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Giffords completes skydive on shooting anniversary
Written by BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:21

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has completed a skydive jump on what is the third anniversary of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting that left her critically wounded.

Giffords landed without any injury Wednesday afternoon at a skydiving site between Phoenix and Tucson.

After completing her landing, Giffords blew kisses and waved to a crowd of reporters. She described the jump as a wonderful experience.

Six people were killed and 13 wounded when a gunman opened fire Jan. 8, 2011, at a meet-and-greet event held by Giffords.

Residents in Tucson marked the day with a bell-ringing ceremony and a moment of silence.


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Fans gather at Graceland for Presley's birthday
Written by ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:30

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Television and radio personality Wink Martindale remembers the day nearly 60 years ago when Elvis Presley's first single, "That's All Right," played for the first time on the radio.

It was July 8, 1954, and a fresh-faced Martindale was working as a disc jockey at WHBQ in Memphis. He was at the studio when legendary producer Sam Phillips brought by an acetate copy of the song Presley cut at Phillips' Sun Records.

DJ Dewey Phillips - no relation to Sam - played the song on his influential "Red, Hot and Blue" radio show, and rock n' roll history was made.

"It was almost like an out-of-body experience," Martindale told Presley fans who came to Graceland on Wednesday to celebrate the late icon's 79th birthday. "That was the beginning of Presley-mania."

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British work to recover U.S. bodies after copter crash
Written by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:28

LONDON (AP) — Authorities in England cordoned off flooded marshes Wednesday to remove the bodies of four U.S. Air Force crewmen killed in a helicopter crash.

The Pave Hawk helicopter slammed into the eastern coast during a low-level training mission Tuesday evening. Specialist teams combing the marshes have been hampered by bullets scattered across the scene.

"We have currently cordoned off about 400 square meters (500 square yards) of the marshland area," said Chief Superintendent Bob Scully of Norfolk Police. "The crash site itself I would describe as an area of debris on difficult terrain on the marsh."

Local authorities are carrying out a daylight investigation, and the bodies will be removed afterward.

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Insane Clown Posse sues feds over gang label
Written by ED WHITE, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:28

DETROIT (AP) — The Insane Clown Posse sued the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday over a 2011 FBI report that describes the rap-metal duo's devoted fans, the Juggalos, as a dangerous gang, saying the designation has tarnished their fans' reputations and hurt business.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in Detroit federal court on behalf of the group's two members, Joseph Bruce, or Violent J, and Joseph Utsler, or Shaggy 2 Dope. It also names four fans as plaintiffs.

The FBI report on criminal gangs labeled the Juggalos as a "loosely organized hybrid gang." It said those who identify as Juggalos have committed assaults and vandalism, and a "small number" of them have engaged in more serious crimes.

The lawsuit contends that the gang designation violates the fans' free speech and due process rights.

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Washington state faces prospect of too many pot growers
Written by GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 07:18

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state could be facing a curious economics problem: too many pot growers.

According to updated figures released Tuesday, more than 2,600 applications have been submitted to produce the marijuana that will be sold at state-licensed stores when Washington's legal marijuana industry opens for business around the middle of this year.

That's a problem because officials are, at least initially, capping total pot production at 2 million square feet, or about 46 acres. It remains to be seen how many applications are approved, but if it's even close to the number submitted, that could leave growers with less than 1,000 square feet apiece on average — not enough space for most to run an economically viable operation.

"It's going to be a challenge, no question about it," said Alison Holcomb, the Seattle attorney who drafted the legal pot law. "There are 10 times as many applications as we need."

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