Local and National News Headlines 2/7
WASHINGTON – Money to help about 1 million homeowners reduce their loans will soon be available. More than 40 states have agreed to a settlement with the five largest mortgage lenders. California and New York are among the states holding out but are said to be moving closer to backing a deal. The money available to homeowners could run as high as $25 billion if all states approve the deal.
Federal Court declares same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
SAN FRANCISCO —A ban on California’s same sex marriage has been ruled unconstitutional paving the way for a likely showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 Tuesday that a lower court judge interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared the ban, known as Proposition 8, to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.
Longview Hires New Superintendent
LONGVIEW – The Longview School District has officially hired a new Superintendent. Last night the school board agreed to give Dr. James E. Wilcox the job to head up Longview ISD. Dr. Wilcox has become the district’s 18th employee to be hired out of retirement. Wilcox retired at the end of last year.
Komen Official Resigns
ATLANTA – The Associated Press is reporting that a high ranking official with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Charity is resigning. Karen Handel who supported the move to cut funding for Planned Parenthood is resigning from the breast –cancer charity. The proposal by to cut funding was reversed last week after a backlash of criticism.
Randy Travis Issues Apology
SANGER — Country singer Randy Travis has apologized after being arrested on a charge of public intoxication outside a North Texas church. Travis was arrested early Monday in the town of Sanger after police spotted a vehicle parked in front of a church and finding an open bottle of wine and Travis smelling of alcohol. The singer apologized in a statement to The Associated Press “for what resulted following an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl.”
Texas Still Needs to Sort Out Redistricting Issue
SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge has ordered all sides in the Texas redistricting lawsuit to keep talking because he says a proposed agreement doesn’t have enough support. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s announcement of a plan that would put two new congressional seats in Hispanic-dominated districts triggered a backlash from groups that say it’s not a compromise.
Government to Ramp Up Alzheimer’s Research
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will announce a plan today to spend a little more than a half a billion dollars on Alzheimer’s research next year. The director of the National Institutes of Health says President Barack Obama will ask Congress for $80 million in new money for Alzheimer’s research next year. But not all the spending must wait for approval from Congress.
‘Great for You’ Campaign at Walmart
NEW YORK — Another icon soon will be joining the smiley face at Walmart. The retail giant will start adding a new green “Great for You” seal to the packages of some of its house-brand foods to identify healthy choices. The icon will be placed on products with lower levels of fat, sugar and artificial additives.
White House Science Fair Today
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama visits the fair today and he won’t even have to leave the White House. Obama will stress the importance of science and technology education when he hosts the second White House Science Fair. It celebrates the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math competitions.
New York Gearing Up for Super Bowl Parade
NEW YORK — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city will give the Giants a parade to remember. The Super Bowl champs will return to their home turf today for a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway. And the team will be presented with symbolic keys to the city in a ceremony at City Hall Plaza. The Giants beat the Patriots 21-17 Sunday.
Information from Dave Goldman and The Associated Press