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Commercial air travel in 2017 was safest ever, travel group says

WASHINGTON — Airlines recorded zero accident deaths in commercial passenger jets last year, according to a Dutch consulting firm and an aviation safety group that tracks crashes, making 2017 the safest year on record for commercial air travel. 10 more words

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Joan Renee Cook vanished after going on a late-night walk in Salem, Virginia

Mike and Joan Renee Cook had a tumultuous marriage. The couple lived in Salem, Virginia with their young daughter, Ashlyn. But in 2007, Mike moved to Des Moines, Iowa to find a job, with plans for Joan and Ashlyn to join him once he was settled. 9 more words

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Long Branch shooting: 16-year-old boy suspected in New Year’s Eve murder of family

A 16-year-old New Jersey boy is suspected of fatally shooting his parents, teenage sister and a family friend with a semi-automatic rifle shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve, police said. 10 more words

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Recreational marijuana, paid family leave among 2018’s new laws

WASHINGTON — The new year brings a host of state laws that take effect starting Monday, from making marijuana more accessible to requiring paid family leave. 22 more words

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‘Nigerian prince’ scammer was 67-year-old from Louisiana, police say

SLIDELL, La. — A 67-year-old Louisiana man swindled people out of thousands of dollars as a middleman in a “Nigerian prince” internet scam, according to police. 27 more words

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Man’s tongue-in-cheek obituary blames winless Cleveland Browns

HURON, Ohio — An Ohio man’s tongue-in-cheek obituary blames the winless Cleveland Browns for contributing to his demise. The football team was 1-15 last season and 0-16 this year following Sunday’s finale in Pittsburgh, where the Browns lost 24-28 to the Steelers. 9 more words

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Deputies ‘down’ after being called to suburban Denver scene

DENVER — Authorities in Colorado say a number of deputies from a sheriff’s office in suburban Denver have been wounded. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said via its Twitter account that a major highway south of the city was shut down Sunday. 9 more words

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