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Governments pay more burial costs in bad economy, US

May 24, 2009 10:46 am | by JAMES HANNAH - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Renata Richardson had already picked a name for her first child: Jazmyn Rose. She was stockpiling gifts such as baby socks, hats and a bassinet.But the baby died a month before she was to be born. Richardson was crushed not only by the death but because she knew she couldn't...

Facebook block ahead of Iran vote hampers youth, 5th Ld-Writethru, ML

May 24, 2009 10:45 am | by ALI AKBAR DAREINI - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's decision to block access to Facebook — less than three weeks before nationwide elections — drew sharp criticism Sunday from a reformist opposition hoping to mobilize the youth vote and unseat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.The decision, critics said, forces Iranians to...

Simplot family plans large project in Boise, 1st Ld-Writethru, ID

May 24, 2009 10:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The family of J.R. Simplot plans to start construction next spring on a $100 million "urban meeting place" in downtown Boise.Project spokesman David Cuoio said the development will be called Jack's Urban Meeting Place in honor of the potato baron, who died last year at the age...

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Carlsbad potash mine scheduled for demolition, NM

May 24, 2009 10:40 am | by STELLA DAVISAssociated Press | News | Comments

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — When it comes to firsts, Carlsbad has had many throughout its history.Sadly, one of those firsts — the former U.S. Potash Company that helped put Carlsbad on the road to becoming the potash capital of the world — is being torn down and the land will be returned to its natural...

Arizona lakes could see more visitors this year, 1st Ld-Writethru, AZ

May 24, 2009 10:35 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's lakes may prove to be more popular this summer as people look to save money and spend vacations closer to home.Although an early run of 100-degree days this year had people hitting the water before now, this weekend marks the kickoff to lake season, and the good news is...

Conn. man guilty in FDIC retirement scheme, CT

May 24, 2009 10:34 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former regional manager with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who lives in Connecticut has pleaded guilty to stealing government funds.The charge against 65-year-old Brian McClelland of Somers involves $137,000 in extra retirement benefits he got but didn't...

Cedar City flight school files for bankruptcy, 1st Ld-Writethru, UT

May 24, 2009 10:29 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Cedar City flight school that was shuttered in March has filed for bankruptcy amid allegations that it had improperly charged students thousands in up-front tuition.The National Pilot Academy filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in April and wants the court to liquidate...

Butte Folk Festival readies for 2nd year, MT

May 24, 2009 10:29 am | by KAHRIN DEINES - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The lineup for the second National Folk Festival taking place in "Butte, America" this summer stars about 250 singers, dancers and other artists, along with hoofed performers from all over Montana.The three-day multicultural event, which is riding with a theme of Western horse...

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Goodbye to rest stop hellos, SD

May 24, 2009 10:29 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The state Department of Transportation will no longer allow nonprofit groups to host events at interstate rest stops.Greg Fuller, the department's director of operations, said officials first considered ending the practice last year, but the department already had issued...

Congress to Obama: Gitmo plan before money, US

May 24, 2009 10:19 am | by PHILIP ELLIOTT - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama shouldn't have assumed his Democratic allies in Congress were willing to pay for the shutdown of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They weren't, at least not without a plan.Two top Obama allies called the approach a mistake. The president's Republican critics called the...

EPA grant to cleanse SD sites, SD

May 24, 2009 10:19 am | by THOM GABRUKIEWICZAssociated Press | News | Comments

SISSETON, S.D. (AP) — A former orphanage and boarding school tainted with toxins near here could be transformed into a recreation area with ballparks and green space, paid for with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe received $200,000 from the EPA...

NJ man on crusade for missing World War II airman, 1st Ld-Writethru, NJ

May 24, 2009 10:19 am | by DAVID PORTER - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — In the late 1950s in the cozy northern New Jersey suburb of Maplewood, little Peter Boczar pieced together bits of wood and rug hoping to make a flying carpet.The contraption wasn't for a class project. Boczar made it so he could fly to a faraway land and search for his uncle, a...

Glenwood Springs ups efforts to draw summer guests, CO

May 24, 2009 10:19 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The Glenwood Springs Chamber and Resort Association is launching a summer marketing campaign for the first time in years to help fill lodges as travelers watch their wallets.Occupancy rates have been around 85 to 95 percent in the area during past summers, but tourism...

New law blocks pensions to active gov't workers, IN

May 24, 2009 10:13 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — A new state law will close a loophole that government employees and teachers used to temporarily retire and then return to their jobs — and salaries — after they started collecting pensions.The law going into effect this summer will halt public pensions to working public...

Track gets OK to start simulcasting, parimutuels, NM

May 24, 2009 10:08 am | by BARRY MASSEY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico's newest race track has won state approval to start simulcasting horse races and conduct pari-mutuel wagering.Michael Moldenhauer, president of the track at Raton, said construction will start right away on a 14,000 square foot building that will show broadcasts of horse...

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