Bone-dry West Coast states curb July 4 fireworks displays

Commentary, Economy, Stocks, U.S. Infrastructure

People watch as fireworks explode over San Francisco Bay during the 75th anniversary celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge in San FranciscoBy Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) – Authorities battling dozens of large wildfires along the parched U.S. West Coast are clamping down on Independence Day fireworks displays over fears that wayward sparks could trigger fresh blazes. Communities in Washington state and Oregon have imposed restrictions or outright bans on fireworks, while Cupertino, California, joined Alaska's largest city of Anchorage in canceling signature fireworks shows because of drought concerns. "I suggest to show our patriotism, fly U.S. flags, not fireworks," said Erin Janssens, Fire Chief in Portland, Oregon.


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Former Sen. Jim Webb Announces Run For Democratic Nomination

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Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association presidential forum in Baltimore on Tuesday. Webb announced Thursday that he is running for president.

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Baltimore to put cameras in police vans, review riot gear

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Police are seen as demonstrators gather near Camden Yards to protest against the death in police custody of Freddie Gray in BaltimoreCameras that can record will be installed in Baltimore police vans like the one in which Freddie Gray suffered a fatal injury, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on Wednesday. "We're working through a process that will place cameras with recording capabilities in the backs of all our police vans, to ensure that we have a more complete record of what occurs there," Rawlings-Blake told reporters. The van in which Gray was transported had a non-recording camera that the driver could use to monitor the passengers, but it was not working at the time.


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Crowds count down to legalization of marijuana in Oregon, then light up

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Marijuana enthusiasts gather after midnight to celebrate the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Portland, OregonCrowds counted down the minutes to midnight then lit up joints as smoking marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday, part of a growing legalization movement spreading down the United States' west coast. Hundreds gathered on the Burnside Bridge in downtown Portland and smoked under the glow of a neon city sign, marking the moment that the law allowing recreational use, backed by voters in November, came into effect. The legislation opens the way for shops to sell marijuana by next year – though some lawmakers say they will still try to block retail outlets.


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Episcopalians to vote on allowing gay marriage in churches

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Episcopalians are set to vote Wednesday on allowing religious weddings for same-sex couples, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. In 2003, the denomination made the trailblazing move of electing the first openly gay Episcopal bishop.

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Chobani selected as Greek yogurt provider for school lunches

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Public schools across America will soon offer Greek yogurt as a meat substitute in school lunches beginning this fall. Chobani, a manufacturer of Greek yogurt, officials announced Monday it had been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to supply the yogurt as part of the federal school lunch program.

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Shot during capture, New York inmate in serious condition

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People cheer as a Malone police vehicle passes by during a rally in support of law enforcement following the capture of David Sweat, in MaloneSweat, 35, was being treated at Albany Medical Center following his capture on Sunday near the Canadian border. Fellow escapee Richard Matt was shot and killed on Friday. The convicted murderers escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, where they were discovered missing on June 6.


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New York prison break ends with shooting of second fugitive

Commentary, Economy, Stocks, U.S. Infrastructure

A law enforcement officer walks in front of an ambulance at the Alice Hyde Medical Center in MaloneDavid Sweat, one of two New York state inmates who escaped from prison three weeks ago, was shot by police near the Canadian border and rushed to a local hospital on Sunday, two days after his accomplice was killed, authorities said. Some 1,300 members of law enforcement took part in the search through the forests and bogs of northern New York. Sweat, 35, was shot twice and taken into custody in the town of Constable, 23 miles (37 km) north of Duane, where his accomplice was fatally shot on Friday, authorities said.


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