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    A coastal California highway swamped by deadly mudslides reopened Sunday after a nearly two-week closure that caused traffic headaches across the region, state officials said.Traffic began moving again on U.S. 101 in Santa Barbara County shortly after noon, according to Jim Shivers, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. Officials had promised a day earlier that the highway would be open again in time for the Monday morning commute.All lanes were inundated Jan. 9 when a powerful storm brought down boulders and trees from hillsides in Montecito made bare by last month's wildfires. At least 21 people were killed and hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged. A 17-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl remain missing.Crews worked around the clock clearing drainage areas, stabilizing embankments and repairing guardrails and signs. They also cleaned and swept the highway.During the U.S. 101 shut down, Amtrak added additional cars to its route between Santa Barbara and points east as travelers increasingly relied on rail service to get around the closure.With many surface streets also impassable, for a time the only other ground route into the Los Angeles area — located 90 miles (145 kilometers) down the coast — was a series of smaller mountain highways that added more than three hours to the trip.
  • A 50-year-old Florida man is dead after cave diving in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this weekend, officials said. >> Read more trending news Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, was diving in the Eagle’s Nest cave around noon Saturday when Hernando County Sheriff officials were called about a diver in distress. By the time crews arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, north of Tampa, Brannon was dead, officials said.  'They weren't planning to explore any deeper than the first room of the cave when the incident occurred,' sheriff’s office spokesman Michael Terry told WTSP. 'We don't know if he simply drowned or if he had a heart attack, it's hard to tell at this point.'  The medical examiner has been called in to determine the exact cause of death. Eagle’s Nest underwater caves is the site of other recent drownings: two divers drowned in 2016 and another in January 2017, according to WTSP. 
  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will be open for visitors Monday, with New York state picking up the tab for the federal workers.Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Sunday afternoon.The two sites have been closed due to the federal government shutdown.The Democratic Cuomo says the sites are vital to the state's tourism industry, so the state will spend about $65,000 per day for the federal employees who operate the sites. He says the revenue gained more than offsets the costs.He says the state will pay for the duration of the shutdown, and the sites will be open every day.New York had the same arrangement in 2013, during the last government shutdown.
  • Bob Meyers doesn't want partial justice for his brother. He wants full justice. And to him, that means leaving D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo's sentence just the way it is: life in prison, with no chance of ever getting out.A federal judge has given a glimmer of hope to Malvo, who was 17 when he was arrested in the random shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in and around the nation's capital.The judge ruled that Malvo is entitled to new sentencing hearings, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has made its ban on mandatory life-without-parole for juvenile offenders retroactive, extending it to people who were already sentenced before it ruled that such punishments are unconstitutional.Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's appeal is scheduled for Tuesday before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.The possibility of something less than a life sentence does not sit well with Meyers.His brother, Dean, was fatally gunned down as he put gas in his car at a service station in northern Virginia.'Nothing's changed,' Meyers said. 'The crime hasn't become diminished ... and if the sentence was appropriate initially and that was viewed as justice for Dean, is it three-quarters justice for Dean if they modify it?'The shootings in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia paralyzed the region with fear in 2002. People were shot doing everyday things — mowing the lawn, pumping gas, loading purchases into their cars. Schools canceled outdoor activities, gas stations put up tarps to hide their customers and government buildings in D.C. were given increased security.Malvo's accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, widely viewed as the mastermind of the deadly rampage. He was executed in Virginia in 2009.A Virginia jury convicted Malvo of capital murder for killing FBI analyst Linda Franklin, who was shot in the head outside a Home Depot store, but spared him the death penalty. Malvo later struck plea deals in other cases in Virginia and Maryland. He ultimately received four life sentences in Virginia and six in Maryland.Malvo's attorney, Craig Cooley, argues that he is entitled to a new sentencing under the Supreme Court ruling because jurors were told to choose between the death penalty and life without parole, with no lesser option. The jury unanimously rejected the death penalty and sentenced him to life.Cooley also argues that Malvo, now 32, should get new hearings to assess what sentence would be appropriate after taking into account his youth at the time and other factors. Cooley said that since his arrest, Malvo has 'separated from his psychological domination by John Muhammad' and become an accomplished poet and sketch artist.'Mr. Malvo as a person has returned to the kind, thoughtful, articulate, and compassionate being he was in his youth,' Cooley wrote in a legal brief.Other former teen offenders are still waiting for a chance at resentencing in states and counties slow to address the court ruling, an Associated Press investigation found. In Michigan, for example, prosecutors are seeking new no-parole sentences for nearly two-thirds of 363 juvenile lifers. Those cases are on hold until the Michigan Supreme Court, which heard arguments in October, determines whether judges or juries should decide their fates.Some courts are applying the 2016 ruling to inmates whose life-without-parole sentences weren't mandatory, like Malvo's, or were negotiated as part of a plea deal.If the 4th Circuit rules against the state, Malvo may still not get a reduced sentence. The court could, for example, order a different sentencing procedure that could result in a re-imposition of a life sentence.Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said the chances of Malvo getting a lower sentence are slim.'Malvo pleaded guilty to horrendous offenses,' Turley said. 'There are many juveniles who can make strong claims under this new precedent for lower sentences. Malvo just doesn't happen to be one of them.'For Malvo, it's like defusing nine out of 10 bombs. In the end, unless you can defuse all 10, the result is pretty much the same.
  • The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games. >> Read more trending news Saying that “a miracle happened,” Pita Taufatofua qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics in cross-country skiing Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua had failed in two previous attempts to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but on Saturday, he met the standards in five races to qualify, ESPN reported. “I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.” Taufatofua qualified in taekwondo at the Rio de Janeiro Games, ESPN reported. He was eliminated in his first bout.
  • A Florida man with an assault rifle was fatally shot by officers after he attacked his wife and daughter, authorizes said.Shannon Jason Cables was killed by deputies responding to a domestic violence call at his Lake Wales home on Saturday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.Sheriff Grady Judd told the Lakeland Ledger newspaper that Cables first attacked his wife with Mace and a pool cue.Then, Cable's daughter came to her mother's defense.'That's when the 19-year-old actually jumped on the suspect and wrestled and choked him,' Judd said. He said the pair managed to get away, and Cables fled into some woods behind the house.The women took refuge at a neighbor's home and called police.Deputies searched the woods with police dogs and a helicopter for two hours while the women received medical care. When the women returned home with law enforcement, deputies spotted Cables carrying an assault rifle and a shotgun coming up behind the house, Judd said.The sheriff's office says they ordered Cables, a 46-year-old white man, to drop the weapon, but he pointed it at deputies instead, so they shot him. The deputies' races were not released.Judd told the newspaper that investigators found shells from Cables' assault rifle outside, indicating he fired the weapon. No deputies were injured.The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the sheriff's office are investigating, and the four deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave.
  • Former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke's run-in with a 25-year-old man who shook his head at him while boarding a flight last year is headed to trial.Daniel Black sued the sheriff for having deputies detain him and question him at Milwaukee's airport, but Clarke's taunting social media posts remain the focus of the case. Here's a look at history of the case and the legal issues that will play out in federal court. The trial starts Monday.___THE PLANE CONFRONTATIONClarke and Black were boarding a flight from Dallas to Milwaukee on Jan. 15, 2017 — the day Clarke's beloved Dallas Cowboys were facing the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. The sheriff was clad in Dallas gear without his trademark cowboy hat and Black said he didn't immediately recognize him because of that. He asked Clarke if he was Milwaukee's sheriff, according to his lawsuit, and when Clarke said yes, Black shook his head disapprovingly.Black said he made the gesture because Clarke was supporting a rival team. Clarke, who attracts controversy because of his provocative and brash personality, didn't see the gesture as harmless and asked deputies to meet Black at the airport and question him.___THE AFTERMATHBlack said deputies questioned him for about 15 minutes but didn't cite or arrest him. When Black publicized the encounter and filed his lawsuit, Clarke responded with a series of Facebook posts. Clarke said at the time he 'reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault,' and also posted that the next time someone pulled the same 'stunt on a plane they may get knocked out.' Later, making fun of Black, Clarke wrote on Facebook: 'Cheer up, snowflake ... if Sheriff Clarke were to really harass you, you wouldn't be around to whine about it.'___WHERE THE LAWSUIT STANDSBlack's lawsuit initially made several claims. He contended that Clarke's directive for his deputies to detain him amounted to unconstitutional search and seizure, and that the sheriff's actions violated his due-process rights and infringed on his free speech.But earlier this month, Judge J.P. Stadtmueller dismissed all but one of Black's claims — whether Clarke's Facebook posts were threatening enough to be considered a deterrent to future speech.Stadtmueller said the posts could be interpreted in different ways: On one hand, the posts could be seen as 'intentionally hyperbolic (and juvenile) attempts at mockery and self-promotion' and not intimidating. But, he also said 'the Court cannot say Clarke's posts were so trivial that no jury could find them to be sufficiently threatening.'___WHAT HAPPENS NOWThe trial is expected to last all day Monday. While Black is likely to testify, it's less clear whether Clarke will take the stand.Black wants a jury to award him a compensation amount that they choose for emotional distress and other damages, as well as attorneys' fees.Although Clarke is no longer sheriff, the county is paying his legal bills and ultimately will be liable for any damages. Clarke resigned Aug. 31 to join a political action committee that supports President Donald Trump.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' outdid another weekend's worth of newcomers to top the North American box office for the third straight weekend, making the surprise hit the fifth-highest grossing film of all time for Sony Pictures.'Jumanji,' starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, sold $20 million in tickets, according to studio estimates Sunday, bringing its five-week domestic total to $317 million. That makes Sony's reboot the studio's best non-Spider-Man movie domestically, not adjusting for inflation.The film's unexpectedly strong staying power has lent a boost to the January box office but kept new releases from reaching the top of the box-office chart. 'Jumanji' has also reigned overseas, where it has grossed $450.8 million and topped all films internationally for three straight weeks.The war drama '12 Strong,' starring Chris Hemsworth, debuted in second with $16.5 million in ticket sales. The Warner Bros. release, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is a fact-based tale, adapted from Doug Stanton's best-seller 'Horse Soldiers,' about a group of Special Forces soldiers sent into northern Afghanistan just weeks after Sept. 11.'12 Strong' appealed largely to an older crowd. Seventy-nine percent of its audience was over the age of 25, said Warner Bros.The heist thriller 'Den of Thieves' slotted in at third place with an opening weekend of $15.3 million. The STXfilms release stars Gerard Butler and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson.Though 'Paddington 2' disappointed last weekend in its debut, the acclaimed sequel slid just 25 percent in its second week. 'Paddington 2,' which has set a new record for the most widely reviewed 100-percent fresh movie on Rotten Tomatoes, grossed $8.2 million in its second week of domestic release thanks in part to good word of mouth. Warner Bros. acquired the film's North American distribution from The Weinstein Co. in November.Also showing unexpected legs was 'The Greatest Showman,' the Hugh Jackman-led musical about P.T. Barnum. It dipped just 12 percent in its fifth week of release. With another $11 million, 'The Greatest Showman' has now grossed $113.5 million for 20th Century Fox.Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Phantom Thread' expanded nationwide, taking in $3.4 million from 896 theaters. The Focus Features release, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in what the actor has said will be his final performance, has grossed $6.2 million.Also notable: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' crossed the $600 million mark domestically with $6.6 million in its sixth week of release. The Disney release stands at $604.3 million domestically — or no. 9 all-time, not accounting for inflation — and $1.296 billion worldwide.Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final four-day domestic figures will be released Monday.1. 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,' $20 million ($32.6 million international).2. '12 Strong,' $16.5 million ($2.5 million international).3. 'Den of Thieves,' $15.3 million ($1.3 million international).4. 'The Post,' $12.2 million ($6.6 million international).5. 'The Greatest Showman,' $11 million ($11 million international).6. 'Paddington 2,' $8.2 million ($2.4 million international).7. 'The Commuter,' $6.7 million ($10.2 million international).8. 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi,' $6.6 million ($9.9 million international).9. 'Insidious: The Last Key,' $5.9 million ($18.4 million international).10. 'Forever My Girl,' $4.7 million.___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:1. 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,' $32.6 million.2. 'Secret Superstar,' $25.9 million.3. 'Forever Young,' $22.5 million.4. 'Insidious: The Last Key,' $18.4 million.5. 'Coco,' $18.3 million.6. 'Ferdinand,' $17.5 million.7. 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure,' $15.2 million.8. 'Wonder,' $12.6 million.9. 'Darkest Hour,' $12.1 million.10. 'The Greatest Showman,' $11 million.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
  • An indoor cycling track in Detroit is expected to draw bike riders from other cold-weather states and across the U.S. while giving inner-city youth the opportunity to participate for free in the fast-moving and growing sport.The Lexus Velodrome, which will have its grand opening Monday, is in an inflatable, climate-controlled dome a few miles north of a new professional hockey and basketball arena and close to a site proposed for a professional soccer stadium.It joins a training facility in Colorado Springs and a venue in Los Angeles as the only indoor velodromes in the U.S.'It is great to have an indoor training resource in the winter time,' said Joan Hanscom, 50, a competitive cyclist from Colorado Springs. 'Otherwise, if you're looking to be fit and ready for your spring racing season you're really limited to riding a trainer in your house or in a gym and that's not as much fun.'The velodrome diversifies Detroit's sports offerings and continues to push the story of the city's turnaround, said Kris Smith, Detroit Sports Commission director.Bicycling is gaining popularity in the Motor City. A $21 million project linking 20 miles of walking, running and biking paths was completed in 2016. The city also is looking to add protected bike lanes along some of its busier streets.An organization that rents out bikes surpassed 100,000 rides in about five months last year.'It's very important to understand who is riding the bikes now ... millennials who are looking to be more active, do more things, get out of their cars and go for a bike ride,' Smith said.A weekly ride called Slow Roll Detroit often attracts 3,000 or more cyclists on Monday evenings during the summer. Another annual event draws even more riders on tours of the city, while a cyclocross race and the inaugural Detroit Cycling Championship also were held last year.Those and other events 'could potentially put Detroit on the international map for cycling events,' Smith added.An anonymous donor with a penchant for cycling put up $5 million for Detroit's velodrome project, said Dale Hughes, who designed and built it. He also runs the nonprofit Detroit Fitness Foundation which operates the velodrome.Hughes, 68, declined to name the donor who contacted him about 2½ years ago.'I said 'where do you want to build this' and he said 'Detroit,'' Hughes said. 'He grew up in Metro Detroit and wanted to give back to the city by doing something special for the kids of Detroit.'The velodrome offers 'a lot of potential for kids in Detroit who don't have as many opportunities,' Hughes said. 'If they are willing to sweat a little bit, I think we can turn out some champions.'The city owns the land, but the foundation has a 12-year concessions license and operating agreement.No taxpayer money was used in the building or for its operations, Hughes said. Operations will be paid through user fees, donations, events and corporate sponsorships, like the one with Lexus. Programs will be free for children and teens.Only specially designed direct-drive bikes can be used on the wooden, tenth-of-a-mile oval track, which has steep banks that allow riders to maintain speeds that can top 40 mph during competitions.Hughes has designed and built about two dozen velodromes around the globe. Locally, he's also built an outdoor track in Rochester Hills, north of Detroit.T.J. Hill first cycled on a velodrome in 1952. On Thursday, he pedaled around the Lexus Velodrome track.'My fingers don't like the cold weather,' said Hill, 85, who lives in suburban Detroit. 'I've cycled quite a bit in the cold weather and just suffered. I'm going to cycle more now (in the winter) that I can come here.'Other cities, like Minneapolis, also are considering indoor velodromes, said Bob Williams, velodrome director at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.'Anywhere in the United States it's a big deal,' Williams added. 'Indoors is really the way things have to go for speed events. Even in good climates it's too windy or too hot to establish high speed and make it convenient for training.
  • UPDATE, 10:03 a.m. 1/21/2018: Despite the shutdown of the United States government early Saturday, the NFL announced Sunday morning that the Armed Forces Network will  air the AFC and NFC Championship games. >> Read more trending news  The NFL also said it is providing free access to the games via NFL Game Pass to all USO centers. Meanwhile, Congress is back at work Sunday, attempting to create a deal to end the shutdown.  ORIGINAL STORY: As a result of lawmakers failing to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending, the United States government has been shut down indefinitely – meaning everyone has been affected, including troops overseas. >> Watch the news report here There is a lot of fallout from the shutdown. From government employees who aren't being paid, including the Defense Department, to the Armed Forces Network being taken off the air, the effects of a standstill government can be felt across the board. Since the AFN has been taken off the air, that means many of our troops overseas won't be able to watch the NFL playoffs Sunday.  Surely it's not the biggest issue surrounding a government shutdown, but it's a big morale issue.  >> Trump campaign ad calls Democrats 'complicit' in killings by undocumented immigrants Watching the Patriots on the Armed Forces Network has been a comforting piece of home for army Sgt. Matt Connolly, who's serving in South Korea. 'It's kind of the only thing we can do for fun over here,' Connolly told WFXT. For the first time since he's been stationed in Korea, his family came to visit him for the AFC Championship game. 'I'm actually on leave right now. My family from Boston is here right now and we were looking forward to watching the game,' Connolly said. With no one to run it, AFN is off the air.  >> John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist The NFL says it is providing free access to Sunday's Championships via the NFL Game Pass to all USO centers. 'No matter what, I'm going to watch them,' Connolly said. Sen. Ed Markey says he's in a holding pattern right now as he says he and most of his colleagues are preparing to negotiate through the night – but it's still unclear if that will be an option. Immigration issues are at the center of the shutdown. Many Republicans don't want to negotiate on those issues until a spending bill is passed and the government re-opens. However, those immigration issues – including the DREAMERS Act – are a priority for many Democrats.  Markey told WFXT that he believes everyone needs to continue working to find some sort of compromise, and he wants President Donald Trump to take the lead. 'Bill Belichick is telling the New England Patriots for tomorrow, 'Do your job,' and we are saying to President Trump for tomorrow, 'Do your job, Mr. President. Make sure that the funding is there for our troops. Make sure that our defense is taken care of, but make sure that we also protect child health and the Dreamers,' but thus far he's been unwilling to do his job,' Markey said. Read more here.