IL Senate Gambling Plan Would Add 5 New Casinos

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has approved a refined gambling expansion plan adding five new casinos including one in Chicago.  

Senators voted 32-20 Wednesday, shortly after a key committee approved it. Lawmakers have twice approved similar plans, but Gov. Pat Quinn rejected them. He said he wanted more ethical safeguards. Continue Reading

IA Senate Bill Requires DNA Sample for Simple Misdemeanor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved a measure that would require people convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors to submit DNA samples for a federal databank.  

Lawmakers passed the bill Wednesday, 29 to 20. It now goes to Gov. Terry Branstad. Under the proposal, adults convicted of crimes like aggravated misdemeanor assault and theft would submit a DNA sample. Currently, only convicted felons and sexual offenders must submit samples. Continue Reading

Police arrest man in death of new Alabama mother

Police have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting an Alabama woman while she held her 10-day old son. Authorities say 20-year-old Corderious Domini McClellan is charged with capital murder in the death of 24-year-old Sherri Williams. Officials say the man surrendered to police Tuesday night and will be held in the Jefferson County jail without bond. Authorities say Williams was standing in the doorway of her apartment in Gate City when she was hit by a stray bullet Monday. The baby boy was not injured and Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials have said two men at a nearby store got into a fight and the argument escalated to gunfire. Continue Reading

Electronic taxi hailing in New York halted by judge day after debut

Hailing yellow cabs with smartphone apps is on hold in New York City a day after the experimental service began. An appeals judge agreed Wednesday to bar e-hailing, at least temporarily. A panel of judges is expected to weigh the case later this month. A lawyer for e-hail opponents says they’re gratified and calls the program “fundamentally flawed” and illegal. But Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky says the apps are “perfectly legal” and good for riders. Continue Reading

Wildfire erupts in windy Southern California

Southern California fire officials say a wildfire that broke out just after noon is raging through 1,500 acres of Riverside County near Banning, fueled by 29 mph winds. The fire is raging westward through largely undeveloped foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, but it is dangerously close to subdivisions to the south. County fire spokeswoman Jody Hagemann says at least 425 firefighters are working to gain control of the fast-moving fire that broke out Wednesday and has destroyed one structure. Evacuations and street closures are in effect in several neighborhoods to the south of the fire in Banning. If winds from the east continue driving flames westward, the fire could affect communities in Cherry Valley and Beaumont. Continue Reading

Air Force says 5 former Lackland commanders punished after sex scandal

The U.S. Air Force says it disciplined five former commanders at a San Antonio base for not reporting problems quickly or taking appropriate action in what has turned into the military branch’s worst sex scandal. The confirmation came as the 18th military trial in the scandal started Wednesday. A former wing commander, a former group commander and three former squadron commanders, as well as a senior noncommissioned officer, were disciplined last fall after an investigation into instructor sexual misconduct at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, said Maj. Lori Hodge, a spokeswoman for the Air Education and Training Command. In some cases, a commander was not informed of problems in a timely manner and at other times a commander didn’t take appropriate action after knowing about a problem, she said. Continue Reading

Syria’s Assad Greets Public Day After Bomb Hits Capital

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Syria’s state television says President Bashar Assad has made a rare public appearance, visiting a Damascus power station on May Day the day after a powerful bomb hit the capital. Today’s broadcast showed brief clips of Assad speaking to workers at what it said was the Umayyad Electrical Station in the Tishrin Park district. At least 14 people were killed in the blast. It was the second attack in the heart of the capital, Assad’s seat of power, in two days. The television showed Assad, looking confident and wearing a dark business suit, shaking hands with workers. Continue Reading

Ford Sales Up 18%, Chrysler Up 11% in April

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler says its sales rose 11 percent last month, a sign that Americans continue to buy cars and trucks despite economic uncertainty.  

The Detroit automaker says it sold nearly 157,000 cars and trucks last month in the U.S., its best April since 2007. Chrysler’s performance was led by the Ram pickup, with sales up 49 percent over April of last year. Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales rose 18 percent in April thanks to big demand for the recently redesigned Escape SUV. Continue Reading