WASHINGTON: Roads-loans bill up for vote

Republican leaders pushed a sweeping highways-student loans package salvaging millions of construction jobs and maintaining low interest rates on millions of new college loans toward a House vote Friday even as conservative groups mounted a last-minute campaign against it. Favorable action by the Senate on what would be the only big jobs measure Congress has enacted this year was assured. Leaders ran into procedural hurdles Thursday evening that pushed back a vote until Friday. Lawmakers in both parties hoped to get an early start bragging about a rare accomplishment four months before the election.


NATIONWIDE: Smartphone weather alerts

Attorney Bob Burns of Minnetonka, Minn., already gets a lot of information from his smartphone, but he welcomes the prospect of getting a little more: free warnings about life-threatening weather from a sophisticated new government system. The new Wireless Emergency Alerts system began Thursday giving the National Weather Service a new way to warn Americans about menacing weather, even if they are nowhere near a television, radio or storm sirens. It sends blanket warnings to mobile devices in the path of a dangerous storm. "I spend enough time reading junk on my phone that's of no real benefit to me. I might as well read something useful," Burns said. "It's putting technology to use for the public good." The system will be used to notify people about approaching tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and other threats. When a warning is issued for a specific county, a text-like message of no more than 90 characters will pop up automatically on the screens of newer smartphones in that area, primarily Android and Windows Phone devices, causing them to sound a special tone and vibrate. Users do not have to sign up for the service or pay for the message.


MICHIGAN: Missing boy's body found,/H4>

The body of a 4-year-old boy missing for a week was found Thursday, buried at his home, a family spokesman said. Carnel Chamberlain's body was found under a wood porch or deck at the home on the reservation of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, 70 miles north of Lansing, Kevin Chamberlain, the tribe's former chief, said. Carnel disappeared June 21 while in the care of his mother's boyfriend.

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