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) - Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, who topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her epic song of teenage angst, "It's My Party," and followed it up with the hits "Judy's Turn to Cry," and the feminist anthem "You Don't Own Me," died Monday. She was 68.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - It's official. A tiny minnow that lives only in backwaters in Oregon's Willamette Valley is the first fish to be formally removed from Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer in danger of extinction.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 44-year-old woman who was teaching her teenage daughter to drive has died after being shot in the head in an apparent road-rage attack outside her Las Vegas home.
• WYOMING MAN SENDS VALENTINE FLOWERS - EVEN IN DEATH: CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming man who died last year from a brain tumor is keeping Valentine's Day special for his wife - even in death.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Some schools are getting tougher on e-cigarettes, even punishing possession of the devices more harshly than regular cigarettes.
BELLE VERNON, Pa. (AP) - A tractor-trailer driver threw items from his cab at police - including socks, shoes and a small refrigerator - as he led them on a 34-mile chase in western Pennsylvania, authorities said Sunday.
CUPERTINO (AP) - You've heard of the iPhone and iPad. How about the iCar?
CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. teens are getting sleepier: Many lack even seven hours of shut-eye each night and the problem has worsened over two decades, a study found.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah woman says she has smashed the world record for catching bridal bouquets at weddings and now is seeking recognition for it.
NEW YORK (AP) - Those days of calling your bank to let them know that, yes, you really are in Thailand, and yes, you really did use your credit card to buy $200 in sarongs, may be coming to an end.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday over a deepening influence-peddling scandal surrounding his fiancee and on the same day the U.S. Attorney's Office issued a subpoena demanding records and electronic communications pertaining to the pair.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A teenager who says she was raped after a school worker tried to use her as bait to catch an alleged sexual predator should be forced to publicly reveal her name to pursue a lawsuit, an Alabama school system argued in court.
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) - Police are asking parents in South Florida to check the online accounts of their children after three teens were accused of creating an Instagram account to solicit and post explicit photos of other minors.
NEW YORK (AP) - Mattel and Google are trying to bring the 75-year-old View-Master into the 21st century - with some help from smartphones and virtual reality technology.
HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) - An SUV driver swerving to avoid striking another vehicle on a highway on Friday hit a snowbank along a guardrail and catapulted 60 feet off a bridge. Incredibly, authorities say, the vehicle landed upright and the two occupants suffered only minor injuries.