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TALL MAN DRESSED IN DRAG ROBS BANK: JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Police say a western Pennsylvania bank robber was long and tall, but probably not named Sally - despite outward appearances. Instead police in Richland Township, near Johnstown, believe the robber was a 6-foot, 6-inch man who was wearing a wig and women's clothes when he handed a teller a note demanding money at the First National Bank branch about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Police say the suspect was wearing a straight-haired red wig, black dress and shoes, and was carrying a handbag. Police Chief Michael Burgan says the bank ...

July 12, 2013 | | Nation


Planes called before ‘Hotshots’ fire deaths

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona wildfire was so out of control because of winds from a nearby thunderstorm that officials asked for half the available Western U.S. air tanker fleet nearly an hour before 19 members of a Hotshot crew were killed, records obtained by The Associated Press Friday show.

July 12, 2013 | | Nation


Zimmerman: Trial jury may consider lesser charge

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - In an unmistakable setback for George Zimmerman, the jury at the neighborhood watch captain's second-degree murder trial was given the option Thursday of convicting him on the lesser charge of manslaughter in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

July 11, 2013 | | Nation


Message in a bottle: Note found amid Sandy debris helps grieving mother

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP) - More than a dozen years ago, a 10-year-old girl scrawled a message on a piece of notebook paper, sealed it up in a green plastic bottle and tossed it into the ocean.

July 11, 2013 | | Nation


Attitudes shift amid recession

CHICAGO (AP) - Drew Miller clearly remembers the day his father was laid off.

July 11, 2013 | | Nation


DNA links DeSalvo to Strangler victim

BOSTON (AP) - Investigators helped by advances in DNA technology finally have forensic evidence linking longtime suspect Albert DeSalvo to the last of the 1960s slayings attributed to the Boston Strangler, leading many of the case's players to hope that it can finally be put to rest.

July 11, 2013 | | Nation


Nation news briefs

STATE REMOVES SIGNS OBJECTING TO TWIN TUNNELS: WALNUT GROVE (AP) - Activists opposed to California's $14 billion twin-tunnel plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are accusing state transportation workers who removed anti-tunnel yard signs of trying to silence them. The signs proclaiming "Save the Delta! Stop the Tunnels!" have disappeared over the past several days from yards fronting a state highway in Sacramento County. Transportation officials they were placed too close to the highway, violating state law. Caltrans spokesman Gareth Lacy says any private sign is forbidden within a state right of way. The state Natural Resources Agency, which oversees ...

July 11, 2013 | | Nation


Prosecutors call first witness vs. Zimmerman

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - After taking less than a week to call 18 witnesses, George Zimmerman's defense attorneys rested their case Wednesday in the neighborhood watch volunteer's second-degree murder trial.

July 10, 2013 | | Nation


Pig virus found in US; threatens pork prices

DENVER (AP) - Pork prices may be on the rise in the next few months because of a new virus that has migrated to the U.S, killing piglets in 15 states at an alarming rate in facilities where it has been reported.

July 10, 2013 | | Nation


Soldier’s team rests in Wikileaks trial

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - Pfc. Bradley Manning's defense rested its case Wednesday after presenting evidence from 10 witnesses, hoping to prove the loads of material the soldier gave to WikiLeaks did not threaten national security or U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

July 10, 2013 | | Nation


Injured Boston bombing suspect pleads not guilty

BOSTON (AP) - His arm in a cast, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges Wednesday in his first courtroom appearance since his capture at the end of a chaotic week in April.

July 10, 2013 | | Nation


Navy lands drone on aircraft carrier

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Navy successfully landed a drone the size of a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier for the first time Wednesday, showcasing the military's capability to have a computer program perform one of the most difficult tasks a pilot is asked to do.

July 10, 2013 | | Nation


Smoke break? Glitch may limit penalties for tobacco users

WASHINGTON (AP) - They huddle outside office buildings and they can't satisfy their nicotine cravings by lighting up on planes and trains, but now smokers could be getting a break from an unlikely source.

July 09, 2013 | | Nation


Seeking death penalty in Boston case? A long road

WASHINGTON (AP) - If the Obama administration tries for the death penalty against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it could face a long, difficult legal battle in a state that hasn't seen an execution in nearly 70 years.

July 09, 2013 | | Nation


Snowden bound for Venezuela?

MOSCOW (AP) - The WikiLeaks secret-spilling site on Tuesday said NSA leaker Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, trying to put to rest growing confusion over whether he had taken up the country's offer.

July 09, 2013 | | Nation


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Articles by Section - Nation


‘Game of Thrones’ puts No. Ireland on the map

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) - Giants, dragons and vengeful queens have for generations populated Northern Ireland's folk tales. Now, such creatures are visiting the land in a different version - on the sets for the hit TV show "Game of Thrones." But rather than spells and destruction, they're bringing an economic boost to this British province still healing from its past of political violence.

June 22, 2014 | | Nation


65% of senior VA execs got bonuses

WASHINGTON (AP) - About 65 percent of senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics, the agency said Friday.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Murder charge still pending against woman at 102 in death of roommate

BOSTON (AP) - Nearly five years after a woman was charged with killing her 100-year-old roommate in a Massachusetts nursing home, a second-degree murder charge is still pending against her at the age of 102.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


$40M settlement reached in Central Park rape case

NEW YORK (AP) - With New York awash in murder and drugs, the 1989 rape and beating of a Central Park jogger by what was said to be a gang of "wilding" teens was seen as evidence of a city sliding into lawlessness. A quarter-century later, it stands instead as a $40 million symbol of failure by the justice system.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Great white shark numbers surging

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A report that scientists are calling one of the most comprehensive studies of great white sharks finds their numbers are surging in the ocean off the Eastern U.S. and Canada after decades of decline - bad news if you're a seal, but something experts say shouldn't instill fear in beachgoers this summer.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


California, Amtrak end joint train bid

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority said Friday that they canceled a joint agreement seeking companies to build high-speed trains for them, a proposal billed as a way to save money and lure advanced train manufacturing to the United States.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Hiker, ‘guru of trails’ missing on Mount Rainier

SEATTLE (AP) - Crews searched Mount Rainier National Park on Friday for a prominent hiker and outdoors writer who was reported missing late Wednesday while she researched a story.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Report: Apple smartwatch to come this fall

CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple is likely to launch a computerized wristwatch this fall that includes more than 10 sensors to take health measurements and other data, according to a published report.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Governor signs $108 billion budget

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed California's $108 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that pays down debt, builds a rainy day fund and provides additional money for schools and health care.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Panel OKs 2 percent raise for California lawmakers, officials

SACRAMENTO (AP) - A citizens' commission on Friday cited California's improving economy as it approved 2 percent cost-of-living salary increases for lawmakers and statewide officials, including the governor and attorney general.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Californians warned of perilous peak fire season due to drought

LOS ANGELES (AP) - With the first day of summer Saturday and the Fourth of July coming up, Southern California officials are warning residents to prepare for what's expected to be one of the most dangerous fire seasons the state has seen in years.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Berkeley pursues gas-pump warning labels

BERKELEY (AP) - The San Francisco Bay Area city of Berkeley is moving forward with plans to put climate-change warning labels on gas pumps in what could be the first such requirement of its kind in the nation.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Market pushes toward milestones

NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. stock market is back to setting records.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Starbucks hiking prices on drinks

NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks is raising prices on some of its drinks by 5 cents to 20 cents starting next week, and customers can also soon expect to pay $1 more for the packaged coffee it sells in supermarkets.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


Congresswoman proposes e-cigarette rules

SAN MATEO (AP) - A San Francisco congresswoman unveiled legislation Friday that would regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way as typical tobacco products, accusing the e-cigarette industry of targeting children and teenagers with its marketing.

June 20, 2014 | | Nation


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