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Immigration Debate Begins in U-S Senate

 WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate has opened debate on far-reaching legislation to
overhaul the nation’s immigration system and offer the promise of citizenship to
millions.  
 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada began what will be weeks of
deliberations on the Senate floor by declaring the immigration system broken and
praising the bipartisan bill. He said it is commonsense reform that would make
the country safer and help immigrants living in the nation illegally get right
with the law.  
 Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama countered that the bill will not
succeed in ending illegal immigration as its authors claim. Instead Sessions
said the bill offers amnesty without ever enforcing the law. Continue Reading

California utility says it will retire nuclear plant

The troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California is closing. Southern California Edison announced Friday it will retire the Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors. Edison International Chairman Ted Craver says in a statement that the company concluded that the continuing uncertainty about when or if the plant might return to service was not good for customers or investors. The plant between San Diego and Los Angeles hasn’t produced electricity since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of damage to tubing that carries radioactive water. Via: Fox News Continue Reading

91-year-old WWII veteran gets high school diploma

A 91-year-old retired police officer from Northampton has received his high school diploma, 71 years after he left school to work on a farm. Edward Morrissey was one of 100 graduates who received diplomas Thursday from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. Morrissey says he was just weeks from graduating in 1942 when his father told him to leave school and get a job milking cows. He also worked at a gas station and a gun maker before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Pacific during World War II and was a Northampton officer for 25 years before retiring in 1977. Continue Reading

Florida judge considers allowing voice experts at George Zimmerman's trial

For a second day in a row, a Florida judge is weighing whether to allow certain voice experts to testify at George Zimmerman’s trial. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson is listening Friday to testimony from voice experts about whether witnesses with expertise in speech identification should be allowed to testify when Zimmerman’s trial starts next week. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a struggle in a gated community where he lived. He is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense. Neighbors called 911 during the fight and cries for help can be heard on the recordings, which will be important pieces of evidence. Continue Reading

US employers add 175K jobs, rate up to 7.6 pct.

U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs in May, steady hiring but below the more robust pace that took place during the fall and winter. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April. The increase occurred because more people began looking for work, a good sign. The government said the economy added 12,000 fewer jobs in April and March. Employers have added an average of 155,000 jobs in past three months, below the average of 237,000 created from November through February. Continue Reading

Ohio prosecutor fired after posing as an accused killer's girlfriend on Facebook

A prosecutor in Ohio has reportedly been fired after admitted to posing as a woman in a Facebook chat with an accused killer’s alibi witnesses in an attempt to persuade them to change their testimony. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that former Assistant County Prosecutor Aaron Brockler, 35, insisted during an interview at his Lakewood home that he had done nothing wrong and was wrongfully terminated. “Law enforcement, including prosecutors, have long engaged in the practice of using a ruse to obtain the truth,” Brockler, a county prosecutor since 2006, told the newspaper Thursday. “I think the public is better off for what I did.” County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said he fired Brockler for good cause, claiming the former prosecutor’s unethical behavior “disgraced” the office. Continue Reading

Central IL Man Gets 2 1/2 Years for Starving Dogs, Cats

 BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) _ A central Illinois man was sentenced to 21/2 years in
prison after authorities say he starved more than 70 cats and dogs at his rural
McLean County home.  
 Thirty-year-old Curtis Cleary pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty. He
also pleaded guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm after investigators say
he fired a gun at his naked girlfriend as she ran down the driveway of his
Lexington home.  
 Investigators say dozens of decaying animal corpses were discovered in November
in the house’s basement and a nearby barn. Continue Reading

Volunteer Fireman Convicted of Setting Them First

 BOONE, Iowa (AP) _ A volunteer firefighter in central Iowa faces up to 10 years
in prison when he is sentenced next month for arson.  
 A court filing on Thursday said Brett Graham, of Kelley, was convicted of
second-degree arson in Boone County. Authorities say Graham admitted starting
four fires in Story and Boone counties over several months. A dozen horses died
in one of the Boone County fires.  
     The 19-year-old was a volunteer firefighter for the Kelley Fire Department. Continue Reading

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P-E-D-V: Remember Those Letters if You Raise Pigs

Tests have confirmed a “devastating” virus has struck swine herds in eight states, including Iowa and Illinois. The National Pork Producers Council is committing 410-thousand dollars to research aimed at combatting the disease. The virus — known as P-E-D-V — is not transmitted to humans and is not considered a threat to food safety, but the vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration it causes can kill up to 90 percent of baby pigs in a herd. This is the first time PEDV has been idenfied in the western hemisphere, although it exists in Europe and Asia.  Diagnostic labs at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota have confirmed 103 cases of the virus. Besides Iowa and Illinois, tests have confirmed the virus is present in swine herds in Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Oklahoma and Colorado. Continue Reading