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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — With U.S. health officials recommending that children mask up in school this fall, parents and policy makers across the nation have been plunged anew into a debate over whether face coverings should be optional or a mandate.

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has planted a memorial grove of native trees to remember people who died of COVID-19, and governors and state lawmakers nationwide are considering their own ways to mark the toll of the virus.

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CRANE, Texas (AP) — Rusted pipes litter the sandy fields of Ashley Williams Watt’s cattle ranch in windswept West Texas. The corroded skeletons are all that remain of hundreds of abandoned oil wells that were drilled long before her family owned the land. The wells, unable to produce any use…

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped from 204 to 1,345 in July and health officials say they are worried the state will soon see numbers that match, or exceed, the previous peak of the pandemic.

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By the end of the U.S. head count last year, the Census Bureau had no data for almost a fifth of the nation's occupied college dorms, nursing homes and prisons, requiring the statistical agency to make eleventh-hour calls to facilities in an effort to collect information or use a last-resort…

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TOKYO (AP) — Alice Dearing has an afro, a voluminous puff nearly impossible to protect in most swimming caps. Her hair shrinks if it gets wet. And the chlorine? The chemicals in a pool can cause severe damage that requires substantial time and money to treat.

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PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — California’s largest wildfire so far this year was flaring up Friday but it was because the flames were chewing through unburned islands of vegetation within a perimeter that firefighters have built, authorities said.

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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — More than 100 people had to spend the night on a highway, including nearly 30 who took refuge in a tunnel, after rain over an area burned by a wildfire once again triggered mudslides in western Colorado, authorities said Friday.

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ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — Jurors on Friday began deliberating charges against a longtime Alabama sheriff who took the stand to deny accusations that he took money from public and campaign accounts and gambled in casinos at taxpayer expense.

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EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Biden administration sued Texas on Friday to prevent state troopers from stopping vehicles carrying migrants on grounds that they may spread COVID-19, warning that the practice would exacerbate problems amid high levels of crossings on the state's border with Mexico.

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Native artist Rico Worl said he jumped at the chance to create for the U.S. Postal Service a stamp he hopes will be a gateway for people to learn about his Tlingit culture.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wealthy San Francisco couple notched a record nearly half-million-dollar buyout to vacate their luxury apartment of three decades, an indication of what some landlords are willing to pay for tenants to give up their longtime home in a city with strict rent control and …

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Two organizations tapped by the Biden administration to recommend which migrants should be allowed into the United States to seek humanitarian protection said Friday that they are halting their work with the government and demanding an end to the Trump-era ban on asylum impo…

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The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church has removed a prominent bishop from office after his peers accused him of fraudulently having church property deeds transferred to a shell corporation that then secured millions of dollars in loans against those properties.

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In another dispiriting setback for the nation’s efforts to stamp out the coronavirus, scientists who studied a big COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts concluded that vaccinated people who got so-called breakthrough infections carried about the same amount of the coronavirus as those who did n…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The first flight evacuating Afghans who worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan brought more than 200 people, including scores of children and babies in arms, to new lives in the United States on Friday, and President Joe Biden said he was proud to welcome them home.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she has no plans to ratchet up her messaging to urge people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, even as Republican leaders across the country try to persuade vaccine skeptics to roll up their sleeves and take the shots in response to a new, …

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DETROIT (AP) — Famous for gazing over eyeglasses worn on the end of his nose, Carl Levin seemed at ease wherever he went, whether attending a college football game back home in Michigan or taking on a multibillion-dollar corporation before cameras on Capitol Hill.

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NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Christina Darling finally replaced her 2006 Chevrolet Equinox after it broke down several times while picking her children up from day care. But the 31-year-old mother of two was struggling to keep up with the car payments.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britt Johnson showed up around midnight to the West Los Angeles Federal Building, hoping to apply for a rushed passport when the office opened at 7 a.m.

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BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — Two youths who escaped from a juvenile facility in Louisiana were in custody following a standoff that led to the shutdown of Interstate 65 in southwest Alabama, authorities said Friday.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year is scheduled to expire Saturday, after President Joe Biden's administration extended the original date by a month. The moratorium, put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, wa…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Six months into Democrats’ unified control of Washington, most Democrats are on board with President Joe Biden and where he's trying to take the country — even if they're divided on how to get there.

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Tornadoes touched down in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin amid powerful thunderstorms that caused widespread damage that contributed to the death of a man who crashed into a fallen tree and power line, officials said Thursday.

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HONOLULU (AP) — A woman from Louisiana who was honeymooning in Hawaii has been fined $500 after a social media video showed her touching an endangered Hawaiian monk seal, U.S. authorities said.

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BOSTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced Thursday it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday, arguing that its hands are tied after the Supreme Court signaled the moratorium would only be extended until the end of the month.

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Hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been saved from the trash after U.S. regulators extended their expiration date for a second time, part of a nationwide effort to salvage expiring shots to battle the nation's summer surge in infections.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s requirement for federal workers to reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status is likely to force uncomfortable questions not only at government agencies but at private companies as well.

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. Navy charged a sailor Thursday with starting a fire last year that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard docked off San Diego, marking the maritime branch's worst warship blaze outside of combat in recent memory.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The largest earthquake in the United States in the last half century produced a lot of shaking but spared Alaska any major damage in a sparsely populated region, officials said Thursday.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Two tribes that joined a legal battle over plans to build a mine at the largest known U.S. deposit of lithium urged a judge Thursday to temporarily ban digging for an archaeological survey that they say would desecrate sacred tribal lands in Nevada near the Oregon line.

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MIAMI (AP) — Hospital admissions of coronavirus patients continue to soar in Florida with at least two areas in the state surpassing the previous peaks of last summer's surge, prompting calls by local officials for the governor to declare an emergency.

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ATLANTA (AP) — Two new reactors at Georgia's Plant Vogtle will cost another billion dollars, with shareholders of the parent company of Georgia Power Co. taking a $460 million loss and other owners absorbing the rest.

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BOSTON (AP) — Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked after a Vatican investigation confirmed he had sexually molested adults as well as children, has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a wedding reception in Massachusetts in 1974, court records show.

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The families of eight Marines and one sailor who died when their amphibious assault vehicle sank off the Southern California coast last summer plan to sue the manufacturer of the vehicle that resembles an armored seafaring tank, their lawyers announced Thursday, a da…