CHICAGO (AP) - In a private ceremony attended by a handful of lawmakers, Gov. Pat Quinn signed landmark legislation Thursday to reform Illinois' massively-underfunded pension system, though labor unions immediately threatened a lawsuit challenging the new law.
From California to Ohio, a big chunk of the U.S. is getting a blast of wintry weather. Frigid temperatures are following a storm that's bringing snow and ice to many areas. The conditions are making travel difficult, raising concerns about citrus crops and prompting the cancellation of fights, holiday festivities and football games. Even one outdoor ice rink in cold-accustomed South Dakota is shutting down.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - With the wind chill falling to almost minus 40, Steve Hendershot's mind was elsewhere Thursday as he and his crew of roustabouts worked an oil rig in North Dakota's booming oil patch.
Fast-food NEW YORK (AP) - Fast-food workers and labor organizers marched, waved signs and chanted in cities across the country on Thursday in a push for higher wages.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy is growing faster, corporate profits are rising and companies are laying off the fewest workers in six years.
VISALIA (AP) - Officials say temperatures in the citrus-rich San Joaquin Valley dropped to the low 20s overnight, but it was too early to tell whether there was any crop damage.
NEW YORK (AP) - William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The passage of a landmark bill to address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension crisis means the yearslong fight over how to address the massive shortfall now likely shifts to the courts, where its fate - and much-needed relief for the financially troubled state - remains highly uncertain.
ELOY, Ariz. (AP) - Skydivers from around the world returned to the air Wednesday at a popular Arizona skydiving location that was the site of a deadly mishap involving two parachutists a day earlier.
CHICAGO (AP) - New research on face transplants may help guide future operations for accident victims needing this kind of drastic surgery.
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - An engineer whose speeding commuter train ran off the rails along a curve, killing four people, experienced a hypnotic-like "daze" and nodded at the controls before he suddenly realized something was wrong and hit the brakes, a lawyer said.
DETROIT (AP) - A judge has given Detroit the green light to cut pensions as a way out of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a decision that puts the case in the laps of thousands of retirees who had hoped that the Michigan Constitution would protect them from getting smaller checks in their golden years.
NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators looking into a deadly train derailment said Tuesday that no problems had been found with the train's brake system or track signals along its route and that its engineer was being questioned again.
BIRD STEALS CAMERA IN AUSTRALIA, RECORDS JOURNEY: SYDNEY (AP) - A brazen bird snatched a video camera that was recording crocodiles in northwest Australia and captured fascinating footage of its 110-kilometer (70-mile) journey across the country's remote landscape. Wildlife rangers in Western Australia's Kimberly region released video on Monday that reveals the sea eagle's caper. The bird's flapping wings can be seen as it grabs the device and takes off, and the eagle later poses for a selfie, poking its face into the camera lens. Rangers set up the motion-sensor camera along the Margaret River in May ...
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NEW YORK (AP) - An unlicensed driver accused of killing a 4-year-old while fleeing police last year has again been charged with a crime behind the wheel - this time injuring a police officer while bolting from a weekend traffic stop, authorities said.
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A demonstration about the science of tornadoes went awry Wednesday at a Reno museum, leading to a chemical explosion that injured 13 people, most of them children, authorities said.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to buy up to $13 million in canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen.
LAWSUIT SETTLED IN BOY'S DEATH AT ALABAMA AIRPORT: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A settlement over the death of a boy who was hit by a falling flight information sign inside Birmingham's airport was approved Wednesday, and the family said they had forgiven the contractors involved.
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The lawyer for a Mississippi man who was declared dead two decades ago, only to resurface as a murder suspect, does not deny that her client killed his girlfriend and her daughter, but she said Wednesday that he's being tried in the wrong court.
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A graphic designer on a biking trip from Maryland to Miami was stabbed to death by a homeless man outside a Florida McDonald's while he spoke on the phone with his girlfriend, authorities said.
STARBUCKS SORRY FOR NOT SERVING WOMAN WITH DOG: ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Starbucks has apologized to a 24-year-old woman who said she wasn't allowed in a Rochester-area store because she had a service dog.
PHOENIX (AP) - An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
CHICAGO (AP) - Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn't boost survival chances for most women, compared with surgery that removes just the tumor, a large study suggests. The results raise concerns about riskier, potentially unnecessary operations that increasing numbers of women are choosing.
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) - A Princeton University employee and marijuana legalization activist who said he was told to choose between his job and using medical marijuana is on paid leave as the university works to figure out accommodations for his disability.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Thirty teens "overwhelmed" their minders at a juvenile detention center by simultaneously breaking out of four dormitories and then crawling under a weak spot in a chain-link fence. By Tuesday evening, seven were still on the run.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A groom became "handsy" with a pregnant waitress at his wedding reception and tried to pour alcohol down her throat, then resisted arrest after getting into a fight with her boyfriend, police said.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The parents of four black students who allege their children were expelled over rap music videos and targeted because of race sued a suburban school district in federal court on Tuesday, charging violations of constitutional rights including free speech.
CENTERPLATE: CEO RESIGNS OVER DOG'S MISTREATMENT: STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Sports catering business Centerplate has announced the resignation of its chief executive after video from an elevator security camera posted online shows a man kicking a puppy and yanking its leash.
WALDO, Fla. (AP) - The north Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap, and it's no wonder. A small segment of highway that runs through Waldo requires drivers to speed up and slow down six times: 65 mph becomes 55 mph; 55 becomes 45; then goes back to 55; then back down to 45; to 55 again and eventually, 35 mph.