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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie's critics are seizing on claims from a former loyalist that the Republican governor knew about massive traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge last year as they were happening.

The lawyer for the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who ordered them said in a letter released Friday that evidence exists that Christie was aware.

No evidence was presented in the letter.

But the allegation contradicts Christie's claim that he was unaware of the jams until after they happened.

They were the result of lane closures that appear to have been politically motivated.

The Democratic National Committee says the allegations mean that Christie could be forced to talk about things other than Sunday's Super Bowl being held in his state.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The search for a home for President Barack Obama's presidential library is officially underway.

With Obama's blessing, top supporters are launching a foundation that will develop and build the library, which will both house his presidential records and serve as a lasting monument to his legacy.

The nonprofit Barack H. Obama Foundation will be led by a close Obama friend from Chicago, Marty Nesbitt, and by a former White House social secretary and top official in his re-election campaign, Julianna Smoot.

A vigorous competition to host the library has already ramped up. The state where Obama was born, Hawaii, and the state where he has lived for decades, Illinois, have been lobbying the Obamas publicly and privately.

New York, where Obama went to college, also has expressed interest.

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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A St. Louis man is in custody, accused of holding a woman captive for three months and repeatedly sexually assaulting her.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Clifton Wilkes is charged with sodomy, kidnapping, rape, assault, and several misdemeanors.

Police say that the victim went to Wilkes' apartment on October 15. She told investigators that she woke up the next day in his bedroom. She was missing her pants and the door to the room was locked. The victim says that over the next three months she was raped, choked, and punched. She was beaten so severely that she lost a tooth.

The Post-Dispatch reports that the victim was able to escape the house on Wednesday. She ran to a neighbor's home for help, but Wilkes broke in and took her back to his apartment. 

Wilkes is now held on a $500,000 bond.

Saturday, 01 February 2014 09:05
Published in Local News
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon has set an August 5th special election to fill three vacant Missouri House seats.

Nixon announced the House election dates Friday, but he did not call for a vote to replace Senator Ryan McKenna, who he appointed in December as the state labor director.

The 120th House District has been vacant since Republican Jason Smith of Salem resigned in June upon winning a special election to Congress.

The two other House seats opened up in December. Democratic Representative Steve Webb, of Florissant, resigned while facing criminal charges. Republican Representative Dennis Fowler of Advance resigned when Nixon appointed him to the state Board of Probation and Parole.

The special election announcements come as Nixon is facing a lawsuit seeking to compel him to call the elections.

Saturday, 01 February 2014 09:02
Published in Local News
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