District of Columbia

Obama asks Congress for short-term fix

WASHINGTON - President Obama is pressing Congress to pass another short-term mix of spending cuts and tax changes while it hashes out a broader budget deal.

Lawmakers face a March 1 deadline when automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, already postponed once, take effect.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says he still wants a comprehensive package that deals with the debt. But he says that takes time. He's asking lawmakers to move forward with a short-term deal as they continue working on a longer-term solution.

He says if the cuts aren't averted, the military, middle-class families and the economy could suffer.

In the Republican address, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said the U.S. must ramp up domestic energy production by streamlining regulations, investing in research and approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas.


2 Minnesota women turn 110 and 101

STEWARTVILLE - Two women at a Minnesota care center have celebrated milestone birthdays.

A Rochester Post-Bulletin report said Ruth Andreasen turned 110 years old at the Stewartville Care Center on Friday, the same day Lucile Voeltz turned 101.

Andreasen has nine grandkids, 19 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. She was born in 1903 and married a World War I veteran in 1923. Her family says she attributes her longevity to never smoking, never drinking and keeping a strong faith.

Voeltz worked in a factory after World War II. She and her husband also owned a farm in Wisconsin. Her daughter, Lois Esterrich, said her mother's secret to longevity is also her faith.


Hunt for coyotes under way in north

SAN FRANCISCO - Hunters are spending a portion of the weekend fanning out across a remote county in far Northern California as they compete in a controversial contest to see who can kill the most coyotes.

The annual coyote hunting contest near the tiny Modoc County community of Adin comes after opponents of the event failed get the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to stop the event.

Animal advocates and others say the hunt is inhumane, and argue that the killing of what's expected to be dozens of coyotes during the weekend contradicts wildlife management practices.

Modoc County - with a population of less than 10,000 people - is tucked into the northeast corner of California, with Oregon to the north and Nevada to the east.


Mayor resigns over gay slur accusations

CINCINNATI - The mayor of a southeastern Ohio town has resigned over accusations that she repeatedly called a gay police officer "queer" in front of his colleagues and created a hostile work environment.

Jackie Welker, council president in the Village of Pomeroy, told The Associated Press that 78-year-old Mayor Mary McAngus submitted a letter of resignation Saturday.

Police Chief Mark Proffitt told the council this week that McAngus referred to Officer Kyle Calendine as "queer" in front of other officers and dispatchers. He said that at one point she said, "I don't like a queer working for the village."

Proffitt had warned the council that McAngus' comments could open the village to a lawsuit.

The Associated Press