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Uncertain NASA gets familiar former astronaut boss

May 23, 2009 9:58 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — The nation's turbulent space program will be run by one of its own, a calming well-liked former space shuttle commander.President Barack Obama on Saturday chose retired astronaut Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden to lead NASA. He also named former NASA associate administrator Lori Garver as...

Wis. lawmakers approve more Internet police, WI

May 23, 2009 9:53 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's budget committee has approved three new state Justice Department positions to investigate Internet crimes against children.Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen requested $732,000 for two new special agents and three computer analysts. Democratic Gov. Jim...

NM restores funds to cash assistance for disabled, 1st Ld-Writethru, NM

May 23, 2009 9:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The administration of Gov. Bill Richardson has reversed an earlier decision and has restored money cut from a program that provides cash payments to disabled low-income New Mexicans.Richardson, after meeting Friday with advocates for low-income citizens, pledged $2 million in...

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Omaha-based railroad hit coal loading milestone, NE

May 23, 2009 9:48 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Since 1984, Union Pacific railroad has hauled enough coal out of northeast Wyoming to power all the homes in the U.S. for five years.The railroad recently loaded its 200,000th coal train in Wyoming's southern Powder River Basin.UP vice president Doug Glass says it's special that...

State to see $40 m for water, sewer projects, VT

May 23, 2009 9:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — About 80 water and sewer system improvement projects around Vermont will get under way this year thanks to $40 million in federal economic stimulus money.Among them will be a new system serving the towns of Jay and Troy that will use solar energy to process waste. The...

Vail's sales tax revenue down 25 percent in March, CO

May 23, 2009 9:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

VAIL, Colo. (AP) — Sales tax collections in Vail were down again in March.The town released figures Thursday showing sales tax collections for the month were down nearly 25 percent from March 2008 to about $2.5 million.The drop was attributed to the slumping national economy and the fact that...

Ohio woman offers aid for needy, not 'freeloaders', OH

May 23, 2009 9:38 am | by BY MARGARET BERNSTEINAssociated Press | News | Comments

ELYRIA, Ohio (AP) — Come walk with Barbara Klingshirn on a tour of her temporary Elyria warehouse. Here, she and fellow volunteers collect used furniture, clothes and housewares and redistribute them to needy folks.The name of their nonprofit is "Freely... Freely," a verse lifted from Matthew's...

Analysis: NY's taxes, spending still priorities, NY

May 23, 2009 9:38 am | by MICHAEL GORMLEY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday called legislative leaders to gather around a table in the Capitol to find ways to reduce New York's high taxing and spending. But it looked more like a holiday dinner, where only the relatives holding grudges showed up.Almost a year ago, the...

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Struggle over ethics role led to director's firing, 1st Ld-Writethru, TN

May 23, 2009 9:32 am | by ERIK SCHELZIG - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When Bruce Androphy was hired to run the Tennessee Ethics Commission in 2006, he took to heart pronouncements that the state wanted to the panel to be independent and assertive.That may have been his first mistake.Androphy was fired by the commission Monday after a rocky 2½...

Gates praises more than 950 West Point graduates, 3rd Ld-Writethru, US

May 23, 2009 9:27 am | by MICHAEL HILL - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Cadets graduating from West Point were praised by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday for having the courage and patriotism to join the military in "a dangerous new century."Gates noted that the 970 members of the U.S. Military Academy's class of 2009 were...

Tucson intestinal transplant marks first in state, AZ

May 23, 2009 9:27 am | by STEPHANIE INNESAssociated Press | News | Comments

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Until she took a few bites of mashed potatoes this week, Leslie Teran-Richter had not eaten since October.Though she'd been receiving nutrients through an intravenous line, it certainly wasn't as satisfying as eating solid food. She found herself having detailed fantasies about...

Russia confirms 1st swine flu case to WHO, UN

May 23, 2009 9:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says it has been notified of Russia's first confirmed case of swine flu.WHO's daily updates on the disease provide only the number of new cases and where they occurred.But media in Russia said Friday that a Russian citizen traveling from New York was...

SEC staff faces tighter stock trading rules-report, APFN

May 23, 2009 9:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission face tough new stock-trading rules, according to a report, after an investigation in the trading of two people on the regulator's staff.The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the rules will prohibit staff from trading...

Newspaper sues governor over records, 1st Ld-Writethru, MT

May 23, 2009 9:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Tribune Eagle is suing the governor and two state agencies for withholding budget recommendations, asking a court to release the documents.Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg argued that the governor can keep recommended budget-reduction plans from state...

Curriculum steers Tenn. students to math, science, 1st Ld-Writethru, TN

May 23, 2009 9:27 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Two girls, one wearing a preppy polo shirt with a matching hair bow and the other sporting hoop earrings and chomping gum, are talking in their darkened Robertsville Middle School classroom.Not about gossip or fashion, but "malfunctioning troubleshooting," ''pneumatics" and...

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