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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney who built a reputation prosecuting white-collar criminals, terrorists and mobsters, to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency has a lead role in implementing changes on Wall Street.
NEW YORK (AP) — Linda Pugach, who was blinded in 1959 when her lover hired hit men to throw lye in her face — and became a media sensation after later marrying him — has died, her husband said Thursday. She was 75. The infamous New York City crime was detailed in the 2007 documentary "Crazy Love."
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Salt Lake City International Airport has partially reopened after closing for more than three hours because of freezing rain and icy conditions that caused a Frontier airplane to slide on the runway during landing. Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann says one of the three runways reopened at about 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. The other two remain closed.
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — To flood the ice rink next to his west Mankato home, Jed Falgren used to attach a hose to his house spigot and run it across the street. Though the rink in Dotson Park measures only 80-by-40 feet, the twice-weekly floodings gulped a lot of water and gouged Falgren's utility bill. "It gave it a bump," he admits, "but, ah, I didn't care." A hydrant installed in the city park several years ago gave his house faucet a break.
NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy nominees Jack White, Carrie Underwood and the Lumineers will hit the Grammys stage next month. The Recording Academy announced Thursday that those acts will join previously announced performers including fun., The Black Keys and Taylor Swift at the Feb. 10 awards show in Los Angeles. White is nominated for album of the year and the Lumineers are up for best new artist. U.K. newcomer Ed Sheeran and Elton John will perform together. Sheeran's "The A Team" is nominated for song of the year.
PARIS (AP) — Benjamin Millepied, the "Black Swan" choreographer who helped transform Natalie Portman into an obsessed, paranoid ballerina for the film and later married the actress, was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet on Thursday. Millepied, 35, is a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who left in 2011 to create his own dance company in Los Angeles, L.A. Dance Project. He'll start at the Paris company in October 2014, when the current dance director, Brigitte Lefevre, retires.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers on Thursday proposed commissioning a bust of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun for display in the state Capitol, reviving a previously unsuccessful effort to honor the Minnesota native who played a prominent role in the Roe v. Wade decision. Blackmun wrote the majority opinion in the 1973 landmark decision, which established a constitutional right to abortion. An anti-abortion group was successful in 2000 in convincing like-minded lawmakers to block the honor to Blackmun.
MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — An aide who was fired over his affair with the Minnesota Senate's majority leader crashed on a highway near St. Paul and was critically injured, authorities said Thursday., Michael Brodkorb's car struck the wall of a bridge along Interstate 35E in Mendota Heights about 9 p.m. Wednesday and stopped against a concrete median barrier, the State Patrol said in its accident report.
EMBARRASS, Minn. (AP) — You might think activity in a small township in northern Minnesota would come to a standstill when the temperature drops to 42 below zero. Not so. The postmaster in the St. Louis County township of Embarrass says life goes on. Residents have reported to work. Children are in school. And the mail is being delivered.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A fourth-grade teacher who worked nearly 40 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing 20 students, a year after another veteran teacher accused of molesting nearly two dozen pupils brought national attention to the district and the problem of classroom sex abuse.