Governor honors Vermont's winter Olympians

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Five Vermont athletes who competed at the Sochi Winter Olympics received standing ovations and thanks from the governor on Wednesday at the Statehouse.

NTSB head: Action needed now on oil train safety

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Obama administration needs to take steps immediately to protect the public from potentially catastrophic oil train accidents even if it means using emergency authority, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said Wednesday.

Senate approves 'Pure Michigan' trails legislation

|Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Michigan Senate has unanimously approved legislation to recognize top-notch trails as "Pure Michigan" trails and to create a mobile app for trail users.

Conservative group drops image of Obama from ad

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Parents whose children were killed in a Colorado theater shooting on Wednesday demanded a conservative group stop running ads featuring an image of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall visiting a hospital where other victims were recovering.

Study: Gene therapy may boost cochlear implants

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Australian researchers are trying a novel way to boost the power of cochlear implants: They used the technology to beam gene therapy into the ears of deaf animals and found the combination improved hearing.

Scientists watch enormous Antarctic iceberg drift

|Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Scientists are watching an iceberg bigger than the island of Guam as it slowly moves away from an Antarctic glacier.

Rail safety effort marred by squabbling

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Spurred by a series of fiery train crashes, a push by government and industry to make safer tank cars used for shipping crude oil and ethanol has bogged down in squabbling and finger-pointing over whether they're needed and if so, who should pay.

Judge dismisses case against Blackwater defendant

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed criminal charges against a former Blackwater security guard whose actions allegedly triggered the shootings of dozens of Iraqi citizens at a traffic circle in Baghdad nearly seven years ago.

AP WAS THERE: Probable cause of AIDS found

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: In 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of a rare pneumonia that had sickened five Los Angeles gay men. The AIDS epidemic had begun.

Mother of slain man blames Rio police

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The mother of a young man whose death sparked clashes in a Rio de Janeiro slum near a key Olympic venue blames police for her son's death, news reports said Wednesday.

How Piketty's research shaped wealth gap debate

|Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

French economist Thomas Piketty and his research partners have transformed the wealth gap debate by popularizing the concept of a financially elite 1 percent.

Union protests postal counters in Staples stores

|Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Postal workers plan protests in 27 states Thursday against the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with Staples employees.

Labor Dept. cuts levels of allowable coal dust

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Obama administration said Wednesday it is cutting the amount of coal dust allowed in coal mines in an effort to help reduce black lung disease.

Court won't overturn death sentence for Ky. man

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to overturn the death sentence of a man who confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in Kentucky.

High court nixes $3.4M award to child porn victim

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims.

Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The number of Americans buying new homes plummeted in March to the slowest pace in eight months, a sign that real estate's spring buying season is off to a weak start.

First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Obama administration is encouraging many nonviolent federal prisoners to apply for early release — and expecting thousands to take up the offer. It's an effort to deal with high costs and overcrowding in prisons, and also a matter of fairness, the government says.

Summit League tourneys boost Sioux Falls economy

|Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

The Sioux Falls economy received an $8.5 million boost from the recent Summit League men's and women's basketball tournaments.

Singer Chris Brown's DC trial delayed for months

| |Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Singer Chris Brown's trial on an assault charge was put on hold for months Wednesday after prosecutors declined to grant immunity to his bodyguard, who would be a key witness in the case.