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Huffington Wires | AP

Ex-Vegas firefighter found guilty in wife murder-for-hire

September 3, 2015 07:07 PM EST | AP


LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada jury says a former Las Vegas firefighter is guilty of conspiring with a homeless ex-convict to murder his estranged wife.

George Tiaffay (TEE'-uh-fay) showed no reaction as the verdict was read Thursday in Clark County District Court.

Cruz blames Obama for climate of violence against police

September 3, 2015 06:12 PM EST | AP


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz blamed President Barack Obama on Thursday for a climate of violence against police, contending the president and his administration have long vilified law enforcement.

His unsparing appraisal came in an Associated Press interview between campaign stops and mere days after the slaying of a deputy in Cruz's hometown of Houston, allegedly by a man with a history of mental illness.

Business executive named University of Iowa president

September 3, 2015 04:01 PM EST | AP


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa's governing board on Thursday named a corporate management expert with little higher education experience as the school's next president, an unusual choice meant to shake up the culture of the state's flagship academic institution.

The selection of J. Bruce Harreld, a former senior vice president at IBM and lecturer at Harvard Business School, is likely to stir criticism among professors who see him as unqualified and could spark debate over whether business experience alone is enough to lead a major university.

Chicago officials to reopen high school after fiery protests

September 3, 2015 07:06 PM EST | AP


CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials announced plans Thursday to open a new arts-focused school in a neighborhood school once slated for closure, but protesters who have disrupted budget meetings vowed to continue a hunger strike over perceived racial disparities and other issues in the city's education system.

Parents and activists have opposed the phased-out closure of Walter H. Dyett High School in the historically black Bronzeville neighborhood for years. The nation's third-largest school district cited poor performance and declining enrollment in the decision, but officials later said they'd consider proposals to reopen.

Forest Service spends a record $243 million on wildfires

September 3, 2015 06:32 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has spent a record $243 million battling forest fires around the country this fiscal year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.

The agency has spent all the money Congress provided for fighting wildfires in the 12-month budget period, forcing it to borrow money from forest restoration work designed to reduce the risk of fires. That's happened in six of the past 10 years, Vilsack said.

2 dead after small plane crashes into California driveway

September 3, 2015 06:59 PM EST | AP


SANTEE, Calif. (AP) — A small plane grazed the roof of a California home and crashed in a driveway Thursday, killing two people onboard, authorities said. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

The single-engine Piper Cherokee went down in a residential cul-de-sac in Santee, a suburb about 15 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.

Trio charged with running $54M green-energy Ponzi scheme

September 3, 2015 06:52 PM EST | AP


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Three people were charged Thursday with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel and "carbon-negative" housing developments, neither of which were ever fully developed, federal prosecutors said.

Troy Wragg, 34, of Georgia; Amanda Knorr, 32, of Pennsylvania; and Wayde McKelvy, 52, of Colorado were charged with wire and securities fraud and conspiracy. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys who could comment on their behalf.

The Latest: Police to examine video in cop shooting probe

September 3, 2015 02:30 PM EST | AP


FOX LAKE, Ill. (AP) — The latest on the fatal shooting of a police officer in northern Illinois (all times local):

1 p.m.

New federal requirements on cellphone surveillance

September 3, 2015 06:44 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials will be routinely required to get a search warrant before using secretive and intrusive cellphone-tracking technology under a new Justice Department policy announced Thursday.

The policy represents the first effort to create a uniform legal standard for federal authorities using equipment known as cell-site simulators, which tracks cellphones used by suspects.

Afroman fined, ordered to get counseling for punching fan

September 3, 2015 06:43 PM EST | AP


BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Rap artist Afroman has been given a suspended six-month jail sentence, fined $330 and ordered to undergo anger management and impulse behavior counseling for punching a woman who jumped on a stage during a concert earlier this year.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1hEIhuI) Municipal Court Judge William Tisdale sentenced Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Edgar Foreman, on a guilty plea to simple assault Thursday.

Army suspends operations at labs due to anthrax probe

September 3, 2015 06:15 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Secretary John McHugh has suspended operations at four Defense Department laboratories that handle biological toxins, as the military scrambles to explain and correct problems that led to the accidental shipment of live anthrax to dozens of other labs around the country and the world.

In a memo Thursday, McHugh also ordered a safety stand-down and directed a broad review at nine department labs involved in the production, shipment or handling of biological toxins. He also ordered a report on the reviews within the next 10 days.

Kentucky clerks to license marriages as their boss is jailed

September 3, 2015 05:58 PM EST | AP


ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — A defiant county clerk went to jail Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, but five of her deputies agreed to end the church-state standoff in Rowan County, Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning said he had no choice but to jail Kim Davis for contempt after she insisted that her "conscience will not allow" her to follow federal court rulings on gay marriage.

Clinton camp urged ex-State Dept. employee to testify

September 3, 2015 02:48 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — Aides to presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton urged a former State Department employee who helped set up her private email server to appear before a House investigative panel, but the staffer has said he will assert his constitutional right not to testify.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for the 2016 nomination, has been dogged by criticism about her use of a private email server for government business during her tenure as secretary of state, and she has struggled to explain her decision.

3 California correctional deputies arrested in inmate death

September 3, 2015 01:07 PM EST | AP


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Sheriff's officials say three California correctional deputies have been arrested on suspicion of murder in the death of an inmate at a county jail.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. James Jensen said the deputies were in custody on Thursday.

Image of dead child on beach haunts and frustrates the world

September 3, 2015 04:19 PM EST | AP


The photo of the dead 3-year-old Syrian boy on a Turkish beach is haunting.

It captures everything we don't want to see when we tap our phones or open our newspapers: a vicious civil war, a surge of refugees, the death of an innocent.

Army suspends operations at labs due to anthrax probe

September 3, 2015 06:08 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Secretary John McHugh is suspending operations at four Defense Department laboratories that handle biological toxins, as the military scrambles to correct problems that led to the accidental shipment of live anthrax to dozens of labs around the country and the world.

McHugh is also directing a broad safety review at a total of nine department labs involved in the production, shipment or handling of biological toxins. He ordered a report within the next 10 days.

The Latest: Hundreds of protesters at gay marriage hearing

September 3, 2015 11:05 AM EST | AP


ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — The latest on a county clerk in Kentucky who has refused to issue marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

Report: Dog charged police, prompting gunfire in wrong home

September 3, 2015 05:55 PM EST | AP


ATLANTA (AP) — A dog charged police officers who entered the wrong Atlanta home searching for a burglar, prompting gunfire that seriously wounded an officer, injured the homeowner and killed the animal, according to a police report released Thursday.

Three DeKalb County police officers entered the rear of a house Monday around 7:30 p.m. after a 911 caller reported seeing a possible burglar, according to police and the caller. However, the officers lacked an exact address and entered the wrong home, leading to a dangerous confrontation.

Settlement over decade-old Gulf oil leak filed in court

September 3, 2015 05:52 PM EST | AP


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmental groups signed a settlement agreement Thursday to resolve their lawsuit against a New Orleans company that has failed to end a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Taylor Energy Company announced details of the pact in a news release last week, but the agreement wasn't finalized and filed in federal court until Thursday.

Attorney general: Woman who died in jail was being monitored

September 3, 2015 10:57 AM EST | AP


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 24-year-old South Dakota woman who suffered a fatal methamphetamine overdose while in custody was asked repeatedly by jail staff whether she had taken any illegal drugs and was moved to a holding cell for special monitoring after her cellmate requested medical attention for her, state authorities said Thursday.

Attorney General Marty Jackley told The Associated Press that that the circumstances surrounding Sarah Circle Bear's death on July 5 are unfortunate, but that "the normal jail procedures were followed."

Parents of Indiana 15-year-old killed by police plan lawsuit

September 3, 2015 05:49 PM EST | AP


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of a 15-year-old carjacking suspect who was fatally shot by Indianapolis police plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that officers were negligent and violated his constitutional rights, an attorney for the family said Thursday.

Jamon Hicks, an attorney with a California-based law firm that's represented the families of other people killed in police shootings, said he's found six witnesses who will contradict the police account of the events leading up to Andre Green's Aug. 9 fatal shooting.

Detroit dog owner pleads guilty in brutal mauling of man

September 3, 2015 05:44 PM EST | AP


DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit dog owner has pleaded guilty in the brutal mauling of a man who was attacked while feeding a pack of pit bulls.

Steve Constantine lost most of his left arm, his left leg below the knee and his left ear last fall.

House Dems ask pope to address poor, environment in US visit

September 3, 2015 05:41 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are pushing Pope Francis to address the minimum wage, hunger and the environment in his historic speech to Congress later this month, hoping his embrace will give momentum to three party priorities.

In a letter to the pontiff, 94 House Democrats lauded Francis' schedule during his six-day U.S. trip, which includes visits to a Philadelphia prison and a school in New York City's Harlem neighborhood.

Settlement over decade-old Gulf oil leak filed in court

September 3, 2015 05:37 PM EST | AP


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmental groups have signed a settlement agreement to resolve their lawsuit against a New Orleans company that has failed to end a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

The agreement was filed Thursday in federal court. Taylor Energy Company announced details of the pact in a news release last week, before it was finalized.