U.S. News

  • Signs of healing in Texas town a year after deadly plant blast

    By Lisa Maria Garza WEST, Texas (Reuters) - Still healing from multiple broken bones after the force of the deadly explosion lifted him out of his boots, one volunteer firefighter is missing a few teeth and suffers nerve damage to his right shoulder. "Right now I'm just dealing with the mental…

  • Police say Utah mom gave birth at home before killing infants

    By Derek Jensen SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A Utah mother accused of slaying six of her own infant children over the course of a decade secretly gave birth to each of the babies without medical assistance at home and then immediately killed them, police said on Wednesday. Megan Huntsman, 39, was…

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  • Texas executes man convicted of 2001 triple murder

    By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Texas executed by lethal injection on Wednesday a man who was convicted of stabbing his girlfriend, her child and her mother to death after a cocaine binge in 2001. Jose Luis Villegas Jr., 39, was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. CDT (8.04 p.m. ET) after receiving a…

  • Detroit pension deal approved by one retirement system

    The board of Detroit's General Retirement System on Wednesday approved economic terms of a settlement with the city that include cuts to pension benefits, putting in place another key component of Detroit's effort to exit bankruptcy by October. The city also has reached a tentative pact with the…

  • One dead, three injured in blast at Tennessee ammunition plant

    By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - One person has died and three others were injured on Wednesday after an explosion at an ammunition plant in central Tennessee that touched off small brush fires nearby, authorities said. The explosion happened Wednesday afternoon at the Rio…

  • Portland, Oregon flushes water reservoir after man urinates in it

    By Teresa Carson PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Portland, Oregon is flushing 38 million gallons (143 million liters) of drinking water down the drain because a 19-year-old man urinated in an open reservoir early on Wednesday morning, city water officials said. Three teens were observed at the…

  • Texas executes man convicted in triple murder after drug binge

    (Reuters) - Texas executed by lethal injection on Wednesday a man who was convicted of stabbing his girlfriend, her child and her mother to death after a cocaine binge in 2001. Jose Luis Villegas Jr., 39, was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. CDT (8.04 p.m. ET) after receiving a lethal dose of drugs at…

  • Navy delays submarine commissioning, says more work needed

    By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Navy on Wednesday said it would delay the commissioning of the North Dakota, a new Virginia-class submarine that was due to enter active service on May 31, to carry out more design work and resolve quality problems with certain components. The…

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  • New Jersey mother charged with driving teens into Delaware River

    By Dave Warner (Reuters) - A New Jersey mother of three teenagers was charged on Wednesday with attempted murder and endangering the welfare of children after allegedly driving her minivan into the Delaware River with them inside, authorities said. Joann Smith, 49, is accused of driving the minivan…

  • New Mexico to eliminate conjugal visits for prisoners

    By Joseph J. Kolb ALBURQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - New Mexico will end conjugal visits between inmates and their spouses next month, officials said Wednesday, in a move that will leave the once-widespread practice in place in only three U.S. states. In addition to addressing concerns over…

  • Judge stays recognition of most Ohio out-of-state gay nuptials

    Ohio will not be required to recognize the legal marriage of gay couples statewide, pending appeal of a ruling that struck down a state ban, but it must recognize the unions of the couples who challenged the law, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. Judge Timothy Black on Monday struck down Ohio's…

  • Nebraska man could face execution after conviction in 4 killings

    By Katie Knapp Schubert OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - A Nebraska man was convicted on Wednesday of killing four people during a 10-day murder spree last summer within days of his release from prison and could face the death penalty in a state that has not carried out an execution since 1997. Nikko…

  • Philadelphia using 'robo-calls' as weapon in war on illegal signs

    By Daniel Kelley PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Philadelphia is taking on businesses that blanket its neighborhoods with illegal paper and plastic signs by using automated phone calls to disrupt the operations of people who post them along with contact numbers. "It's as plain as that," said…

  • Jury begins deliberating in murder trial of Iraqi-American man

    By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Jurors began deliberating on Wednesday in the trial of an Iraqi-American man charged with murdering his wife in a case first investigated as a hate crime, following closing arguments in which prosecutors urged the panel to find him guilty. A defense attorney…

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  • California city ex-manager gets 12 years in prison for corruption

    By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The former city administrator of Bell, California, who became a symbol of local government corruption when news surfaced of his annual salary of about $800,000, was sentenced on Wednesday to 12 years in prison, officials said. An apologetic Robert…

  • Rhode Island loses bid to have pension reform lawsuit tossed

    (Reuters) - A lawsuit by retired Rhode Island public employees over the state's sweeping 2011 pension system overhaul will continue after a judge on Wednesday rejected a move by state officials to have the case thrown out. Superior Court Associate Justice Sarah Taft-Carter found that the retirees'…

  • Alabama's Auburn University cancels classes over rampage threat

    (Reuters) - Alabama's Auburn University said it found no immediate safety threat after canceling classes on Wednesday because of a message posted in a campus restroom that reportedly warned of a "rampage of biblical proportion." The university suspended normal operations for the day in light of…

  • Family is key to understanding accused Boston bomber: attorney

    By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The accused Boston Marathon bomber's relationship with family, and particularly with his slain older brother who prosecutors contend helped plan the attack, is key to understanding his case, defense lawyers argued on Wednesday. Attorneys for 20-year-old Dzhokhar…

  • Georgia school evacuated after pranksters release pepper spray

    As many as 100 students at a suburban Atlanta high school were exposed to pepper spray on Wednesday after the material was released in a school hallway in an apparent prank, police and school officials said. Officials at Douglas County High School noticed something was causing teachers and…

  • Two more suspects sought in kidnapping of N.C. prosecutor's father

    By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Authorities searching for two additional suspects charged in the gang-related abduction of a North Carolina prosecutor's father offered a reward of up to $25,000 on Wednesday for tips leading to their arrest. The two men, Jakym Camel…

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