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Major snowstorm churns through Midwest toward New England

A worker pushes a snow plough to clear a path during blizzard conditions in ChicagoBy Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - A major winter storm swept into the northern Plains on Sunday, threatening to bury Chicago under more than a foot of snow before tracking toward New England, a region still reeling from a powerful blizzard that struck only days earlier. The fresh snowfall and strong winds could complicate the plans of millions of Americans in the Midwest planning to travel to Super Bowl parties on Sunday. In Chicago's two major airports, about 1,400 flights were scratched. We are right now ramping up into blizzard conditions, said David Beachler, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chicago.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:22:49 -0500
Workers strike for new pact at nine U.S. oil, chemical plants

Workers from the USW union walk a picket line outside the Shell Oil Deer Park Refinery in Deer Park, TexasBy Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - Union workers took to picket lines on Sunday after strikes were called at nine U.S. refineries and chemical plants in a bid to pressure oil companies to agree to a new national contract covering workers at 63 plants. The discord comes as plunging crude prices force oil companies to slash spending. The United Steelworkers union (USW) said Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the lead industry negotiator, halted talks after the union rejected a fifth proposal from the company.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:30:30 -0500
California suffers dry January, prolonging devastating drought

Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the California Department of Water Resources, measures the snowpack in Phillips, CaliforniaBy Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California has experienced one of the driest Januarys on record, and the lack of rain during a time of year when the weather is usually wet indicates the state is likely headed for a fourth straight year of drought, officials said. A prolonged drought could portend further economic and environmental setbacks for the nation's most populous state, which has already lost both crops and jobs to the dry weather. The state's driest January on record was in 1984, when the 30-day average precipitation in the state reached 0.33 of an inch (0.84 cm), under one method used to gauge rainfall statewide, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Mathews. The low rainfall combined with warmer-than-average temperatures have resulted in a meager snow pack, the California Department of Water Resources said in a statement.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:14:26 -0500
San Francisco experiences driest January on record

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) For the first time in recorded weather history, San Francisco received no measurable rain in January.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:49:25 -0500
Northern California chief's new approach revitalizes force

In this Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015 photo, Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus poses for a photo, in Richmond, Calif. Last month the openly gay, white police chief of this tough, minority-dominated Northern California city held up a sign reading #blacklivesmatter during a demonstration protesting the deaths of two unarmed black suspects at the hands of Missouri and New York police. The photo of Magnus holding the sign went viral, sparking criticism from the local police officers union and debate over whether his participation was appropriate. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) In December, the openly gay, white police chief of this tough, minority-dominated Northern California city held up a sign reading "#blacklivesmatter" during a protest over the deaths of two unarmed black suspects at the hands of Missouri and New York police.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:44:57 -0500
Some highlights of proposals in Obama's new spending plan

FILE - In a Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obamas budget will propose an ambitious six-year, $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge and transit upgrades, half of it financed with a one-time mandatory tax on profits that U.S. companies have amassed overseas, White House officials said. Obama will unveil a $4 trillion budget on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)Highlights of proposals in the $4 trillion budget for 2016 that President Barack Obama sends to Congress on Monday:

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:41:13 -0500
Storm blankets Midwest in snow, creeps toward Northeast

Lisa Snow shovels the sidewalk outside of her north side home in Chicago Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015.A heavy snowfall left Chicago covered for the first large storm of the year on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chicago Tribune, Nancy Stone) MANDATORY CREDIT; CHICAGO SUN-TIMES OUT; DAILY HERALD OUT; NORTHWEST HERALD OUT; JOLIET HERALD OUT; THE TIMES OF NORTHWEST INDIANA OUT; NEW YORK TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; DAILY CHRONICLE OUTMERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:37:14 -0500
3-Year-Old Wounds Father, Woman With Single Gunshot

A 3-year-old boy got hold of a gun in an Albuquerque, New Mexico motel room, and fired a single bullet, striking both his father and a pregnant woman, police said today.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:34:46 -0500
Obama proposing $478 billion public works program in budget

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 16, 2012 file photo, newly constructed roadways are being built in Fairfax County, Va. President Barack Obamas budget will propose an ambitious six-year, $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge and transit upgrades, half of it financed with a one-time mandatory tax on profits that U.S. companies have amassed overseas, White House officials said. Obama will unveil a $4 trillion budget on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)WASHINGTON (AP) The $4 trillion budget that President Barack Obama sends Congress on Monday proposes higher taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations, and an ambitious $478 billion public works program for highway, bridge and transit upgrades.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:33:10 -0500
Boyfriend arrested in rape, brutal attack of California teen

Boyfriend arrested in rape, brutal attack of California teenA man in the Central Valley has been arrested for allegedly beating and raping his 16-year-old girlfriend over the course of five days.

Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:27:56 -0500
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