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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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Twenty years after Selena's murder, the Latin world will remember "The Queen of Tejano" with concerts, lookalike contests, dances and a massive festival. But her father has mixed feelings about the celebrations.
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) - The congregants of a close-knit Haitian church gathered Monday around Nicolas Alexis, hoping to learn what happened to 18 friends and loved ones who had been expected to return that morning from a late Palm Sunday service.
HONOLULU (AP) - A supervisor at the Veterans Administration office in Honolulu was manipulating data to make it look like the agency was processing veterans' benefits claims faster than they actually were, according to a new report by the VA Office of Inspector General.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Astronaut Scott Kelly's identical twin pulled a fast one on NASA right before his brother blasted off on a one-year space station mission.
PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) - A brothel employee and an armored vehicle driver from Las Vegas face felony theft charges following their arrests in a months-long investigation of cash disappearing from a Nevada brothel, a sheriff said Monday.
WOMAN'S APPEAL FOR KIDNEY DONOR ON CAR WINDOW PAYS OFF: SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine woman's decision to seek a kidney donor by putting a personal plea in bright yellow letters on her car has paid off.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) - A two-day Arab summit ended Sunday with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force, setting the stage for a potentially dangerous clash between U.S.-allied Arab states and Tehran over influence in the region.
CINCINNATI (AP) - More than seven decades after an audacious bombing run by the "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" rallied their own nation while stunning another, the World War II heroes are still adding to their legacy.
MISSION, Texas (AP) - A U.S. surveillance helicopter hovering over the Rio Grande spots a body floating near a muddy bank on the Mexican side of the river.
HURRICANE, Utah (AP) - The small southern Utah town of Hurricane might become a little quieter after a statue of a copper bull lost its most prominent private feature this weekend.
PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon couple took it all in stride as they watched the demolition of a house they owned for nearly 30 years.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - The stars of a charity calendar are in their 80s and 90s, but that didn't stop the men and women from an assisted living facility in Ohio from showing a little skin.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Farmers in Oregon's Willamette Valley hate slugs, slimy mollusks that munch their way through crops.
SCHOOL AIDE BARRICADED SELF IN CLASSROOM; TOOK OFF CLOTHES: LEMON GROVE . (AP) - Authorities say an afterschool program assistant kept 14 children inside a California classroom while appearing to be hallucinating on drugs.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a pugnacious and glamour-averse tactician who united Democrats to help deliver tough victories for President Barack Obama, said Friday he's retiring next year. He immediately endorsed brash New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to succeed him as leader of a party desperate to regain the Senate majority.