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.
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.
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.
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.
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.