Tennessee governor to lead GOP Governors Association

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 21 November 2014 07:45

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been elected as the next chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

The second term governor will take the reins from New Jersey's Chris Christie, who has been on a victory lap at the group's annual meeting in Florida this week after Republicans did especially well in the midterm elections.

Wisconsin, national reaction to the president's immigration plan

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 21 November 2014 06:51

Thousands of immigrant-rights activists, families and elected officials cheered across the country as President Barack Obama announced on television his plan for relief from deportations for about 5 million people.

But after the initial burst of emotion Thursday evening at hastily organized watch parties and in living rooms, many said Obama's plan was just the first step in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrant families pointed out the plan would only cover about 5 million of the 11 million without legal status, leaving many families and individuals in limbo.

EPA's Clean Power Plan draws support in Wisconsin

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 20 November 2014 06:52

Health, faith, environmental and youth leaders united on Nov. 18 in Wisconsin to express support for the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan and for the release of Clean Wisconsin's latest report, Cutting Carbon Works for Wisconsin. 

“EPA’s proposal is a practical, reasonable and achievable step toward healthier air and a higher quality of life in Wisconsin,” Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin, said in a news release. “If we prioritize increasing investments in energy efficiency we can meet EPA’s goals for Wisconsin and reduce home and business owners’ energy bills at the same time.” 

Gay couples to marry Thursday in South Carolina

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:45

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has denied the state of South Carolina’s motion to stay last week’s U.S. District Court ruling striking down the state’s discriminatory marriage ban, setting the stage for marriages to begin for same-sex couples at moon on Nov. 20.

South Carolina’s attorney general had filed a motion for an emergency stay to delay marriages following a ruling by the U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina striking down the state’s discriminatory marriage ban in accordance with the Fourth Circuit’s earlier decision striking down a similar ban in Virginia.

Matthew Shepard's parents head to Russia to promote tolerance

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 21 November 2014 07:41

The parents of Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student tortured and murdered in 1998, are traveling to Russia on Nov. 21 to spread their message of tolerance and acceptance in a country where anti-gay policies and attitudes are widespread.

The centerpiece of their five-day trip is a gay film festival in St. Petersburg at which the documentary film, "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" will be shown and discussed. The film's director, Michele Josue, a high school classmate and close friend of Matthew's, will be accompanying the Shepards on the trip.

Republicans: Keystone pipeline down, but not out

Written by The AP Thursday, 20 November 2014 07:20

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.

“I look forward to the new Republican majority taking up and passing the Keystone jobs bill early in the new year,” the Kentucky Republican said this week, after the bill fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed to advance. He was joined by incoming Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who said the fight wasn’t over.

Obama to announce 'comprehensive' action on immigration

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 20 November 2014 06:40

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says President Barack Obama's executive immigration actions will be comprehensive and include border security measures.

Johnson says the administration came up with a variety of changes to the immigration system that he believes are not only legal but needed in light of inaction by Congress on immigration.

Star-studded TV show to help needy dogs find homes

Written by SUE MANNING,
Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:12

Oscar winner Hilary Swank is unleashing some serious star power to help rescue dogs get adopted by families who want to make a difference on Thanksgiving — or those who just want to watch terriers instead of touchdowns on TV.

“Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular” will air on Nov. 27 and feature a slew of celebrities aiming to find thousands of needy dogs a home by Black Friday.

Gay couples exchange vows in Montana

Written by The AP Friday, 21 November 2014 07:36

As they stood linking arms and holding bouquets, Linda Gryczan and Constance Enzweiler of Helena married on Nov. 20 after waiting 31 years.

They were the first same-sex couple in the city to legally wed after a federal judge overturned Montana's ban on same-sex marriage the day before.

Union, NFL at odds over personal conduct policy

Written by ROB MAADDI,
AP Pro Football Writer
Thursday, 20 November 2014 07:00

Saying the NFL is “making things up as they go along,” players’ union chief DeMaurice Smith wants the league and its owners to take disciplining players out of the hands of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Already at odds over the process used to punish Ray Rice, the dispute heightened this week when the league suspended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son.

Judge overturns Montana's ban on gay marriage

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:55

The U.S. District Court of Montana ruled on Nov. 19 in favor of four same-sex couples suing for marriage rights.

"Calling Tonya my partner, my significant other, my girlfriend, my perpetual fiancée has never done justice to our relationship. Now I can look forward to the day when I can introduce Tonya as my wife," said Angie Rolando, one of the plaintiffs in the case. "Love won today."

Chopin’s heart exhumed in secret, like a relic

Written by VANESSA GERA,
Associated Press
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 07:08

As Frederic Chopin gasped for air on his deathbed in Paris in 1849, he whispered a request that became the stuff of musical legend: Remove my heart after I die and entomb it in Poland. He wanted the symbol of his soul to rest in the native land he pined for from self-imposed exile in France.

Ever since, the composer’s body has rested in peace at the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris — while his heart has endured a wild journey of intrigue and adulation.