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Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew dies
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 04:27

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who guided the state through a period of school busing to achieve integration in the 1970s, died early Thursday. He was 85.

Ron Sachs, a former aide, told The Associated Press that Askew died surrounded by family members at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.

Askew rose from obscurity in the Florida Legislature to become the Democrats' surprise gubernatorial nominee in 1970 and then beat the incumbent Republican, Claude Kirk.

Askew's eight years in office coincided with the end of the Vietnam War, Watergate and dramatic social change across the nation.

Askew was a liberal on racial issues and crusaded for overhauling the state's tax laws, open government, environmental protection, ethics legislation and streamlining the courts and other governmental agencies.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Two dead after driver hits them at Texas festival
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 04:26

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Police say a man and woman have been killed after a drunken driver fleeing from arrest crashed through barricades set up for the South By Southwest festival and struck the pair and others on a crowded street.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says 23 others were injured, five of them critically, in the incident around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. He says the two people who died were on a mo-ped that the motorist hit along with pedestrians who were leaving a club where a concert had been held.

The chief says the man also struck a cab before jumping out of his car and trying to run. Officers shocked him with a stun gun and took him into custody.

Acevedo says the man faces two counts of capital murder.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Police: Three who attacked Wisconsin couple went to wrong home
Written by TAYLOR W. ANDERSON, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 15:27

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A home invasion in which a man was severely beaten and his pregnant wife was repeatedly sexually assaulted may have been meant for a neighboring house, authorities in Wisconsin said.

Three men face sexual assault and armed robbery charges after police said they broke into a Madison home looking for money, found the couple lying in bed and assaulted the woman, who was six months pregnant, after beating her husband.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday details a botched robbery plan that may have been intended to target the victims' neighbor. Authorities said a woman told the assailants they'd find at least $1,500 in cash in the home of the man she was seeing, but that the men broke into the wrong home.

Michon A. Thomas, Eric D. Bass and Kristopher J. Hughes all face robbery and sexual assault charges in the in the Feb. 23 home invasion on Madison's east side. Three others accused of helping plan and carry out the attack also have been charged.

Read more...
 
Rare redwood faces chopping block in California
Written by JASON DEAREN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 15:29

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It's a tree so rare that there are believed to be fewer than 10 of its kind in the world, and it could be chopped down to make way for commuter trains in Northern California.

Preservationists are hoping to stoke public awareness and save the albino chimero coast redwood growing in the small Sonoma County town of Cotati.

Standing 52-feet tall, the tree features a unique mixture of normal green leaves and white, albino sections. It's believed to be the largest of its kind on the planet.

But Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) officials say the decision to remove it is out of their hands.

Federal regulators have determined the tree must come down for safety reasons. The genetically mutated redwood is apparently too close to a proposed set of new tracks.

Read more...
 
Honor student who sued parents returns home
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 11:51

ROSELAND, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey honor student who sued to get her parents to support her after she moved out of their home has reunited with them.

The Star-Ledger of Newark (http://bit.ly/1fq6r3x ) reports that the lawyer representing Rachel Canning's parents said in a statement Wednesday that the 18-year-old's return is not contingent on any financial or other considerations.

A judge last week denied the teen's request for child support and to have her parents pay her remaining high school tuition. But the judge scheduled an April court date to consider the over-arching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their adult daughter.

Attorney Angelo Sarno says a news conference will be held outside the firm's office in Roseland at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

___

Information from: The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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