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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Delays in Exxon Mobil Corp.'s response to a major pipeline break beneath Montana's Yellowstone River made an oil spill far worse than it otherwise would have been, federal regulators said in a new report. The July 2011 rupture fouled 70 miles of riverbank along the scenic Yellowstone, killing fish and wildlife and prompting a massive, months-long cleanup. The damage could have been significantly reduced if pipeline controllers had acted more quickly, according to Department of Transportation investigators.
NEW YORK (AP) — Ty Pennington is doing some traveling again, this time for the HLN television network. HLN said Wednesday that Pennington, who stars in "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," will host a monthly series called "American Journey." It will focus on people with unusual lifestyles, and debuts Saturday, Jan. 12. Each episode will air multiple times over the weekend on the network formerly known as CNN Headline News, with a new edition starting each month.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Aiden and Donavyn didn't wait until New Year's Day to come screaming into the world, but the circumstances of their births are still pretty special: The babies were born about two hours apart to Ohio mothers who are identical twins. The Akron Beacon Journal ( http://bit.ly/YQpn3X ) reports that the 19-year-old mothers — Aimee and Ashlee Nelson weren't raised to do things alike and did not plan the births to come at the same time. In fact, their due dates were about a week apart.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A paparazzo was struck and killed by a car while darting across a street after taking pictures of Justin Bieber's Ferrari when it was pulled over along a freeway in Los Angeles, police said Wednesday. Bieber was not in the car at the time. The singer later said his prayers were with the family of the 29-year-old photographer who was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the accident late Tuesday afternoon. His name was withheld by police pending notification of relatives.
LONDON (AP) — Dr. Who — who usually uses a police box for travel — will be zooming through time and space on the edge of letters in 2013. Britain's Royal Mail is marking the 50th anniversary of the science fiction show "Doctor Who" with a series of stamps featuring each of the 11 actors who have played the title role. Those featured include the present doctor, Matt Smith, as well as past Time Lords such as David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The country's largest rural, nonprofit hospital system is hiring two traditional Native American healers to train medical staff in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Sanford Health says the healers will not perform traditional healing ceremonies in the hospital but rather consult with staff about cultural issues in an effort to better serve the Native American patient population. Read Sulik is the senior vice president for Behavioral Health Services at Sanford. He says the healers will be knowledgeable in Lakota/Dakota and Ojibwe beliefs.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Health officials predict it could be one of the worst flu seasons in years in Minnesota. Flu patients have been filling urgent care centers and emergency rooms across the state. More than 120 Minnesotans were hospitalized with the flu in the week ending Dec. 22, nearly twice the number of cases in the previous week, health officials said. And it's still early in the flu season. "That suggests this has the potential to be severe," said Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Department of Natural Resources says it expects to soon fix a problem with the website that tallies the number of wolves killed in the state's inaugural wolf season. Hunters and trappers are required to check the site or a telephone hotline to see whether the quota has been reached and the season has been closed.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The new year brings a variety of new laws in Minnesota. New school buses will be required to have right-side crossing arms to protect students. The arms automatically extend when the bus stops and the flashing red lights are used. Another law allows young parents who are finishing high school to exceed the limit of 10 absent days for which a child care provider can be compensated through the state's child care assistance program.
MELROSE, Minn. (AP) — A snowmobile crash in Stearns County is fatal. Sheriff John Sanner says a man crashed his snowmobile into a tree in Melrose Township New Year's Eve. The 33-year-old man from Grey Eagle was pronounced dead at a local hospital. KNSI radio reports authorities say the victim was wearing a helmet and that alcohol appears to have been a contributing factor in the accident. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.