AP News


Utah turns to higher court to halt gay marriage PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press PAUL FOY, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 07:43

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah state lawyers have again turned to a Denver-based federal appeals court in their bid to put a stop to gay couples getting married, saying the state should not be required to abide by one judge's narrow view of a "new and fundamentally different definition of marriage."

About 700 gay couples have obtained wedding licenses since U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby on Friday declared Utah's gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but lawyers for the state are trying every legal avenue to halt the practice. Shelby on Monday denied their bid to temporarily stop gay marriage while the appeals process plays out, and they quickly went to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Utah is the 18th state where gay couples can wed, and the sight of same-sex marriages occurring just a few miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church has provoked anger among the state's top leaders.

"Until the final word has been spoken by this Court or the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of Utah's marriage laws, Utah should not be required to enforce Judge Shelby's view of a new and fundamentally different definition of marriage," the state said in a motion to the appeals court.

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Vets return to streets to reach the homeless PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 07:08

CONCORD, Mass. (AP) — Not far from where the Boston Massacre helped sow the seeds for the Revolutionary War, David Dyer points toward the underpass where he'd score crack cocaine by day and the train depot where he'd sleep some nights.

Now, he has a family, a home and a job — helping homeless veterans get off the streets, like he did.

Dyer is part of a team of veterans, some formerly homeless themselves, that the state of Massachusetts has hired to get veterans off the streets in the Boston area. Typically, they spend one day a week roaming the city's storefronts, alleys and shelters, which is what he was doing one recent morning outside Boston's South Station. "I guess you could call this my home for about a month," he reminisced.

The rest of the week is spent making sure those who have found housing are staying the course. The Veterans Affairs Department, which funds the effort, is considering doubling the size of the team in the coming year.

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California family celebrates three heart transplants PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 07:07

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (AP) — Deanna Kremis remembers the exhilarating day her young sons first had the energy to race each other up a flight of stairs.

The brothers, then ages 7 and 10, could barely walk before having heart transplants just a month apart. As they flew up the steps two at a time, jostling and shouting, she recalled, "my friend turned to me and said, 'Are YOU ready to get one now?'"

It was a joke that became prophesy. Her health, too, was slipping away because of the same inherited cardiac condition. By the time she received her own transplant in July, her heart was so weak she fainted while walking down the hall, collapsed mid-sentence and passed out in the middle of dinner at a friend's house.

Her decline was terrifying for her sons, who were just beginning to embrace their lives with donor hearts and now saw their worst memories reflected in their mother's struggle. All three have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken until it can't pump properly. Kremis' mother and brother also have it, as did her grandmother.

"We just didn't like seeing her go through the pain and stuff," said Trevin, now 13. "We knew what it felt like."

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N.Y. man's 10,607 video games secure Guinness title PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CAROLYN THOMPSON, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 07:06

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Maybe it was getting his first video game, Cosmic Avenger, for Christmas at the age of 12, and then having to wait an entire year for the hard-to-land Colecovision console to play it on that made Michael Thomasson so determined to get his hands on every video game and system he could find.

Now, 31 years and roughly 11,000 games later, Thomasson is the newly crowned world record holder for having the largest collection of video games. He is featured in a two-page spread in the just-released "Guinness World Records 2014 Gamer's Edition."

"I have games on cartridge, laser disc. I have VHS-based games, cassette-based games," Thomasson said, standing among the collection that fills the basement of his suburban Buffalo home.

Along with the games, he has the devices to play them on, not only the Xboxes and PlayStations but obscure ones like the Casio Loopy, the only game system specifically geared toward girls, which came out in Japan in 1995, and the Pippin, a dud released by Apple the same year.

"Every game on it is awful," Thomasson says of Apple's foray into the gaming world. "It's the least fun of anything in the house."

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Saxophonist Yusef Lateef dies at age 93 in Massachusetts PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 07:05

SHUTESBURY, Mass. (AP) — Grammy-winning musician and composer Yusef Lateef, one of the first to incorporate world music into traditional jazz, has died. He was 93.

Lateef died Monday at his home in Shutesbury in western Massachusetts, according to the Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst.

Lateef, a tenor saxophonist known for his impressive technique, also became a top flutist. He was a jazz soloist on the oboe and played bassoon. He introduced different types of flutes and other woodwind instruments from many countries into his music and is credited with playing world music before it was officially named.

"I believe that all humans have knowledge," he said in a 2009 interview for the National Endowment for the Arts. "Each culture has some knowledge. That's why I studied with Saj Dev, an Indian flute player. That's why I studied Stockhausen's music. The pygmies' music of the rain forest is very rich music. So the knowledge is out there. And I also believe one should seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. With that kind of inquisitiveness, one discovers things that were unknown before."

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