By Alice Mannette WICHITA Kan. (Reuters) - More than a dozen same-sex couples plan to be married in a mass wedding ceremony outside a courthouse in Wichita on Monday now that such marriages are legal in Kansas, a minister said on Friday. "This is a way to help bring everyone together," said Reverend Jackie Carter of the First Metropolitan Community Church in Wichita, who is organizing the event. Benjamin Breese, 58, and his partner have waited 12 years to tie the knot and will be among the couples marrying Monday evening on the steps of the Sedgwick County Courthouse, he said. ...
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida panther killed by a car this week became the 19th road fatality this year for the endangered big cat species - matching the most on record in the state - although officials said the toll reflects an uptick in the predator's population. State wildlife officers said on Friday that the 4-year-old panther died on Thursday near Immokalee, Florida, in the southwestern part of state. Officials said they believe the female had been living on ranch lands near a preserve. ...
By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) - An Idaho high school teacher under fire for killing and skinning a rabbit in front of his students to demonstrate how animals are processed for food has apologized to children disturbed by the incident, a school official said on Friday. The part-time teacher is a farmer who raises rabbits and other livestock for food and was asked to provide a lesson on animal slaughter and processing by students in a 10th-grade biology class he taught at a high school in the Nampa School District near Boise, said district spokeswoman Allison Westfall. ...
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — To beat charges that he recklessly ignored safety standards before his coal mine blew up, killing 29 men in the industry's worst disaster in the U.S. in decades, coal executive Don Blankenship will have to overcome reams of evidence painting him as a micromanager.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A woman kidnapped near a Philadelphia bus stop was bound and stuffed into the cold trunk of her captor's car during some of her three-day ordeal, prosecutors said in a detention memo Friday.
Vandals have struck at a Princeton supper club where police are investigating the circumstances behind a sexually explicit photo.
(Reuters) - A West Virginia University student found without a pulse at a fraternity house that had lost its charter died on Friday, the school said, a day after it suspended activities by fraternities and sororities. Police said the student, Nolan Burch, 18, of Williamsville, New York, was not breathing when he was found around midnight on Wednesday at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house in Morgantown, about 75 miles south of Pittsburgh. ...
CHESTER, S.C. (AP) — Police say three suspected gang members have been arrested in the killing of a South Carolina city councilman who was gunned down earlier this month.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh investigators are working with the medical examiner to determine if a woman who recently died had cyanide in her system.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday sentenced two Georgia militia group members to 10 years each in prison for conspiring to produce ricin, with prosecutors saying they plotted to release it from an airplane over Washington. Samuel Crump, 71, and Ray Adams, 58, were convicted in January by a jury in Gainesville, Georgia, of conspiring to produce the toxin for use as a weapon. Prosecutors said they were motivated by anti-government sentiments. Crump and Adams were two of four members of a north Georgia militia who were arrested in late 2011. ...
One of the World Trade Center window washers left dangling for over an hour from the nation's highest building says he's willing to go back to the job, while the other says working on the ground might be better.
WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — An incumbent candidate who tied for the final open board seat in a small western Michigan school district has won a drawing for the six-year position.
A North Carolina man is accused of beating a veteran he met at a gay bar, police said.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A major investment firm has challenged a court-approved bankruptcy plan for the California city of Stockton, possibly jeopardizing resolution of one of the country's biggest city bankruptcies stemming from the 2008 housing bust.
By Joe McDonald STROUDSBURG Pa. (Reuters) - A jury on Friday convicted a Pennsylvania man of first-degree murder in the dismemberment of a woman whose body parts were found stuffed in garbage bags strewn along two highways, and prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty next week. After two hours of deliberation, jurors convicted Charles Ray Hicks, 40, of all three charges he faced in the beating, strangulation and dismemberment of Deanna Null, 36, of Scranton. Her remains were found in January 2008. ...
NEW YORK (AP) — A window washer who was left dangling from a tilting World Trade Center scaffold said Friday that he would go back tomorrow if asked, but his co-worker said he would prefer a more earthbound assignment.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The parents of two of the 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School say confusion and poor communication have left families of victims without services they need and unaware of resources they could tap nearly two years after the massacre.
TAFT, Calif. (AP) — The victim of a high school shooting in Central California testified that his classmate smiled after shooting him.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A pregnant congresswoman who sought to vote by proxy in House Democratic elections next week said Friday she accepts the decision of her colleagues to reject the request.
A woman kidnapped near a Philadelphia bus stop in Germantown was bound and stuffed into the cold trunk of her captor's car during some of her three-day ordeal, prosecutors said in a detention memo Friday.