Storm recovery under way in hard-hit South

PRATTVILLE, Ala. - Homeowners, utility crews and others worked Monday to clear away wreckage and restore services after the latest round of winter tornadoes to smash through the South.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley toured part of Prattville and said he was impressed by the community's response to the twister that struck the town.

'One of the great things about living in Alabama - and I say this after every major emergency we have - it truly is amazing to see what's happening out there with all the families in this state,' Riley said.

At least 29 people were injured in Prattville on Sunday, and Mayor Jim Byard said about 200 homes and 50 to 100 businesses were damaged. No deaths were reported.

New gun law may have prevented NIU shooter from buying weapons

CHICAGO - Illinois lawmakers moved swiftly after last year's massacre at Virginia Tech to make it harder for anyone with a history of mental illness to buy guns, fortifying what were already some of the nation's toughest weapons laws.

But the new measure does not take effect until June. And whether it would have prevented last week's bloodbath at Northern Illinois University is far from clear.

Steven Kazmierczak, the 27-year-old grad student who bought an arsenal of guns in recent months and used them to kill five people and commit suicide, had been on medication and was said to have spent time in a psychiatric center as a teen in the late 1990s.

But state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a sponsor of the law that will require more detailed reporting to state officials about those who have received mental health treatment, said the sketchy information about Kazmierczak's medical history makes it impossible to know if he would have fallen under the law.

Jury holds fate of man on trial for poisoning wife

ELKHORN, Wis. - Jurors were asked Monday to decide whether to convict a man of killing his wife or to believe a defense claim that she poisoned herself and framed her husband.

In closing arguments, the defense and prosecution each said there wasn't enough evidence supporting the other's theory about the way Julie Jensen, 40, died in 1998 at her home in Pleasant Prairie.

Mark Jensen, now 48, has been charged with first-degree murder and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole if convicted.

Worshippers praise youth minister for confessing to killing

HOUSTON - The youth minister who confessed to a 1994 killing is being widely forgiven by members of his former congregation, who say they admire his courage in finally surrendering to police.

Calvin Wayne Inman, 29, remains jailed without bail since he was charged Wednesday with capital murder in the stabbing death of a convenience store clerk during a robbery. He was 16 at the time.

Nancy Reagan may be released from hospital today

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - A spokeswoman for Nancy Reagan says the former first lady may be released from a California hospital soon.

The 86-year-old Reagan is recovering after falling in her Bel-Air home on Sunday.

Spokeswoman Joanne Drake says doctors have completed their tests on Reagan and the results are good. She says doctors intend to release Reagan from the hospital today.

Zoo finishes safety improvements after deadly tiger attacks

SAN FRANCISCO - Renovations to the big cat exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo are complete following a fatal attack by an escaped tiger.

The zoo's lions and tigers are getting their first look Monday at the renovated pen. Once the animals acclimate to their surroundings, officials will decide when visitors can see the cats.

The animals have been kept indoors away from public view since a Siberian tiger killed a teenager and mauled his two friends on Christmas Day.

Training grenades get military man arrested at airport

YAKIMA, Wash. - A 20-year-old member of the military was arrested after trying to get through airport security with two training grenades in a carry-on bag, police said.

Transportation Security Administration agents spotted the grenades using a belt scanner at Yakima Air Terminal around 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Police Sgt. Tim Bardwell said.

The grenades contained live fuses but had no explosives packed around them, Bardwell told the Yakima Herald-Republic. The man was released Sunday afternoon while prosecutors and the FBI look into the incident.