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US wildfire fighters are hitting a pay cliff at the worst time

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In Fairbanks, Alaska, the U.S. Forest Service is looking to hire a smokejumper, a person who parachutes out of a rickety airplane to wrangle wildfires that break out far from roads or rivers. Little experience is necessary; the pay starts at $18.06 per hour.

Meanwhile, Sadler’s Home Furnishings, with three stores in the Fairbanks area, is ...Read more

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Pandemic aid for public schools is running out. That's leaving districts under pressure

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U.S. public schools are girding for a major financial blow in the next academic year, when the record $190 billion in federal aid they received during the pandemic will expire and leave them with sparser resources to halt a massive exodus of teachers and reverse learning loss.

Districts across the country have used the funds on everything from ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Thousands of California wells are at risk of drying up despite landmark water law

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Even though California enacted sweeping legislation nearly a decade ago to curb excessive agricultural pumping of groundwater, new research predicts that thousands of drinking water wells could run dry in the Central Valley by the time the law’s restrictions take full effect in 2040.

The study, published this month in the journal Scientific ...Read more


A civil-rights story. A fight for transgender bathroom access. And a clash that doesn't follow neat political lines

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — An LGBTQ activist’s use of a dramatic civil-rights story from the Jim Crow era as he pleaded for understanding and action on behalf of transgender people drew a sharp and passionate rebuke from a Black Broward County commissioner, underscoring the political and cultural fault lines surrounding issues involving gender ...Read more

Miguel Martinez/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Opposition to Atlanta training center takes national stage

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WASHINGTON — A pair of Hollywood actors joined the chorus of progressive activists who have criticized city of Atlanta officials for forging ahead with a proposed public safety training center.

And they are taking their message to a national audience, highlighting a myriad of concerns about the project and criticism of the mostly Black ...Read more


SpaceX sends up 200th reflight with Cape Canaveral launch

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ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX’s reusability juggernaut kept rolling with a Space Coast launch Saturday night that marked the 200th time the company has relied on a previously launched booster to get its payloads to space.

A Falcon 9 rocket flying on the Starlink 6-18 mission carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites lifted off from Cape Canaveral ...Read more

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Sunak hopes 'sensible populist' does better than stability

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LONDON — Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came to power almost a year ago promising to bring a business-like sensibility to U.K. politics, an antidote to Liz Truss’s failed 49-day experiment in radical fiscal change.

Five pledges on the economy and public services were meant to help voters track his progress, and underscore a sense of method and...Read more

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Former Anaheim Duck Nic Kerdiles, Savannah Chrisley's ex, dead at 29

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Former Anaheim Ducks forward Nic Kerdiles, 29, died in a motorcycle crash early Saturday in Nashville.

Nashville police said Kerdiles ran a stop sign in a residential area before striking the driver’s side of a BMW SUV with his Indian Motorcycle around 3:30 a.m., the Tennessean reported. Police found no signs of impairment at the scene from ...Read more

3 dead in 'targeted' shooting near SW Atlanta mall

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ATLANTA — Two people and a gunman were killed Saturday afternoon in a shooting in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood, police said.

The deadly encounter happened in the 600 block of Evans Street, which is across the street from the Mall West End, around 1:25 p.m. According to police, a man approached two other people and began to shoot at them....Read more

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Tropical Storm Ophelia to move inland, bringing more rain to central Virginia early Sunday

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Tropical Storm Ophelia is moving inland and bringing more rain to the Richmond area, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Meteorologist Ryan Rogers said Saturday evening that the tropical storm warnings were dropped. Some areas might experience some minor to moderate flooding during the current tide cycle, but the weather ...Read more


120 dogs rescued in major dogfighting bust by federal and SC law enforcement

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some 120 dogs were seized Thursday following a dogfighting bust that took place across the Midlands and Upstate South Carolina, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Carolina has confirmed.

It is the largest single seizure of dogs from South Carolina dogfighting rings since a 60-agency effort recovered more that 300 dogs and...Read more


Human body found in the mouth of 14-foot Florida alligator

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Human remains were spotted in the mouth of a 13-foot, 8.5-inch alligator on Friday, in a canal just north of the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The gator was extracted from the water and “humanely killed,” the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release, adding that a dive team had also “recovered the remains of a ...Read more

Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Following LA's footsteps, Alameda County declares state of emergency on homelessness

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LOS ANGELES — Following in the footsteps of the city and county of Los Angeles, Alameda County this week declared a state of emergency regarding homelessness amid rising numbers of unhoused people in the region.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the declaration during its meeting Tuesday night.

"We've invested a ...Read more

LAPD investigating midnight heist of $1.5 million Buddha statue

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LOS ANGELES — The thief pulled up to an antiquities gallery on La Cienega Boulevard with a clear plan.

He backed a rental van into the gallery driveway, broke through a gate and entered a storage yard carrying a moving dolly. Bypassing African wood carvings, Japanese terracotta roof tiles and assorted stone sculptures, he seized a massive 250...Read more

Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

FDNY's ground zero-related illness deaths reach 343, same death toll as number who died on 9/11

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NEW YORK — The number of FDNY members who died of a 9/11 illness reached 343 Saturday, the same number who died during the terror attack 22 years ago, officials said.

On Saturday morning, retired Firefighter Robert Fulco died of pulmonary fibrosis that was linked to the toxic cloud swirling above Ground Zero in the days and weeks after the ...Read more

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Sen. Ben Cardin to assume chairmanship of Foreign Relations Committee after indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez

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Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin will assume the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to officials with direct knowledge of the plans.

Cardin, a Democrat who announced in May that he will not seek reelection in 2024, will replace New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who was indicted Friday on federal charges that he accepted ...Read more


Home explosion in New Jersey sends 5 victims to the hospital, levels house

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NEW YORK — A home in northwest New Jersey exploded Friday night, sending five people to the hospital and “heavily” damaging its structure, authorities said early Saturday morning.

Police in the township of West Milford said dispatchers received multiple 911 calls around 9 p.m. reporting a possible explosion in a home on Banker Road of ...Read more

Willie J. Allen Jr./Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Florida school denies Chinese ties; parents decry DeSantis' stripping of vouchers

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Park Maitland School said Saturday that it does not have any connection to the Communist Party of China and does not know why Florida yanked it from participating in its school voucher programs claiming it had “direct ties” to the Chinese leadership.

“We were not contacted in advance and are seeking more information ...Read more

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4 spending bills readied for House floor amid stopgap uncertainty

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WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Saturday set up floor debate for this upcoming week on four fiscal 2024 appropriations bills after making combined cuts of nearly $3.8 billion from agriculture and foreign aid programs compared with original committee-reported versions.

But it’s not yet clear they’ll have the votes to adopt the expansive ...Read more

Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Tropical Storm Philippe forms; Tropical Storm Ophelia crosses into Virginia

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall Saturday morning in North Carolina, with stormy weather spreading over portions of the state. The same day, Tropical Storm Philippe formed in the central tropical Atlantic and a new tropical wave emerged off the coast of Africa.

After making landfall in North Carolina, Ophelia ...Read more