National News Archives for 2017-03

Utah governor says he will approve strictest DUI limit in US


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's governor says that while he's signing legislation giving the state the strictest DUI threshold in the country, he will call lawmakers into a special session this summer for "some areas of improvement" to the law.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters Thursday that he thinks it will save lives to lower Utah's blood alcohol limit to .05 percent from .08 percent, but he'll ask lawmakers to consider a tiered punishment system. That could mean less stringent penalties for those convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level between .05 and .07 percent.

The governor says Utah may need to look at punishments for multiple offenders, other distracted driving and unintended consequences that the lower limit will have on matters like auto insurance rates.

Utah's new threshold would take effect on Dec. 30, 2018.

0
comments


Deep South freeze means fewer blueberries and peaches

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Last week's deep freeze in the Southeast appears to have nearly wiped out Georgia's blueberries and South Carolina's peaches.

 

Freezing


The South Carolina Department of Agriculture said 85 percent of the state's peaches were damaged by two days of temperatures dipping into the 20s Wednesday and Thursday.

South Carolina is the second biggest producer of peaches in the U.S.

 

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black says up to 80 percent of the blueberry crop in the southern part of the state was destroyed.

 

Georgia grows early season blueberries and the crop is worth more than peaches.

 

Apples also suffered freeze damage in North Carolina.

 

While mid-March freezes aren't unusual in much of the Southeast, many crops were blooming up to three weeks early because of the unusually mild winter.

0
comments


Americans spent slightly more at retail stores last month

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent only slightly more last month at retail stores compared with January, a sign of consumer caution despite rising optimism about the economy.

 

The Commerce Department says retail sales ticked up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in February, after a much bigger gain of 0.6 percent the previous month. January's gain was revised higher.

 

The figures suggest that strong job gains this year, near record-high stock prices and decent pay gains haven't yet lifted spending. But last month's sluggish pace could prove temporary.

 

Economists note that spending was likely held back by delays in tax refund payments. A new law has required tougher scrutiny of a tax credit claimed by lower-income taxpayers. Wal-Mart said last month that the delay had slowed sales at its stores in February.

 

0
comments


Now hear this: Loud sound may pose more harm than we thought

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Do you have unusual trouble hearing people in noisy backgrounds like bars? Some recent research suggests a possible explanation for that, even for people with normal scores on hearing tests.

 

Scientists say it may be due to a loss of crucial connections in nerves of the ear. Most of the research has been done in animals, and researchers are still defining how much of a problem this might be in people.

 

It's not just older people who notice difficulty hearing in noisy situations. Matt Garlock, who's 29 and lives near Boston, says that happens to him despite his normal score on a standard hearing test. He has volunteered to help Harvard researchers in their studies of what they call "hidden hearing loss."

 

 

0
comments


IRS strikes back as agents make big dent in identity theft

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS reports that the number of identity theft victims plummeted last year after agents struggled for years to combat what has become a multibillion-dollar industry.

 

The IRS says the number of victims dropped by 46 percent, to 376,000. These taxpayers had their identities stolen by criminals who used their Social Security numbers and birthdates to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.

 

The IRS stopped nearly 1 million fraudulent refunds from being issued last year. The agency says they totaled almost $6.6 billion.

 

The IRS credits a new partnership with major tax preparers and state tax agencies who now share information about potential threats and scams. The agency has also beefed up its computer filters to better detect potentially fake tax returns.

 

0
comments


House committee still debating GOP health care

 

WASHINGTON (AP) —They're still going at it on Capitol Hill. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is still debating the GOP plan to replace former President Barack Obama's health care law.

 

The House Ways and Means Committee wrapped up its marathon session at around 4:30 this morning, pushing through legislation to abolish the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't purchase insurance.

 

0
comments


Keyword Search





Local News

Visitor Polls
Do you get paid from your employer by paycheck or direct deposit into a bank account?

On Facebook

On Twitter