Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

April 5, 2013, 12:52 am


OBAMA-BUDGET

NEW: Official: Obama proposes cuts to Social Security

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing cuts to Social Security as an attempt to compromise with Republicans on the budget.

A senior administration official says the budget Obama will offer to Congress next Wednesday would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years. It includes a revised inflation adjustment called "chained CPI" that would curb cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs.

The senior administration official stressed it is not the president's preferred approach but a compromise proposal to try to reach a long-term budget deal. Obama first made the offer to House Speaker John Boehner last year.

The official spoke on a condition of anonymity since the budget has yet to be released. Technically, the administration actually would be limiting the growth of Social Security.

ECONOMY

Economists predict steady jobless rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government releases jobless figures for March this morning.

And experts surveyed by FactSet believe unemployment remained at 7.7 percent last month — which would mean a fifth-straight month of robust job gains.

The economists surveyed believe employers added a solid 195,000 jobs in March.

POLICE HEADQUARTERS-SHOOTING

Murder suspect shoots Miss. cop inside police HQ

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Police in Jackson, Miss., say a suspect in a fatal stabbing was in the process of being arrested at police headquarters when shots rang out.

Officers ran to the room where 23-year-old Jeremy Powell was being questioned yesterday afternoon and found him and a detective dead.

Both men had been shot several times.

The shooting has been turned over to Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to sort out the sequence of what happened

GUN CONTROL

2 states tighten gun control

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland's General Assembly has voted to tighten the state's already strong gun laws.

Lawmakers have sent to the governor for his signature legislation that would require people who buy a gun to submit fingerprints to state police.

In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed into law sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

AMMUNITION FRENZY

Laws, rumors have ammo flying off store shelves

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gun enthusiasts fearful of new weapon controls and hearing false rumors of government hoarding are buying bullets practically by the bushel.

The demand is making it hard for gun stores to keep shelves stocked and even putting a pinch on some local law enforcement departments.

The run started in November with President Barack Obama's re-election, followed by the shooting in December of children in Newtown, Conn. That massacre led the president to launch an effort to strengthen federal gun controls and several states to tighten laws.

Connecticut became the latest on Thursday. Hours before the law went into effect, hundreds of customers streamed out of Hoffman's Gun Center in Newington with guns and boxes of ammunition. Similar scenarios are playing out all over the country.

INDIA-BUILDING COLLAPSE

UPDATE: More dead in collapsed building

MUMBAI, India (AP) — The death toll is up to 41 in a building collapse outside Mumbai, India.

Authorities say the building was being constructed illegally and at least the first four floors were already occupied when the building collapsed Thursday evening.

Authorities say more than 50 people were injured and 20 others are missing.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR

UPDATE: Power restored to Japan nuke plant cooling system

TOKYO (AP) — Power has been restored to a cooling system at a tsunami-damaged nuclear plant in Japan, after failing for the second time in a month.

The operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant believes work to keep out animals inadvertently caused the two-hour power outage.

The utility suspects a rodent caused the outage last month.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY DEAD-TEXAS

Slain DA, wife to be laid to rest in Texas town

WORTHAM, Texas (AP) — A slain Texas prosecutor and his wife are to be laid to rest in the small town where he grew up in the central part of the state.

The funeral for Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia McLelland, is set for this morning in Wortham. The town of about 1,000 residents is about 75 miles south of Dallas.

The Honor Network says dozens of law enforcement representatives from across the country and other nations are expected at the First Baptist Church of Wortham and graveside at Wortham Cemetery.

The McLellands were found shot to death Saturday in their house near Forney, about 20 miles east of Dallas. No arrests have been made, but a $200,000 reward is offered for information leading to the killer's conviction.

CHILDREN KIDNAPPED-FLORIDA

Truck found as search continues for missing boys

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The 2006 GMC pickup truck owned by the father of two boys kidnapped from their grandparents' house has been found abandoned in a parking garage in the Tampa Bay area.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says detectives are processing the vehicle, found late Thursday in Madeira Beach. They're searching for clues to help them find 4-year-old Cole Hakken and his 2-year-old brother Chase. Authorities say they were taken by their father, 35-year-old Joshua Michael Hakken, who tied up their grandmother.

Authorities in several states are searching for the boys, as tips have poured in. Authorities say Hakken and the children's mother, 34-year-old Sharyn Patricia Hakken, are prime suspects.

Joshua Hakken lost custody of his children last year after a drug possession arrest in Louisiana.

YOUNG RAPPER-COMPLAINTS

NEW: Father of 4th-grade Mass. rapper cleared of abuse

BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) — The father of a 9-year-old rapper from Massachusetts who drew national condemnation for appearing in sexually suggestive videos has been cleared of neglect and abuse allegations.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families said the investigation into Luis Rivera — father of rapper Louie Rivera Jr., known as Lil Poopy — has been closed.

The spokeswoman says the "thorough investigation" that included interviews with family members, school officials and medical professionals, found no evidence of abuse or neglect.

The family's lawyer called the decision "complete vindication."

Videos of the fourth-grader dancing suggestively in nightclubs with grown women, rapping about drugs, and glorifying materialism, drew international outrage and prompted the state investigation.

The family's lawyer, however, says the publicity has done wonders for the boy's career.

NC HOSPITAL-CHEAT DEATH

NEW: NC hospital's new slogan pledges to 'cheat death'

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina hospital that recently changed its name has also adopted a new slogan: "Cheat Death."

Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia has become CaroMont Regional Medical Center and plans to work with restaurants to create "Cheat Death" menus and will work with gyms to create "Cheat Death" workouts. A social media campaign will offer tips on cheating death.

CaroMont CEO Randall Kelley says the hospital hopes to create a community health movement.

But not everyone likes the new slogan.

County commissioner and hospital board member Jason Williams says the new slogan is a bad idea. Williams says the hospital's new marketing campaign needs a new, positive slogan.

He says some hospital employees think the "Cheat Death" slogan cheapens their work. He says some pastors consider the slogan blasphemous.

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