Ricin letters, odd packages scramble Hill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator tested positive for poisonous ricin in preliminary checks Wednesday, and authorities chased reports of other suspicious mail at a U.S. Capitol already on edge.
An FBI intelligence bulletin obtained by The Associated Press said the letters to Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., were postmarked Memphis, Tenn. Both letters say: “To see a wrong and not expose it, ...
American Airlines resumes most flights after big disruption
DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines resumed most flights Wednesday, a day after a massive technology failure forced the nation’s third-largest carrier to ground all planes from coast to coast.
Some lingering problems remained. At midday, American and regional offshoot American Eagle had canceled more than 200 flights, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com. But that was a huge improvement over Tuesday, when American and Eagle cancell...
Board ponders new science guidelines
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas officials involved in drafting new science standards for public schools tried Tuesday to reassure the State Board of Education that retraining teachers and buying new classroom materials won’t be unusually expensive following the adoption of such guidelines.
The issue arose during the board’s meeting when members reviewed a final draft of the proposed standards, which were developed by 26 states, including Kansas, and the ...
Brownback wants study of higher ed
TOPEKA (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback said Tuesday that his upcoming tour of college campuses in Kansas is part of his effort to persuade legislators, policymakers and state residents of the importance of stable, level funding for colleges and universities.
Speaking with reporters after a bill-signing ceremony, the Republican governor said legislators need to take a longer view of funding for higher education, including rising tuition costs, admini...
Teen’s family files suit against alleged attackers
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Awakening in a friend’s bedroom after drinking too much at a sleepover, 15-year-old Audrie Pott looked down and realized she had been sexually assaulted and her attackers had written and drawn on intimate parts of her body, her family’s attorney said Monday.
Over the next week, she pieced together one horrifying detail after another. She went online and tried to confront the three boys she had known since junior high wh...
Friday Reading Club
The Thayer Friday Reading Club met on Friday with eight ladies attending. The club recited the club collect and flag salute, and Lois Davis gave the spiritual note. She read a selection from the book “Laughter for a Woman’s Soul” concerning how the Lord looks on the heart, where beauty shines through.
A new sink was being installed in the library by Kim Cheshier to whom the club owes gratitude for his time and efforts. The ...
Boston bombing injures 134
BOSTON (AP) — Two bombs exploded in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people and injuring more than 130 in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S.
A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still unfolding said the attack was being treated as an act of terrorism.
GOP considers proposals before gun control debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — A conservative senator is proposing to greatly broaden the background check system for firearms purchasers but require no records of the transactions as the Senate braced for votes on amendments to gun control legislation next week.
The plan by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., was one of several proposals Republicans were discussing in preparation for debate. In response to December’s elementary school attack in Newtown, Conn., whic...
Justices tackle gene patent issue
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed worried Monday about the idea of companies patenting human genes in a case that could profoundly reshape the multibillion-dollar biomedical industry and U.S. research in the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.
Justices argued not only about snipping DNA strands but also about chewing the leaves of Amazonian jungle plants, the shaping of baseball bats and the ingredients of chocolate...
Kansas man’s overdose leads to new state law
BAXTER SPRINGS (AP) — Stacy Krokroskia believes that some good may yet come from her son’s tragic death by drug overdose with the enactment of a new law in Kansas.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback April 4 took seed in the Kansas Legislature after the death of 22-year-old Jordan Krokroskia in July 2012 at his home in Baxter Springs. The law metes out stiff new penalties for defendants convicted of distributing drugs that result in d...
Obama proposes to make new income brackets for Medicare
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s plan to raise Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue for the government from the top tiers of retirees, the administration revealed Friday.
First details of the plan emerged after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress on the president’s budget. As released two days earlier, the budget included only ...
U.S. stresses limits of N. Korea’s nuclear firepower
WASHINGTON (AP) — On the brink of an expected North Korean missile test, U.S. officials focused on the limits of Pyongyang’s nuclear firepower Friday, trying to shift attention from the disclosure that the North Koreans might be able to launch a nuclear strike. They insisted that while the unpredictable government might have rudimentary nuclear capabilities, it has not proved it has a weapon that could reach the United States.
A senior defense...
Faulty air bags force car recalls
DETROIT (AP) — Six automakers, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan, are recalling nearly 3.4 million older-model vehicles worldwide because of defective air bags that can send shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment.
The recall mainly affects cars sold by Japanese automakers in North America, Europe and Japan. A small number of cars made by Germany’s BMW AG and General Motors Co. and also involved.
The front passenger air bags all were...
Device helps treat chronic heartburn
By The Associated Press
A tiny magnetic bracelet implanted at the base of the throat is greatly improving life for some people with chronic heartburn who need more help than medicine can give them.
It’s a novel way to treat severe acid reflux, which plagues millions of Americans and can raise their risk for more serious health problems.
It happens when a weak muscle doesn’t close after swallowing as it should. That lets stomach juices splash ...
Trial begins in Tabor College player’s death
McPHERSON (AP) — Jurors were offered conflicting accounts during opening statements of what happened during a fight last year outside a drinking party that led to the death of a drunken 26-year-old Tabor College football player.
McPherson County Attorney David Page told the jury Monday that Brandon Brown was outside the party at a McPherson duplex about 4 a.m. on Sept. 16 when Alton Franklin, a former McPherson College football player from Tex...
Senate to vote on gun bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s top Democrat is setting Congress’ first showdown vote for Thursday on President Barack Obama’s gun control drive as a small but mounting number of Republicans appear willing to buck a conservative effort to prevent debate from even beginning.
Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada announced his decision Tuesday as the White House, congressional Democrats and relatives of the victims of December’s mass shooting in N...
Firms post more jobs but fill few
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers have more job openings than at any other time in nearly five years. That’s in part because they seem in no hurry to fill them.
And it helps explain why the job market remains tight and unemployment high. Even as openings have surged 11 percent in the past year, the number of people hired each month has declined.
Why so many openings yet so few hires?
Economists point to several factors: Some unemployed workers ...
Suicide blast in Syria kills at least 15
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A suicide car bomber struck Monday in the financial heart of Syria’s capital, killing at least 15 people, damaging the nearby central bank and incinerating cars and trees in the neighborhood.
The attack was the latest in a recent series of bombings to hit Damascus in the civil war, slowly closing in on President Bashar Assad’s base of power in the capital. Rebel fighters have chipped away at the regime’s hold in northern...
Britain’s Margaret Thatcher dies at age 87
LONDON (AP) — Love her or loathe her, one thing’s beyond dispute: Margaret Thatcher transformed Britain.
The Iron Lady, who ruled for 11 remarkable years, imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation — breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war, and selling off state industries at a record pace. She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a political mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street.
Pit collapse kills children
STANLEY, N.C. (AP) — The bodies of two young cousins were recovered Monday from the collapsed rubble of a 24-foot-deep pit that was being dug with a backhoe by a man on his North Carolina property.
Rescuers had been digging for 6-year-old Chloe Jade Arwood and 7-year-old James Levi Caldwell since Sunday, when the girl’s father, Jordan Arwood, called 911. Officials were on the scene near Charlotte within minutes but couldn’t get to the children...