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Report slams BIA Alaska roads program, 1st Ld-Writethru, AK

May 23, 2009 4:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal Interior Department is squeezing the flow of economic stimulus funds for the Alaska roads program of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.The action is a result of an inspector general's report alleging mismanagement."Given the history, we are proceeding with an...

Venezuela rejects concerns from UN, OAS on media, LT

May 23, 2009 4:17 pm | by IAN JAMES - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A top diplomat defended Venezuela's investigation into a leading anti-government television station, rebuffing the concerns of U.N. and OAS officials that President Hugo Chavez's government is threatening free speech.Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of American...

Sunday, May 31, NA

May 23, 2009 4:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Today is Sunday, May 31, the 151st day of 2009. There are 214 days left in the year.Highlights in history on this date:1043 - Lady Godiva rides naked through the market square in Coventry, England.1520 - After being a hostage in Denmark, young nobleman Gustav Vasa slips back into Sweden to start a...

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Neb. patrol to launch summer enforcement activity, NE

May 23, 2009 4:01 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska State Patrol will be launching its traffic safety initiative "100 Days of Summer" in hopes of reducing the number of fatal crashed on Nebraska roads.The patrol plans to hold at least one traffic safety enforcement operation somewhere in the state. That could...

Ketchikan woman sues Juneau diocese, 2nd Ld-Writethru, AK

May 23, 2009 3:41 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — A woman is suing the Catholic Diocese of Juneau, alleging sexual misconduct by a priest when she was a young student attending Holy Name Catholic School in Ketchikan in the mid-1980s.The Ketchikan woman, referred to only as Jane Doe in the complaint, says former...

Shannon Hills mayor out after plea, AR

May 23, 2009 3:30 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BENTON, Ark. (AP) — The mayor of the Saline County city of Shannon Hills has resigned after pleading guilty to tax charges.Sixty-three-year-old Larance Davis admitted he failed to file several years worth of state income tax returns in pleading guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor charge on...

Bill proposes higher fine for late tag renewals, OK

May 23, 2009 3:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma drivers who don't renew their license plates on time could soon face a much larger fine.A bill proposing to quadruple the fine for late automobile registration has been sent to Gov. Brad Henry's desk after the state House approved it Friday. Under the measure, the...

Gay US diplomats to receive equal benefits, 1st Ld-Writethru, US

May 23, 2009 3:20 pm | by MATTHEW LEE - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay American diplomats will be given benefits similar to those that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, U.S. officials said Saturday.In a notice to be sent soon to State Department employees, Clinton says...

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Big Island losing coqui frog war, 1st Ld-Writethru, HI

May 23, 2009 3:00 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The Big Island's war on the loud, invasive coqui frogs may be over.Efforts to stop the spread of the coqui frog are coming to a halt on the Big Island as government funding dries up.Eleven years after the invasive coqui frogs were found on the Big Island, they've infested more...

Three Northern Calif. men charged in Ponzi scheme, CA

May 23, 2009 2:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Three Northern California men are in jail, waiting for their arraignment on charges they swindled thousands of people out of more than $200 million in an alleged Ponzi scene.James Stanley Koenig, 57, of Redding; Gary Armitage, 59, of Healdsburg; and Jeffery Guidi, 54, of Santa...

Wis. lawmakers approve prevailing wage expansion

May 23, 2009 2:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Construction companies would have to pay the prevailing wage on projects partially funded with public dollars under a plan the Legislature's budget-writing committee approved Saturday.Supporters say the move will result in more higher-paid laborers who can boost the economy...

Green bills a tough sell in Oregon Legislature, OR

May 23, 2009 2:54 pm | by BRAD CAIN - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — It was a very green year for the Oregon Legislature in 2007, with bills to promote renewable energy, curb greenhouse gas emissions and expand a pioneering bottle bill among the major initiatives.It's been a different story so far in the 2009 session. To a large degree, green...

Gridlock grips Texas Legislature in final days, 3rd Ld-Writethru, TX

May 23, 2009 2:49 pm | by JAY ROOT - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers opened the 2009 legislative session with an angry rules fight, partisan finger-pointing and a bitter debate over election law reforms. From the looks of things Saturday, they're poised to end it that way, too.For two days running, House Democrats have used...

Highlights Saturday from the Texas Legislature, TX

May 23, 2009 2:44 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said Saturday he is trying to forge a compromise to break up the partisan gridlock that is gripping the Texas Legislature.Straus has been largely absent from the House speaker's rostrum as Democrats continue to block controversial election law...

Texas Senate votes to disband homebuilding agency, 1st Ld-Writethru, TX

May 23, 2009 2:39 pm | by JIM VERTUNO - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate voted Saturday to disband a state agency that was created to settle homebuilding disputes but has increasingly come under criticism as anti-consumer.The Texas Residential Construction Commission was already headed toward closure because of complaints that it...

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