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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Calif. city plans to provide transgender surgeries

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco is preparing to become the first U.S. city to provide and cover the cost of sex reassignment surgeries for uninsured transgender residents. The city's Health Commission voted Tuesday to create a comprehensive program for treating transgender people experiencing mental distress because of the mismatch between their bodies and their gender identities. San Francisco already provides transgender residents with hormones, counseling and routine health services, but has stopped short of offering surgical interventions, Public Health Director Barbara Garcia said Thursday after the vote was announced.

Claims about flood-damaged cars aren’t true

DETROIT (AP) — In the days since Superstorm Sandy, an alarming prediction has flashed across the Internet: Hundreds of thousands of flood-damaged vehicles will inundate the nation's used-car market, and buyers might not be told which cars have been marred. Not true, according to insurance-claims data reviewed by The Associated Press. The actual number of affected vehicles is far smaller, and some of those cars will be repaired and kept by their owners. The dire predictions are being spread by a company that sells vehicle title and repair histories and by the largest group representing American car dealers.

IRS extends deadline for storm-hit taxpayers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS is giving taxpayers and tax preparers hit by Hurricane Sandy an extra week to file returns and make payments. The tax agency says the relief will apply mainly to businesses in the storm-impacted Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states whose payroll and excise tax returns and payments are normally due on Wednesday. The deadline will be extended until Nov. 7. No action is required by the taxpayer to obtain the extension.

Disabled patients to benefit from Medicare change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of Medicare patients with severe chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer's would get continuing access to rehab and other services under a change agreed to by the Obama administration, advocates said Tuesday. The proposed agreement in a national class action suit would allow Medicare patients to keep receiving physical and occupational therapy and other skilled services at home or in a nursing home so they can remain stable, said Gill Deford, a lawyer with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

Draft order would give companies cyberthreat info

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new White House executive order would direct U.S. spy agencies to share the latest intelligence about cyberthreats with companies operating electric grids, water plants, railroads and other vital industries to help protect them from electronic attacks, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press. The seven-page draft order, which is being finalized, takes shape as the Obama administration expresses growing concern that Iran could be the first country to use cyberterrorism against the United States. The military is ready to retaliate if the U.S. is hit by cyberweapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. But the U.S. also is poorly prepared to prevent such an attack, which could damage or knock out critical services that are part of everyday life.

Social Security benefits get a 1.7 percent bump

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 56 million Americans on Social Security will get raises averaging $19 a month come January, one of the smallest hikes since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975, the government announced Tuesday. Much of the 1.7 percent increase in benefits could get wiped out by higher Medicare premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments.

Marijuana backers courting conservatives

DENVER (AP) — It's not all hippies backing November's marijuana legalization votes in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Appealing to Western individualism and a mistrust of federal government, activists have lined up some prominent conservatives, from one-time presidential hopefuls Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul to Republican-turned-Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

Rise in California gas price slows, remains record

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The rise in California gasoline prices has slowed after recent jarring increases, but nonetheless the cost of a gallon inched up to another record high, even as officials hope their emergency action will help ease the sticker shock. The average price for regular gas in the state on Tuesday was a bit over $4.67 a gallon, according to the AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The price was a state record and the highest in the nation.

Gas prices set California record

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has set a state record for gasoline prices — but the hikes may be slowing. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report for Tuesday says the average price of regular jumped only a fraction of a cent overnight — compared to nearly 50 cents in the past week.

Officials hope ‘winter-blend’ gas will drop prices

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State leaders — and drivers — hope to see gasoline prices drop soon, now that California officials have approved the release of "winter-blend" fuel that is expected to help bolster the state's supplies. State air pollution regulators say California's air quality isn't expected to get worse after the governor ordered the release of a dirtier blend of gasoline to help slash record-high pump prices.

Release of ‘winter-blend’ gas could reduce prices

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State air pollution regulators said Monday that California's air quality is not expected to worsen appreciably after the governor ordered the release of a dirtier blend of gasoline to help slash record-high pump prices. The California Air Resources Board issued a regulatory advisory a day earlier after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered them to allow so-called "winter-blend" gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to increase supply.

Calif. gov takes action as gas prices keep rising

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is taking action in an effort to drive down the cost of gasoline as California drivers cope with record-breaking prices at the pump. For the third straight day Monday, the statewide average price for a gallon of regular rose to an all-time high, hitting $4.668, according to AAA.

Calif. gas prices hit record high 2nd straight day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California motorists faced another day of record-breaking gasoline prices Sunday, though relief appeared to be on the way. In its latest update early Sunday, AAA reported that the statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $4.655. Saturday's average of $4.6140 was the highest since June 19, 2008, when it was $4.6096.

Calif. gasoline prices hit all-time high - twice

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California motorists faced another day of record-breaking gasoline prices Sunday, though relief appeared to be on the way. In its latest update early Sunday, AAA reported that the statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $4.655. Saturday's average of $4.6140 was the highest since June 19, 2008, when it was $4.6096.

Calif. gas prices hit all-time high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gasoline price in California continue to rise, even after exceeding a four-year high on Saturday. AAA reports in its latest update on Sunday that the price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.655, more than four cents higher than the record set a day earlier.

Calif. gas prices hit all-time high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a record, though just barely. The price of gasoline hit an all-time average high in California of $4.6140 a gallon Saturday, fueled by a reduced supply and a volatile market. The record was set by a fraction of a penny, according to AAA spokesman Michael Green. The previous high was $4.6096 on June 19, 2008.

Calif. gas prices equal all-time high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The price of gasoline equaled the all-time average high in California of $4.61 a gallon Saturday, fueled by a reduced supply and a volatile market. Prices throughout the state were expected to increase for several more days before leveling off, after a temporary reduction in supply triggered a price spike that saw fuming motorists paying $5 or more per gallon in some locations and station owners shutting down pumps in others.

Calif. gas prices will rise, then fall next week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California gas prices will increase for several more days before leveling off after a temporary reduction in supply triggered a price spike that saw fuming motorists paying $5 or more per gallon in some locations and station owners shutting down pumps in others. The Golden State leapfrogged Hawaii as the state with the most expensive fuel. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded across California was nearly $4.49 on Friday, 32 cents more than a week ago and the highest statewide average in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report.

Short supplies keep gas prices rising in Calif.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California gas prices continued surging Friday, adding another 17 cents per gallon on average, and the increases are expected to continue for at least several more days, ensuring long lines and short tempers at pumps around the state. A week of soaring costs has led some stations to close and others to charge record prices — in some places $5 or more — as California leapfrogged Hawaii as the state with the most expensive fuel. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded across California was nearly $4.49 on Friday, 32 cents more than a week ago and the highest statewide average in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report.

Obama calls on Congress to approve refinance plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing historically low mortgages, President Barack Obama is pressing Republicans to back housing policies the White House says would help struggling homeowners refinance their debts and prevent foreclosures. Obama is blaming congressional Republicans for not passing legislation he proposed in February that would lower lending rates for millions of borrowers who have not been able to get out from under burdensome mortgages. Republicans have objected, citing among other things the estimated $5 billion to $10 billion cost of the proposal.