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Missing Wisconsin infant found alive in Iowa PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 07 February 2014 16:53

TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — Police say a newborn missing from a southern Wisconsin home has been found alive at an eastern Iowa gas station.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Steven Kopp says an officer checking along an interstate near West Branch, Iowa, found the nearly week-old Kayden Powell on Friday morning.

Gas station manager Jay Patel says the baby was found in a closed, gray plastic storage bin and that the FBI took it and surveillance video from the station.

No arrests have been made in connection to the baby.

Authorities say the child appears to be in good condition and has been taken to a hospital for evaluation. They had been looking for the baby since early Thursday when his mother discovered him missing from a bassinette in a Town of Beloit home.


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U.S. employers add 113K jobs; rate dips to 6.6 pct. PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer   
Friday, 07 February 2014 10:18

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring was surprisingly weak in January for the second straight month, likely renewing concern that the U.S. economy might be slowing after a strong finish last year.

 

Employers added 113,000 jobs, the government said Friday, far less than the average monthly gain of 194,000 last year. This follows December's tepid increase of just 75,000. Job gains have averaged only 154,000 the past three months, down from 201,000 in the preceding three months.

Sluggish job growth for a second straight month may reflect what investors and economists have begun to fear: That the U.S. job market is weakening again, along with sectors like manufacturing and retail sales in the United States and abroad. The weakness might also raise doubts about the Federal Reserve's plans to steadily scale back its economic stimulus this year.

Still, more people began looking for work in January, a sign that they were optimistic about finding work. Some of these people found jobs, thereby reducing the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent. That's the lowest rate since October 2008.

Cold weather likely held back hiring in December, economists said, though the impact faded in January. Construction firms, which sometimes stop work in bad weather, added 48,000 jobs last month.

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Obama to sign farm bill today at Michigan State PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press   
Friday, 07 February 2014 07:32

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is carrying out a presidential duty that he hasn't had a lot of opportunity to perform recently: signing into law a major piece of bipartisan legislation.

Obama planned to sign a far-reaching farm bill Friday at Michigan State University, a rare celebration of Washington political compromise being held in heartland America. The bill expands federal crop insurance and ends direct government payments to farmers, but the bulk of its cost is for the food stamp program that aids 1 in 7 Americans.

The bill cuts food stamps by $800 million a year, or around 1 percent, one-fifth of the cut approved last fall by the Republican-led House. Conservatives remain unhappy with the bill and its subsidies for groups ranging from sheep farmers to the maple syrup industry.

A partisan dispute over food stamp spending held up the legislation for two years, and last fall lawmakers were warning of an impending spike in milk prices without a deal on the bill, which contains federal dairy supports. The prospect of compromise seemed bleak at the time, when lawmakers couldn't even pass a budget to keep the government running.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 08:43
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Unemployment bill stalled anew in Senate PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent   
Friday, 07 February 2014 07:29

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans narrowly blocked the advance of legislation to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed on Thursday for the second time in less than a month, and Democrats said they intended to call yet another vote on the issue.

"We're one Republican vote away from restoring unemployment benefits for 1.7 million Americans," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.

The White House called the outcome disappointing.

The measure called for a three-month renewal of an expired program that provided up to 47 weeks of federal benefits when state-paid aid runs out, generally after 26 weeks. The cost was estimated at slightly more than $6 billion over a decade. It would have been offset by lowering pension obligations for some companies, a step that would have increased their taxable income.

The vote was 58-40, two shy of the 60 that backers of the measure needed to prevail. That understated the measure's true support, because Reid sided with opponents at the last minute in a maneuver that will permit him to have the issue reconsidered under the Senate's rules.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 07:31
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Police: Art thief among 2 held in violin heist PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press M.L. JOHNSON, Associated Press   
Friday, 07 February 2014 07:25

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The mystery of what happened to a multimillion-dollar Stradivarius violin stolen in a stun gun attack was answered Thursday when Milwaukee police recovered the instrument and blamed the heist at least in part on an art thief who once stole a statue from a gallery and then tried to sell it back.

The violin, which was built in 1715 by the renowned Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari, is valued at $5 million. It was found hidden in a suitcase in the attic of a man who police said was unaware the instrument was in his home.

Three people have been arrested in the case, and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said there was no evidence of other "shadowy" figures from the art world behind the theft.

"It appears we had a local criminal who had an interest in art theft and was smart enough to develop a plan for a robbery," Flynn said. "Beyond that, we don't know what his motive was."

The violin, which police said appeared to be in good condition, was stolen late last month from a concert violinist who was shocked with a stun gun. His attacker grabbed the violin and hopped into a waiting vehicle.

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