NATION: River rises in Rio Grande City

River rises in Rio Grande City

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas -- Upstream communities began to assess the damage Friday wrought by a Rio Grande that jumped its banks in the Texas city of Laredo, while downriver people marveled warily at a river that bore little resemblance to the lazy waterway that usually divides border cities.

The Rio Grande continued rising in the city that bears its name to more than three feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service. The river was expected to rise a least another two feet to more than 55 feet.

Long-time residents said they had not seen the river reach these heights since Hurricane Beulah in 1967. The difference so far is that the area mercifully received little rain from the tropical depression that came ashore Thursday near the mouth of the Rio Grande.

New Palin bio aimed at tweens

JUNEAU, Alaska -- You might call it Sarah Palin's introduction to the cubs.

A biography of the former Alaska governor and self-described ''mama grizzly'' is set for release in September by Christian book publisher Zondervan.

''Speaking Up: The Sarah Palin Story,'' is one in a series of biographies aimed at 9- to 12-year-old readers. Others feature 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and U2 frontman Bono.

Pam Mettler, a spokeswoman for the Zondervan's ZonderKidz division, says the subjects are ''active Christians in the world'' and prominent news figures. She says the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based publisher believes kids will connect with their stories.

Judge cuts fine in song-sharing

BOSTON -- A federal judge has drastically trimmed a $675,000 verdict against a Boston University graduate student who was found guilty of illegally downloading and sharing songs online.

Judge Nancy Gertner on Friday cut a jury's damage award against Joel Tenenbaum of Providence, R.I., to $67,500, saying it was ''unconstitutionally excessive'' and ''wholly out-of-proportion.''

Tenenbaum was sued by music companies who said he violated copyright rules. He admitted downloading songs between 1999 and 2007. The jury found him guilty and assessed the damage award last July.

Woman sentenced for taping dog

BOULDER, Colo. -- A Colorado woman convicted of taping her boyfriend's dog to a refrigerator was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years' probation.

Twenty-one-year-old Abby Toll was sentenced Friday after she was convicted of felony animal cruelty in April. She could have faced up to 18 months in prison.

Prosecutors said Toll used hair ties and packing tape to bind the snout and legs of her boyfriend's 2-year-old Shiba Inu named Rex, then taped the dog upside-down to the refrigerator.

Police say Toll told them she was getting back at her boyfriend, Brian Beck, for paying more attention to the dog than to her.

Duck boat, bodies pulled from river

PHILADELPHIA -- Police retrieved a second body Friday from the Delaware River after they recovered the duck boat that was struck by a barge and capsized, leaving two young Hungarians missing.

Authorities did not immediately confirm whether the body was that of 20-year-old Szabolcs Prem. He has been missing since Wednesday's accident, which also claimed the life of 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner. Her body was recovered early Friday nearly two miles downriver from the accident site.

The second body surfaced from beneath a salvage barge after crews raised the amphibious tour boat from the river bottom and the barge began hauling it away. A police boat pulled the body on board about a block downriver from where it surfaced.

Thirty-five other people were rescued after the barge ran over the duck boat.

Obama: Energy tax credits needed

LAS VEGAS -- Mixing policy and politics, President Barack Obama called on Congress Friday to expand a clean energy tax credit that could pay off in Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is struggling in his re-election campaign.

Obama told an audience at the University of Nevada that a $5 billion increase in clean energy manufacturing tax credits could generate nearly 40,000 jobs. Some of those could arrive in Nevada, where 14 percent unemployment threatens to undermine Reid's argument that his position as majority leader helps his state.

''If an American company wants to create jobs and grow, we should be there to help them do it,'' Obama said.