US home prices rise 8.1 pct., most since June 2006

U.S. home prices rose in January at the fastest annual pace since June 2006, just before the housing bubble burst. The gain shows the housing recovery is strengthening ahead of the all-important spring buying season. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 8.1 percent in the 12 months ending in January. That’s up from a 6.8 annual gain in December. Prices rose in all 20 cities. Continue Reading

Earthquake shakes Mexico City

Earthquakes shook Mexico City on Tuesday, causing buildings to sway in the capital and sending thousands fleeing into the streets as an earthquake alarm sounded. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries. Mexico Seismology Service said the quake had a magnitude of 5.9 and was centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Pinotepa Nacional on the Pacific Coast. Via: Fox News Continue Reading

Groundhog Phil lives to see another shadow

The groundhog is off the hook. An Ohio prosecutor who light-heartedly filed a criminal indictment against the famous Pennsylvania groundhog who fraudulently “predicted” an early spring says he has dismissed the charge. Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser says Punxsutawney Phil has a defense with teeth in it since the animal’s handler is taking the blame. The Groundhog Day celebration about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh attracts worldwide attention each year. That stretched well beyond Feb. Continue Reading

NY mogul's daughter arrested on heroin charge

The daughter of New York real estate mogul Peter Kalikow (KAL’-ih-koh) and her boyfriend have been arrested for allegedly dealing heroin. According to court records, 27-year-old Kathryn Kalikow and 28-year-old Brian Whalen sold the drug in Fordham on Sunday after arranging the sale on Craigslist. The papers say the buyer was an undercover police officer conducting a sting. Peter Kalikow heads a major real estate firm, has served on numerous civic boards and once owned the New York Post. He says he and his wife are concentrating on helping their daughter. Continue Reading

Remains of American WWII soldier reportedly found on Pacific's Northern Mariana Islands

The remains of an American World War II soldier missing in action nearly 70 years have reportedly been identified after they were found on the Pacific’s Northern Mariana Islands. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command confirmed to that its team currently working in Saipan has received “possible human remains” and material evidence consistent with an unresolved case from World War II. “At this point, we cannot confirm the identity of these remains,” an email to read. “Our next step is to get the remains and evidence back to JPAC’s Central Identification Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and conduct the appropriate forensic analyses.” The team is expected back this week, according to Jamie Dobson, JPAC’s chief of media operations. Continue Reading

Seattle crash kills 2 pedestrians, injures 2 others

Police say a driver who may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs struck four pedestrians crossing a street Monday, killing two and critically injuring two others — a woman and the infant she was carrying. “This is obviously a very tragic situation,” said Seattle Police Deputy Chief Nick Metz. “It’s not very normal that we have this level of folks who are victimized in this way.” The accident happened shortly after 4 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in north Seattle. Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said the driver of the vehicle, a 50-year-old Seattle man, was in custody and under investigation for possibly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Continue Reading

Magnitude-6.2 quake hits near Guatemala City

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude-6.2 earthquake has struck near Guatemala City. Guatemalan authorities had no immediate reports of damage. The USGS said Monday that the earthquake was located 3 miles (6 kilometers) northwest of San Jose Pinula and had a depth of 200 kilometers (124 miles). Via: Fox News Continue Reading

Judge rules just 1 jury in Army sex charge trial

A judge has decided that just one jury will hear all charges against a U.S. Army general charged with sexual misconduct. The Fayetteville Observer reports ( ) that lawyers for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair said Monday they wanted to separate a trial over an alleged physical relationship he had with one woman from the charges of inappropriate, but non-physical, relationships he is accused of having with several other women. The lawyers said the jury might be overwhelmed. But a judge ruled the jury of all generals was highly educated and likely to follow instructions. Continue Reading

Police: At least 4 stabbed in Pa. Target store

Police say at least four people have been stabbed inside a Pittsburgh Target store, and a suspect has been arrested. Officers were called to the store in the East Liberty section of the city shortly after 5:30 p.m. Monday. Police say four or five people were injured, but the extent of the injuries isn’t immediately clear. KDKA-TV reports that some victims were stabbed multiple times, but none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening. A man was arrested at the scene. Continue Reading