US News: Mother's Day; Space Station Leak; IRS "Knew"; Calif. Homes Sinking; OJ Back in Court

By  | 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Flowers or candy? Shops are busy with last-minute customers picking up something for their moms this weekend.
At Fillmore Florist, in San Francisco, workers have been busy over the past two days filling orders for flowers.
Shop owner Fred Tabar (tuh-BAHR') says it's the second-busiest occasion, topped only by Valentine's Day.
He says most customers prefer pinks and purples when it comes to flowers for their mothers, and most don't even ask about the price until after they've selected the arrangement that they like.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts have replaced an ammonia pump outside the International Space Station in hopes of plugging a serious leak.
Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn took a hastily planned spacewalk Saturday to find and, possibly, fix the leak.
Flakes of frozen ammonia coolant were spotted Thursday drifting from the long frame that holds the solar panels on the left side. The astronauts found "no smoking guns" as they removed a suspect pump. After the men installed the new pump, however, no new leakage was detected.
That's good news -- at least for now. NASA will continue to watch for any seepage. Mission Control says it will take time before it's able to declare victory.
NASA says the leak, while significant, never jeopardized crew safety.

VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities say they have arrested the brother of an 8-year-old girl who was mysteriously stabbed at her home in a quiet Northern California community last month.
Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz told reporters at a news conference that the arrest was made late Saturday afternoon. He says the 12-year-old boy will be charged with homicide.
The boy had told police last month that he encountered an intruder in the home on the day Leila Fowler was killed. He described the man as being tall with long gray hair.
The April 27 attack shook the tightknit Valley Springs community of about 7,400 people and set off a massive manhunt. Investigators did a door-to-door sweep of houses, storage sheds and horse stables.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A standoff with an armed man who police said took multiple hostages is entering its third day, as authorities worked to negotiate his surrender and his captives' release.
The man, whose identity has not been released, remained holed-up in a two-story red brick house in South Trenton. The standoff began around 3 p.m. Friday,
New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman said early Sunday that negotiators are in contact with the man.
Officials have declined to give any details on the number of people being held, their ages or relationship to the armed man.
Police were called to the home Friday on reports that a man had barricaded himself inside.

Va. woman says faith prompted her efforts to help get Boston Marathon bombing suspect buried
DOSWELL, Va. (AP) -- The sheriff of Virginia's Caroline County says he's examined the paperwork, and the burial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev (TAM'-ehr-luhn tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) in the county appears to have been legal.
But Sheriff Tony Lippa was unhappy to learn of the covert burial after the fact. He says his department lacks the money and personnel to provide round-the-clock stakeouts at the cemetery as deputies did Friday night, which passed without incident.
Others in the area about 30 miles north of Richmond share the sheriff's unhappiness, including members of the area's Islamic community.
But the woman whose actions led to Tsarnaev's burial says she has no regrets. Martha Mullen tells The Associated Press that it's difficult "to be reviled and maligned," but she felt the refusal to bury him was "detracting from the healing that needed to take place." She says her first thought on hearing about the difficulty finding a burial spot for Tsarnaev was: "Jesus said love your enemies."
Tsarnaev's uncle says a faith coalition helped make the arrangements. Ruslan Tsarni adds, "The body's buried. That's it."

AP Exclusive: IRS knew tea party targeted in 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top House Republicans are denouncing the Internal Revenue service for apparently targeting tea party groups ahead of the 2012 election.
The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.
But a draft report by the Treasury Department's inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press says senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011.
Rep. Charles Boustany (boo-STAN'-ee) says the report raises a number of serious questions, including why the practice was allowed to how continue as long as it did. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's oversight subcommittee calls the actions "unethical" and "an outrageous abuse of power."
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp calls the IRS admission that it targeted Americans based on politics "shocking" and vowed to hold the agency accountable.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Sen. Rand Paul is doing much more than "considering" running for president.
The Kentucky Republican is clearing a path to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with a series of upcoming early primary state visits, a beefed-up political operation and a plan to raise his profile.
His national coming-out begins Friday, when he's scheduled to be the featured guest at the Iowa Republican Party's annual spring fundraiser, a plum speaking gig in the state expected to host the leadoff caucuses.
Paul's road is far from easy, given other names in the prospective field and the national GOP's wide divide. But he enjoys tea party backing and access to father Ron Paul's past presidential campaign networks.
He heads to New Hampshire later this month and South Carolina in June.

PETROLIA, Calif. (AP) -- SWAT teams from three counties and a team from the California Department of Corrections, as well as federal law enforcement officials and local police have joined the hunt for a Northern California man wanted in the killing of his wife and two young daughters.
Two helicopters and an armored vehicle are helping search teams in a rugged wilderness area with poor roads and limited access along California's remote North Coast.
Humboldt County sheriff's office says they are looking for Shane Franklin Miller. The 45-year-old is suspected of slaying his family Tuesday night in the rural community of Shingletown. Miller is considered armed and extremely dangerous. Officials say he grew up in the area and knows the thick forests of the region very well.
Area residents are being asked to report any break-ins or other unusual activities. They are also being asked to stay inside once night falls and to keep their doors locked.

OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) -- Crews in eastern Kansas have been using boats and sonar equipment as they search for an 18-month-old girl presumed dead after the bodies of her mother and two men were found at a farm home earlier in the week.
The Franklin County sheriff says investigators were scouring ponds and other waterways in the area looking for the body of Lana Leigh Bailey.
Kyle Flack was charged Friday with capital murder in the deaths of Lana Bailey, her 21-year-old mother, Kaylie Bailey, and 30-year-old Andrew Stout. The 27-year-old convicted felon was also charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder in their deaths as well as the death of 31-year-old Steven White.
The investigation has included searching the farm and other rural areas in the 50-mile stretch between Ottawa and Emporia, where Kaylie Bailey's car was found Tuesday.

LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) -- Residents of a Northern California subdivision that is sinking into a hilltop are hoping Gov. Jerry Brown approves a county request for disaster assistance.
So far, the Lake County public works director and an expert hired by the county have been unable to determine why groundwater is bubbling to the top of the hill where homes were built 30 years ago.
Since late March, eight homes have cracked apart and been abandoned, and owners of another 10 are under threat of imminent evacuation.
Public Works Director Scott De Leon says the entire 30-home subdivision will have to be abandoned if his crews can't stop the moving earth from collapsing.
The region 100 miles north of San Francisco was formed by volcanoes and earthquakes.

SPENCERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- A 63-year-old upstate New York man who has spent years writing out every word in the Bible has penned the very last lines.
Phillip Patterson of Philmont began copying the complete King James Bible in his neat, looping handwriting in 2009. He spent two years copying the first five books of the Bible as a prototype before starting fresh.
Patterson completed the final lines of the Book of Revelation on Saturday evening during a ceremony at St. Peter's Presbyterian Church in Spencertown, near the Massachusetts border.
Patterson says he started the project to learn about the Bible, not as a spiritual quest. But he says the project has helped him become more patient, confident and loving.
The project was slowed by his health problems, including AIDS and anemia.

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The return of O.J. Simpson to a Las Vegas courtroom Monday will remind Americans of a tragedy that became a national obsession and in the process changed the country's attitude toward the justice system, the media and celebrity.
His 1995 trial is the stuff of legends, the precipitous fall of a Hall of Fame football player who, although acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend, was never absolved in the public mind. Less is remembered about the 2008 Las Vegas trial that sent Simpson to prison for a bizarre hotel room robbery.
Monday he goes to court to seek a new trial in that case. It is a last-ditch effort that will decide the ex-football star's future. But Simpson's past -- as always -- will be the backdrop.