12.2.16:  Trump to nominate Gen. Mattis to lead Pentagon




WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump says he will nominate retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to lead the Defense Department.

Trump made the announcement during a post-election victory rally Thursday in Cincinnati.

Mattis retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump referred to Mattis by his nickname “Mad Dog” and described him as “A true General’s General!”


12.2.16:  Signs point to recovery after wildfires




GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Residents and business owners in Gatlinsburg, Tennessee get their first chance today to see whether they have anything left but their lives after a wildfire that killed 11 people and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses. Officials there hope to open the city’s main roads to the public by Wednesday.

All around the city, communities in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains are welcoming back residents and visitors.

In Pigeon Forge, the Comedy House rented an electronic billboard message that said it was open for laughs, and a flyer at a hotel urged guests to check out the scenic Cades Cove loop.

Dollywood, the amusement park named after country music legend and native Dolly Parton, will reopen Friday afternoon after it was spared any damage.


12.2.16:  Michigan board to hear Trump’s challenge to recount effort




LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections board will consider President-elect Donald Trump’s request to block a hand recount of all 4.8 million ballots cast in the state he won by 10,700 votes over Hillary Clinton.

Arguments will be heard Friday.

A recount is already underway in Wisconsin, where the first reporting of numbers is expected Friday. In Pennsylvania, a hearing is scheduled for Monday on Stein’s push to secure a court-ordered statewide recount.

Recounts aren’t expected to flip nearly enough votes to change the outcome in any of the three states.

Lawyers for the Trump campaign argue that Green Party candidate Jill Stein can’t seek the recount in Michigan because she wasn’t “aggrieved” to the point where potential miscounting of votes could have cost her the election. She garnered 1 percent of Michigan’s vote.


12.1.16:  Gunman accused of killing officer is dead



SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities in Tacoma, Washington, say the suspect in the shooting death of a police officer is dead.

Authorities this morning say a SWAT team shot and killed the gunman, who had been holed up in a house with two children. The children are safe.

A Tacoma police officer was shot and killed yesterday afternoon after he went to the home on a domestic violence call.


12.1.16:  Ohio pulls license of 1 of state’s last few abortion clinics




COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has revoked the operating license of one of the state’s few remaining abortion clinics on grounds it failed to obtain a required transfer agreement with a nearby hospital for emergencies.

Women’s Medical Center of Dayton has 15 days to appeal the order, signed Wednesday by Health Director Rick Hodges.

Hodges said the license is being revoked because the facility failed to name an adequate number of physicians to provide backup care. His order falls in line with recommendations of an independent hearing officer.

Ohio requires ambulatory surgical facilities to have emergency backup agreements with nearby hospitals or to obtain a variance from that requirement.

Public hospitals may not participate in transfer agreements and Dayton-area obstetricians have been intimidated by abortion opponents as the clinic sought additional backup doctors.


11.30.16:  US auto safety agency wants you to complain more




DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government wants more people to complain about auto safety problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing a rule requiring automakers put labels on sun visors of all new vehicles with instructions on how to file safety complaints.

The labels would be glued to passenger visors and tell people that complaints could bring an investigation or a possible recall.

The agency uses consumer complaints to spot safety problems. In 2015, it didn’t have enough people to thoroughly analyze the 75,000 complaints that came in, and it hasn’t received additional funding since.

The labels were required by Congress in 2012.

Complaints can be filed by telephone, internet or mail.

The agency will take comments on the proposal until Jan. 27. It could be years before labels are required.


11.30.16:  Wildfires spread in Deep South




GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Gatlinburg, Tennessee, will have to pick up whatever pieces are left of their town after strong winds pushed through wildfires Monday night.

Three people were killed and at least 150 buildings were destroyed.

Officials surveying early damage said the Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa, with more than 100 buildings, is likely entirely gone.

The theme park Dollywood, in nearby Pigeon Forge, was spared any significant damage.


11.30.16:  Tornado kills 3 in northern Alabama




ROSALIE, Ala. (AP) — Parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi may have been hit with tornadoes.

The National Weather Service says twisters were reported throughout the South yesterday and overnight. Authorities say a suspected tornado killed three people in Alabama.

They were in a mobile home in the community of Rosalie in Jackson County. Up to 20 structures in the county have been destroyed.


11.30.16:  Mnuchin, Ross confirm nominations




NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is tapping conservatives with deep ties to Washington and Wall Street to fill out key Cabinet roles.

Trump is moving forward with nominations, including former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as secretary of the Treasury.

Trump also has chosen billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as his commerce secretary.

Both men have confirmed that they’ve been nominated.


11.30.16:  Trump says he’s leaving his business



WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says he’s leaving his “great business” so he can focus on being the nation’s 45th president.

Trump tweeted early Wednesday that legal documents are being crafted to “take me completely out of business operations,” adding, “the presidency is a far more important task!”

Trump had been under criticism for exposing himself to potential conflicts if he kept a role in his global business while being president.

He says he’ll hold a news conference with his children on the subject on Dec. 15.