Obama relishes 'major milestone'
WASHINGTON - Savoring his first big victory in Congress, President Barack Obama on Saturday celebrated the newly passed $787 billion economic stimulus bill as a 'major milestone on our road to recovery.'
Speaking in his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said, 'I will sign this legislation into law shortly, and we'll begin making the immediate investments necessary to put people back to work doing the work America needs done.'
At the same time, he cautioned, 'This historic step won't be the end of what we do to turn our economy around, but rather the beginning. The problems that led us into this crisis are deep and widespread, and our response must be equal to the task.'
The bill passed Congress on Friday on party-line votes, allowing Democratic leaders to deliver on their promise of clearing the legislation by mid-February. Obama could sign the measure as early as Monday.
Burglary victim takes thieves' van
BELLEVUE, Wash. - A man in Washington state made sure a pair of burglars didn't get away with his three flat-screen televisions - he moved their getaway car.
Patrick Rosario was in the basement of his Bellevue home on Tuesday when he heard the burglars upstairs.
The Seattle Times said the 32-year-old Rosario, who had been laid off from his job as a Washington Mutual manager, called 911 while he sneaked out of the house.
He saw a white van sitting in front of his house with the motor running and the keys in the ignition, and he got in and drove it to a friend's house.
Ariz. district cuts school week
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - A school district has decided to shrink the school week from five days to four in an effort to save cash because of the deepening recession and falling enrollment.
The Bisbee Unified School District board voted Thursday to close schools every Friday for the next two school years. District Superintendent Gail Covington had recommended the shortened school week as a way to save $500,000 each year in the small southeastern Arizona town.
School days would be lengthened by an hour to make up the lost instructional time.
Burris confirms Blagojevich donation request
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Sen. Roland Burris admitted in a document released Saturday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother asked him for campaign fundraising help before the governor appointed Burris to the Senate.
The disclosure is at odds with Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
Burris issued a statement Saturday saying he voluntarily gave the committee a Feb. 4 affidavit disclosing the contact with Robert Blagojevich because 'there were several facts that I was not given the opportunity to make during my testimony to the impeachment committee.'
Ohio woman pleads guilty in exercise death
CHARDON, Ohio - A woman has pleaded guilty to reckless homicide for exercising her 73-year-old husband to death in a swimming pool, repeatedly refusing to let him leave the water.
Surveillance video showed Christine Newton-John, 41, pulling James Mason around the pool by his arms and legs, said Middlefield police Chief Joseph Stehlik
The chief said he counted 43 times in which Newton-John prevented her husband from leaving the water, and Mason rested his head on the side of the pool several times while gasping for breath.
Octuplets mom's publicist quits
LOS ANGELES - The public relations group that has represented octuplets mother Nadya Suleman is stepping down because of death threats, its president said Saturday.
Joann Killeen also said the mother now has an agent: Wes Yoder, the same man who arranged book and music deals for the McCaughey septuplets a decade ago and publicity for controversial pastor Rick Warren.
The Killeen Furtney Group was ending its free representation after receiving at least 100 graphic
e-mailed threats and swarms of nasty voicemails that went to the Los Angeles agency and even to some of its other clients, Killeen said.