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US wholesale stockpiles edge up in February

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 10:06 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles by a modest amount in February, while sales kept falling.

The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles edged up 0.3 percent in February after a 0.4 percent gain in January. Sales dropped 0.2 percent following a 3.6 percent decline in January, which was the largest decrease in six years. Sales have either fallen or been flat for the past seven months.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.66 percent

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 10:04 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching historically low levels with the spring home-buying season underway.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.66 percent from 3.70 percent last week.

The average rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, fell to 2.93 percent from 2.98 percent last week.

A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage rate was 4.34 percent and the 15-year rate was 3.38 percent.

Ohio man indicted for allegedly pouring gas on wife, child

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 10:03 AM

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — A northern Ohio man has been indicted on attempted murder and other charges after police say he dumped gasoline on his wife and her 8-year-old granddaughter and threated to set them on fire.

Forty-four-year-old Kevin Bruster was indicted by an Erie County grand jury on Wednesday. Bruster's wife told police that her husband became angry and chased her and her granddaughter onto a porch and poured gasoline on them on March 27. She said he ran away as they tried to call police. He was arrested two days later.

Latest on police shooting: State investigators had doubts

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:56 AM

8:30 p.m.

The chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Thursday evening that investigators and crime scene technicians from his agency immediately saw inconsistencies when they arrived at the scene where white North Charleston police officer Michael Slager fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed black resident, in the back.

"We believed early on that there was something not right about what happened in the encounter," Chief Mark Keel said. "The cellphone video shot by a bystander confirmed our initial suspicions."

Trial ordered for family accused of $20M insurance fraud

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:48 AM

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A judge has ordered members of a Pennsylvania family whose mansion had three fires in five years to stand trial in a $20 million insurance fraud case.

Political fundraiser and hostess Claire Risoldi and her family are accused of living large on trumped-up insurance claims involving their 10-acre "Clairemont" estate in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Bucks County Judge C. Robert Roth's ruling Wednesday came after six days of testimony in a preliminary hearing.

Civil War: 150th anniversary of Lee surrender at Appomattox

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:47 AM

Editors: The Associated Press was at Appomattox for the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1865 and again Thursday for the 150th anniversary of this milestone to the end of the nation's bloodiest conflict on American soil. This account draws from reporting by an AP reporter present at Appomattox on Thursday and from historical reporting of events. The historical accounts draw primarily from wartime dispatches credited to The Associated Press or other accounts distributed through the AP and other historical sources.

US stocks open slightly higher as earnings reports roll in

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:41 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging higher in early trading as companies start reporting earnings.

Energy stocks rose as the price of oil moved higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,960 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index increased five points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,087. The Nasdaq composite rose 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,969.

Walgreens Boots rose 2.5 percent after reporting earnings that beat analysts' forecasts.

Officials: Orlando was top US tourist destination in 2014

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:33 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tourism officials say more than 62 million visitors came to Orlando last year, making the theme-park mecca the most-visited tourist destination in the U.S.

Visit Orlando, the local tourism agency, says the 2014 visitor count sets a new milestone for the U.S. tourism industry.

Officials also say it is a 5 percent increase in visitors from the previous year.

They attribute the tourism boom to renovations and expansions at the area's many theme parks.

Undercover detectives shoot armed man in Jacksonville

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:31 AM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man is in critical condition after being shot during a confrontation with two undercover detectives in Jacksonville, officials told local media.

The shooting happened Wednesday night when the narcotics detectives came upon a heated argument between a group of people and an armed man.

The Florida Times-Union (http://bit.ly/1aoWZCu ) reports the detectives intervened and the man appeared to have put the gun away but then took it out again. The detectives fired up to seven shots, and the man was hit at least three times.

Fundraising for kidney donor raises questions

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:29 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The director of Maine Medical Center's transplant program says he doesn't view a fundraising effort on behalf of a kidney donor as a "deal breaker."

Dr. John Vella suggested Thursday that the issue could be resolved a day after Josh Dall-Leighton of Windham and his wife said they were told the process was put on hold.

Dall-Leighton responded to a plea posted on the back of Christine Royles' car.

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