WASHINGTON (AP) - More than a decade ago, then-state Sen. Barack Obama helped pass a racial profiling bill in Illinois. Now that effort is offering clues about how America's first black president feels about an issue still polarizing the U.S. months after Trayvon Martin's death.
Obama has said little about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who was charged with killing the black teenager in Florida. Obama says the jury has spoken, but wants the nation to seek ways to prevent future tragedies.
In 2003, Obama passed a bill requiring police to keep track of the race, age and gender of drivers they pulled over. The records could then be analyzed for bias.
Obama has written about his own experiences with profiling, including being pulled over, in his words, "for no apparent reason."
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Families of the 26 children and educators killed in the Connecticut school shooting will receive $281,000 each under a plan for dividing up $7.7 million in donations.
Also, the families of 12 surviving children who witnessed the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School will each get $20,000. Two staff members who were injured will get $75,000 each.
A community foundation released the plan Wednesday, following a preliminary proposal last week and its approval Monday by the foundation board.
The foundation was asked to divide up more than $11 million raised with the help of the United Way. Committees will decide how the rest will be used.
Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother at their home before assaulting school children and staff, then killing himself. His motive remains unclear.
One man faces charges, including first degree murder, for allegedly shooting two men Tuesday night.
Police say 20-year-old Ralph Cato approached three people as they sat on the front porch of a home near Fairgrounds Park and started shooting. The shots hit two men, critically injuring one man and killing the other. The victim has been ID'ed as Charles Moorehead.
Prosecutors issued six felony charges against Cato, ranging from murder to assault and armed criminal action.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State utility regulators have approved a deal combining Missouri's two largest natural gas companies.
The Missouri Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved an agreement that allows Laclede Gas Co. to purchase Missouri Gas Energy.
Laclede Gas serves about 630,000 customers in the St. Louis area and parts of eastern Missouri. Missouri Gas Energy serves more than 500,000 customers in the Kansas City area and parts of western Missouri.
St. Louis-based Laclede Gas announced last December that it would pay about $1 billion to buy Missouri Gas Energy and New England Gas Co.
The deal approved by Missouri regulators bars Laclede Gas from seeking a general rate increase in its current service area until October 2015. But it could seek an immediate rate increase for the Missouri Gas Energy territory.