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What to do with doggy doo _ how 'bout a Powerloo?, 1st Ld-Writethru, MI

May 23, 2009 6:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

LINDEN, Mich. (AP) — Necessity might be the mother of invention, but nastiness also played a big role in Curt Fournier's creation.Fournier, 34, of Linden, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit, developed the Powerloo and formed GreenDog LLC with fiancee Victoria Januszewski. It's an outdoor,...

Wis. budget writers meet in Saturday session, WI

May 23, 2009 6:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers are burning the weekend oil to work on the state budget.The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee is set to work Saturday morning.The current budget ends June 30. State government would continue to function at present funding levels if a new budget isn't...

Kenya politics provide punchline on TV puppet show, AF

May 23, 2009 6:38 am | by KATHARINE HOURELD - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The president snoozes in his office by a tottering stack of papers in his in-tray. The prime minister lounges in a toilet with a red carpet leading to its door. Cabinet ministers take pot shots at each other in a High Noon-style showdown.The stars of Kenya's new smash hit TV...

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Obama treaty push hinges on global 'listening' net, EU

May 23, 2009 6:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

EDITOR'S NOTE — This is another in an occasional series on 2009 as a critical year for nuclear arms control, and the first of two stories on the test-ban treaty. A second report, looking at prospects for the treaty to come into force, will move for release Wednesday, May 27.By CHARLES J. HANLEYAP...

Manchin asks Obama to help WVa car dealers, WV

May 23, 2009 6:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Joe Manchin is asking President Barack Obama to help West Virginia's car dealerships.In a letter to Obama, the governor urged him to carefully consider the consequences of plans by General Motors and Chrysler to close a large number of their dealerships.Manchin said...

Former exec for fuel distributor claims fraud, 1st Ld-Writethru, MO

May 23, 2009 6:27 am | by DAVID TWIDDY - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The former president of a Kansas-based gasoline distributor that filed for bankruptcy in February is claiming he and the company were victims of fraud.Crescent Oil Co. Inc. and its subsidiaries, based in Independence, Kan., filed for Chapter 11 protection after it went into...

NC friends build wood boats by hand, NC

May 23, 2009 6:26 am | by LAURA MCFARLANDAssociated Press | News | Comments

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — The boat was in Robert Woody's head for years before he built it.He had no boat building experience. He had never taken a class in designing boats or watched one built start to finish.All Woody had was a vision of what it would look like and a longtime friend, Ronnie...

Obama's mining approach leaves industry wondering, WV

May 23, 2009 6:21 am | by TIM HUBER - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — No one's particularly pleased with the Obama administration's early approach to regulating the U.S. coal industry.The industry and big coal producing states are worried about stricter reviews of Appalachian surface mining permits by the Environmental Protection Agency that...

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Texas lake conditions solid for Memorial weekend, 2nd Ld-Writethru, TX

May 23, 2009 6:21 am | by SCHUYLER DIXON - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

WYLIE, Texas (AP) — Debby Wiley is ready for the Memorial Day weekend rush at the Dallas-area marina she manages.It's a much better feeling than she had three years ago, when drought conditions forced officials to move Collin Park Marina into the main part of Lavon Lake before the cove where it...

Paddle wheel restoration follows river passion, WV

May 23, 2009 6:15 am | by KYLA ASBURYAssociated Press | News | Comments

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (AP) — On Nov. 2, 1970, the Weber W. Sebald sank in the Kanawha River, and 38 years later, two Point Pleasant men decided it was time to recover some parts of the wrecked ship.Vernon Clifton and Bill Mallette have been involved with the river for many years, said Jackie...

Bonds will help improve university residence halls, 1st Ld-Writethru, SD

May 23, 2009 6:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Board of Regents is selling a record $900 million in revenue bonds for projects at four state-run universities.Most of the work is for new or upgraded residence halls at South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota, Northern State University...

With ex-Google exec, AOL seeks another fresh start

May 23, 2009 6:10 am | by RACHEL METZ - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Shortly before taking over as head of AOL in April, Tim Armstrong ripped out some office doors.The doors — made of glass and requiring a company key card to pass through — stood in AOL's New York headquarters, separating the offices of executives like former CEO Randy Falco and his...

Backers pleased by Iowa's energy efforts, 1st Ld-Writethru, IA

May 23, 2009 6:04 am | by MIKE GLOVER - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two years into an effort to boost Iowa's alternative energy industry, the state has given $35 million to established businesses, startups and academics to spur growth in the state.In return, officials said Iowa has seen 2,300 new jobs and the state has taken its place as a...

Obama looking for common touch in next justice, 2nd Ld-Writethru, US

May 23, 2009 5:59 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he doesn't feel "weighed down" by a need to pick the next Supreme Court justice based on demographics, arguing that intellectual firepower and empathy with ordinary people are more important."You have to have not only the intellect to be able to...

Fashion heiress, economist push foreign aid plan

May 23, 2009 5:54 am | by JANE WARDELL - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

LONDON (AP) — An unlikely duo of a fashion heiress and a Nobel Prize-winning economist is pushing a controversial plan to boost aid to the developing world by giving wealthy donors a greater say in how the money is distributed.Backed by the head of the United Nations and a bevy of billionaires,...

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