SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's governor says that while he's signing legislation giving the state the strictest DUI threshold in the country, he will call lawmakers into a special session this summer for "some areas of improvement" to the law.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters Thursday that he thinks it will save lives to lower Utah's blood alcohol limit to .05 percent from .08 percent, but he'll ask lawmakers to consider a tiered punishment system. That could mean less stringent penalties for those convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level between .05 and .07 percent.
The governor says Utah may need to look at punishments for multiple offenders, other distracted driving and unintended consequences that the lower limit will have on matters like auto insurance rates.
Utah's new threshold would take effect on Dec. 30, 2018.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Last week's deep freeze in the Southeast appears to have nearly wiped out Georgia's blueberries and South Carolina's peaches.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture said 85 percent of the state's peaches were damaged by two days of temperatures dipping into the 20s Wednesday and Thursday.
South Carolina is the second biggest producer of peaches in the U.S.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black says up to 80 percent of the blueberry crop in the southern part of the state was destroyed.
Georgia grows early season blueberries and the crop is worth more than peaches.
Apples also suffered freeze damage in North Carolina.
While mid-March freezes aren't unusual in much of the Southeast, many crops were blooming up to three weeks early because of the unusually mild winter.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent only slightly more last month at retail stores compared with January, a sign of consumer caution despite rising optimism about the economy.
The Commerce Department says retail sales ticked up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in February, after a much bigger gain of 0.6 percent the previous month. January's gain was revised higher.
The figures suggest that strong job gains this year, near record-high stock prices and decent pay gains haven't yet lifted spending. But last month's sluggish pace could prove temporary.
Economists note that spending was likely held back by delays in tax refund payments. A new law has required tougher scrutiny of a tax credit claimed by lower-income taxpayers. Wal-Mart said last month that the delay had slowed sales at its stores in February.
NEW YORK (AP) — Do you have unusual trouble hearing people in noisy backgrounds like bars? Some recent research suggests a possible explanation for that, even for people with normal scores on hearing tests.
Scientists say it may be due to a loss of crucial connections in nerves of the ear. Most of the research has been done in animals, and researchers are still defining how much of a problem this might be in people.
It's not just older people who notice difficulty hearing in noisy situations. Matt Garlock, who's 29 and lives near Boston, says that happens to him despite his normal score on a standard hearing test. He has volunteered to help Harvard researchers in their studies of what they call "hidden hearing loss."
WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS reports that the number of identity theft victims plummeted last year after agents struggled for years to combat what has become a multibillion-dollar industry.
The IRS says the number of victims dropped by 46 percent, to 376,000. These taxpayers had their identities stolen by criminals who used their Social Security numbers and birthdates to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.
The IRS stopped nearly 1 million fraudulent refunds from being issued last year. The agency says they totaled almost $6.6 billion.
The IRS credits a new partnership with major tax preparers and state tax agencies who now share information about potential threats and scams. The agency has also beefed up its computer filters to better detect potentially fake tax returns.
WASHINGTON (AP) —They're still going at it on Capitol Hill. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is still debating the GOP plan to replace former President Barack Obama's health care law.
The House Ways and Means Committee wrapped up its marathon session at around 4:30 this morning, pushing through legislation to abolish the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't purchase insurance.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level in more than 15 years, good news for the economy.
The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 114.8 in February from 111.6 in January and the highest since July 2001.The index measures both consumers' assessment of current conditions and their expectations for the future. Both improved in February.
"Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue expanding in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the business group.
Americans overall have been in a sunny mood since the Nov. 8 election of Donald Trump ended a divisive presidential campaign and increased the odds of a tax cut.
Economists closely monitor consumers' mood because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is creating a multi-agency task force to combat violent crime.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday in his first major policy speech.
He said the task force will include the heads of Justice Department agencies such as the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Sessions told a gathering of state attorneys general he's concerned an uptick in violent crime in some large American cities was the "start of a dangerous new trend," according to prepared remarks. He said law enforcement should "put bad men behind bars."
He also signaled agreement with FBI Director James Comey that some police are pulling back on crime enforcement for fear of being captured on video.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch on March 20.
That's the word from Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who made the announcement Thursday after consulting with the panel's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein.
Grassley says he expects the hearings to last three to four days. The first day will have opening statements by committee members and the federal judge tapped for the high court vacancy.
Questioning of Gorsuch will begin March 21.
Gorsuch has been paying courtesy calls on senators for the past few weeks.
The vacancy happened more than a year ago when Justice Antonin Scalia died. Republicans refused to consider former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, insisting the voters should have a say.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The morning round of voting has concluded among South Carolina Boeing workers considering if they want representation by a union.
The first of two voting shifts wrapped up around midmorning at the aviation giant's North Charleston facilities.
Nearly 3,000 production workers are eligible to vote in the election to determine if they'll be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The union initially petitioned for a vote in 2015 but called off that election because of what the union called a toxic atmosphere and political interference.
Machinists spokesman Jonathan Battaglia says the union feels Boeing workers are "ready to make history" with the vote.
Boeing came to South Carolina in part because of the state's minuscule union presence. Labor experts say a "yes" vote would have repercussions throughout the South, potentially inspiring other workers to think about unionizing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says it's following President Donald Trump's executive order on health care by easing enforcement of the unpopular Obama-era requirement for people to have coverage or risk fines.
Trump directed federal agencies to ease the health law's rules after he took office.
An IRS spokesman says the IRS had planned to start rejecting returns this year on which the taxpayer failed to indicate whether or not he had coverage.
But the IRS says it will keep processing such returns, as it has in the past.
Many of the law's supporters consider the coverage requirement essential for nudging younger, healthy people into the insurance pool to keep premiums in check.
The IRS says the requirement is still the law.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appellate court has scheduled telephone oral arguments for Tuesday afternoon in a lawsuit over President Trump's travel and refugee ban.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear from lawyers from the federal government and states suing Trump.
Washington state and Minnesota sued Trump last week, saying the ban harmed residents and effectively mandated discrimination. The Justice Department says the issue is a matter of national security and Trump's executive order affecting seven predominantly Muslim countries was well within his authority.
The appellate court this weekend denied the Trump administration's request to immediately set aside a Seattle judge's ruling that put a hold on the ban nationwide.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved legislation updating privacy protections for emails maintained by third-party service providers such as Google and Yahoo.
The legislation requires the government to obtain a warrant from a court before requiring providers to disclose the content of emails, regardless of how long they have been in storage. Currently, a warrant is not required for communications stored beyond 180 days.
Supporters such as Rep. Tom Graves, R-Iowa, note that the last time email privacy laws were updated, Ronald Reagan was president and the Chicago Bears were Super Bowl champions.
Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., has sponsored the bill, which has widespread support in the House. A similar measure easily passed in the last Congress, but did not get Senate approval.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is shrugging off polls that show him with low approval ratings.
The president-elect tweeted early Tuesday, "The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before."
A new GenForward poll shows that young Americans are more likely to expect they'll be worse off than better off after four years of a Donald Trump presidency.
Young blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans are particularly concerned, while young whites are more evenly divided.
GenForward is a survey of adults age 18 to 30 by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The first-of-its-kind poll pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.
Americans aged 18 to 30 are far more likely to think Trump will divide than unite the country, by a 60 percent to 19 percent margin.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is accusing the outgoing U.S. administration of trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump by spreading fake allegations.
Putin, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, described a dossier on Trump as part of efforts by President Barack Obama's administration to "undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect" despite his "convincing" victory.
He said some now want to "stage a Maidan in Washington," in reference to the alleged U.S. role in organizing protests in the main square of the Ukrainian capital, which chased the nation's Russia-friendly president from power in 2014.
Asked about a dossier alleging Trump's sexual activities at a Moscow hotel, Putin dismissed it as "fake" and charged that people who ordered it are "worse than prostitutes." Trump has rejected the allegations as "fake news" and "phony stuff."
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is calling it a political witch hunt. When top intelligence officials met last week with Trump, they told him about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him. That's according to a U.S. official who asked to remain anonymous.
Shortly after news reports were published about the briefing, Trump tweeted: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin is denying the allegations, saying reports of such information are "complete fabrication and utter nonsense."
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is finally holding a news conference six months after his last one, held when he was plunging into a heated general election campaign with Hillary Clinton.
Nearly six months and a campaign victory later, the president-elect will finally step before reporters again Wednesday to face questions about what role he believes Russia played in the election year hacking of Democratic groups — interference the intelligence community says was intended to help the Republican defeat Clinton. Trump has challenged that assessment.
At a late morning news conference in the Trump Tower lobby, the president-elect is also expected to face questions about how he plans to disentangle himself from his family-owned international real estate development, property management and licensing business.
CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama says, "The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody," but he says his faith in America has only been strengthened over the past eight years.
Obama delivered a farewell address to the nation Tuesday night in Chicago.
In less than two weeks, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the new president and Obama will become a private citizen.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Several states around the country are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a Vermont utility's laptop was found to contain malware that U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers.
The Burlington Electric Department, one of Vermont's two largest electric utilities, confirmed Friday it had found on one of its laptops the malware code used in Grizzly Steppe, the name the U.S. government has given to malicious cyber activity by Russian civilian and military intelligence services.
A Burlington Electric Department spokesman says federal officials have told the company the threat was not unique to them.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security would not say on Saturday whether any other utilities, organizations or entities had reported similar malware on their systems following the report. The official says any such information would be confidential.
Officials in New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut said they are more closely monitoring state and utility networks for anything suspicious.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private.
Trump spoke to reporters briefly before his annual New Year's bash at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
He says that, if you have something important, you should "write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way. Because I'll tell you what — no computer is safe. I don't care what they say."
Trump has been reluctant to accept allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia tried to influence the U.S. election through hacking.
Trump says that he knows a lot about hacking and that it's "a very hard thing to prove."
Hundreds of club members and their guests are joining Trump to ring in the new year.
NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 1 million revelers have rung in the new year in Times Square screaming and kissing as the glittering crystal ball dropped.
New Year's Eve revelers began to fill Times Square hours before midnight. They braved cold temperatures and strong winds at the Crossroads of the World to greet 2017 amid heavy police protection.
New York City's police commissioner says more than 7,000 officers worked to secure the city during New Year's Eve celbrations..
Commissioner James O'Neill says everyone should feel safe, especially in Times Square, where perhaps and million or more revelers gathered to watch the crystal ball drop and ring in 2017.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (bahn kee-moon) pushed the Waterford crystal button to begin the 60-second countdown to 2017, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh). Merrymakers cheered, hugged and kissed as the clock struck 12 and 2016 was in the books.
Police say there were no specific, credible terror threats against the city. But police say they were prepared — including lining the Manhattan streets near the celebration with sanitation trucks filled with sand to prevent any attempts to drive into crowds.
O'Neill also says the NYPD redeployed some specialized units in other parts of the city after learning about the deadly attack at nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey.
(AP) - The nation's leading airlines are confident they can handle higher Thanksgiving travel this year partly because more people have signed up for quick-screening programs that are designed to keep airport security lines moving.
An airline trade group said Wednesday that about 27.3 million people will fly on U.S. airlines over a 12-day period that starts Nov. 18 and ends the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
That's up 2.5 percent from last year.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal investigators have arrived in Baltimore to probe a crash involving a school bus and a commuter bus that killed six people and injured 10.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said investigators with the highway team have begun examining the vehicles involved and documenting the scene.
Police say a school bus rear-ended a car, struck a roadside pillar and then veered into the oncoming Maryland Transit Administration bus, destroying much of the driver's side.
Officials say the school bus driver and five people on the MTA bus were killed. No children were on the school bus at the time.
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York federal judge says he'll rule by the end of the week on a challenge to a state law banning people from showing their marked election ballot to others.
Judge P. Kevin Castel heard arguments Tuesday as a lawyer for three voters insisted his clients should be allowed to distribute ballot selfies on social media. A city lawyer, Stephen Kitzinger, called it a fad and argued against it.
Arguing for the voters, Leo Glickman said social media is a fact of life rather than a fad.
Kitzinger said the request to declare bans on distributing pictures of completed ballots unconstitutional came too late for this election. He says over 35,000 polling place workers and 2,500 police officers already have been trained.
UNDATED (AP) — Lexus, Toyota and Buick are the most reliable brands in Consumer Reports' annual survey.
It's the fourth straight year that Lexus and Toyota have topped the survey. But Buick is the first domestic brand to crack the top three in more than 35 years.
Audi and Kia rounded out the top five brands. Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat and Ram — all owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — were the worst performers. Tesla Motors also fared poorly.
Consumer Reports predicts the reliability of 2017 model-year brands and individual vehicles based on survey responses from its subscribers. Around 500,000 subscribers responded to this year's survey.
Two hybrids — the Toyota Prius and the Lexus CT 200H — were the best individual performers. The Cadillac Escalade SUV was the worst performer.
CHICAGO (AP) — Studies have found that about one-third of low-wage workers say they'll never be able to afford retirement. The problem is particularly acute among minority women.
The issue has been driven home by a photo of an 89-year-old man in Chicago hunched over, trying to push his cart that offered frozen treats. The photo went viral and people donated more than $384,000 to his retirement.
The lack of disposable income is often cited as an issue preventing low-income people from retiring.
Jacquelyn B. James, co-director of Boston College's Center on Aging and Work, says it's common for low-wage workers to stay on the job with no plans for retirement.
But even though these workers foresee working forever, she says things like an illness can happen, forcing them to stop work.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say they won't immediately remove the Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters who set up a camp on private land along the pipeline route in North Dakota.
Morton County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey says authorities "don't have the manpower" currently to remove the more than 100 protesters who are trespassing.
The protesters said in a statement Sunday night that the land is theirs, according to an 1851 treaty. The camp of tents and teepees is in an area near where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says it has found several sites of "significant cultural and historic value" and where protesters and private security clashed in September. It's near a larger camp that's been in place for months.
The company building the pipeline, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, bought the land last month for an undisclosed price.
HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says it's still hoping that a second data recorder from last week's train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey was functioning.
Investigators believe it's under a collapsed section of the train station's roof.
Another event data recorder that was supposed to record the train's speed and braking information wasn't working. And investigators say the train's engineer has no memory of the crash.
TOWNVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Official: 2 students, 1 teacher wounded after SC elementary school shooting; teen suspect in custody.
Law enforcement officers are responding to a reported shooting at a South Carolina elementary school.
News media outlets quote Anderson County Sheriff's Office Lt. Sheila Cole as saying the shooting was reported at Townville Elementary School in Anderson County on Wednesday afternoon.
WYFF TV reports that helicopters landed by the school and students were evacuated to a nearby church.
The school is located near the Georgia state line.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Demonstrators carried signs, chanted and marched in a peaceful protest hours after the family of a black man shot by police released video showing the events leading up to his death.
Friday's march through Charlotte's business district was the fourth night of demonstrations over the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott earlier in the week.
After darkness fell, dozens of people took to the streets to urge police to release dashboard and body camera video that could show more clearly what happened. Police have said Scott was armed, but witnesses say he held only a book.
The group, which appeared smaller than previous nights, carried a banner that said "Just Release the Tapes."
Earlier in the day, footage recorded by Keith Lamont Scott's wife and released by his family shows his wife repeatedly telling officers he is not armed and pleading with them not to shoot her husband as they shout at him to drop a gun.
The 2 ½-minute video released by the family does not show the shooting, though gunshots can be heard. In the video Scott's wife, Rakeyia Scott, tells officers that he has a TBI, or traumatic brain injury. At one point, she tells her husband to get out of the car so police don't break the windows. She also tells him, "don't do it," but it's not clear what she means.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) —"My heart bleeds for what our great city is going through."
That's what North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory told WBTV-TV about the two nights of violence in Charlotte after the fatal police shooting of a black man.
McCrory has declared a state of emergency and is sending in the National Guard.
Police say 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott had a gun when a police officer shot him Tuesday. Neighbors say Scott was holding a book, not a gun.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The commissioner of the IRS is apologizing to Congress for information his agency lost and inaccurate statements he made during congressional investigations of its treatment of tea party and other conservative groups.
John Koskinen is facing an impeachment effort by House conservatives, and he's set to testify Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee. That panel released his opening statement late Tuesday.
Koskinen's statement doesn't provide specifics.
But in documents his lawyers circulated last week, they noted that he told lawmakers in June 2014 that no emails had been destroyed. And, they say, it wasn't until June 2015 that he learned that a computer hard drive containing numerous emails had been destroyed by IRS workers back in 2011.
Koskinen is opposing the impeachment effort.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on explosive devices being found in New York and New Jersey (all times local):
A law enforcement official says the father of the man suspected in bombings in New York City and New Jersey had contacted the FBI following a 2014 stabbing to express concerns that his son was a terrorist.
The official says the FBI looked into the matter, but that Mohammad Rahami later retracted his comment and said he meant that his son was hanging out with the wrong crowd, including gangs.
Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested for stabbing a person in the leg and possession of a firearm in 2014. But a grand jury declined to indict him, despite a warning from the arresting officer that Rahami was likely "a danger to himself or others."
The official who spoke to AP insisted on anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Mohammad Rahami told reporters outside his chicken restaurant in Elizabeth, New Jersey, on Tuesday morning that he called law enforcement twice. He didn't elaborate.
— Eric Tucker in Washington and Josh Cornfield in Pennsylvania contributed to this report.___
People are now coming and going as usual in the Manhattan neighborhood rocked by a bomb — although jarring reminders of the weekend blast remain.
West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues is open to pedestrians and vehicles. But an art gallery, a design studio and a fitness center still have shattered or missing windows.
Mayor Bill de Blasio scheduled meetings with neighborhood residents on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Wells Fargo CEO is promising action to assist any customers who were hurt by having accounts opened without their permission to meet sales quotas.
John Stumpf told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday the bank will contact all deposit customers in the U.S., including those who already had fees refunded, to invite them to review their accounts with their banker.
Regulators fined San Francisco-based Wells Fargo $185 million earlier this month. Some 5,300 Wells Fargo employees have been fired and the bank has said it will end all product sales targets for all retail banking employees.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mylan says it will make available a generic version of its EpiPen, as criticism continued to mount over the price of its injectable medicine.
The company said Monday that its U.S. subsidiary will put out a generic version of the EpiPen that will have a list price of $300 for a two-pack. It will be available in both 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg strengths.
Myland N.V. said that it anticipates having the generic versions available in the next several weeks. It will continue to market and distribute branded EpiPen.
The company charges $608 for a two-pack of the branded EpiPen. Mylan said it will keep in place the $300 savings card for the branded EpiPen and the revised patient assistance program announced last week.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An astronaut has set a U.S. record for most time spent in space.
Jeffrey Williams, commander of the International Space Station, marked his 521st day in orbit Wednesday, a number accumulated over four flights. That surpasses the 520-day record set by Scott Kelly, whose one-year space station mission ended in March.
By the time Williams returns to Earth in two weeks, he will have logged 534 days off the planet for NASA. His record won't last long. Space station veteran Peggy Whitson will top that after she flies up in November for a six-month stay. She's already at the 377-day mark for total space time, a record for a woman.
Kelly, who's now retired from NASA, called Williams from Mission Control in Houston on Wednesday morning and offered congratulations.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 88,000 cars and SUVs in North America because the engines can stall without warning due to a fuel pump problem.
The recall covers certain Ford Taurus and Police Interceptor sedans, Ford Flex wagons, Lincoln MKS sedans and Lincoln MKT SUVs from the 2013 through 2015 model years. All have 3.5-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines.
Ford says the fuel pump control modules can fail, and the engines may not start, or they could stall, leaving drivers without the ability to restart them. The company says it's not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem.
Dealers will replace the control module at no cost to owners.
GLOUCESTER, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has denied a Virginia school board's request to allow it to prevent a transgender teen from using the boys' bathroom when he returns to school this September.
The Gloucester County School Board wants to delay an order forcing it to let Gavin Grimm to use the restroom matching his gender identity while it appeals.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denied that request Tuesday.
The appeals court sided in April with Grimm, who argues the board violated discrimination laws by forbidding him from using the boys' bathroom. Grim was a girl who now identifies as a boy.
Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote in a dissenting opinion that allowing Grimm to use the boy's bathroom will deny male students "bodily privacy while using the facilities."
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Investigators have confirmed that the deaths of a teenage girl and two women in a house in one of the nation's wealthiest communities were a murder-suicide.
Michael Arya, who owned the home in Rancho Santa Fe, north of San Diego, died of cancer in April. Authorities say his sister stabbed the others before killing herself this week.
San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Kenn Nelson on Friday identified the sister as 52-year-old Sayeh Amini. He says she stabbed to death her 15-year-old niece, Hannah Arya, and her brother's 56-year-old business associate, Ihnwon Mia Shin.
Deputies responding to reported child abuse found the bodies Monday.
Nelson says Amini stabbed herself to death.
He declined to comment further.
Attorney Carl Starrett told reporters that Amini was overwhelmed from handling her brother's estate.
NEW YORK (AP) — Visitors to the World Trade Center site now have a new view.
The one-acre, elevated Liberty Park opened to the public Wednesday. Built on top of a security center, it overlooks the memorial to those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
The park includes the "Living Wall," a newly planted vertical garden, as well as a sapling grown from the horse chestnut tree outside Anne Frank's home in Amsterdam. The park is modeled after Manhattan's High Line — the abandoned railroad tracks that were transformed into one of the world's most visited green spaces.
Underneath the park, the security center will screen trucks, tour buses and other vehicles before they enter subterranean roads crossing the entire trade center.
The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
HOMINY, Okla. (AP) — Inmates at an Oklahoma prison have been drinking bottled water and using buckets of water to fill their toilets after a waterline break.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins tells The Oklahoman that the approximately 1,200 inmates at the Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy were able to shower Sunday and Tuesday, but that the water pressure wasn't sustainable.
The department reached out to the state Office of Emergency Management and the Oklahoma National Guard for assistance transporting water to the facility. Watkins says that aside from bringing in bottled water and ice, each cell was given a bucket of water to refill toilets after each use.
The department said in a news release Wednesday that full water power is expected to be restored by early next week.
NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say five workers have been injured in an explosion at an aluminum plant in Newnan, Georgia, about 35 miles southwest of Atlanta.
The Newnan Times-Herald reports that the blast at Bonnell Aluminum Plant on Wednesday morning shook downtown buildings located nearly a mile away.
The company said in a statement that one of the injured employees was flown to Atlanta Medical Center, and two others were taken to a local hospital. The company said the other two employees were treated at the scene.
The Newnan newspaper said the explosion also damaged a building at another business, Sewell Marine, and caused a small fire in a boat on the lot, which was quickly extinguished.
BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge is poised to deliver his verdict in the murder trial of an officer who drove the police van where a black arrestee's neck was broken, triggering some of the worst riots the city has ever seen.
Caesar Goodson was charged with murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.
Twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray died a week after suffering a spinal injury in Goodson's wagon, where officers left him handcuffed and shackled but unrestrained by a seat belt. His death set off protests and violence, and prompted State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to bring charges against six officers.
The sweeping case ended the career of the police commissioner and aborted the political future of the mayor. Some say Mosby's reputation also hinges on its outcome.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — More than 80 Civil War flags, some tattered, some stained in blood and ripped by bullet holes, capture the attention of visitors to New Hampshire's State House.
Men once carried the flags as they marched into battle. Years later, the banners made up the Hall of Flags at the state Capitol's front entrance.
Now stored in glass cases, the 88 flags are at the heart of a preservation debate.
If left as they are, how long will they last? Statehouses and museums nationwide grapple with similar questions as they seek to preserve historical relics.
Maine moved flags from its Capitol to the state museum years ago, placing the flags on special panels for preservation. Rhode Island is now exploring flag preservation and Connecticut recently completed a project.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from 20 states seeking to block a federal rule targeting mercury pollution from taking effect while the government revises the rule to account for compliance costs.
The justices on Monday left in place a federal appeals court ruling that said the rule could remain in place while the Environmental Protection Agency fixes legal problems and comes out with a revision. The EPA revised its cost analysis in April.
The high court ruled last year that the EPA should have considered costs and benefits before imposing limits on mercury and other air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. But the justices let the rule stay in effect while the lower court decided how a cost-benefits analysis should be conducted.
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) - Officials are giving more details about the law enforcement response to a mass shooting that left 50 dead at a gay Florida nightclub.
Orlando police Chief John Mina says an extra officer was working at the Pulse nightclub in full uniform. The officer engaged with the shooter near an entrance. Additional officers entered, and engaged the suspect in another gunbattle. The shooter retreated to the bathroom.
Mina says, "At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club."
Officers then secured everything, and the SWAT team was brought in. Mina says officers then set up for an explosive breach on the bathroom wall. Mina says he made the decision to breach the wall, which created a hole through which dozens of clubgoers were rescued. Then the suspect exited through the same hole, and engaged in another gunbattle with officers.
Shooter Omar Mateen was then killed.
HERNANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been taken into custody after surveillance video shows him trying to kidnap a teenage girl inside a store.
Citrus County deputies tell news outlets that 30-year-old Craig Bonello is facing charges of child abuse and kidnapping involving Tuesday's incident at a Dollar General Store in Hernando.
Investigators say video shows Bonello looking around before grabbing the 13-year-old girl and trying to drag her out of the store. The child's mother caught up to him and a tug of war ensued as the woman fought for her daughter. The suspect finally let go of the girl and ran.
The store manager alerted an off-duty deputy outside the store and the deputy blocked Bonello's car and arrested him.
It's unclear if Bonello has an attorney.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Union Pacific has resumed train service through the Oregon city affected by last week's fiery derailment.
As a precaution, the trains passing through Mosier are limited to 10 miles per hour, much slower than the usual 30 mph.
The company restarted service despite objections from the Mosier City Council.
At an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon, the council approved a motion demanding that oil be removed from derailed cars before traffic is restarted. They also wanted a thorough investigation before the resumption of "high-risk" traffic.
No injuries were reported in the derailment in which 16 of 96 tank cars went off the tracks and started a fire in four of the cars.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Utilities Board says a Texas company may begin construction on an oil pipeline in areas for which the company has approval.
The three-member board approved an order on a 2-1 vote Monday that allows Dakota Access LLC, to begin laying pipe in areas outside U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction.
The Corps hasn't issued permits for about 60 federal parcels including river crossings and a Native American burial site in northwest Iowa deemed culturally significant.
Construction on the 1,150-mile project by the subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners has already begun in Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Pipeline opponents are holding a protest rally Monday at the Iowa Capitol calling for a construction delay until all required permits are approved.
REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds are lining up for a Donald Trump rally in far Northern California but the atmosphere in the city of Redding is much different than it was in San Jose Thursday night when protesters pounced on Trump supporters.
There are no protesters in sight ahead of the scheduled Friday afternoon rally at the local airport, where a giant American flag flutters from a crane.
It's much more fertile ground for Trump's insurgent candidacy where rural conservative residents often feel slighted by government officials in Sacramento, 150 miles to the south, and Washington, D.C., a continent away.
Redding is the seat of Shasta County, the center of a secessionist movement to create a 51st state called Jefferson.
In San Jose Thursday night, protesters threw eggs and punches at Trump supporters, grabbed their hats, chased them and banged on their cars.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three Minnesota men accused of plotting to go to Syria to join the Islamic State group have been convicted of conspiracy to commit murder overseas.
Twenty-one-year-old Guled Ali Omar, 22-year-old Abdirahman Yasin Daud (Ahb-DEER'-ah-mahn YAH'-sin Dah-OOD') and 22-year-old Mohamed Abdihamid Farah were convicted of the most serious charges on Friday.
Conspiracy to commit murder overseas carries the possibility of life in prison.
The three are among 10 young men accused in the conspiracy. Six have pleaded guilty and a seventh is believed to be in Syria.
Prosecutors built their case largely on recordings made by a friend of the men who became a paid informant. Defense attorneys argued that comments on the records were youthful bluster, and family and friends have protested what they call entrapment.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' prosecutor says she won't be charging two officers in the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old last year, concluding that no evidence disproves police claims of self-defense.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce announced her findings Thursday in the August 2015 death of Mansur Ball-Bey. She called the case "a tragedy in every aspect of the word."
Joyce says the officers and a witness reported that an armed Ball-Bey ran from a home during a raid and was shot after pointing his gun toward an officer. Joyce says Ball-Bey's loaded gun was found at the scene.
An attorney for Ball-Bey's family has questioned the police account that Ball-Bey was armed.
Ball-Bey's death came a little more than a year after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — An Air Force Thunderbird jet crashed south of Colorado Springs just after a flyover for a graduation of Air Force Academy cadets where President Barack Obama had spoken.
Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michal (ma-CALL) Kloeffler-Howard said Thursday the pilot ejected. There was no information on the pilot's condition. No injuries on the ground were reported.
Obama was still at the graduation site at the time of the crash, taking photos with attendees prior to returning to Washington. The crash happened about 15 miles south of the academy.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Crews have contained a fuel spill that was caused when an Amtrak train with 191 passengers hit a pickup in western Colorado.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the westbound California Zephyr train, which runs between Chicago to San Francisco, hit the truck at a crossing just west of Glenwood Springs on Tuesday afternoon. None of the passengers was injured, and the driver of the truck had climbed out of his vehicle by the time emergency crews arrived. He was treated for minor injuries.
Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson tells the Post Independent a 500-gallon fuel tank on the lead locomotive was ruptured. The fuel was contained to the rail bed and had not spilled into the nearby Colorado River.
Some passengers walked away from the train and tried to arrange other transportation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 in the nation's capital has been revised to have a less dramatic impact on the city's restaurant industry.
A D.C. Council committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the bill, which would raise the minimum wage to $5.55 an hour for workers who rely on tips. That's double the current minimum for tipped workers.
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration had proposed a $7.50 minimum for tipped workers. A hearing last week on the wage bill focused mostly on that proposal. Restaurant industry representatives said that would harm their businesses and lead to servers and bartenders making less money, not more.
Democratic Council member Vincent Orange drafted the compromise. He had expressed reservations about a big increase in the tipped minimum.
ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia sheriff's deputy was shot in the face during an interstate traffic stop south of Atlanta on Saturday.
WTVM-TV reports that Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley says the incident happened around 7:30 p.m.
The deputy suffered a single shot to the face, above the left eye, while walking up to the vehicle. He was rushed to a hospital and is being treated. The condition of the deputy was not immediately known Saturday night.
Jolley says three people were inside the car when the incident happened on I-185 southbound, about 80 miles south of downtown Atlanta.
Police are searching for a 1994 blue Chevrolet Caprice that fled the scene.
Deputies say the vehicle was caught on dash cam video.
Police are searching for the suspects.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Now that he's clinched his party's nomination for president, Donald Trump is able to take jabs at Hillary Clinton for not being able to "close the deal," as Trump puts it.
Trump spoke today in North Dakota, hours after an Associated Press count confirmed that he has the support of enough GOP delegates to win the nomination without a fight.
He told reporters that he has "tremendous support from almost everybody."
The AP confirmed that Trump hit the 1,237 delegate majority after a nationwide survey of unbound delegates.
The unbound delegates who are supporting Trump include the Republican party chairwoman in Oklahoma. Pam Pollard says Trump has "touched a part of our electorate that doesn't like where our country is." And she says she has "no problem" supporting him.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A key email from Hillary Clinton to a top State Department aide in 2010 expressing worry that her personal messages could become "accessible" to outsiders is cited in a new inspector general's report on her emails. But Clinton did not turn over that particular email, which was later obtained by the investigators.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was supposed to have turned over all work-related emails to the State Department for public release. Yet the agency's watchdog found three emails never seen before — including Clinton's explanation for why she wanted her emails kept private and details of hacking attempts on her personal computer server.
The existence of the messages renews concerns that Clinton was not completely forthcoming when she turned over work-related emails to the State Department.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration will add 768 new screeners by mid-June to deal with increasingly long airport security lines that have caused passengers to miss flights even before the busy summer travel season, the agency's chief told Congress on Wednesday.
Most of the new screeners will be sent to the nation's busiest airports in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other hubs, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger told a House committee.
The TSA also has increased the use of overtime in Chicago and other major airports, converted some part-time workers to full-time status and increased the use of bomb-sniffing dogs to help with security lines, Neffenger said.
And it is launching an incident command center that will track daily screening operations and shift officers, canine units and other resources to shorten lines at the busiest times, he said. The group includes officials from major airlines and industry associations.
NEW YORK (AP) — As the international epidemic of Zika virus disease has unfolded and led to devastating birth defects for at least 1,300 children in eight countries, an agonizing question has persisted: What is the chance that an infected pregnant woman will have a baby with these defects?
Researchers don't yet have a complete answer, but they are slowly homing in on one.
The largest study to ever look at the question says the risk of one especially severe type of birth defect is "substantial" — in the range of 1 percent to 14 percent. It also reinforces the understanding that women infected in the early stages of pregnancy face the greatest risk.
The range is so unusually wide because researchers are relying on imprecise and incomplete information.
The study focused on what was seen in just one place, a state in northeast Brazil. And it looks only at microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's skull is much smaller than expected because the brain hasn't developed properly. But health officials say Zika can cause other birth defects, too.
The new study was done by government scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.
DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say at least two people were critically injured and rural homes were damaged in Kansas amid severe storms that swept across the Plains.
A statement early Wednesday from the Kansas Adjutant General's Office says the storms downed trees and power lines and damaged outbuildings and rural homes.
The statement says emergency management officials in Ford County reported two people were critically injured and taken to a hospital in Dodge City.
The National Weather Service will conduct damage surveys Wednesday.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is poised to become the first state in the nation to expand its hate-crime laws to protect police, firefighters and emergency medical crews.
The move could stir the national debate over the relationship between law enforcement and minorities.
If signed by the governor this week, the new law would allow prosecutors to seek additional penalties against anyone convicted of intentionally targeting first responders because of their profession.
Louisiana law already provides for additional penalties if a victim is targeted because of race, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or affiliation with certain organizations.
Lawmakers in five other states have recently tried to pass similar so-called Blue Lives Matter bills, but those efforts stalled.
Critics regard the bills as unnecessary and say they could weaken current hate crimes statutes.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's top prosecutor is facing criticism that she moved too quickly to file charges against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray without first ensuring there was enough evidence to bring them to bear.
A judge on Monday acquitted Officer Edward Nero of the assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment charges in the April 2015 arrest of the African-American man.
Legal experts say the acquittal in the racially charged case could be seen by some as a confirmation of criticism that State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby rushed to file charges.
Gray died a week after his neck was broken in the back of a police van, where he was shackled, handcuffed but unrestrained by a seat belt. His death prompted calls for justice, and rioting followed Gray's funeral.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A sympathetic House Judiciary Committee is giving a high-profile forum to a top Republican lawmaker who wants to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz plans to testify to the GOP-run Judiciary panel on Tuesday. The Utah Republican has been pushing for Koskinen's removal since last summer, accusing the commissioner of hindering congressional investigations of his agency.
Congressional Republicans have long detested the IRS. Those feelings were only heightened when the agency apologized in 2013 for subjecting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status to unusually tough scrutiny.
The IRS says it has fully cooperated with four congressional committees investigating the agency.
Koskinen says the impeachment charges against him are without merit. He says he won't appear Tuesday because he's been busy traveling.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service says one of its uniformed officers shot a man with a gun who approached a checkpoint outside the White House this afternoon and refused to drop his weapon.
The White House was briefly placed on a security alert. President Barack Obama was not there. He was playing golf.
According to David Iacovetti, a Secret Service deputy assistant director, the armed man approached the checkpoint on E Street and the officer repeatedly ordered the man to drop his gun, but the man ignored those commands.
Iacovetti says the officer fired one shot at the man, who was taken to a hospital for treatment, and the gun was recovered at the scene.
A D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman says the man was in critical condition when he was transported.
A U.S. law enforcement official says authorities have identified the gunman as Jesse Oliveri of Ashland, Pennsylvania. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
The official says federal agents found ammunition inside a Toyota sedan, parked nearby on Constitution Avenue, that the gunman was believed to have driven.
BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man who defrauded clients out of $1.3 million by convincing them to invest in a hedge fund that didn't exist has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Federal prosecutors say 57-year-old Gregg Caplitz, of Woburn, was also sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution.
He had previously pleaded guilty to charges including investment adviser fraud, wire fraud and lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Prosecutors say Caplitz and a business partner pitched a hedge fund investment to their clients, but the hedge fund didn't exist and they used the money for personal expenses.
Much of the money lost by more than a dozen victims was retirement savings.
The partner has also been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 118 short of the delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton remains on track to do so by early June.
Clinton and Sanders each picked up at least 25 delegates Tuesday in Kentucky's presidential primary.
The margin in Kentucky between the two is less than one-half of 1 percent, which means the race is too close to call.
After the votes in Oregon are counted later Tuesday, the next caucuses are in the Virgin Islands on June 4 and Puerto Rico on June 5, with a combined total of 67 delegates at stake.
If Sanders still hopes to reach the 2,383 needed to win, he would have to pick up an overwhelming 88 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates.
That's all but impossible under the Democrats' system of awarding delegates in proportion to the vote, rather than winner-takes-all.
LAREDO, Texas (AP) — Federal authorities will begin investigating what caused a charter bus headed to a casino to crash in far South Texas, killing eight people and injuring 44 others in a one-vehicle rollover.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Conrad Hein says seven people died at the scene Saturday on U.S. Highway 83 about 46 miles north of Laredo and another died later at a Laredo hospital. Hein says "the driver of the bus lost control and rolled over."
A team from the National Transportation Safety Board headed to the scene.
Hein says the driver was among the survivors. His name and the names of passengers were not immediately available.
Authorities say it was raining Saturday morning but it was uncertain if that was a factor in the crash.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it wants to clarify the expectations of public schools when it comes to the rights of transgender students.
The departments of Education and Justice are releasing a directive Friday, reminding school districts that they are obligated to treat transgender students in a way that matches their gender identity.
The directive says that includes their access to bathrooms and locker rooms.
NEW YORK (AP) - A man has beaten the odds by winning $1 million in the New York Lottery for a second time.
Lottery officials will be revealing the $1 million winner Wednesday on Long Island. They say the same Suffolk County man won $1 million in 2012.
The check presentation will be made at a gas station and convenience store in West Babylon.
Repeat winners are rare, but not unheard of, in New York and other places.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Legislation limiting public access to police body camera videos has won final approval in Missouri in a move that some supporters hope will help encourage their use.
The bill's passage Tuesday comes nearly two years after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson touched off massive protests over the way police interact with residents.
Ferguson police did not have body cameras at the time. And the lack of video evidence helped feed doubts and speculation over exactly what transpired before a white officer fatally shot the black 18-year-old on a city street.
The Missouri bill would close videos from police body and vehicle cameras while investigations are ongoing. Videos taken at homes, schools, medical facilities and other "nonpublic locations" could remain closed even after the investigation ends.
PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - A defense attorney for a man accused of killing his wife and two children on the Big Island of Hawaii is asking for a panel of doctors to evaluate his mental fitness.
John Ali Hoffman was in court Monday where defense attorney Brian De Lima says he requested the evaluation. A June hearing is scheduled.
Hawaii News Now reports court documents say Hoffman called police saying intruders shot his wife.
Police say that when officers arrived, they found Hoffman driving away from the house. Police say a woman's body was in the car's trunk, and the bodies of a boy and girl were inside the Puna house.
Police identified the woman as Aracely Hoffman. Police say they were married in 2008. The children's names haven't yet been released.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — After 15 hours of mostly private meetings, the Michigan House has approved a $500 million restructuring plan for the ailing Detroit Public Schools.
House lawmakers started the session Wednesday and emerged from a series of private caucus meetings to approve a plan early today to make sure teachers are paid and the district pays off debt.
The plan doesn't include a commission that would have the authority to approve which schools open and close in the city. That had been a key part of the Senate plan which passed previously and a major reason why Democrats voted against the package.
Teachers held a two-day sickout this week after learning that the district wouldn't be able to pay them this summer without emergency funding from the state.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but the totals stayed near historic lows in a sign that the recent slowdown in growth has yet to spark layoffs.
The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid rose 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, edged up to 258,000, close to the 42-year low achieved two weeks ago.
With relatively few people seeking unemployment benefits, it appears as though employers are unworried about recent sluggish growth. The economy expanded an annual pace of just 0.5 percent in the first quarter, the weakest pace in two years.
The figures point to job growth in Friday's employment report. Economists forecast that employers added 200,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate remained 5 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of electronic cigarette brands will have to seek federal permission to stay on the market under new rules that have the potential to upend a multi-billion dollar industry attempting to position itself as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday released long-awaited rules that bring the burgeoning industry under federal oversight. Among other steps, the FDA rules limit e-cigarette sales to minors and require new health warnings. In a move vigorously opposed by manufacturers, the agency said manufacturers would have to seek permission to remain on the market under a multi-tiered system. Those that don't submit the required information could have their products taken off the market.
E-cigarettes turn nicotine into an inhalable liquid vapor. Their benefits and harms haven't been extensively studied.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia prosecutor is expected to release a report on Tuesday explaining her decision not to bring charges against officers who used stun guns repeatedly on a handcuffed black man before his 2013 death.
Police in South Boston, Virginia, used the stun guns on Linwood Lambert outside an emergency room door and then in a squad car.
His death was blamed on cocaine intoxication.