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North Texas Tornadoes Aftermath

GRANBURY, Texas (AP) — Residents whose homes were torn apart or blown away by a North Texas deadly tornado will soon be allowed to return to retrieve what belongings may be left and start cleaning up.  

The Hood County Sheriff says residents of Rancho Brazos Estates in Granbury will be able to go back in to survey things starting Saturday morning. The neighborhood was the hardest hit by Wednesday night’s EF-4 tornado, with winds between 166 and 200 mph. Workers are trying to restore water service, raise electrical lines and clear debris piles. Gov. Rick Perry toured Granbury, which bore the brunt of the damage during an outbreak of 16 tornadoes across North Texas. Continue Reading

Powerball Jackpot at $600-Million and Growing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It’s been less than 10 months since the world record for a lottery prize. On Saturday night, it could conceivably fall once again.  

The jackpot for Saturday night’s Powerball drawing currently stands at $600 million. That’s just $56 million less than the record from the March 2012 Mega Millions jackpot, which was split by three winning tickets. Should nobody pick the correct five white balls and one red ball, the jackpot will roll over to Wednesday. Continue Reading

Henderson, Warren, McDonough Co’s Added to Disaster Request

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Pat Quinn has asked for 16 more Illinois counties, including several in our area, to receive federal aid after flooding last month.  

Quinn announced his request on Friday. Previously 11 Illinois counties were deemed eligible for federal aid. Counties receiving federal aid are eligible for grants and loans to assist with flood-related losses. Continue Reading

Pig Virus Discovered in Iowa Animals

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One case of a virus that sickens pigs has been found in Iowa and while the illness can spread through a herd it is not typically fatal.  

The illness, porcine epidemic diarrhea, is not a threat to food safety and it doesn’t spread to other animals or people. The virus was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in an Iowa pig on May 16th. Iowa Department of Agriculture spokesman Dustin Vande Hoef says tests are being done on two other animals at a different location to see if it’s the same infection. The virus causes diarrhea and vomiting in the animals but they typically recover. Continue Reading

Breakthrough Possible in IA Health Coverage Talks

Key legislators say there could be a breakthrough in negotiations over exactly how the state may ensure more low-income working Iowans get health care coverage.  

Democrats have been pushing to use available federal dollars to expand the government’s Medicaid program to provide coverage to up to 150-thousand uninsured Iowans. Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s proposed alternative creates a whole new “Healthy Iowa Plan” the is heavily subsidized by the state and federal government and requires a monthly premium payment from the roughly 90-thousand uninsured Iowans it’s designed to cover.   State Rep. Dave Heaton(R-Mt. Pleasant) says once everyone is on “the same wavelength” negotiations may take off. Legislators have a host of issues to resolve before their 2013 session can end — and lawmakers will come back to the capitol next week to continue debate on this topic and a host of others. Continue Reading

60 injured, 5 critical after Connecticut commuter trains collide in 'major derailment'

Two commuter trains serving New York City collided in Connecticut during Friday’s evening rush hour, sending 60 people to the hospital, including five critically injured and one very critically injured, Gov. Dannel Malloy said. There were no reports of fatalities. The Metro-North Railroad, a commuter line serving the northern suburbs, referred in a news release to a “major derailment” near Fairfield, just outside Bridgeport. It said emergency workers were at the scene of the accident, which came shortly after 6 p.m.

“We’re most concerned about the injured and ultimately reopening the system,” Malloy said from the scene about three hours after the crash. He said there was no reason to believe it was anything other than an accident. Continue Reading

Alaska volcano shoots ash 15,000 feet into the air

One of Alaska’s most restless volcanoes has shot an ash cloud 15,000 feet into the air in an ongoing eruption that has drawn attention from a nearby community but isn’t expected to threaten air traffic. An air traffic controller in the region says small planes have flown around the plume from Pavlof Volcano. Ash would have to rise tens of thousands of feet to threaten larger planes. The eruption began Monday, and a photograph shows lava spraying out. Air traffic controller John Maxwell says residents in the small community of Cold Bay, about 40 miles from Pavlof, are concerned that ash could damage their power generators. Continue Reading

Feds: More time needed to indict Tsarnaev

Federal prosecutors say they’ll ask for more time to indict Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv). Prosecutors said Friday they will not indict Tsranaev within the 30-day period prescribed the Federal Speedy Trial Act. Sunday marks 30 days since Tsarnaev was arrested following the April 15 bombing. Prosecutors didn’t specify under which exception they’d seek an extension. Earlier Friday a judge denied a request from Tsarnaev’s attorneys seeking to take periodic photos of him while he recovers from wounds sustained prior to his arrest. Continue Reading

DA to retry Central Texas man in deadly '86 fire

Prosecutors plan to retry a Central Texas man whose 25-year-old conviction for setting a fire that killed his two young stepsons was set aside due to issues raised later with the science used to find him guilty. Ed Graf’s murder conviction was set aside in March by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His case is one of several flagged by a state panel that’s examining possible problems with arson investigations in criminal cases. McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said Friday that he intended to pursue another trial against Graf. Reyna said prosecutors would not seek the death penalty. Continue Reading