National

 

5.25.15:  Pressure cooker in suspicious DC vehicle destroyed

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman says a bomb squad safely destroyed a pressure cooker found in an unattended vehicle parked on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol and the vehicle’s owner was found and arrested.

Police Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider says Capitol Police officers on routine patrol spotted the parked, unoccupied vehicle on a street on the mall west of the Capitol around 5 p.m. Sunday.

Schneider says the bomb squad destroyed “items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker” around 7:45 p.m. after temporarily closing off the area on the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Schneider says the vehicle’s owner was found and identified as Israel Shimeles of the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. Shimeles was arrested and charged with “operating after revocation.”


5.25.15:  More rain today for areas damaged by storms

 

 

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) —More rain is forecast for today in an area of the U.S. where storms caused severe flooding and spawned tornadoes over the weekend.

A twister damaged a Houston apartment complex and caused flooding that forced at least 2,000 people to evacuate.

The storms also are blamed for three deaths — two in Oklahoma and one in Texas. Among the worst-affected communities are San Marcos, Texas and nearby Wimberley, where emergency officials say up to 400 homes were destroyed and three people are missing.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to visit the area today.

 

 


5.25.15:  Americans mark Memorial Day

 

 

UNDATED (AP) — Americans are marking Memorial Day today. President Barack Obama is hosting a breakfast this morning with organizations that support military family and families of the fallen. Then Obama will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, followed by remarks at Arlington National Cemetery.

In the Afghan capital Kabul, General John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, placed a wreath at a monument, remembering American military personnel killed in action over the last 14 years. Campbell said, “We also remember the more than 1,100 coalition fallen who have also lost their lives fighting for a common cause to build a more stable, secure Afghanistan, as we also protect our homelands.”

 

Motorcycles filled the streets of Washington D.C. Sunday.  Thousands gathered to take part in the Rolling Thunder “Ride for Freedom” which honors military veterans and members of the military missing in action.

 

President Obama has asked that we fly our flags at half-staff today in observance of Memorial Day.  They are to be displayed at half-staff until noon and at full-staff from moon to sunset.


5.22.15:  Finding California oil spill’s cause could take months

 

 

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — The operator of a broken oil pipeline that leaked crude into waters off the coast of California says it’ll take a while to determine the cause of the spill.

Officials at Plains All American Pipeline say crews need to excavate the pipeline, and then it can take weeks or months to determine what went wrong.

Tuesday’s spill involved an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude. About 21,000 gallons are believed to have made it to the sea.

Officials say as of Thursday, more than 9,000 gallons were cleaned up.

 


5.21.15:  Check you VIN number for airbag recall

 

This week Takata announced a major recall because of airbag problems.

They can inflate with too much force, exploding and sending out shrapnel.   There have been several deaths and injuries connected to these bags.

Many car companies have used these airbags in their vehicles.

 

To find out if your vehicle could be impacted you need to find your car’s VIN number and then go to safercar.gov.

The website says they are still inserting vehicles that are impacted so it could be a few days before it is completely updated.

 


5.20.15:  Egg prices jump as impact of bird flu begins pinching supply

 

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Egg prices have surged higher as the death of millions of hens from bird flu is beginning to tighten supplies.

The Midwest price of a dozen large eggs rose to $1.88. That’s 58 percent higher than they were a month ago when the bird flu first hit Iowa chicken farms.

Prices have been climbing at a rate of about 5 percent a day for the past week as supplies become tighter.

Rick Brown, an egg industry analyst with commodity market firm Urner Barry, says it’s because 10 percent of chickens that lay eggs for food are dead or dying from bird flu.

 

Eggs used principally as an ingredient in ice cream, mayonnaise and other products are up even more, about 162 percent to $1.65 a dozen since April 22.

 

 

 


5.20.15:  Wal-Mart announces expansion of veteran hiring

 

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says its plan to hire 100,000 military veterans has been so successful that it intends to hire even more.

The retail chain says it wants to hire 250,000 honorably discharged veterans by 2020. On Memorial Day two years ago, the company launched its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program with the intent to hire 100,000 by 2018. It has already hired 92,000.

The executive vice president for logistics at Wal-Mart, Chris Sultemeier said veterans already hold positions in retail, distribution and management, and that about 8,000 of the 92,000 already hired have been promoted.

If the company is successful in hiring the additional 150,000 veterans, the group would make up close to 20 percent of the retailer’s 1.3 million domestic workers.


5.20.15:  Takata air bag recall becomes biggest ever in US

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Japanese air bag maker Takata is doubling the number of air bags it’s declaring defective.

The chemical that inflates the air bags can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel flying, and they’re responsible for six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

Takata’s decision to add more than 18 million air bags to existing recalls comes following pressure from U.S. safety regulators.

Eleven automakers use Takata air bags, including Honda and Toyota.


5.19.15:  Spotlight on foster group homes as Senate holds hearing

 

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group that speaks up for struggling Michigan families hopes a Senate hearing in Washington will raise awareness about children placed in group homes and emergency shelters.

A Senate committee is taking testimony on Tuesday on how to reduce reliance on group homes for kids in foster care across the country. In spring 2014, nearly 900 Michigan children were living in a foster home that had more than three kids.

Nearly 200 kids were in an emergency or temporary facility. The numbers come from a court-appointed monitor who is tracking Michigan’s child welfare programs.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell of the Michigan League for Public Policy says the state needs to do more to reduce reliance on large group homes.

The state says it continues to try to recruit foster families.


5.19.15:  Death toll from defective GM ignition switches rises to 104

 

 

DETROIT (AP) — The death toll from faulty ignition switches in small cars made by General Motors has reached 104.

Victims’ families are being offered compensation of at least $1 million each by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM last year. In addition, GM has agreed to make offers to 191 people who were injured in crashes caused by the switches in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other older-model cars.

GM recalled 2.6 million of the cars last year, but acknowledged it knew about problems with the switches for more than a decade.

Feinberg’s compensation fund received 4,342 claims by the Jan. 31 deadline. Eleven percent remain under review. More than 80 percent were deemed deficient or ineligible.

GM paid $200 million to settle claims filed with Feinberg as of March 31.