Asian Carp Likely in Great Lakes, but Not Yet Established

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A scientific report says at least some Asian carp probably have reached the Great Lakes, but there’s still time to stop them from becoming established.  

The paper released Thursday was written by scientists with the University of Notre Dame, The Nature Conservancy and Central Michigan University. It summarizes findings from a two-year search for the carp in and around the Great Lakes. The scientists took 58 water samples that contained Asian carp DNA in waterways near Chicago. Continue Reading

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Iowa State Auditor Vaudt Quits to Join Nat’l Non-Profit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State Auditor David Vaudt says he is resigning his elected position to become chairman of a national nonprofit accounting board.  

Vaudt, a Republican who has served as auditor since January 2003, announced Thursday he would leave the position to become chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. His new position will begin July 1. Gov. Terry Branstad will appoint a replacement, who will serve until Vaudt’s term expires. The next election for auditor will be in November 2014. Continue Reading

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Drops to 3.54%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages crept closer to their historic lows this week, a trend that could help the housing recovery strengthen.  

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan edged down to 3.54 percent from 3.57 percent last week. That’s near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating to 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage declined to 2.74 percent from 2.76 percent last week. The record low of 2.63 percent also was reached in November. Continue Reading

Students: Censure NY college prof for rape blog

Some University of Rochester students want an economics professor censured for comments he made about rape in a blog post after the conviction of two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio. The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports ( ) that students have started an online petition urging the school’s president to censure Steven Landsburg. The newspaper says they plan to protest outside Landsburg’s class on Monday. In a blog post last month, Landsburg referred to a recent Ohio case in which two students were convicted of raping an acquaintance who was unconscious. The professor asked whether the law ought the law discourage acts of rape in which the person is unconscious and suffers no direct physical harm. Continue Reading

Goat that walked into Mont. bar was taken from zoo

So the goat that walked into a Montana bar last weekend … was stolen from a petting zoo. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort general manager Steve Luebeck says staffers knew the goat was missing but didn’t realize it had been stolen until they saw a story in The Montana Standard on Wednesday reporting that a goat had been taken into a Butte bar early Sunday. The pygmy goat named Shirley was returned to the resort’s petting zoo. Luebeck tells The Standard ( ) he has never had an animal stolen from the zoo, which has goats and miniature horses. Continue Reading

Utah 'mountain man' reportedly disliked hunters, made threat against them, sheriff says

The elusive Utah ‘mountain man’ police say confessed to dozens of break-ins and thefts over a six-year span, apparently disliked hunters because of their ATVs and guns, reported. “He didn’t like all the money they spent on their ATVs and guns and different things like that,” Sevier County Sheriff Nate Curtis told the station. “He basically told us he’d rather they have a bow made out of their own hands. So he really, in particular, expressed that he did not like hunters.” Knapp, 45, told detectives he lived in the wilderness to be away from society, the station reported. Continue Reading

Where US economy has, and hasn't, yet recovered

From household wealth to spending at stores, many of the U.S. economy’s vital signs have recovered from the damage done by the Great Recession. Home foreclosures and layoffs have dropped to pre-recession levels. Economic output has rebounded. And the Dow Jones industrial average is in record territory. So is the economy back to full health? Continue Reading

Parents outraged that Mass. kids were denied lunch

School officials say as many as 25 students at a Massachusetts school were denied lunch this week because they either could not pay or their pre-paid accounts did not contain enough money. Outraged parents say some students at Coelho Middle School in Attleboro cried when they were told by a worker they could not eat on Tuesday. Superintendent Pia Durkin tells The Sun Chronicle ( ) that a worker for the contractor that provides lunch service at city schools has been suspended. She has also scheduled a meeting with officials at the company, Whitson’s. Meanwhile, workers have been told not to deny any child a meal. Continue Reading

2 white supremacist gang members sought in Colorado prisons chief death

Authorities investigating the death of Colorado’s prisons chief have issued an alert seeking two members of a white supremacist prison gang. El Paso County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Kramer said Wednesday that deputies are seeking 47-year-old James Lohr and 31-year-old Thomas Guolee in connection with the death of Tom Clements. He says their names surfaced during the investigation and the men could be headed to Nevada or Texas. The Denver Post reports both men are members of the white supremacist prison gang 211 Crew. That’s the same gang whose members included Evan Ebel, who is suspected in the fatal shootings of Clements on March 19 and of a pizza delivery driver two days earlier. Continue Reading