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  • Duke Energy reverses, will disclose coal ash disaster maps

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The country’s largest electric company is publishing federally mandated maps that it previously refused to publish, showing what could happen to neighboring properties if a coal-ash pit burst.

    Duke Energy Corp. said Friday it will now post online the maps and emergency responder contact information. The Charlotte-based electric utility said it’s changing course after reviewing how other utilities complied with a two-year-old U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule requiring the maps showing what could be covered by coal-ash in a disaster.

    Two environmental advocacy groups had said Wednesday they planned a lawsuit to force disclosure of the information withheld for more than a dozen Duke Energy sites in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina. The groups said Duke Energy was the country’s only electric utility not providing the dam safety information. Copyright © The Associated Press. All […]
  • Hurricane pushes long-suffering Puerto Rico to the edge

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A tired and discouraged Rosa Maria Almonte cleaned steel pots with bleach inside her darkened cafe as her daughter cooked up rice, beans and pork chops on a gas stove to feed people desperate for a hot meal in their storm-ravaged city.

    She has run El Buen Cafe for 21 years and seen some tough times, but the damage from Hurricane Maria, with no running water, no electricity and the prospect of a grinding recovery that could take weeks or months, had her wondering whether there was any point in staying.

    “I don’t know if I can keep going,” the 73-year-old cafe owner said Friday after mopping up water that seeped into her shop, the awning sitting in a heap on her counter. “What am I doing here?” It’s a lament echoing across Puerto Rico at the moment. Even before the storm, Puerto Rico was in […]
  • Alabama ‘derserves’ Moore? Rival site grabs campaign ad typo

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Because of a misspelling, a bus-sized ad supporting Roy Moore in Alabama’s GOP Senate primary directed people to a Democratic candidate’s campaign website.

    The ad plastered on the side of a pro-Moore tour bus paid for by a group called the Great American Alliance promotes a website based on the phrase, “Alabama deserves Moore.”

    But the word “deserves” is misspelled “derserves.”

    Someone who spotted the typo quickly registered the mistaken domain name. A site using the misspelling now directs people to the campaign website of Democratic candidate Doug Jones. A homemade sticker was placed over the error on the bus. It covered up the mistake by the time former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stood in […]
  • US rig count drops by 1 this week to 935

    HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by one this week to 935.

    That’s still up from the 511 rigs that were active a year ago.

    Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that 744 rigs sought oil and 190 explored for natural gas this week. One was listed as miscellaneous.

    Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained three rigs.

    Alaska, New Mexico, and Texas each gained one rig. North Dakota and Oklahoma lost three rigs each, and Colorado lost two rigs.

    California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • GM to furlough 3rd shift at Tennessee plant as demand slows

    SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) — General Motors is laying off the third shift at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, SUV factory as it deals with a slowing U.S. auto market.

    About 1,000 people work on the overnight shift, but not all will lose their jobs when it ends Nov. 27. Company spokesman Tom Wickham said GM is still determining how many permanent and temporary workers will be furloughed. The layoffs will be indefinite.

    GM also confirmed Friday that it’s investing $294 million in the factory to build a new Cadillac SUV. It likely will be a compact to give GM’s luxury brand an entry in the hottest part of the U.S. market.

    The Spring Hill plant makes the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia midsize SUVs, both of which have had strong sales this year. XT5 sales more than doubled compared with the first eight months of 2016, while Acadia sales are up 45 percent. But inventories of the SUVs have grown. GMC has enough Acadias to supply […]
  • First lady does some gardening in White House kitchen garden

    WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Melania Trump, gardener.

    The former model and Manhattanite traded her stilettos for sneakers Friday to plant, harvest and wash vegetables in the White House kitchen garden with help from local children.

    “I’m a big believer in healthy eating because it reflects on your mind and your body. I encourage you to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit so you grow up healthy,” she told about a dozen members of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. “It is very important.”

    The red plaid shirt, jeans and sneaker-wearing first lady was venturing out into the South Lawn garden made famous by her predecessor, Michelle Obama, as part of her “Let’s Move!” campaign against childhood obesity. Mrs. Trump had said she intends to keep the garden going. Bursting with colorful vegetables and herbs, it’s tended by the […]
  • Delta: Website tricks people who put their pets on jets

    ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines is suing over a website that it says tricks people into thinking they’re dealing with the airline when arranging for their pets to fly on jets.

    Atlanta-based Delta says in a federal lawsuit that the website — DeltaPetTransit.com — is designed to look like a Delta site and uses the airline’s logos and pictures of its planes.

    The site is not affiliated with the airline and has no right to use its trademarks, Delta says in the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Georgia.

    The airline says the website solicits pet-shipment payments while posing as Delta, but offers no services. Delta says it hasn’t determined who operates the site. A message from The Associated Press to the email address on the site got no response. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, […]
  • Michigan lawsuit tossed in ‘halal pepperoni’ case

    DETROIT (AP) — A judge dismissed a lawsuit against Little Caesars Pizza that alleged that pork was sold as “halal pepperoni” at a restaurant in a Detroit suburb that has a large Muslim population.

    Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Susan Hubbard on Thursday threw out the lawsuit filed by Dearborn resident Mohamad Bazzi against Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Free Press reported . But the judge allowed a second lawsuit against the pizza chain over the pepperoni to move forward.

    Bazzi filed his lawsuit in May, saying he ordered halal pizza from a Little Caesars in Dearborn twice. Halal food is prepared according to Islamic guidelines. He said the boxes were labeled “halal,” but that the pizzas were topped with regular pork pepperoni. Pork is prohibited in Islam. Recent calls from customers revealed that the […]
  • Recalls this week: infant bib and bootie sets, lawn tractors

    A line of infant bib and bootie sets are being recalled because a piece poses a choking hazard. Other recalled consumer products this week include lawn tractors with potentially faulty transmissions.

    Here’s a more detailed look:

    INFANT BIB AND BOOTIE SETS

    DETAILS: Story Time bib and bootie sets for infants, ages 3 through 6 months. The multi-colored pastel sets were sold in six different child themes and have serial numbers ranging from 5004700491 to 5004700496. The serial number can be found on the side of the bib. The sets were sold under the brand name Nat & Jules. Rattle attachments sewn into the booties coordinate with the theme. They were sold at Christus Health Retail Systems, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, More Than Words, The Mole Hole of Peddlers Village & Eash Sales from June 2017 through August 2017.

    WHY: Rattles sewn into the booties can detach, posing a choking hazard. INCIDENTS: None reported. HOW MANY: About 1,500. FOR MORE: Call DEMDACO at 866-336-3226 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit www.demdaco.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information. LAWN TRACTORS DETAILS: John Deere model D105 lawn tractors […]
  • NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

    A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:

    NOT REAL: Extremely Racist Black ESPN Reporter Says ALL White People Are NAZIS

    THE FACTS: ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill never labeled all white people as Nazis, despite this viral headline from conservative site America’s Freedom Fighters. Hill did call President Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter, prompting Trump to call for an apology from the network. ESPN has repeatedly said Hill’s comments don’t reflect the network’s view. Hill has apologized for painting ESPN in an “unfair light,” but has stood by her statement about Trump.

    ___ NOT REAL: Jane Fonda: “I Swear That American Flag Is My House Carpet, I Hate Everything About This Country” THE FACTS: The actress’ appearance at the Emmys Sunday night made news, but it wasn’t because of this quote falsely attributed to her by several sites. Another viral story claims fellow Oscar winner Sally Field […]
  • First airline flights land in Puerto Rico since Maria hit

    The first U.S. airline flights to hurricane-battered Puerto Rico have arrived, and more flights are expected over the weekend.

    Two American Airlines planes from Miami arrived at San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport on Friday morning.

    Two JetBlue Airways planes with relief supplies — one of them also carrying New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — were en route to the island, a JetBlue spokesman says.

    Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines plan limited service to San Juan on Saturday. United says it is still assessing the situation. All power to the island was knocked out by Hurricane Maria. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Investigators reviewing HHS chief’s private charter flights

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal investigators say they’re reviewing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s recent use of costly charter flights for official business to see if it complied with government regulations.

    The inspector general’s office for the department confirmed the review on Friday.

    A spokeswoman says the agency began looking into the matter immediately after reports that Price took five trips on private charters when other, cheaper travel options were available. Lawmakers also asked the inspector general to investigate the travel at taxpayers’ expense.

    Price’s office said earlier this week he tries to fly commercial whenever possible but that it isn’t always feasible. Price is the former House Budget Committee chairman. Government regulations generally require officials to minimize travel costs. Politico first reported Price’s use of charters. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not […]
  • Hannity boycott call fizzling, at least publicly

    NEW YORK (AP) — More than a month after a liberal advocacy group publicly called on advertisers to boycott Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News Channel, luxury carmaker Cadillac has been the only new company to publicly back away from the program.

    While Hannity has appeared largely impervious to the efforts against him, opponents say they’re not giving up.

    Meanwhile, Hannity is ascendant at Fox. His show, which averaged nearly 2.7 million viewers in August, was the second most-popular program in cable news behind MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, according to the Nielsen company. Starting Monday, Hannity moves back to the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot he previously occupied, taking Maddow on directly.

    Fox wouldn’t discuss his advertising. Cadillac pulled its commercials after becoming aware of commentary on Hannity’s program following violence at a rally held by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. “In the strongest possible terms, we at Cadillac condemn any form of racism or discrimination,” company spokesman Andrew Lipman said. “We have a zero tolerance policy […]
  • Feds appear to be probing possible nuclear project fraud

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Federal authorities could be looking into a possible fraud case related to companies’ abandonment of a multibillion-dollar nuclear power construction project in South Carolina.

    That’s according to a former federal prosecutor who reviewed a subpoena issued to one of the co-owners of the scuttled V.C. Summer project.

    Attorney Jim Griffin told The Associated Press on Friday that the subpoena issued this month to Santee Cooper by the South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office shows federal prosecutors want all information used by an outside engineering firm to compile a 2016 report.

    But Griffin says federal authorities likely wouldn’t be digging as deeply as they are without also acting on information from a tipster. Santee Cooper and SCANA both said Thursday they were complying with subpoenas. The companies halted the project July 31. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, […]
  • Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock your fridge

    NEW YORK (AP) — Would you be OK with letting a stranger into your house for the sake of convenience?

    Walmart is testing the idea with a new service that lets a delivery person walk into your home when you’re not there to drop off packages or put groceries in the fridge.

    “This may not be for everyone,” wrote Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s head of e-commerce strategy, in a blog post Friday; “but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.”

    The retailer said it is trying out the service with a small group of tech-savvy Walmart.com shoppers in California’s Silicon Valley who have internet-connected locks. The delivery person is given a one-time code to open the door and customers get an alert on their smartphones when someone enters. If they have cameras set up in […]