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National News

By the numbers: Stats that tell story of Biden’s first year

WASHINGTON (AP) — By some counts, President Joe Biden can lay claim to a banner first year in office. But numbers also reveal plenty of setbacks. Most in the United States got their COVID-19 vaccines, but other countries fared better. Economic growth surged; so did inflation. America exited ...

Bidens pack carrots, apples into boxes during food bank stop

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden packed carrots and apples into food boxes for the hungry and chatted with volunteers Sunday at a food bank as part of a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The couple traveled about a half-hour from their ...

Bronx fire victims’ funeral draws huge outpouring of grief

NEW YORK (AP) — The caskets were brought one by one — all 15 of them — on a frigid winter day, as hundreds of mourners filled a Bronx mosque Sunday to bid farewell to those who died exactly a week ago trying to escape their smoke-filled apartment building. Many hundreds more huddled ...

Biden, new Japanese prime minister to meet virtually Friday

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden will meet virtually with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan on Friday, as the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to surge around the world. The White House said Sunday the meeting will take place to highlight the strength of the ...

Jill Biden: I didn’t expect ‘healing role’ as first lady

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Her husband campaigned to help unite the country, but Jill Biden says "healing" a nation wounded by a deadly pandemic, natural and other disasters and deep political polarization is among her chief roles as first lady, too. Wrapping up a year in which she saw herself as a ...

Celebrated Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee dies at 102

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over three wars and later helped to bring attention to the Black pilots who had battled racism at home to fight for freedom abroad, died Sunday. He was 102. McGee died in his sleep at his home in ...

Texas rabbi: Security training paid off in hostage standoff

COLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) — U.S. and British authorities Monday continued an investigation into the weekend standoff at a Texas synagogue that ended with an armed British national dead and a rabbi crediting past security training for getting him and three members of his congregation out ...

Rising costs add to pandemic pain for small businesses

NEW YORK (AP) — In just two weeks, the cost of pecans for the pies at Peggy Jean's Pies in Columbia, Missouri, has surged nearly 40%, perplexing co-owner Rebecca Miller and adding to the cost of doing business. Miller will soon have to bump up the price of her Southern Pecan, Chocolate ...

Double dealing: Legal, illicit blur in California pot market

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On an isolated farm, greenhouses stand in regimental order, sheltered by a fringe of trees. Inside are hundreds of head-high cannabis plants in precise rows, each rising from a pot nourished by coils of irrigation tubing. Lights powerful enough to turn night into day blaze ...

‘Scream’ scares off ‘Spider-Man’ with $30.6M debut

NEW YORK (AP) — After a month at no. 1, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" has finally been overtaken at the box office. Paramount Pictures' "Scream" reboot debuted with $30.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. "Scream," a self-described "requel" that is ...

Snow, ice blasts through South with powerful winter storm

ATLANTA (AP) — A dangerous winter storm combining high winds and ice was sweeping through parts of the U.S. Southeast on Sunday, knocking out power, felling trees and fences and coating roads with a treacherous, frigid glaze. Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Georgia, ...

First woman to command USS Constitution takes over on Friday

BOSTON (AP) — History is being made aboard the U.S.S. Constitution this week. Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell is scheduled to become the first woman to lead the crew of the 224-year-old warship known as Old Ironsides during a change-of-command ceremony on Friday. She takes over from Cmdr. John ...

At many churches, pandemic hits collection plates, budgets

Biltmore United Methodist Church of Asheville, North Carolina, is for sale. Already financially strapped because of shrinking membership and a struggling preschool, the congregation was dealt a crushing blow by the coronavirus. Attendance plummeted, with many staying home or switching to other ...

COVID deaths and cases are rising again at US nursing homes

COVID-19 infections are soaring again at U.S. nursing homes because of the omicron wave, and deaths are climbing too, leading to new restrictions on family visits and a renewed push to get more residents and staff members vaccinated and boosted. Nursing homes were the lethal epicenter of the ...

NC groups offer help to pets suffering outside in the cold

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Gaston County pets in need of shelter against harsh wintertime weather can now get some help. Several Gaston County groups have come together under the umbrella of "No Cold Pets-Gaston" to provide free, hand-built wooden dog and cat houses to residents. The Gaston ...

Scientists see silver lining in fed’s efforts at Lake Powell

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced last week that it plans to adjust management protocols for the Colorado River in early 2022 to reduce monthly releases from Lake Powell in an effort to keep the reservoir from dropping farther below 2021's historic lows. As of ...

Second gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — As America's first second gentleman, Doug Emhoff has attended a U.S. naturalization ceremony in New York, dished up spaghetti and chocolate milk to kids at a YMCA near New Orleans and reminisced with second graders in Detroit about an early job at McDonald's. Emhoff visited ...

GOP race for Kansas AG focuses on fighting Biden, not crime

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The last time a Republican primary for Kansas attorney general was competitive, candidates argued over criminal sentencing laws and crowded prisons. That was 20 years ago. This year's competitive primary race is focusing on fighting Democratic President Joe Biden's agenda ...

Final valuation of Prince’s estate pegged at $156.4 million

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The six-year legal battle over pop superstar Prince's estate has ended, meaning the process of distributing the artist's wealth could begin next month. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Internal Revenue Service and the estate's administrator, Comerica Bank ...

Legal risks in sedition conspiracy case against Oath Keepers

The seditious conspiracy case against members and associates of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group marks the boldest attempt so far by the government to prosecute those who attacked the U.S. Capitol, but invoking the rarely used charge carries considerable risks. Still, legal experts who ...