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FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2015 file photo, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. listens to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington. It’s something most everyone on both sides of the aisle can agree on _ an update to the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law is much needed and long overdue. This week, the Senate and House take up rewrites of the 2002 law, with lawmakers seeking to finally resolve a key question Congress has struggled with for many years (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Lawmakers in Senate, House look to update 2000 Bush-era education policy No Child Left Behind

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WASHINGTON — Congress is making another run at rewriting the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law, even as the White House urges changes that the administration says would ensure that schools be held accountable when their students are seriously lagging their peers in other better-performing elementary and middle schools. The Senate opened debate Tuesday on an update to the …

Was Bill Cosby’s moralizing key to his undoing?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NEW YORK — For decades, Bill Cosby cast himself as America’s dad and then as America’s granddad, a moralist with tough talk for young people about acting responsibly. It was that image that proved to be his undoing. The judge who unsealed documents on Monday revealing Cosby’s 2005 admission that he obtained quaaludes …

Odds of split-colored lobster? 1 in 50 million

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A rare orange-brown split-colored lobster has turned up off the coast of Maine. The Press Herald reports that the unusual lobster arrived last week at Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-Op in Scarborough. According to research by the Lobster Institute, the chance of finding a split-colored lobster is one in 50 million. …

With state in casino game, what’s next?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

BOSTON — The casino gambling industry is off and running with the recent opening of the Plainridge Park Casino in southeastern Massachusetts. Gambling revenues from the Plainville slots parlor are flowing daily into the state coffers, though the Massachusetts Gaming Commission cautions it’s too early to say whether …

1 killed, others hurt in Pittsfield shooting

Sunday, July 5, 2015

PITTSFIELD (AP) — Police say one person has died and two are critically injured after five people were shot in an argument in Pittsfield on Saturday night. Pittsfield Police Sgt. Matthew Hill tells the Berkshire Eagle a witness said he heard an argument followed by a scuffle, then …

Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies instantly

Sunday, July 5, 2015

CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A 22-year-old man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, killing him instantly, authorities said Sunday. Devon Staples and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks Saturday night in …

2 people dead, 3 missing after boat capsizes in Ohio River

Sunday, July 5, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two people were killed and three remained missing after the pontoon boat they were riding in hit a barge and capsized in the Ohio River, Kentucky authorities said Sunday. Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick said …

Church fires not usually arson; weather found as cause in SC

Thursday, July 2, 2015

GREELEYVILLE, S.C. — As social media buzzed about church fires in the South, investigators announced Thursday that weather caused a destructive blaze at a predominantly black church in South Carolina. The State Law Enforcement Division said in a …

Greeks unsure what they’re voting for

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ATHENS, Greece — Costas Christoforidis hasn’t decided how to vote in Sunday’s referendum on a bailout deal for Greece’s troubled economy. The problem is, the 37-year-old farmer isn’t sure what he’s voting for. “If it’s saying ‘No’ to …

Egyptian warplanes hit back at militants

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CAIRO — Egyptian warplanes launched new airstrikes and troops went house-to-house Thursday in the troubled Sinai Peninsula, a day after Islamic State-linked militants set off the area’s bloodiest fighting in decades in an unprecedented, coordinated attack. The combat, …

Sanders raises $15M to Clinton’s $45M

Thursday, July 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign said Thursday the Vermont Democrat has raised $15 million since joining the race in late April, a strong total for his challenge against front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. About 250,000 donors have …

US report warns of polar bears’ peril

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don’t reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said. “The single most important step for polar bear conservation is …

Hazardous rail spill forces evacuations in Tenn.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — A CSX train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire in the middle of the night in eastern Tennessee, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and sending dozens to the hospital with respiratory …