Friend: Harper Lee was fine the day before sequel announced

Written by KIM CHANDLER,
Associated Press writer
Monday, 09 February 2015 13:37

A longtime friend who visited “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee the day before the world learned she would release a sequel says she was feisty but didn’t mention her new book.

Historian Wayne Flynt, a friend of the famous author, said he believes Lee was capable of giving permission for the previously unpublished manuscript to be released.

Bruce Jenner unhurt in fatal Malibu crash

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 08 February 2015 09:45

There's no indication Bruce Jenner was being chased by paparazzi who were nearby when the SUV he was driving became involved in a four-vehicle crash that killed a woman, authorities told The Associated Press.

Bruce Jenner's mom opens up about the celebrity's gender journey

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 05 February 2015 07:45

With speculation flying, Bruce Jenner's mother opened up this week about the celebrity's gender journey.

Esther Jenner, 88, has been besieged by calls from the media in recent days, but the widow in Lewiston, Idaho, isn't interested in fueling gossip. Instead, in a wide-ranging, nearly hour-long phone interview, she praised the former Olympian son for courage, stopping short of some details that have been floated by unnamed sources online and in tabloids.

Illinois issues medical marijuana licenses

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 04 February 2015 08:38

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner awarded licenses this week to dozens of medical marijuana businesses across the state after conducting an internal review that found flaws in the never-completed license award process under former Gov. Pat Quinn.

Letters to 18 winning cultivation centers and 52 retail shops were sent out, Rauner spokesman Lance Trover told The Associated Press. In eight districts, Rauner delayed the licenses for further review, leaving those jurisdictions awaiting word on which companies will be able to join what could be a $36 million industry in 2016.

UPDATED: Defiance, compliance with marriage equality order in Alabama

Written by From WiG
and AP reports
Monday, 09 February 2015 08:42

Alabama on Feb. 9 began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gays and lesbians can now marry in 37 states and the District of Columbia. However, gays and lesbians cannot marry in all of Alabama, because some judges are defying the federal order to issue licenses

Civil rights advocates were monitoring the situation in the Southern state, where Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore called on probate judges to refuse to issue licenses to same-sex couples but the U.S. Supreme Court denied a state-sought stay in the federal case over marriage equality.

In a landmark event that could put many national lawmakers on edge, Pope Francis has agreed to address a joint meeting of Congress this fall. That sets the stage for an oration by an outspoken pontiff whose views on immigration and global warming clash with Republicans who command the House and Senate.

Alabama chief justice urges state to go rogue, refuse same-sex marriages

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 05 February 2015 07:31

Alabama's chief justice, who famously refused to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a state judicial building, has urged probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples even though a federal judge ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.

Roy Moore sent a letter to Alabama probate judges this week saying they are not bound by the ruling because they were not defendants in the lawsuit and have not been directly ordered to issue the licenses. He said the federal court did not have the authority to allow same-sex marriages.

‘Still Alice’ highlighting often hidden toll of Alzheimer’s

AP Medical Writer
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 04:48

Her performance as a vibrant woman fading into the darkness of Alzheimer’s is doing more than earning awards for actress Julianne Moore. The movie “Still Alice” is raising awareness of a disease too often suffered in isolation, even if the Hollywood face is younger than the typical real-life patient.

Some things to know about Alzheimer’s:

Poll: Division on Supreme Court case, marriage equality

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 09 February 2015 08:32

Americans narrowly favor allowing same-sex couples in their states to marry legally, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds. But that support comes with caveats, and there is a close division in the country over the upcoming Supreme Court case that could make gay marriage legal nationwide.

Here are 5 things to know about public opinion on gay rights and same-sex marriage.

Congress to consider protections for farm animals in federal research

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Friday, 06 February 2015 06:03

Federal lawmakers this week introduced a bill to require protections for farm animals used for agricultural research at federal facilities.

The bill follows a report in The New York Times that revealed animal cruelty at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, a federal livestock research facility in Nebraska.

FCC chief makes big push for net neutrality

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:20

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Feb. 4 that he will base new net neutrality rules on Title II of the Communications Act and plans to seek approval for “the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.”

Wheeler’s proposal, which the FCC is expected to vote on at its Feb. 26 meeting, will ban throttling, blocking and paid prioritization.

Appeals court denies stay of Alabama marriage equality order

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:12

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denied the Alabama attorney general’s motion for a stay in Searcy v. Strange and Strawser v. Strange. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, same-sex couples can begin marrying in the state on Feb. 9.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade struck down Alabama’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex couples from marrying.