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Murdered West Virginia Sheriff was a strong, anti-drug crusader

Just months before being gunned down, Sheriff Eugene Crum made good on a campaign promise to do what many in law enforcement have attempted for years in southern West Virginia — crack down on drugs, especially the illegal sale of prescription pills. In three months and two days on the job, he’d already helped indict dozens of suspected drug dealers through Mingo County‘s new Operation Zero Tolerance. Authorities haven’t said whether that crusade was related to his shooting death at mid-day on a Williamson street Wednesday, but residents and county officials suspect it. Crum’s team has targeted people “who spread
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Obama hits the road to try and revive stalled gun control effort

In danger of losing congressional momentum, President Barack Obama is drawing attention to Colorado’s newly passed gun control laws as he applies public pressure on Congress to pass similar federal measures. Obama was traveling to the Denver suburbs Wednesday, stepping up his call for universal background checks for gun buyers as well as his demands for Congress to at least vote on an assault weapons ban and limits on large-capacity ammunition magazines. The trip is heavy with political symbolism. Colorado expanded background checks and placed restrictions on magazines despite being a state with a deep-rooted hunting tradition, where gun ownership
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Mark Sanford continues comeback bid by winning GOP nomination for House seat

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday cleared another hurdle in his bid for political redemption, defeating a former Charleston County council member to win the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he held for three terms. “It’s been a very long journey. And in that journey I am humbled to find ourselves where we find ourselves tonight,” said Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago when, as sitting governor, he disappeared from the state only to return to acknowledge an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman. That woman, Maria Belen Chapur, and Sanford are now
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Two more Senators switch sides and now support gay marriage

The ever-increasing circle of Senators changing their positions and supporting gay marriage widened again Tuesday as Illinois Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Tom Carper announced their support for same sex unions. “The government has no place in the middle of the marriage question,” Kirk said on web site.  Hours earlier Carper wrote on his Facebook pagte that “all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation. On Monday, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey added his name to supporters, leaving just seven Senators from the party of
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NRA proposes armed guards in all American schools

Every U.S. school would have armed, trained personnel under a proposal funded by the powerful National Rifle Association and unveiled on Tuesday in response to December’s massacre at a Connecticut school. The proposal of the National School Shield Task Force also includes security accords between schools and law enforcement, an online safety assessment tool for schools, state safety standards and improved federal coordination for school safety. Asa Hutchinson, the panel’s director, said having a trained and armed security officer or staff member in each school was a key element of the proposal. “Obviously, we believe they will make a difference
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Connecticut unveils sweeping gun control measures

With an announcement of sweeping proposals to curb gun violence, Connecticut lawmakers said they are hoping to send a message to Congress and other state legislators across the country: A bipartisan agreement on gun control is possible. Legislative leaders on Monday revealed proposals spurred by the Dec. 14 Newtown school shooting following weeks of bipartisan, closed-door negotiations. A vote is expected Wednesday in the General Assembly, where Democrats control both chambers, making passage all but assured. “Democrats and Republicans were able to come to an agreement on a strong, comprehensive bill,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., a Democrat
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Dire budget warnings from two former federal fiscal chiefs

Two former budget chiefs who worked for presidents from opposing political parties said on Monday that the government should reduce military spending, scale back Social Security payments and end decade-old income tax cuts to reduce the federal deficit. David Stockman, who was Republican Ronald Reagan’s budget director from 1981 to 1985 and a key architect of tax-cutting policies, and Peter Orszag, budget director for Democratic President Barack Obama from January 2009 until July 2010, agreed the United States spends more on defense than is needed. Both also said the country would be well-served if better-off citizens paid more taxes and
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Paperwork error let suspect in Colorado corrections boss murder out four years erly

Because of a paperwork error, the suspect in last month’s killing of Colorado’s corrections chief was freed from prison in January — four years earlier than authorities intended. Judicial officials acknowledged Monday that Evan Spencer Ebel’s previous felony conviction had been inaccurately recorded and his release was a mistake. In 2008, Ebel pleaded guilty in rural Fremont County to assaulting a prison officer. In the plea deal, Ebel was to be sentenced to up to four additional years in prison, to be served after he completed the eight-year sentence that put him behind bars in 2005, according to a statement
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White supremacists beleived behind Texas prosecutor murders

Suspicion in the slayings of a Texas district attorney and his wife shifted Monday to a violent white supremacist prison gang that was the focus of a December law enforcement bulletin warning that its members might try to attack police or prosecutors. The weekend deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, who were found fatally shot in their home, were especially jarring because they happened just a couple of months after one of the county’s assistant district attorneys, Mark Hasse, was killed near his courthouse office. And less than two weeks ago, Colorado’s prison chief was
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Key players believe immigration deal is near

Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty — and keep their parties’ political flanks mollified. Business and labor negotiators late last week agreed on a deal that would allow tens of thousands of low-skilled workers into the country and pay them fair wages. It was a last major sticking point before the deal goes to the eight senators — four Democrats, four Republicans — to sign off on the details and propose legislation. They are looking to set in motion the
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