GEISMAR, La. (AP) - A ground-rattling explosion Thursday at a chemical plant in Louisiana ignited a blaze that killed one person and injured dozens of others, authorities said. Witnesses described a chaotic scene of towering flames and workers scrambling over gates to escape the plant.
ZIMMERMAN JURORS TO BE SEQUESTERED UP TO A MONTH: SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - The six jurors and four alternates eventually picked to hear the second-degree murder case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman will be sequestered for the two to four weeks the trial will last, the judge presiding over the case said for the first time Thursday.
DRIGGS, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho high school will drop its longtime "Redskins" nickname, logo and mascot in a move its top administrator says was made to show respect for Native Americans.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A faulty pool water heater was the source of carbon monoxide that killed an 11-year-old boy at a North Carolina motel last weekend and a couple who slept in the same room about two months earlier, police said Wednesday.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A rare copy of the comic book featuring Superman's first appearance that went undiscovered for over 70 years in the insulation of a Minnesota house has sold for $175,000.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Siding with the Pentagon's top brass, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved legislation Wednesday to keep commanders involved in deciding whether to prosecute sexual assault cases, rejecting an aggressive plan to stem sex-related crimes in the armed forces by overhauling the military justice system.
PHOENIX (AP) - A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that a man on trial for carrying out a terrorism hoax in Phoenix last summer could have gotten his 16-year-old nephew killed when he sent him into a street with a fake grenade launcher as he filmed the masked teen pointing it at passing vehicles during rush-hour traffic.
MILLERSBURG, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio boy admitted he fatally shot his mother in the head with a rifle when he was 10 after what a relative described as an argument over chores.
HOUSTON (AP) - The Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution Wednesday expressing its opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's new policy allowing gay Scouts, though it doesn't explicitly call for churches to drop all ties with the organization.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - A wildfire fueled by hot temperatures, gusty winds and thick, bone-dry forests has destroyed 92 homes, damaged five more and prompted more than 7,000 residents northeast of Colorado Springs to flee, sheriff's official said Wednesday.
BANGOR, Maine (AP) - Maine's highest court heard arguments Wednesday over whether transgender students can use the bathroom of their choice, and the girl at the heart of the case said she hoped justices would recognize the right of children to attend school without being "bullied" by peers or administrators.
10-YEAR-OLD BEHIND WHEEL OF SUV: KENNER, La. (AP) - Police in Louisiana say a call about an SUV being driven recklessly on Interstate 10 led them to pull over a 10-year-old boy who was driving.
Levees, removable walls proposed
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman has been charged with murder after police said she ran down her ex-boyfriend with her car and crushed him against a cinder-block garage wall.
RENO (AP) - Twenty-seven vehicles slammed into each other during a sandstorm that blinded drivers on Interstate 80 in rural northern Nevada, killing a truck driver, seriously injuring several other people and sapping already thin emergency resources, officials said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sony appears to have a win-win with "The Interview." Not only did the studio score a moral victory by releasing the film in the face of hacker threats, the movie made at least $15 million from more than 2 million digital rentals and purchases in its first four days.
HONOLULU (AP) - Bracing to do business with a Congress run solely by Republicans, President Barack Obama is serving notice he has no qualms about vetoing legislation he dislikes.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island Supreme Court has thrown out lawsuits brought by two Providence firefighters who said their constitutional rights were violated when they were ordered to drive a truck in a gay pride parade despite their religious objections.
HONOLULU (AP) - A couple getting married near President Barack Obama's vacation spot in Hawaii learned the hard way that the big day rarely goes exactly as planned.
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) - Tommy Vaughn knows his clients may be distrustful when a court appoints him to handle their case. Without enough money to hire their own lawyer, defendants are often suspicious that court-appointed attorneys will provide a poor defense or just try to coerce a quick guilty plea.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A northern Arizona police officer killed over the weekend was shot repeatedly at close range by a domestic violence suspect after calmly asking the man if he could pat him down for any weapons, authorities said Sunday.
DETROIT (AP) - Richard Bernstein officially joins the Michigan Supreme Court in a few days. But he's been working off the clock since November, preparing for 10 cases in an extraordinary way - memorizing the key points of every brief read to him by an aide.
SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) - The search for a missing AirAsia jet carrying 162 people that disappeared more than 24 hours ago on a flight from Indonesia to Singapore expanded Monday with planes and ships from several countries taking part.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah's abortion rate has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, and there are differing opinions as to why.
NEW YORK (AP) - A day after the funeral of one of two police officers gunned down in their patrol car, the city's police commissioner called Sunday for a "lot less rhetoric and a lot more dialogue" to defuse the tension between police officers and the population they protect.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea called President Barack Obama "a monkey" and blamed the U.S. on Saturday for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy "The Interview."
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - A real estate developer who was shot in the head as he slept at home says his cheating wife did it in an attempt to kill him and avoid a messy divorce.
DENVER (AP) - Chris Easterling was sick of relying on drug dealers in Minneapolis when he needed marijuana to help ease the pain of multiple sclerosis. They were flaky, often leaving the homeless man without the drug when he needed relief the most.
NEW YORK (AP) - Christmas came on time this year for most people.