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  • Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 10:21 PM ET

    DENVER— Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study. The Denver Post reports the study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found about 1 out of 8 Colorado residents older than 12 had used marijuana in the past month. Only Rhode Island topped...

  • Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows Friday, 26 Dec 2014 | 11:40 AM ET

    Those are some of the top business stories of 2014, as chosen by business editors at The Associated Press. Others include massive product disasters: A string of auto recalls after faulty ignition switches from General Motors Corp. and air bags in many car models caused injuries and deaths. Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the Federal Reserve and U.S....

  • SEATTLE— Washington state's minimum wage will rise to the highest in the nation on Jan. 1. The Seattle Times reports that the minimum wage in the state will hit $9.47 an hour then. Washington and Oregon, along with 18 other states, are set to increase their minimum wages on New Year's Day, according to the nonprofit National Employment Law Project.

  • Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 10:51 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. Happy Apple Co. of Washington, Missouri, said in a statement Wednesday that one of the apple suppliers to its California facility reported that there may be a connection between the listeria outbreak and the...

  • Court orders release of jailed real estate mogul Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 2:09 PM ET

    BILLINGS, Mont.— A federal appeals court ordered the release Wednesday of a real estate mogul who was jailed last week in Montana after being found in contempt of court over his sale of a Mexico resort. The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes after onetime billionaire and Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth, 64, was jailed Thursday for not giving...

  • Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 8:46 AM ET

    PORTLAND, Ore.— Cats these days aren't associated with deities the way they were in ancient Egypt, but the Internet has gotten them a little closer. We adore Nora the piano-playing cat. "Social media has put pets front and center," said Christie Keith, social media consultant for Maddie's Fund, a California- based foundation that works to save pets' lives.

  • Denver shelters cite legal pot in homeless upswing Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 1:55 AM ET

    So he moved to Denver, where legal pot dispensaries are plentiful and accessible. "The older ones are coming for medical, the younger ones are coming just because it's legal," said Brett Van Sickle, director of Denver's Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter, which has more than doubled its staff to accommodate the increase. Colorado's homeless population and its...

  • Creditors go after jailed real estate mogul's wife Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 2:39 PM ET

    BILLINGS, Mont.— Creditors of jailed real estate mogul Tim Blixseth are asking a federal judge in Washington state to find the onetime billionaire's wife in contempt of court as they try to chase down his far-flung assets. Glasser represents the remaining creditors from the 2008 bankruptcy of the Yellowstone Club, a Montana resort founded by Tim Blixseth in the...

  • Mashpee tribe hoping for reservation to build casino Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 1:01 PM ET

    It has submitted an application to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to designate about 150 acres in Taunton and about 170 acres in the Cape Cod town of Mashpee as its tribal reservation. Alan Meister, an economist and author of the annual Indian Gaming Industry Report, said he's unsure of the Mashpee tribe's prospects, but notes that the Obama administration...

  • Federal mediators offer help in port labor dispute Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 11:29 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES— Federal mediators have offered to get involved in negotiations to resolve a labor dispute between longshoremen and shipping lines that threatens to disrupt movement of goods through West Coast ports. The offer follows a request for mediation from the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping lines and cargo terminal operators.

  • Trashing electronics becomes illegal in New York Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 | 9:30 AM ET

    Starting Jan. 1, the final phase of New York's 2010 electronics recycling law takes effect, making it illegal for consumers to throw so-called "e-waste" in the garbage. "Now you have to recycle it," said John Shegerian, CEO of Fresno, Calif.- based Electronic Recyclers International, which provides e-waste recycling services for New York City, Los Angeles and 150 other...

  • Shippers seek US mediator in port labor talks Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 9:37 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES— The association which represents shipping lines and the operators of cargo terminals at West Coast seaports says it has asked for federal mediation in its ongoing contract talks with dockworkers. The Pacific Maritime Association said in a statement Monday that after seven months of negotiations, dockworkers and their employers remain "far...

  • Highway tunnel under Seattle to open August 2017 Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 6:45 PM ET

    SEATTLE— A new highway tunnel through downtown Seattle won't be open until August 2017, about 20 months behind schedule, state transportation officials said Monday. The contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, said it expects to resume tunneling in April. "We still have plans to mitigate that delay," Chris Dixon, project manager at Seattle Tunnel Partners, said Monday...

  • Dec 22- Hong Kong said Monday it has suspended imports of certain U.S. poultry and poultry products because strains of avian influenza have been identified in the United States, marking the second foreign market to issue such a ban. No human cases involving either viral strain have been detected in the United States or Canada, and there are no immediate public...

  • Tribes tread carefully into marijuana discussions Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 2:03 PM ET

    "Criminal activity is just going to go up more, and drug addiction is going to go up more, and everyone is going to be affected," said Edmund Yazzie, head of the Navajo Nation Council's Law and Order Committee. The split reaction among Navajo leaders reflects divisions on reservations around the country. Bureau of Indian Affairs assistant secretary and member of the...

  • Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows Monday, 22 Dec 2014 | 1:49 PM ET

    Those are some of the top business stories of 2014, as chosen by business editors at The Associated Press. Others include massive product disasters: A string of auto recalls after faulty ignition switches from General Motors Corp. and air bags in many car models caused injuries and deaths. Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the Federal Reserve and U.S....

  • Inslee criticized for ignoring school levy equity Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 | 10:31 AM ET

    SEATTLE— When the Washington Supreme Court told the Legislature it needed to fix the way the state pays for public schools, it also ordered lawmakers to stop relying so much on local levy dollars to pay for basic education. Levy reform has been a topic of discussion at every legislative session since the 2012 Supreme Court decision in the McCleary case, but Gov.

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 20- Satellite TV provider DISH Network Corp and Comcast Corp's SportsNet have reached a deal allowing the cable giant's regional sports networks to remain on-air for DISH subscribers, the two companies said on Saturday. The two pay-TV companies have been in negotiations over whether DISH would drop Comcast's regional sports network,...

  • Haggen chain buying 146 Safeway, Albertsons stores Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 2:16 PM ET

    BELLINGHAM, Wash.— The Washington state- based grocery chain Haggen Inc. plans to buy 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. The Bellingham Herald reports the sales are required under the federal review of Safeway's sale to an investment group that owns Albertsons. Associated Food Stores is buying eight stores...

  • DISH, Comcast SportsNet reach deal in regional dispute Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 | 1:47 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 20- Satellite TV provider DISH Network Corp and Comcast Corp's SportsNet have reached a deal allowing the cable giant's regional sports networks to remain on-air for DISH subscribers, DISH said on Saturday. The two pay-TV companies have been in negotiations over whether DISH would drop Comcast's regional sports network, threatening access...