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Farmers for hire turn backyards into decorative vegetable patches

Jeanne Nolan grew up in an affluent suburb of Chicago. When it came time to apply for colleges, she shocked her family by opting to skip college and become an organic farmer. Then she brought her farming skills back to the suburbs and city, installing and tending vegetable gardens at clients’ ...

Guardian dogs help protect herd animals

Livestock guardian dogs (sometimes called LGDs) can be lifesavers, not only for herd animals and poultry but also for farmers and ranchers trying to build a profitable business. Laura Faley owns Hidden Meadow Ranch near Mount Vernon, Washington, about 60 miles north of Seattle. She raises ...

Dolley Madison: the White House’s first power hostess

Sometimes, thoughtful decor, elegant tableware and gracious entertaining can come together into something truly powerful. An exhibit in New York argues that Dolley Madison’s prodigious domestic, social and political talents helped define and unite a fledgling nation. Madison was the first ...

Discussing relationship problems has unusual outcome

Dear Annie: My boyfriend, “Hector,” and I have been dating for four years. Like any couple, we’ve had our ups and downs. We used to argue a lot about things that were, in retrospect, petty and inconsequential. The beginning of last year was especially bad. We had each hit a wall ...

Partial US travel restrictions going into effect today

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive ...

Cardinal takes leave from Vatican after sex assault charges

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, took a leave of absence as the Vatican’s financial czar today to face multiple criminal charges in his native Australia that allege he committed sexual assault years ago. Pell appeared before reporters in the Vatican ...

Man beaten in road rage attack

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Police in Connecticut say a man was dragged out of his car and beaten in an apparent case of road rage. A witness tells WTNH-TV the 53-year-old man slammed on his brakes during a green light at a New Haven intersection Tuesday to avoid hitting people crossing the ...

Russia accuses US of provocation

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is accusing Washington of preparing a “provocation” in Syria, which would then be blamed on President Bashar Assad’s government as alleged use of chemical weapons. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today that Moscow has received information ...

Federal officials to conduct assessment of flood damage

GLADWIN (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder says federal officials will conduct an assessment with local entities to look at damages and response costs after recent flooding in mid-Michigan. Snyder said in a Wednesday statement that the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the state’s ...

Church donation dispute revived

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area couple is getting another opportunity to challenge a church over what it did with more than $41,000 in donations. Eugene and Jeanette Rogers want a refund, saying St. John United Methodist Church in Pontiac didn’t use their donations for a fellowship ...

Wildfires sweep Western US

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz.— Jill Baker grabbed her dogs and took refuge at a high school after a raging fire forced her northern Arizona town to evacuate. Baker was one of nearly 2,000 people who fled a wildfire that has charred 32 square miles of dense shrubbery over the same area devastated ...

Motorcycle fees to go up?

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate is expected to take a final vote on legislation to raise registration taxes and safety training fees for motorcyclists. The bill today’s agenda would increase the annual registration fee to $25 — a $2 increase. It would boost initial endorsement ...

Dear Annie: Kids these days

Dear Annie: Maybe I am overly sensitive, but there are so many commercials with children doing things that they really should not be doing, and it makes me wonder about the younger adults who find this cute. Currently, there is an ad for a travel company featuring a teacher who is ready for ...

GOP ‘Obamacare’ repeal teeters after Senate shelves vote

WASHINGTON — The Republican Party’s long-promised repeal of “Obamacare” stands in limbo after Senate GOP leaders, short of support, abruptly shelved a vote on legislation to fulfill the promise. The surprise development leaves the legislation’s fate uncertain while raising new ...

Amazon’s hiring binge to extend to Michigan with 1,600 jobs

LANSING — Online retailer Amazon plans to further extend its U.S. hiring binge into Michigan by spending up to $140 million and adding 1,600 full-time jobs at a new facility outside Detroit after being awarded a $5 million state incentive on Tuesday. It was the second time in six months ...

Calls prompt post lockdown

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Two 911 calls and a tweet about the possibility of an active shooter at a military installation set off a day of panic and confusion in Alabama. The emergency calls Tuesday came from within the Redstone Arsenal base near Huntsville and led the installation to tweet a ...

Police detain IS suspects

MADRID (AP) — Police today arrested six suspected members of the Islamic State group, four in Spain and one each in Britain and Germany, Spain’s Interior Ministry said. A ministry statement said the man arrested in Britain was a Salafist imam who led the group and who was sought by ...

Pentagon: ‘active preparations’ by Syria for chemical attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Tuesday said it detected “active preparations” by Syria for a chemical weapons attack, giving weight to a White House statement hours earlier that the Syrian government would “pay a heavy price” if it carried out such an attack. A Pentagon ...

Casual touching an issue

Dear Annie: I have a problem with my neighbor that I don’t know how to handle. We have been neighbors for three or four years. “Mr. Yates” has a seriously ill wife who is homebound. He does everything for her, in addition to doing all the work on the property. He has been helpful to ...

‘Like bombs’: Bankrupt company’s air bags still in use around world

Takata’s lethally defective air bags proved to be the company’s undoing Monday. But it could take years to get the dangerous devices off the road in the U.S. and around the world. Crushed by lawsuits, fines and recall costs, the Japanese auto parts supplier filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo ...