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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chicago teacher strike poses test for unions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The massive teachers' strike in Chicago offers a high-profile test for the nation's teachers' unions, which have seen their political influence threatened as a growing reform movement seeks to improve ailing public schools. The reforms include expanding charter schools, getting private companies involved with failing schools and linking teacher evaluations to student test scores.

Agreement reached for Sept. 11 museum’s completion

NEW YORK (AP) — An agreement that paves the way for the completion of the Sept. 11 museum at ground zero was reached on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the terror attacks. The memorandum of understanding between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the foundation that controls the National September 11 Memorial & Museum was announced Monday.

At ground zero, can there be a politics-free 9/11?

NEW YORK (AP) — The Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony at ground zero has been stripped of politicians this year. But can it ever be stripped of politics? For the first time, elected officials won't speak Tuesday at an occasion that has allowed them a solemn turn in the spotlight. The change was made in the name of sidelining politics, but some have rapped it as a political move in itself.

Md. Gov. O’Malley says Americans are better off

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says he didn't mean to say people are worse off than four years ago when he made that remark earlier this week. O'Malley says he was, quote, "word-spliced" after appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Peterson case shifts to appeal, missing 4th wife

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — She loomed over Drew Peterson's murder trial, though her disappearance and the suspicion that the former Illinois police officer killed her was never mentioned in front of the jury. But since jurors found Peterson guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, could now take center stage.

Attention turns to Peterson’s missing 4th wife

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — She loomed over Drew Peterson's murder trial, though her disappearance and the suspicion that the former Illinois police officer killed her was never mentioned in front of the jury. But since jurors found Peterson guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, now takes center stage.

Attention now turns to Peterson’s 4th wife

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — She loomed over Drew Peterson's murder trial, though her disappearance and the suspicion that the former Illinois police officer killed her was never mentioned in front of the jury. But after a jury Thursday found Peterson guilty of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, now takes center stage.

Obama faces obstacles in holding North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Keeping North Carolina in the Democratic column this year may prove hard for President Barack Obama. North Carolina's unemployment rate is among the nation's highest. Social conservatives have been buoyed by approval of a statewide ban on gay marriage, and Democrats are in disarray while Republicans gain ground in state and local races.

NY court weighs if lap dance is tax-exempt art

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — No one would confuse the Nite Moves strip club with the Bolshoi Ballet, but what the lap dancers do there is art and entitled to the same tax exemption other performances enjoy, a lawyer argued in what was surely one of the racier tax cases ever to go before New York's highest court. W. Andrew McCullough, an attorney for the suburban Albany strip joint, told the Court of Appeals on Wednesday that admission fees and lap dances at the club should be freed of state sales taxes under an exemption that applies to "dramatic or musical arts performances."

Oil from BP spill uncovered by Isaac’s waves

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Waves from Hurricane Isaac uncovered oil previously buried along Gulf Coast beaches, exposing crude that wasn't cleaned up after the BP spill in 2010. Since Isaac made landfall more than a week ago, the water the storm has receded and tar balls and oil have been reported on shores in Alabama and Louisiana, where officials closed a 13-mile stretch of beach Tuesday.

Official: Ritual circumcision legal in Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — A top state official says infant male circumcision for religious reasons is legal in Berlin, making the capital the first of Germany's 16 states to specify that the ritual followed by Jews and Muslims shouldn't be considered a crime. State Justice minister Thomas Heilmann's announcement Wednesday came after Berlin's Jewish Hospital asked for clarification following a June ruling by a regional court in Cologne.

NY court to decide if lap dance is tax-exempt art

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — No one would confuse the Nite Moves strip club with the Bolshoi Ballet, but what the lap dancers do there is art and entitled to the same tax exemption other performances enjoy, a lawyer argued Wednesday in what was surely one of the racier tax cases ever to go before New York's highest court. W. Andrew McCullough, an attorney for the suburban Albany strip joint, told the Court of Appeals that admission fees and lap dances at the club should be freed of state sales taxes under an exemption that applies to "dramatic or musical arts performances."

NY court to decide if lap dance is tax-exempt art

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's highest court will consider legal arguments by a strip club on whether nude dancing is an art and deserves a state tax exemption as such. The case set for oral arguments Wednesday involves Nite Moves, an adult entertainment club in suburban Albany that contested a tax bill of more than $124,000 following a 2005 audit.

Texas hearing on Planned Parenthood gets emotional

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — State lawmakers, hospital system administrators and dozens of women urged Texas officials Tuesday not to sever funding to Planned Parenthood under a law barring state support for clinics affiliated with abortion providers. A smaller, but no less vocal, number of people opposing abortion turned out to applaud the move during an emotionally charged public hearing.

Days after Isaac, flooding and outages remain

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Much of a finger-shaped parish southeast of New Orleans was still covered with floodwater Sunday and more than 200,000 people across Louisiana still didn't have any power, five days after Isaac ravaged the state. Thousands of evacuees remained at shelters or bunked with friends or relatives. "My family is split up," said Angela Serpas, from severely flooded Braithwaite in Plaquemines Parish. Serpas and her daughter were staying with her in-laws while her husband and son were staying in Belle Chasse, a suburban area of the parish.

Ex-Obama advisers seek health care cost control

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of President Barack Obama's former advisers are proposing major changes aimed at controlling health care costs as political uncertainty hovers over his health law. Call it Health Care Overhaul, Version 2.0. Their biggest idea is a first-ever budget for the nation's $2.8-trillion health care system, through negotiated limits on public and private spending in each state.

In Florida, Medicare is not a senior-only issue

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — For Bruce Cargill, an 87-year-old retiree, Medicare is a "glorious program" that, along with Social Security, keeps millions of older Americans out of poverty. But he's also quick to note that he forks out premiums and co-pays: "It's government insurance. But it's insurance."

Federal government ending Wyoming wolf protections

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The federal government will end its protections for wolves in Wyoming, where the species was introduced two decades ago to revive it from near extinction in the United States. The announcement Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will entrust the state with managing wolf numbers and endorses a plan that allows for them to be shot on sight in most of the state, while keeping them permanently protected in designated areas like Yellowstone National Park. Wyoming will take over management of the wolves at the end of September.

Romney accepts nomination, focuses on adding jobs

TAMPA, Fla. — Republican Mitt Romney has a message for the millions of Americans who voted for Democratic President Barack Obama: It's OK to be disappointed. Romney used the biggest moment of his political career to tell Americans about his own background and family as he appealed to the feelings of anxiety that are rippling through the electorate as the nation faces stubbornly high unemployment and fears about its future place in the world.

Isaac - when government aid is not largesse

WASHINGTON (AP) — At their convention, Republican leaders are taking the stage to push for less government and accuse President Barack Obama of profligate spending. About 500 miles away, under threat from a hurricane, Republicans welcomed federal government aid and at least one GOP governor accused Obama of being miserly with the help. The chance occurrence of a political convention and a Gulf State emergency unfolding in split-screen real time is creating a clash between rhetoric and reality. The calls for fiscal discipline echoing the convention hall in Tampa, Fla., aren't reverberating in drenched and wind-whipped Louisiana or Mississippi.