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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Man climbs Chicago skyscraper with bionic leg

CHICAGO (AP) — The metal on Zac Vawter bionic leg gleamed as he climbed 103 floors of Chicago's iconic Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever to complete the task wearing a mind-controlled prosthetic limb. Vawter, who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident, put the smart limb on public display for the first time during an annual stair-climbing charity event called "SkyRise Chicago" hosted by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he is receiving treatment.

Red Cross carries on despite storm-response flak

NEW YORK (AP) — It happened after the 9/11 terror attacks, after Hurricane Katrina and now, once again, after Superstorm Sandy: The American Red Cross takes flak for its response to a major disaster. It's a burden that comes with being the nation's largest private relief agency, and the Red Cross' pride in its work is constantly coupled with promises to do better next time.

Songs offer messages of hope at Sandy benefit show

NEW YORK (AP) — From "Livin' on a Prayer" to "The Living Proof," every song Friday at NBC's benefit concert for superstorm Sandy victims became a message song. New Jersey's Jon Bon Jovi gave extra meaning to "Who Says You Can't Go Home." Billy Joel worked in a reference to Staten Island, the decimated New York City borough. The hourlong event, hosted by Matt Lauer, was heavy on stars and lyrics identified with New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area, which took the brunt of this week's deadly storm. The telethon was a mix of music, storm footage and calls for donations from Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg and others.

GOP’s Mourdock stands by rape, abortion remark

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock refused to apologize Wednesday for saying that when pregnancy results from rape then that is "something God intended." State Republicans and a few congressional leaders defended Mourdock, whose prospects of winning the seat long held by the GOP are unclear.

Ind. GOP Senate candidate stands by rape comment

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Wednesday that he is standing by his statement that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape "that's something God intended." He says some people have twisted the meaning of his comment. Mourdock said in a news conference that he abhors any sexual violence and regrets it if his comment during a debate Tuesday night left another impression. He said he firmly believes all life is precious and that he abhors violence of any kind.

Seattle man gets Billy Idol to play his birthday

SEATTLE (AP) — Michael Henrichsen has ideas about how he might celebrate his 26th birthday this week. First, Billy Idol rolls up in a limo and tells him to hop in. There are women everywhere. And later, when the British rock icon takes the stage and rips into "Rebel Yell," bras start flying and 1,800 of his closest friends go wild.

Romney ups criticism of Obama’s second-term plans

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Heading into the campaign's final weeks, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is upping his criticism of President Barack Obama's plans for a second term, accusing the Democrat of failing to tell Americans what he would do with four more years. The Obama campaign is aggressively disputing the notion, claiming it's Romney who hasn't provided specific details to voters. At campaign events, in a new ad and fundraising appeal out Saturday, Romney is setting up the closing weeks as a choice between what he says is a "small" campaign that's offering little new policy and his own ambitious plan to fundamentally change America's tax code and entitlement programs.

Obama looks to regroup; Romney appears confident

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the White House race shows signs of tightening nationally, President Barack Obama's campaign is banking on a massive get-out-the-vote operation and state-by-state shades of economic improvement to maintain its apparent polling edge in battlegrounds from Ohio to Virginia. Republican Mitt Romney, re-energized by last week's debate, is flashing new confidence on the campaign trail and pressing toward the political center on both foreign and domestic issues. But aides have outlined no clear path to winning the 270 Electoral College votes required to gain the White House.

Obama ribs his own debating; Romney eyes speech

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On a last dash for cash in the celebrity scene of California, President Barack Obama on Sunday took a good-natured shot as his own underwhelming debate performance, marveling at how his friends in the entertainment business could turn in flawless showings every time. "I can't always say the same," Obama told thousands of supporters, who got the joke right away. It was Obama's most direct acknowledgment that his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, thoroughly won their debate Wednesday as a tight race rolled into its last month.

Obama raises California cash; Romney eyes speech

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On a last dash for cash in the celebrity scene of California, President Barack Obama on Sunday took a good-natured shot as his own underwhelming debate performance, marveling at how his friends in the entertainment business could turn in flawless showings every time. "I can't always say the same," Obama told thousands of supporters, who got the joke right away. It was Obama's most direct acknowledgment that his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, won their debate on Wednesday as a tight race rolled into its last month.

Obama raises California cash for race’s last month

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off his strongest fundraising month this year, President Barack Obama is looking to raise millions of dollars from celebrities and wealthy donors in California with just one month left in a tightening race. The two-day swing through the solidly Democratic state highlights the critical role that fundraising will play in the campaign's final weeks as Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, escalate their barrage of television ads in competitive states like Ohio. The president is to return there Tuesday.

Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash

APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — Mitt Romney is showing his softer side, while President Barack Obama works to extend his cash advantage as both men begin the final-month sprint to Election Day. The Republican presidential nominee was spending a second consecutive day campaigning in Florida on Sunday, where he is drawing on the success of his recent debate performance and pressing a populist message.

Campaign travel offers Obama view of tough economy

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Sometimes all President Barack Obama has to do is look out the window to get a firsthand look at the country's economic woes. This week in this town, the presidential motorcade speeds past opulent homes lining manmade Lake Las Vegas as he heads to the sprawling luxury development where he's preparing for the upcoming debates with Mitt Romney. But many houses here are empty, victims of Nevada's foreclosure crisis, and others are worth far less than their purchase price.

Rough economy in clear view for Obama on the road

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Sometimes all President Barack Obama has to do is look out the window to get a firsthand look at the country's economic woes. This week in this town, the presidential motorcade speeds past opulent homes lining manmade Lake Las Vegas as he heads to the sprawling luxury development where he's preparing for the upcoming debates with Mitt Romney. But many houses here are empty, victims of Nevada's foreclosure crisis, and others are worth far less than their purchase price.

As debate looms, Romney looks to Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — His path to victory narrowing, Mitt Romney is looking to Pennsylvania to help slow President Barack Obama's momentum ahead of a high-stakes meeting on the debate stage next week. The Republican presidential nominee was to campaign Friday in the Philadelphia area, first courting donors at a high-dollar fundraiser and then meeting voters at a midday rally.

NJ woman accused of cancer scam for wedding, cash

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — When Lori Stilley told her friends and family that she had bladder cancer, they delivered meals, held raffles and a T-shirt sale, hastily planned and paid for her wedding and raised more than $10,000 for her treatment. But prosecutors say it was all a scam.

Santorum, DeMint endorse Akin in Mo. senate race

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin won two high-profile Republican endorsements Wednesday, a day after guaranteeing his candidacy would continue despite calls for him to quit because of comments about rape and pregnancy he since has apologized for. Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite, announced support for Akin's challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. They called Akin a "principled conservative" — the same phrase Akin uses to describe himself at campaign events.

AP IMPACT: Tragedy meant big money for NY minister

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Rev. Carl Keyes was a little-known pastor of a small New York City congregation searching for members and money. When the twin towers fell, his fortunes changed.

Obama launches new tax offensive against Romney

CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama's campaign is launching a new offensive Monday against Republican Mitt Romney, blasting the GOP nominee for criticizing Americans who don't pay income taxes without having "come clean" about his own. The campaign started the new push with a television advertisement, its first spot using Romney's comments that 47 percent of voters pay no income tax, and believe they are victims and entitled to government assistance. The ad was to begin airing in Ohio — a crucial swing state where Romney was campaigning this week — but was also expected to be part of the campaign's final push elsewhere between now and Election Day.