Nation roundup for May 12


Snowstorm barging into Colorado, Wyo.

DENVER (AP) — A powerful spring storm dropped more than a foot of sloppy, wet snow in parts of Colorado and Wyoming on Mother’s Day, causing crashes and leading to road closures, and forecasters are warning that conditions could get worse as temperatures plummet overnight.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for most of northern Colorado and parts of southern Wyoming for all of Sunday and for this morning.

Forecasters were also warning that strong thunderstorms and tornadoes could develop in Nebraska and Iowa on Sunday. A tornado was reported in south-central Nebraska, the weather service said, but no significant damage was seen immediately. There was a moderate risk of severe weather in the area into Sunday night, the weather service said.

In Colorado, Department of Transportation officials said plunging temperatures and heavy, wet snow have created icy conditions and forced several closures along Interstate 70 west of Denver on Sunday afternoon. Multiple accidents were reported on the mountain corridor, frustrating skiers and snowboarders eager to get a few more runs in before the season ends. Authorities also closed parts of Interstate 25 because of several accidents Sunday afternoon.

House approves bill backing charter schools

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Friday passed a bill boosting support for charter schools as part of a GOP-led push to promote school choice.

The bipartisan measure would provide $300 million annually to expand charter schools and consolidate two programs. It would provide state grants to expand and replicate high-quality charter schools and help fund the acquisition of buildings for the schools. The measure passed 360 to 45.

“Clearly, these institutions are a valuable part of a successful education system,” said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn, the chairman of the House Education Committee.

He said the federal charter school program is “in need of key reforms to enhance access and ensure continued educational quality.”

There are more than 2.5 million students attending more than 6,400 public charter schools, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

The alliance says 1 in 20 students in America attends such a school, most frequently in New Orleans, Detroit and the District of Columbia.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has made expanding school choices a priority, and Democrats and Republicans have found common ground on charter schools.

The bill was opposed by the National School Boards Association. It says decisions about charter schools should be made at the local and state level, not by federal lawmakers.

This week a bipartisan group of senators filed a similar bill in the Senate where the chance of passage appears more uncertain.

Ford recalls more than 692,000 vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling more than 692,000 Escape small SUVs and C-Max gas-electric hybrids in North America to fix two safety problems.

The recalls cover vehicles from the 2013 and 2014 model years. Most of the Escapes have both problems.

The first case covers 692,500 Escape and C-Max vehicles. A software glitch can stop the side curtain air bags from inflating in certain types of rollover crashes. The company says it has no reports of crashes or injuries. Dealers will reprogram the air bag control computer for free.

About 65,000 of the recalled vehicles are C-Max models, and the rest are Escapes. Roughly 591,000 are in the U.S., with 3,500 more in U.S. territories. About 78,000 are in Canada and another 19,500 are in Mexico, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in an e-mail. There could be more vehicles affected in other markets, the company said.

The affected Escapes were built from Oct. 5, 2011 through Feb. 14, 2014. The C-Max vehicles were built from Jan. 19, 2012, through Feb. 24, 2014.

The second case covers about 692,700 Escapes. Exterior door handles can bind and stop the door from latching properly. This could allow doors to open while the SUVs are in motion.

Dealers will inspect the handles and reposition them if needed. No crashes or injuries have been reported.

About 583,000 are in the U.S. or its territories, with another 89,500 in Canada and 20,000 in Mexico. Ford said in this case, the problem may affect vehicles in other markets. All the North American Escapes were built from Oct. 5, 2011, through April 10, 2014.

 

Rules for posting comments