U-S Wages Up in First Quarter; Benefits Not So Much

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans’ wages increased at a faster rate from January through March than the previous quarter, a trend that helped boost economic growth. But their benefits barely grew.  

The Labor Department says an index that measures wages and benefits rose 0.3 percent during the first quarter. That’s down from a 0.4 percent gain in the October-December quarter and the smallest gain in a year. Wages and salaries rose 0.5 percent, up from the 0.3 percent gain in the previous quarter. Continue Reading

Vegas-Based Company Launches U-S On-Line Poker

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas-based company says it’s launching the first legal, real-money poker website in the United States.  

Ultimate Gaming will only accept wagers from players in Nevada for now, but the site likely represents the shape of things to come for gamblers across the country. Internet poker has been banned in the United States since 2011. Continue Reading

Baby girl found on Oahu beach, authorities say

Authorities are investigating why a baby girl was found abandoned on a Hawaii beach hours after birth. State Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman says the newborn was abandoned immediately after birth. Police say a woman parked at Sandy Beach in east Honolulu sometime between 11 p.m. Sunday and midnight heard several people screaming. A few minutes later the screaming stopped and the woman heard a baby crying. She walked toward the ocean and saw an infant on the sand. Continue Reading

Plane crashes, a second belly lands in southern California

A small airplane crashed in mountainous terrain in Southern California on Monday, about the same time a second plane made an emergency landing on a nearby golf course. Three people onboard the plane that landed on its belly on the golf course in Westlake Village had minor injuries, while rescuers searched a rugged ridgeline for survivors from the crash. The emergency landing and the crash “appear to be connected,” said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He could not provide further details. Firefighters responding to a report of a small wildfire spotted aircraft debris on the charred site. Continue Reading

Pa. sheriff heading to trial on threat charges

A judge says a western Pennsylvania sheriff accused of threatening to cut a political campaign worker’s hands off and shoot an online news reporter should go to trial. Judge Michael L. Gerheim heard nearly five hours of testimony Monday before agreeing most of the 11 charges against Beaver County Sheriff George David should go to trial. A grand jury report says David delivered expletive-fueled rants and uttered a racial slur to his victims. It says he threatened to cut off and eat a campaign volunteer’s hands. David denies the charges and remains in office because county officials are powerless to remove him and state legislators haven’t tried to. He was arrested last month on charges including terroristic threats, witness intimidation and obstructing an investigation. Continue Reading

Lawyers hint at possible insanity plea for Holmes

Attorneys for the Colorado theater shooting suspect suggest in a court filing that they might be considering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity over their client’s objections. The lawyers dropped that hint in papers filed on Monday. Legal experts think James Holmes’ best chance of avoiding execution would be through an insanity defense. But defense lawyers said they can’t advise Holmes to enter that plea because of unresolved legal issues that need to be settled by the judge. They did note that state law allows an insanity plea to be entered over a defendant’s objection but did not say they would go that route. Continue Reading

Female DNA found on bomb components in Boston Marathon probe, source says

Female DNA was found on bomb components used in the attack this month on the Boston Marathon, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to Fox News, though the source cautioned that it is too early to draw hard conclusions from that evidence. “No one should expect that the investigation is over,” the source told Fox News in confirming the development first reported by the Wall Street Journal, adding that it is just one piece of evidence that investigators are looking at. The revelation about female DNA came on the same day that the FBI went inside the Rhode Island home of bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow’s parents, and the nearby family of a man identified as his mysterious mentor hired a family spokesman to keep the media at bay. “We are there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren’t permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case,” an FBI official said outside the suburban Providence home where Katherine Russell and her 3-year-old daughter are staying. Authorities suspect Tsarnaev and his younger brother dropped, then detonated two bombs near the finish line of the April 15 marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260. Continue Reading

Fingerprints, possible DNA collected in killing of 8-year-old California girl

Sheriff’s officials say investigators have collected fingerprints and what they believe is DNA from the home where an 8-year-old Northern California girl was stabbed to death. Calaveras County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Macedo tells the Modesto Bee authorities hope to have lab results on the evidence in a week. Authorities have not identified a suspect in Saturday’s stabbing death of Leila Fowler at her home in Valley Springs, a small town about 60 miles southeast of Sacramento. They say Leila was found by her brother after he encountered a male intruder at the home. Authorities have only released a vague description of the suspect. Continue Reading