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Michael Sam Released by St. Louis Rams

Michael Sam Released by St. Louis Rams

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.
Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.
On Saturday Sam tweeted, “The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues.”
He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.
Sam came out as gay in February, before the NFL scouting combine. He can still be picked up by another team.
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ESPN: Michael Sam Released by Rams

ESPN: Michael Sam Released by Rams

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) –  Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.
Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.  He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.
“You know what, it’s not going to be like the draft,” Sam said earlier this week. “I’m very confident that I’m going to sleep really well tonight and I’m very confident I’m going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL.”
Sam made headlines before the NFL scouting combine when he announced that he’s gay. He’d be the first openly gay player in NFL history.
Even with a chip on his shoulder, Sam was unable to prove to Rams coaches that as a seventh round pick, he should make the team.
Despite being let go, Sam had a very productive preseason. In four preseason games, he’s recorded 11 tackles while also registering three sacks.
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California Passes Plastic Bag Ban

California Passes Plastic Bag Ban

iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would make California the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags.
State lawmakers okayed the bill Friday after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.
The measure makes plastic bags illegal statewide at grocery stores and large pharmacies. It includes $2 million in loans to help manufacturers shift to producing reusable bags and lets grocers charge $0.10 each for paper and reusable plastic.
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Police ID Likely Homicide Victim Without Finding a Body

Police ID Likely Homicide Victim Without Finding a Body

iStock/Thinkstock(AUBURN, Wash.) — Police have identified the victim of a likely homicide that has puzzled them for two weeks since a federal agent stumbled on a pile of ripped up flooring covered in blood by the side of a road in Auburn, Wash.Commander Mike Hirman of the Auburn Police Department said authorities have confirmed that blood on the material is from 30-year-old Brandon Zomalt.Hirman said police believe it is likely that Zomalt was killed in a homicide, although without a body or further evidence they cannot confirm anything.”Obviously it’s difficult to know, we have to go based on some assumptions,” Hirman said. “[Due to] the amount of blood and some bone fragments, we’re investigating it as a homicide. The case started on Aug. 13, when an off-duty federal agent driving home saw a small fire about 20 feet from the road. After the agent pulled over to stop the fire, another man nearby got into a dark SUV and fled the area.The agent was unable to catch up or identify the subject. When the agent returned to the scene he found ripped up flooring, carpet and clothing in the pile. All of the debris was covered in blood.Since then, police have been searching for clues about who the victim or perpetrator could be. Hirman said police were able to identify Zomalt from the State Combined DNA Index System. Zomalt appeared to be from Puyallup, Wash., which is south of Auburn, Hirman said.According to police, Zomalt had a lengthy criminal history including arrests on suspicion of first-degree assault, harassment and domestic abuse. Police said Zomalt did not have a steady address and had been living with family and friends.He has not been seen since before Aug. 13. Police are asking anyone with information to call a tip line at 253-288-7403. The suspect is described as being a possible mixed-race male with a slender build and short dark hair and approximately 5′ 8″ to 5′ 10″ tall. He was driving a dark SUV, when last seen.
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Why Jessa Duggar Wants to Plan Out Her First Kiss With Ben Seewald

Why Jessa Duggar Wants to Plan Out Her First Kiss With Ben Seewald

TLC(NEW YORK) — Like her sister Jill, Jessa Duggar is waiting for her wedding to have her first kiss with her fiancé.To say they’re excited would be an understatement.”We’re really looking forward to the first kiss!” she told ABC News. “We’re talking about it — what if we miss or mess up? We’re gonna have to plan this out or something!”Duggar, 21, announced her engagement to Ben Seewald, 19, earlier this month. It will be documented on 19 Kids & Counting, her family’s reality TV show, which premieres on Sept. 2 at 9/8 p.m. CT on TLC. Fans will also get to see Duggar plan her wedding, which she promises will differ from her Jill’s nuptials this past June. 
“The guest list is pretty big, but not as big as my sisters” she said. “My list is a little smaller [than Jill's was], but then Ben’s guest list is bigger Derick’s. It will be another Duggar-sized wedding!”The reality TV star said that she and her future husband hope to tie the knot this fall or winter. They’ve already begun thinking about their color scheme (no, nothing has been chosen yet) and who they’d like to tap to be their bridesmaids and groomsmen (yes, their families will be involved).However, both Duggar and Seewald are focused on making sure that their wedding is cost efficient and are considering re-using Jill’s decorations and flower girl dresses.”We’re gonna go really simple with a lot of our food and even flowers and that type of stuff. People spend so much on flowers, it’s outrageous!” Duggar said. “I’ll go to the grocery and buy flowers! I don’t know how many flowers we’ll have in nature if it’s cold outside but I was like, ‘How about we just go pick [some]?’””We want to have a nice wedding that everyone will enjoy but at the same time, we’d like to push our budget more toward our honeymoon because that’s our time together,” added Seewald, who said that TLC will also document some of their getaway. “That’s our first few weeks together.”
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Locust Swarm Descends Upon Madagascar’s Capital

Locust Swarm Descends Upon Madagascar’s Capital

iStock/Thinkstock(ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar) — A swarm of millions of locusts descended upon Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo on Thursday, slowing traffic and blotting out the skies over the city.Fully-formed clouds of the insects, which have plagued the African nation for more than two years, whizzed through the city’s streets after an urban heat wave attracted the bugs away from their usual rural surroundings.”It reminds us of the 10 plagues of Egypt,” said Ronald Miller, a missionary working in Madagascar with his family.The current plague began in April 2012, leading to a national disaster declaration in Madagascar in November of that year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The island nation’s government announced a three-year emergency plan in September 2013, when the locusts threatened food security of more than 13 million people, almost 60 percent of Madagascar’s population.FAO officer Annie Monard told Voice of America that the locust swarms in the city were caused by unusually high temperatures, not a new surge in the pest population. So far, the FAO and Madagascar’s government have succeeded in controlling the pests in over 4,600 square miles of agricultural land. Madagascar’s emergency plan will continue until 2016 and is expected to cost more than $41 million.
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Teacher Accused of ‘Wanna Stab Some Kids’ Tweet Back to School

Teacher Accused of ‘Wanna Stab Some Kids’ Tweet Back to School

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWARK, Calif.) — A high school teacher in Newark, Calif. is back for the new school year despite allegedly posting a series of social media messages in which she vented this summer about wanting to stab her students, once complaining they “make my trigger finger itchy.””I already wanna stab some kids. Is that bad? 19 more days,” reads another August tweet from the account reportedly belonging to Krista Arata Hodges, a history teacher at Newark Memorial High School.The school issued Hodges, 39, a written reprimand, ABC station KGO-TV reported, but some parents believe that’s insufficient. “As a teacher, I think that she should be held to a higher accountability than other people,” Lisa Roubineau told KGO.”I’m a nurse, and I can’t vent about my patients on Facebook, so she shouldn’t be able to vent about her students either.”Grandparent Wanda Williams said that while she doesn’t think Hodges would act on her words, she also shouldn’t be allowed to teach there anymore.
It’s unclear whether further action will be taken, and the Newark Unified School District, where classes started Monday, declined to provide details when contacted by ABC News. In a statement, the district said it is aware of “comments posted online” by a teacher and has taken action, but declined to identify the teacher or specify what action has been taken.Hodges has not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment.The tweets were posted on a Twitter account with the name “Mrs. Hodges” and the handle @kree49. It has since been deleted, but screenshots of the messages have gone viral.Students told KGO-TV that Hodges is a popular teacher and has apologized for the alarming messages.”She told me that she’s very apologetic about it and she’s told me she regrets it and she definitely wasn’t serious about it,” senior Tristian Mosier said.Another student said Hodges was probably just venting, and didn’t mean to threaten her students.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Latest Bridal Trend: Renting Your Gown

The Latest Bridal Trend: Renting Your Gown

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For traditional brides, “carrying something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” has long been a way of inviting good fortune and prosperity into a marriage. But what if the borrowed something is the big white dress?A host of new retail outlets are offering all of the glitz and glamour of a fairy tale wedding gown experience, but with a return-by date akin to Cinderella’s famous midnight curfew.Ladies and gentleman, you may now rent the bridal gown.
“When we recently launched Little White Dress rentals for brides, we received orders for events the next day,” said Kelsey Doorey, whose new e-retail site Vow to Be Chic, launched with rentals for bridesmaids and then quickly expanded its offerings. “It’s clear that women are looking for ways to make the experience more affordable and convenient without sacrificing style or dress quality.”Popular designers featured on the Vow to be Chic site include Jenny Yoo, Nicole Miller, Jill Jill Stuart, Tadashi Shoji, Watters, Theia, Joanna August, LulaKate, Alvina Valenta, Jim Hjelm and Swoon.And it’s not alone in its business model.With an increasing number of women shifting away from preserving gowns for family heirlooms, many of today’s brides are more interested in saving some money on the way from the boutique to the chapel.Longstanding designer rental website Rent the Runway, which offers 4- and 8-day rentals of upscale gowns by designers ranging from Badgley Mischka to Monique Lhiullier, recently debuted a bridal category after its brick-and-mortar store in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas saw a steady stream of women shopping for their wedding day.”I think some women value the experience over the ownership of their gown,” said a representative for Rent the Runway. “If they already use Spotify or Uber, services where you’re not necessarily owning something versus experiencing it, they will also feel comfortable with renting a wedding gown.”Plus, the savings of renting are not insignificant.A sleek, long-sleeved, cocktail-length wedding dress by Dsquared that would normally retail for approximately $830 can be rented for $125 on Rent the Runway. And at Washington, D.C.-based bridal rental atelier Borrowing Magnolia, a Jenny Packham “Aspen Gown” featuring a draping silhouette, meticulous bead work and an illusion lace back that would typically sell for $5,000 before alterations, can be rented for $1,250.Those discounts leave lots of funds still in the wedding budget for food, music or other desirable decor elements. And if your groom isn’t planning to keep his morning jacket, proponents say there’s no reason why his betrothed can’t follow suit with her tulle.”Guys have been renting tuxes forever,” Doorey told ABC News. “It finally dawned on me: Why can’t women enjoy the same concept?”
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“Sister Wives” Star Wins Case Against Polygamy Ban

“Sister Wives” Star Wins Case Against Polygamy Ban

TLC(SALT LAKE CITY) — Kody Brown, 44, and his four sister wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn — can now have a legal marriage in their home state of Utah.”It is with a great pleasure this evening that I can announce the final decision of United States District Court Judge Clarke Waddoups on the last remaining count in the Sister Wives case,” Brown’s attorney, Jonathan Turley, said on his blog.The Browns, stars of the show Sister Wives, had been embroiled in a polygamy law case that had forced them away from their home. Turley said Waddoups had previously struck down “key portions” of the Utah polygamy law as unconstitutional, but that one item, Section 1883, remained.”He has now ruled for the Browns in what is now a clear sweep on all counts,” he wrote about the section “that state officials (notably prosecutor Jeffrey R. Buhman) violated the constitutional rights of the Brown family in years of criminal investigation and public accusations.””With the earlier decision, families like the Browns can now be both plural and legal in the state of Utah,” he added. “The court specifically struck down language criminalizing cohabitation — the provision that is used to prosecute polygamists. … Judge Waddoups reaffirmed the independence of our courts and stood against open prejudice and hostility toward plural families.”After the win was announced, Brown gave his lawyer a statement to post that read, “While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our religious beliefs. Just as we respect the personal and religious choices of other families, we hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs.”Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes told ABC News via a statement his office is determining whether to appeal the ruling.”The attorney general’s office is currently reviewing Judge Waddoups’ ruling of Brown v. Herbert and will make final determination of whether or not to appeal one or more of the issues in the decision within the coming weeks,” the statement read. “It is important to legally assess the ruling’s scope and how it will impact future litigation.”
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Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu Facing Questions About Residency

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu Facing Questions About Residency

US Senate(WASHINGTON) — Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu is the latest Washington veteran being forced to fend off a challenge to her reelection that alleges she is no longer a resident of her home state, but lives in DC.A similar challenge succeeded in knocking off former Indiana senator Richard Lugar in 2012, despite – or because of – his 35 years in Congress.Landrieu’s office and campaign are fighting back very cautiously.”I have lived at my home on Prieur Street (New Orleans) most of my life and I live there now when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state,” Landrieu said in a statement released to ABC News.A Landrieu campaign official also noted that both Landrieu and her husband file taxes in Louisiana.Her campaign, however, will not elaborate on the controversy.It is an issue that is increasingly being employed this year against members of Congress who are repeatedly reelected, and spend most of their time in Washington.Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, acknowledged to The New York Times that he does not have a home of his own in Kansas, and his primary opponent, Dr. Milton Wolf, has attacked him over it. Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., has feuded with his Republican opponent, John Katko, over a mention of Maffei’s wife’s work and the couple’s home in the D.C. area.Landrieu, a Democrat, is already in a race that is considered one of the most closely contested this year and could determine control of the Senate.
Landrieu claims her parents’ home in New Orleans as her principle address, and listed it on her statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this year. But the Democrat also lists her multi-million dollar Washington, DC home as her address on other documents, including her filing with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office when she qualified to be on the ballot last week.Rob Maness, a tea party candidate in the race, filed a letter with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office last week calling for an investigation into Landrieu’s residency. He followed up on Friday by submitting written complaints to district attorneys in four parishes, calling on them to object to the Landrieu’s qualifications as a candidate. Landrieu’s leading Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, has piled on to paint Landrieu as a creature of Washington.
Landrieu maintains that she lives at her parents’ home in New Orleans, of which she is a partial owner under a family trust and where she is registered to vote.According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s listed qualifications, a candidate for U.S. Senate must “be an inhabitant of Louisiana when elected.”The Constitution governs residency requirements, broadly. As Louisiana’s law is worded, it requires senators to “be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”The definition of what it is to be “an inhabitant” is a broad one, said Dr. Pearson Cross, the head of the political science department at the University of Louisiana. From a legal standpoint, he said it would be difficult to prove that Landrieu is not an inhabitant.
“Courts have been reluctant to intervene in that and have given a lot of latitude in defining residency,” Cross said. “To say that Mary Landrieu is not a resident is a bit disingenuous given that Senate and Congress have become a full-time occupation and that their work is done in Washington.”Cross said the issue of Landrieu’s residency is a ploy likely to influence voters who are already inclined to vote against Landrieu.”It will have resonance with some voters who are pre-inclined to believe,” Cross said. “It will probably have little effect on voters who aren’t inclined to believe it. In terms of Louisiana politics, it’s clear that many people, particularly those with national focus, are running against Washington. To the extent that you can tar someone with the Washington brush, it’s an effective campaign tactic.”
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Kraft Recalls 8,000 Cases of American Singles Cheese Slices

Kraft Recalls 8,000 Cases of American Singles Cheese Slices

Kraft News Center(NEW YORK) — Kraft is voluntarily recalling 8,000 cases of its American Singles cheese slices.
The company says a supplier did not store an ingredient according to the company’s temperature standards which could lead to premature spoilage and food borne illness. The packages have “Best When Used By” dates of February 20, 2015 and February 21, 2015.
There have been no reports of illness.
Consumers who return the recalled Kraft cheese slices will receive full refunds.
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Lego Fingerprints Helped Solve Cold Case Murder

Lego Fingerprints Helped Solve Cold Case Murder

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — Fingerprints found on Lego building blocks helped police crack a 23-year-old cold case murder mystery in Utah, authorities said.The gruesome murder of 78-year-old Lucille Johnson in Salt Lake City left police puzzled in 1991.The grandmother was strangled and beaten in her home and police found Legos in the entryway of her living room and driveway the floor, but were unable to discern who killed her, the Salt Lake Sheriff’s Office said.When the case was reopened last year, investigators tested the residue found under Johnson’s fingernails for DNA and found that it matched that of 47-year-old John Sansing, a convicted murderer serving a prison sentence in Arizona for an unrelated case, Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Sheriff’s Office said on Friday.
They also tested the fingerprints on the Legos found at the scene and found that the prints matched that of Sansing’s son.Police said Johnson and Sansing did not know each other and were investigating whether Sansing used the child to gain entry to the house.”We know there’s no relationship between the two of them,” Hoyal said. “It’s speculative as to whether the child was a ruse that was used, but it’s certainly a possibility.”Police don’t know have a motive for the crime but said that Johnson’s ring and necklace were missing, Hoyal said. They also said that Sansing is believed to have brought his son to the Arizona murder scene as well.Sheriff Jim Winder announced at a press conference Thursday that Sansing had been charged with capital murder in Utah for the crime, according to ABC News affiliate KTVX.
“Occasionally we encounter people who are evil,” Winder said. “The individual who perpetrated this is nothing short of that.””It was very important that it be solved,” Jerry Johnson, Lucille Johnnson’s son, told KTVX. “I wasn’t sure it would ever be solved.””I am so grateful, so very grateful to the police department for the work that they’ve done,” Johnson’s daughter, Shirley England, told KXTV. “I don’t think closure is the right word because you never close something like this. It’s been a terrible thing in our life.”The Sheriff’s Office had no information on if or when Sansing would be extradited, when Sansing would appear in court, or who his lawyer would be. The District Attorney has not yet responded to calls for comment.
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Space Shuttle Discovery First Launched 30 Years Ago

Space Shuttle Discovery First Launched 30 Years Ago

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Saturday marks 30 years since Space Shuttle Discovery’s first launch.Discovery, the third space shuttle to join NASA’s fleet, left for its first mission on Aug. 30, 1984, to deploy three communication satellites.Discovery finished more than 30 missions afterwards, including one to launch the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit in 1990 and a trip to the International Space Station in 2005. According to NASA, it received its name from several exploration ships, including one used to search for a northwest passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.Discovery completed its final mission in 2011. It now resides at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
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http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/space-shuttle-discovery-launched-30-years-ago/story?id=25164883

Bengals Release BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Bengals Release BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) –  Veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been cut by the Cincinnati Bengals, the team announced Friday.
The move was expected, as Green-Ellis did not dress for the Bengals’ last two preseason games.  Giovani Bernard will be the team’s starting running back, with rookie Jeremy Hill serving as the primary backup.  Cincinnati selected Hill in the second-round of this year’s NFL draft.
“It’s very difficult to release such a fine player and person as BenJarvus,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “He has been an exceptional player and teammate, as well as mentor to our younger players. He has also been a standout person in the community. We thank Bennie for all he has done and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Green-Ellis was entering the final year of his three-year contract and was scheduled to make $2.3 million this season.  In his two seasons in Cincinnati, Green-Ellis rushed for more than 1,700 yards.  He averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry last season and had just four catches.
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Researchers Say New Heart Failure Drug Could Save Lives

Researchers Say New Heart Failure Drug Could Save Lives

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say a new heart failure drug could save lives by lowering the mortality rate of heart failure.According to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new drug, called LCZ696, showed improved results. The drug combines valsartan, which has long been used in heart failure treatment, with sacubitril, an investigative treatment for cardiovascular conditions.Those who received the LCZ696 had 20 percent better year-to-year survival rates than those who took a medicine that is part of standard heart failure care. Those same patients also experienced improved symptoms.
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Jim Irsay Reportedly Has Plea Deal in Place

Jim Irsay Reportedly Has Plea Deal in Place

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has reportedly reached a plea deal as part of his impaired driving case. That according the Indianapolis Star, citing court officials.
Irsay was arrested in March on a pair of misdemeanor charges. The Colts owner was arrested near his home after failing a field sobriety test. Officers on the scene said he had trouble reciting the alphabet. Police reports showed that Irsay had various prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash in his position at the time of the arrest.
“I cannot provide any details of — or even verify the existence of — an agreement unless and until one would be tendered to the Court at such a hearing,” said Andre Miksha, a spokesman for the Hamilton County prosecutor.
The trial, originally scheduled for Oct. 30, was reportedly rescheduled for Tuesday. While details of the plea agreement were not released, the announcement of the plea will allow NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to deliver his punishment of Irsay.
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Obama Pushes for Increased Minimum Wage in Weekly Address

Obama Pushes for Increased Minimum Wage in Weekly Address

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — With Labor Day just around the corner, President Obama outlined the arguments behind his continued push for an increased minimum wage in his weekly address.
Obama reiterated once again that Congress should act to help hardworking Americans around the country. Obama raised the minimum wage for federal workers to $10.10 per hour using an executive order earlier this year, and in his address he praised the 13 states and the District of Columbia who have followed his lead.
“America deserves a raise,” Obama said, because the country built “the greatest middle class the world has ever known” by ensuring that all hardworking Americans can get ahead.
Read the full transcript of the president’s address:
Hi, everybody.  Whether you’re firing up the grill, fired up for some college football, or filling up the car for one last summer roadtrip – Happy Labor Day weekend.We set aside Labor Day to honor the working men and women of America.  And this Labor Day, we’ve got more to celebrate.  Over the past 53 months, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs.  Last month, for the first time since 1997, we created more than 200,000 jobs for six straight months.  And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders worldwide have declared, two years running, that the number one place to invest isn’t China – it’s America.So there are reasons to be optimistic about where we’re headed.  And the decisions we make now will determine whether or not we accelerate this progress – whether economic gains flow to a few at the top, or whether a growing economy fuels rising incomes and a thriving middle class.Think about it this Labor Day.  The things we often take for granted – Social Security and Medicare, workplace safety laws and the right to organize for better pay and benefits, even weekends – we didn’t always have these things.  Workers and the unions who get their back had to fight for them.  And those fights built a stronger middle class.To build a stronger middle class in today’s changing economy, we’ve got to keep fighting.  We’ve got to fight for the right to affordable health insurance for everybody.  The right to fair pay, family leave, and workplace flexibility.  The right to a fair living wage.  Let me focus on that last one for a minute.  In America, no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.  And raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families.  It would help around 28 million Americans from all walks of life pay the bills, provide for their kids, and spend that money at local businesses.  And that grows the economy for everyone.The bottom line is, America deserves a raise.  But until we’ve got a Congress that cares about raising working folks’ wages, it’s up to the rest of us to make it happen.  And in the year and a half since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, Americans of all walks of life are doing just that.Thirteen states and D.C. have done their part by raising their minimum wages.  Four more states have minimum wage initiatives on the ballot this November.  And the states where the minimum wage has gone up this year have experienced higher job growth than the states that haven’t.  Business leaders at companies like The Gap are doing their part.  They’re raising base wages for tens of thousands of workers because they know it’s good for business.Mayors across the country are doing their part.  Mayor Emanuel in Chicago and Mayor Garcetti in L.A. are working to lift their cities’ wages over time to at least thirteen dollars an hour.I’ve tried to do my part by requiring companies that get contracts with the federal government to pay their workers a fair wage of ten dollars and ten cents an hour.  And earlier this month, the president of Kentucky State University set a great example by giving himself a $90,000 pay cut, so that he could give raises to his lowest-paid employees.  His sacrifice will give more of his workers and their families a little extra money to help make ends meet.  That’s how America built the greatest middle class the world has ever known.  Not by making sure a fortunate few at the top are doing well, but by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead.  That’s the bedrock this country is built on.  Hard work.  Responsibility.  Sacrifice.  And looking out for one another as one united American family.Let’s keep that in mind this Labor Day, and every day.  Have a great weekend, everybody.
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GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Larry Bucshon on Bringing Jobs Back to the US

GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Larry Bucshon on Bringing Jobs Back to the US

US Congress(WASHINGTON) — In the Republican weekly address, Rep. Larry Bucshon of Indiana discussed what American political leaders must do to bring jobs back to the United States.
With Labor Day on Monday, Bucshon spoke of how “Americas workers make our country go.” He noted, however, that many of those workers are “hurting.”
Bucshon mentioned 40 “good jobs bills awaiting action,” blame for which he pointed at the Democrat-held Senate.
Bucshon argues for lowering energy costs, fixing the tax code and restoring opportunities for all Americans.
Read the full transcript of the GOP address:
Hello, I’m Dr. Larry Bucshon, proudly serving Indiana’s Eighth Congressional District.
I’m honored to be speaking with you from the Heartland of America on this weekend when we tip our hat to the working man and woman.
America’s workers make our country go, so our goal should be to make our economy work for them.
But traveling around Indiana this week, going from job fairs to listening sessions to small businesses, it was easy to see how our workers are still hurting.
We’re seeing some jobs come back, but too many of our fellow Americans are stuck in part-time work or have stopped looking altogether.  And between wages staying flat – and costs on everything from food to health care going up – families are being squeezed at every turn.
Here in Indiana, and in many states throughout the union, we rely on coal to power our homes and provide good-paying middle class jobs – like the one my family relied on when I was a kid.
My dad spent 35 years as a UMWA coal miner in my hometown of Kincaid, Illinois. He was proud of the work he did everyday and rightly so.  The coal mine helped put food on our table and helped me pursue an education and realize the American Dream.
Unfortunately, the current administration is waging a war on this reliable, affordable source of energy and the countless jobs it supports.  This is one example of many where the policies coming from Washington, D.C. just don’t make sense.
As a physician, I took an oath to “do no harm.”  While this Administration’s policies continue to harm our nation’s economy and families struggling to make ends meet, Republicans are offering solutions America’s workers can count on. Our solutions will address the sluggish job market and grow our economy over the long run.
First, we need to get people back into steady, good-paying jobs.  One thing we’ve already done is fix our job training system to make it easier for workers to find the skills they need to get ahead – this was a bipartisan, common-sense compromise with our colleagues in the Senate.  We’ve also offered proposals to jumpstart small business investment and rein in the red tape factory that makes it harder for employers to hire and expand.
All told, we have more than 40 good jobs bills awaiting action in the Democratic-run United States Senate. 
Lowering costs is another area that demands action.  Several of the bipartisan jobs bills we’re asking Senate Democrats to act on would help make energy less expensive for families and small businesses, like the manufacturers that help support the Hoosier economy.  And we need to implement real health care reform that lets patients choose the plans they want at a price they can afford.
And third, we need to restore real opportunities for all Americans.  That’s why we’ve sent the Senate solutions to make education more affordable and accessible for middle-class families.  And we’re ready to fix our tax code to make it simpler and fairer for everyone.
These three things – getting people back to work, lowering costs at home, and restoring opportunity – will continue to be our focus in the weeks ahead.
We call them ‘American Solutions’ because they put the American people first.  Which is exactly what we’re asking of President Obama and Senate Democrats as we celebrate our nation’s workforce: put aside politics, and do what Americans do every day, and that’s get to work.
Thanks for listening. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.
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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Yankees Tanaka Returns to New York with Soreness

Yankees Tanaka Returns to New York with Soreness

Rob Carr/Getty Images(TORONTO) — New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returned to New York on Friday with what is being called “general soreness”. The right-hander was attempting to return from a torn ligament in his elbow suffered in July.
“I want to be a little bit cautious. I haven’t been throwing for a couple of weeks and then I started throwing again and built up the number of pitches that I’ve been throwing,” said Tanaka via his interpreter, Shingo Horie. “I think that’s the reason why there’s a little bit of extra soreness in the arm itself.”
Tanaka, almost a lock for American League Rookie of the Year before the injury, threw 49 pitches in a simulated game prior to the Yankees taking on the Detroit Tigers on August 28. Following his performance, Tanaka said he was experiencing a feeling of soreness which then raised questions about his return this season.
“I don’t have percentages,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’d like him to pitch for us, too. But as I’ve said all along, this is something we’re either going to know or not know when he gets into competition.
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Michigan State Cruises to Season Opening Win

Michigan State Cruises to Season Opening Win

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) — A 64-yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Tony Lippett opened the scoring for Michigan State football in 2014. It also started a brief injury scare as Cook needed to be helped off the field following a hit to his leg.
That scare did not last long as Cook returned to throw three touchdowns in helping the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans to a 45-7 win over Jacksonville State. The junior completed his first nine passes of the game and finished the day going 12-for-13 for 285 yards before sitting out the second half.
The defending Big Ten Champions led 38-0 at halftime before resting the majority of their starters. The Gamecocks, considered a top team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), didn’t get on the board until the Max Shortell found Markis Merrill for a nine-yard strike.
“I was proud of our kids on how we finished the game,” said Jacksonville State head coach John Grass. “We dug a hole early, and you can’t do that against a team like Michigan State. They’ve got a team that’s going to make a run at a national championship. I really believe that.”
The Spartans will have a much tougher task next week when they take on the No. 3 Oregon Ducks. 
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