these three men." Dedmon received a 50-year federal prison sentence.

Boston-area public transit system tested during snowstorms

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:40

An out-of-service transit bus rolls through Somerville, Mass.,Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. The storm left the Boston-area with another two feet of snow and forced the MBTA to buses on a limited basis, and suspended all rail service for the day Tuesday to clean tracks and repair equipment. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)NEWTON, Mass. (AP) — The hardy side of Boston might not extend to its aging public transit system.

Will anyone buy Atlantic City's former Revel casino?

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:40

This Dec. 27, 2013 photo shows the exterior of Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. On Tuesday Feb. 10, 2015, the owners of the casino, which shut down on Sept. 2, 2014, canceled a deal to sell it to a Florida developer for $95.4 million,a day after the deadline for the sale had passed. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Once again, bad luck has befallen Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel.

US farmers expected to see 32 percent drop in income in 2015

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:34
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Net income for farmers is expected to fall by nearly 32 percent this year as corn and soybean prices remain low and expenses creep higher, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report Tuesday.

Domino's Pizza driver kidnapped, sexually assaulted in California

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:29
(Reuters) - A female delivery driver for Domino's Pizza was kidnapped at gunpoint in Northern California and sexually assaulted by a teenager, apparently after he ordered the pizza, police said on Tuesday. The 17-year-old boy approached the woman on Sunday with a handgun when she exited her car with the pizza in a residential area of Antioch, about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco, Antioch police said in a statement. He ordered the woman, 22, back into the car and forced her to drive a short distance away where he sexually assaulted her, police said. He then told her to drive him back to the location where he had kidnapped her, and ran off with some of her property, police said.

NYC building inspectors charged with ignoring safety for bribes

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:27

New York Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. attend a news conference regarding the arrest and corruption New York City Department of Buildings employees in New YorkBy Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifty New York City building inspectors and construction industry workers were charged with corruption on Tuesday, accused of schemes in which building problems were overlooked in exchange for bribes, city investigators said. The schemes involved some of the most senior building officials charged with overseeing one of the world's most valuable construction markets, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. told a news conference. Rather than a "unifying conspiracy," investigators found at least 26 independent bribery schemes running through two city building agencies, Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters told reporters. The expeditor, David Weiszer, gave the chief a list of addresses owned by his clients, Vance said.

Maine group seeks ballot initiative to legalize recreational pot

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:26
By Dave Sherwood PORTLAND, Maine (Reuters) - Marijuana advocates have filed paperwork in Maine seeking a 2016 ballot initiative that would legalize recreational use of the drug in the northeastern-most U.S. state, officials said on Tuesday. The move comes amid a broader, nationwide push for marijuana legalization following 2014 ballot victories in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, which joined Colorado and Washington in allowing adults to use the drug without a prescription. Some 23 states and the District of Columbia also permit medical marijuana use, though the drug remains illegal under federal law. Legalize Maine, a local organization with no ties to national pro-pot groups, said legalizing marijuana would help the state’s ailing, largely rural economy.

Ex-boyfriend of murdered Connecticut actress made threats from jail, family says

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:23
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Connecticut actress beaten and stabbed to death in her home in 2006 was repeatedly threatened by her former boyfriend from prison, the victim's mother and brother testified on Tuesday at his murder trial. Matthew Pugh, 42, is being tried in Superior Court in Milford in the 2006 killing of Alexandra Ducsay, 26, who had acting roles that included an appearance on the popular television crime drama "Law and Order." Pugh, who was in prison in 2004 on a drugs charge, has pleaded not guilty in the murder case. "He called her on the phone every day, most times twice a day," Ducsay's mother, Linda Ducsay, told the 12-member jury Tuesday. Linda Ducsay said she was the one who found her daughter's dead body in 2006 in their shared home in Milford, about 50 miles south of the capital Hartford.

Man tied to abduction of UVa student now charged with murder

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:22

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014 file photo Jesse Matthew Jr., right, looks toward the gallery while appearing in court in Fairfax, Va. New information is coming in the case against Matthew Jr., linked to two Virginia college students who disappeared and were later found dead. Matthew, 33, is charged with abduction with intent to defile in the case of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. (AP Photo/The Washington Post, Bill O'Leary, Pool)CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Nearly four months after his arrest in the disappearance of a missing University of Virginia student, Jesse Matthew Jr. has been indicted on a murder count in the case — but he won't face the death penalty and still has not been charged in the death of another student.

Lawyer: Guardsman was trying to commit suicide in armory

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:21
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee National Guard recruiter charged in an armory shooting brought a loaded pistol into the building intending to kill himself, not shoot his fellow Guard members, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Nitrogen gas death penalty bills clear Oklahoma panels

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:21

In this Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, Department of Corrections officials are pictured in the witness room at right, outside the newly renovated death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. With executions in Oklahoma on hold amid a constitutional review of its lethal injection formula, Republican legislators are pushing to make Oklahoma the first state in the nation to allow the use of nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma could become the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates under a proposal to reinstate a method of execution that hasn't been used in the U.S. in decades but which supporters say would be painless and foolproof.

Upper Darby police officer suspected of stealing evidence

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:19

Upper Darby police officer suspected of stealing evidenceA 15 year veteran of the Upper Darby Police force is suspected of stealing drugs and cash from the evidence room, and now the Delaware County District Attorney has launched a probe into the alleged theft.

Missouri execution planned, questions over lethal drugs persist

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:19
Missouri prepared for its first execution of the year on Tuesday amid continued scrutiny of the secrecy surrounding its lethal injection protocols. Walter Storey, 47, is scheduled for execution at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Storey's attorneys have filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of Missouri's lethal injection practices and arguing there are concerns similar to those raised by Oklahoma inmates for whom the justices recently issued stays of execution. Nine current and former Missouri state legislators filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Tuesday supporting a stay of execution for Storey because of what they said are "serious questions about the constitutionality" of the state's execution protocol.

Police say Idaho woman used her shoe in dance floor attack

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:15
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho woman faces charges after being accused of using her high-heeled shoe to attack someone who bumped into her on the dance floor.

Hearings starting on governor's tactics for Ferguson unrest

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:14

FILE - In this Monday Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, people walk away from a storage facility on fire after the grand jury decision was announced in Ferguson, Mo. More than 700 National Guard troops were stationed preemptively throughout the St. Louis region. But Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was inundated with criticism for not deploying the Guard outside businesses along a prominent Ferguson road where looting and arson had occurred after Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 shooting. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — As businesses were burned and looted in Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was inundated with messages from the public criticizing him for not using the National Guard to prevent the civil unrest that followed a grand jury's decision in the Michael Brown case.

Police: Speeding driver's wife killed in Bear, Delaware crash

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:09

 Speeding driver's wife killed in Bear, Delaware crashDelaware State Police say a woman was killed when the car she was riding in hit several vehicles on U.S. Route 13 in Bear.

Jail boss upset hundreds of guards called in sick in storm

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:08
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's jails commissioner says it's "disappointing" hundreds of guards called in sick during a snowstorm last month.

Jury sentences Texas man to 40 years for burning boy

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:04
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Jurors imposed a 40-year prison sentence Tuesday on a Texas man convicted in a childhood arson attack on a boy who died as a result nearly 13 years later.