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2 Fla. houses of worship hit by vandals

Authorities in two Florida Gulf Coast communities are investigating instances of damage to houses of worship. Tampa television station WFTS (http://bit.ly/2ggNbkl ) reports that Clearwater Police officers responded to reports of swastikas and hate speech written in chalk on the sidewalk and driveway of the Iglesia El Semblador Wesleyano church ...

Justices uphold Katrina fraud verdict against State Farm

A unanimous Supreme Court has upheld a jury verdict that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. committed fraud against the federal government after 2005's Hurricane Katrina. The justices on Tuesday rejected claims by State Farm that the whistleblower case against the insurer should have been dismissed because its existence was ...

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2016 file photo, Education Secretary John King speaks at the White House in Washington. American students have a math problem. The latest global snapshot of student performance shows declining math scores in the U.S. and stagnant performance in science and reading. King says: "we're losing ground, a troubling prospect when, in today's knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world."  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Math a concern for US teens; science, reading flat on test

American students have a math problem. The latest global snapshot of student performance shows declining math scores in the U.S. and stagnant performance in science and reading. "We're losing ground — a troubling prospect when, in today's knowledge-based economy, the best jobs can go anywhere in the world," said Education ...

New Jersey State Troopers and police officers work the scene of a crash where a vehicle crashed into a state trooper's vehicle in Millville, N.J., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. New Jersey State Trooper Frankie Williams, who was injured in the head-on crash, died after he was flown to a hospital. State police said an unidentified driver was pronounced dead at the scene. (WPVI-TV via AP)

Head-on crash leaves New Jersey trooper, another man dead

A rookie state trooper responding to a call for help was killed in a violent wreck on a highway when a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed a grassy median and slammed into his cruiser head-on, authorities said. The crash that left debris and the mangled cars scattered on ...

Man who shot ex-NFL player charged with manslaughter

The man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight has been arrested and jailed on a charge of manslaughter. Ronald Gasser, 54, was arrested late Monday, after initially being released last week without charges pending further investigation, jail records show. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced a news conference for ...

Judge again denies venue change in murder-for-hire trial

After giving it a night's thought, a judge still believes he can find six impartial jurors to hear the trial of a Florida woman accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband. Judge Glenn Kelley said Tuesday that with 55 prospective jurors set to undergo final ...

12-year-old boy robbed of 2 pairs of pricey sneakers

Authorities in South Florida say a 12-year-old boy was beaten up and robbed of two pairs of sneakers worth hundreds of dollars. The Palm Beach Post (http://pbpo.st/2hcc52i )reports that two adults are facing robbery charges after they and three juveniles attacked the boy in the Tavares Cove mobile-home community near ...

Fake news rings alarm bells from restaurant to White House

The bizarre rumors began with a leaked email referring to Hillary Clinton and sinister interpretations of pizza parties. It morphed into fake online news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant. On Sunday, it culminated in violence when police ...

Judy Hough, left, and her husband Brian, center, hold a picture of their son Travis, who died in a warehouse fire, during a vigil at Lake Merritt on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Family members and friends are being notified as firefighters continue a painstaking search for victims of the Oakland warehouse fire. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Death toll stands at 36 in Oakland warehouse fire

Some people managed to text loved ones goodbye and "I love you" before they died in an Oakland warehouse fire that claimed three dozen lives, officials said, as heart-rending reports of victims' last moments emerged from the most lethal building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade. Officials ...

The Latest: Death toll remains at 36 in Oakland fire

The Latest on a deadly fire in an Oakland warehouse (all times local): 6:20 a.m. The death toll stands at 36 on Tuesday with no change overnight in the number of bodies recovered in what remains of an Oakland warehouse. Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Tya Modeste says 36 bodies have ...

FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2014 file photo, emergency personnel work at the site of a  deadly head-on collision of two Union Pacific trains outside of Hoxie, Ark. in Lawrence County. Automated equipment may have contributed to the collision by resetting alarms set up to ensure the crew is alert. The National Transportation Safety Board meets Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the 2014 crash. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, via AP File)

Automatic horn may be behind fatal Arkansas train crash

Automated equipment may have contributed to a deadly head-on train collision in Arkansas by resetting alarms set up to ensure the crew is alert. The National Transportation Safety Board meets Tuesday in Washington, D.C., to discuss a 2014 crash that killed two Union Pacific employees near Hoxie, Arkansas. The crash ...

Fla. woman gets lost for 12 hours during half-marathon

A Florida woman who became lost during a half-marathon trail run was eventually found after wandering around a local park for almost 12 hours. The Sarasota Times-Herald (http://bit.ly/2hc3ah9 )reports that Melissa Kitcher was in good spirits after being found on Sunday. Kitcher says she made a wrong turn more than ...

Ohio firefighter shot, wounded while on scene of house fire

Officials say an Ohio firefighter was shot and wounded while in a firetruck at the scene of a house fire. The Youngstown firefighter was hit in the leg when someone fired shots as crews were wrapping up work at a fire scene Monday night. The area was searched, but no ...

Natural gas pipeline being built from Alabama to Florida

A more than 500-mile-long pipeline under construction in east Alabama will take natural gas through Georgia on its way to Florida. The Sabal Trail pipeline will transport natural gas from the Transco pipeline north of Alexander City, Alabama, to near Orlando in central Florida. The natural gas will be used ...

Fla. mom passes out in front of child after taking heroin

Authorities in Sarasota, Florida say a mother passed out in a convenience store bathroom after overdosing on heroin in front of her 4-year-old child. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/2gLSZTn ) that 30-year-old Amanda Riley faces a charge of felony child neglect. The Sarasota Sheriff's Office says Riley and the ...

Margaret Whitton, star of 'Major League,' dies at 67

Margaret Whitton, who starred as a former showgirl who became owner of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League," has died. She was 67. Whitton's producing partner, Steven Tabakin, says she died Sunday in Palm Beach, Florida, after a battle with cancer. Whitton was a regular on the ...

Anthony Scott, Walter Scott's brother, speaks during a press conference in front of the Charleston County Courthouse, as the family attorneys, Chris Stewart, left, and Justin Bamberg, right, watch after the mistrial was declared for the Michael Slager trial Monday Dec. 5, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. Former patrolman, Slager, was charged with murder in the April 4, 2015, shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

After mistrial, slain SC motorist's family still confident

Relatives of Walter Scott, the black motorist fatally shot while fleeing a traffic stop, say they are confident justice will prevail even though a South Carolina jury could not reach a verdict in the murder trial of a white former police officer charged in his death. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman ...

Man born after mother is stabbed dies 23 years after attack

A man who was born with brain damage after his pregnant mother was fatally stabbed has died 23 years after the attack. The South Florida Sun Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2gg8Vgc ) reports that 23-year-old Julius Dyke died Sunday. After Dyke's mother, Lisa, was brutally stabbed in January 1993, doctors rushed to save ...

Michigan starts recount; Pennsylvania awaits federal ruling

The presidential recount in Michigan expands Tuesday to its largest county, which includes Detroit, and five other large counties, with the fate of a statewide recount push in Pennsylvania awaiting action in federal court. President-elect Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in both states and Wisconsin, which started ...

Judge reduces fine for former Miami budget director

A federal judge has reduced the fine of a former city of Miami budget director who was accused of masterminding a scheme to hide budget losses from bond investors. The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/2hdIo4J ) reports that the judge said Monday that Michael Boudreaux must pay a $15,000 penalty instead of ...

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