Regional
1:52 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Lawsuits May Seal Important Facts About Fertilizer Plant Disaster

Valuable health and safety information about the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West could be hidden from the public forever because a judge has approved confidentiality agreements for more than a dozen lawsuits relating to the case.

The agreements OK'd by state District Judge Jim Meyer were requested by attorneys involved in at least 15 separate lawsuits. The result is that lawyers can label as confidential virtually all information uncovered as they prepare for trial.

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Regional
1:51 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Texas Couple Gives Tribute Flag To Marine's Mother

A couple who discovered a tribute flag for a fallen Marine at a Texas flea market has presented it to his mother, more than nine years after he was killed in Iraq.

Lanie and Walter Brown gave the flag Saturday to Patsy Maciel before a small crowd gathered at the grave of Lance Cpl. Fred Maciel in the northern Houston suburb of Humble.

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Regional
1:50 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Houston Teacher Starting Pay Of About $50,000 Drawing Out Of State Educators

  North Carolina teachers are being offered substantially higher salaries to move and teach in Texas.

The Houston Independent School District held a job recruitment fair in Charlotte on Friday, following similar events in Greensboro and Raleigh.

Teachers say the Houston offer, with a starting salary of more than $49,000, is enticing, especially for young teachers.

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Regional
1:48 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Martinez Not Ready To Support College Residence Hall Project

Credit Office of the Governor

  Northern New Mexico College's plan to construction its first on-campus dorms has hit a wall.  Gov. Susana Martinez and the state Board of Finance are declining to act on the college's proposal for financing the buildings because of the school's finances.

The school had requested approval for revenue bonds that would have generated as much as $13 million for the project.

Martinez said at a board meeting earlier this month that officials need more confidence in the school's stability before signing off on the project.

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Regional
1:47 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Detox Service Could End At Farmington Facility

  A detox service at a Farmington recovery facility that serves the Four Corners region as well as the Navajo Nation could come to an end.

The Four Winds Recovery Center may have to cease offering a protective custody detox service to make up for a 54 percent drop in county funding.

Center director Jolene Schneider said Thursday that it's only a matter of time before the center will have to stop providing the detox program.

San Juan County commissioners last month approved cuts to its health care assistance program.

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Regional
1:45 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Lawyers And Others Try To Aid Migrant Children

  Lawyers, churches and at least one non-profit group in Colorado are hoping to help immigrant children who have flooded over the border with Mexico.

Immigration attorneys plan to travel to Artesia, New Mexico to offer legal aid to the minors being held there. A coalition of evangelical churches called the Evangelical Immigration Table is taking members on trips to the border.

Denver officials have said they're considering applying for a federal grant to provide housing and other services to the children, who are mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

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Law
1:08 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

With Judges Overriding Death Penalty Cases, Alabama Is An Outlier

Courtney Lockhart is appealing a death penalty sentence that a judge gave him in 2011, which overrode the jury's recommendation of life in prison.
Dave Martin AP

When Courtney Lockhart was tried for murder in Alabama, the jury unanimously recommended a life sentence, but the judge overrode that recommendation and sentenced Lockhart to death instead. Now the convicted murderer is asking the state Supreme Court to examine Alabama's unique process of judicial override.

Alabama is an outlier. It's the only state in which judges routinely override jury decisions not to impose the death penalty.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Vincenzo Nibali First Italian In 15 Years To Win Tour De France

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, passes the Arc de Triomphe during the twenty-first and last stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 85.4 miles with start in Evry and finish in Paris, France.
Christophe Ena AP

Vincenzo Nibali has officially won this year's Tour de France, becoming the first Italian cyclist to do so since 1998 with a ride past fans lining Paris' Champs-Elysees.

As we reported on Saturday, Nibali, riding for Astana Pro Team, had worn the yellow jersey through most of the three-week competition that had been marked by bad weather and the relatively quick elimination of some of the favorites.

On an overcast Sunday in the French capital, Nibali rode past the Arc de Triomphe on his way to the winner's podium.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Sun July 27, 2014

U.S.: Satellite Images Show Russian Rockets Hitting Ukraine

Image released by the U.S. State Department showing what it says is evidence of Russia firing artillery into eastern Ukraine.
U.S. State Department

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 2:48 pm

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET.

The U.S. State Department has released satellite images it says back up the assertion by Washington and Kiev that Russian forces are firing artillery into eastern Ukraine in support of separatists.

In a four-page document titled Evidence of Russian Shelling into Ukraine, released Sunday, blast marks from rocket launches in Russia and craters in Ukraine can be seen, the State Department says.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Judges Overturns D.C. Ban On Handguns In Public

A federal judge has overturned a District of Columbia ban on carrying handguns in public, concluding that the Second Amendment protects a person's right to firearms outside the home.

In a 19-page ruling that was written on Thursday, but only released late Saturday, Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ordered the city to allow residents to carry handguns — a milestone in a case that has been dragging on for five years.

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