CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) - The upwardly mobile price of a gallon of gas is a record in more ways than one. Analyst Trilby Lundberg says that for the first time, the price at the pump beat the
highest inflation-adjusted mark set in 1981. Self-serve regular is now three-18 a gallon, up eleven cents in two weeks.
CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Senate debate is expected to begin today on compromise immigration overhaul legislation. The bill attempts to improve border security and give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Conservative critics say it's amnesty. Liberal opponents say it's unfair to families.
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - An overnight visit to President Bush's ranch by NATO's top diplomat ends today with meetings to talk about the violence in Afghanistan and other matters. Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer's stay is also meant to convey ongoing U-S support for the alliance.
ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is in Minnesota for a checkup at the
Mayo Clinic. The 73-year-old Iraqi leader arrived last night. A senior Kurdish politician says Talabani has had the appointment for weeks. Talabani jokes that he's there to relax and lose weight.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey officials have declared a brush fire that burned more than 17-thousand acres under control. No one was killed, but five homes were destroyed. The fire forced about six-thousand people from their homes. It may have been started by a flare dropped by a plane on a military range.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Trial begins today for a Philadelphia man accused drugging women he met through an online dating service, then having sex with them while they were knocked out.
A lawyer for Jeffrey Marsalis says the women are just angry because he'd lied about his accomplishments -- claiming to be a doctor, an astronaut or a spy. In reality, he was a nursing
student. But prosecutors hope to build a circumstantial case against Marsalis. At his preliminary hearing in November, the women told strikingly similar stories. They says they met the smooth-talking Marsalis and then felt unusually intoxicated after returning from
the bathroom or letting him buy a round from the bar. They said they woke up hours later, back at his apartment, groggy and sometimes undressed.
CLEARFIELD, Pa. (AP) - State and federal authorities are still trying to determine why a bus from Chicago to New York crashed in central Pennsylvania. Two people died and 32 others were injured in yesterday's predawn crash on Interstate 80 near Clearfield. That's about 90
miles northeast of Pittsburgh. An official with the bus company, O-K Travel Bus in New York,
says it mainly serves the Chinese community. Investigators initially had difficulty piecing together what happened because most of the passengers don't speak English.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A World War II veteran from suburban Pittsburgh was awarded the Silver Star, the Army's third-highest award for combat valor, for actions in Germany six decades ago. Wayne Alderson, of Pleasant Hills, was awarded the medal yesterday in a ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum and Memorial. Alderson was an 18-year-old private when he crossed Germany's Siegfried Line, a 940-mile series of trenches, pill boxes and tank dugouts securing the German border, in March 1945. He was involved in close combat for three days, single-handedly defeating a German counterattack, and helping secure the breakthrough of the Siegfried Line despite being injured and sustaining serious head wounds from an enemy grenade. Alderson says he did not seek out the medal, but said it was
wonderful to get. Part of the reason he did not get the medal earlier was that his recommendation letters were destroyed.
HARVEYS LAKE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a driver being pursued by Tunkhannock police yesterday morning hit a state trooper's car head-on, causing both vehicles to burst into flames.
The car's driver and passenger were killed, but police say the trooper was pulled from his burning vehicle by another officer. He was taken to Community Medical Center in Scranton.
The crash happened around 7 a-m on Route 29 in Lake Township, Luzerne County. It started in neighboring Wyoming County, where police were attending to a separate accident. Police say a car did not stop for slowed traffic, and instead took off down Route 29. Tunkhannock police gave chase, and a trooper from Luzerne County responded from the opposite direction. That's when the head-on collision happened. The names of the victims have not yet been released.
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - Ain't no party like a Scranton party. That line from N-B-C's sitcom "The Office" pretty much summed up the weekend festivities for Brian Baumgartner and Angela Kinsey, who star in the show set in Scranton. The actors, who play Dunder Mifflin Paper Company accountants Kevin and Angela, arrived in Scranton on Friday. They toured some
of the city's watering holes, some of which have been mentioned on the show. On Saturday, they greeted fans at a breakfast, toured the Penn Paper and Supply Company, and attended an autograph session and rooftop party. Fans of "The Office" can now plan to attend a convention in Scranton this fall.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - It's one of the hottest niches in the legal world today -- the lawyer-scientist who understands technology and can explain it to a jury. The demand for patent lawyers is being driven by an explosion in patent applications in recent years. There's also a growing need for lawyers to protect old patents or challenge new ones. The U-S Patent Office estimates that 450-thousand patent applications will be filed this year, up from about 350-thousand five years ago. Law professors say they're seeing more students with strong
science backgrounds make the leap to law, where recruiters are snapping them up.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia newspaper is reporting that a local police department resold hundreds of confiscated and surrendered firearms to gun shops, including one dealer now in prison for selling weapons to felons. According to yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer, state
and federal authorities are now looking into the gun resales by the Upper Darby Police Department. Though it's legal for police departments in Pennsylvania to resell weapons, several law enforcement agencies in the Philadelphia region say it is a bad idea. Upper Darby reportedly stopped the resales in 2005. The township now melts down guns that were used in crimes.
TYRONE, Pa. (AP) - Police in Blair County say two men stole nearly 75-thousand dollars worth of pills from a pharmacy. Tyrone police charged William Hampton Junior, of Tyrone, and
Jerry McCahan, of Bellwood, in the theft. Police say the two broke into Community Pharmacy early Friday morning and took thousands of OxyContin, Oxycodene and other pills. Police identified Hampton from a surveillance video. They learned of McCahan's alleged involvement after searching Hampton's home. Police found Hampton in a hospital, where they say he was being treated for a drug overdose. Police say McCahan gave them about 500 pills, a bandanna and a ski mask, and they found drug paraphernalia in his car. Police were searching for several thousand missing pills. The pair were being held in the Blair County jail. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The attorney for a Pittsburgh woman accused of putting the remains of her miscarried fetus in the freezer says she was scared and in shock after the stillbirth.
Lawrence Fisher, the attorney for 22-year-old Christine Hutchinson, says the single count of abuse of corpse should be dropped. Hutchinson was charged Thursday after authorities learned she had the body in a freezer. Fisher says Hutchinson didn't abuse the corpse, but put it in
the freezer to preserve it while she sought guidance on what to do. He says her reaction to her postpartum depression is unfortunate, not criminal.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is defending a Pennsylvania congressman whom Republicans want to reprimand for threatening a G-O-P lawmaker's spending projects.
Pelosi says she has "no idea what actually happened" during a noisy exchange in the House chamber last week between Representatives John Murtha of Pennsylvania and Mike Rogers of
Michigan. But she says Murtha has "an excellent reputation in the Congress on both sides of the aisle." Murtha is a 35-year House veteran who leads the House Appropriations subcommittee on military spending. The Democrat is known for a fondness for earmarks -- carefully targeted spending items placed in appropriations bills to benefit a specific lawmaker or favored constituent group. Rogers says Murtha told him angrily that he should never seek earmarks of his own because, quote, "you're not going to get any, now or forever." Rogers says he felt that was designed to intimidate him. Murtha's office says his committee gives careful consideration
to requests from members of both parties.