No Powerball winner; $320M prize to grow

DES MOINES - Lottery officials said Thursday that no ticket matched all the numbers in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing. Three tickets won the $1 Million Match 5 prize. But it means the $320 million jackpot is likely to swell before the next drawing Saturday.

The jackpot is the sixth-highest in history, but it could grow depending on sales at the end of each day, said Mary Neubauer, spokeswoman for the Iowa Lottery, one of the founding Powerball states.

No one has won the Powerball jackpot since early February.


Bell mistrial declared on dozens of charges

LOS ANGELES - Saying she feared "all hell" had broken loose among jurors, a judge declared a mistrial Thursday on dozens of remaining counts against five former elected officials who had been convicted the day before of looting a working-class Los Angeles suburb.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy took the action after the 12-member panel struggled to decide 42 counts against the former mayor and four former members of the Bell City Council.

On Wednesday, the panel convicted the five of a total of 21 counts of misappropriating public funds and acquitted them on 21 other counts. A sixth former official was acquitted of all charges.

Beach closed at night over taunting of seals

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has ordered the Children's Pool beach in La Jolla closed at night after viewing a surveillance video of people "harassing, taunting and causing stress" to mother seals and their pups on the beach under the cover of darkness.

"The behavior was shocking, reprehensible and certainly not a reflection of how most citizens in this fine city believe animals should be treated," Filner said in issuing the emergency order this week.

Under the order, the beach will be closed from sunset through sunrise until May 15, considered the end of the pupping season.


Chicago is planning to close 54 schools

CHICAGO - Tens of thousands of Chicago students, parents and teachers learned Thursday their schools were on a long-feared list of 54 the city plans to close in an effort to stabilize an educational system facing a huge budget shortfall.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the closures are necessary because too many Chicago school buildings are half-empty, with 403,000 students in a system that has seats for more than 500,000. But opponents say the closures will further erode troubled neighborhoods and endanger students who may have to cross gang boundaries to attend school.

The schools slated for closure are all elementary schools and are overwhelmingly black and in low-income neighborhoods.


Police: Boy, 12, locked in room for 3 months

NEWARK - A couple have been indicted for allegedly locking their 12-year-old son in his room for three months.

Police in New Castle County arrested Robert Hohn III, 41, and Shannon Watterson, 39, in late November after the malnourished and barefoot boy escaped to a neighbor's home. A grand jury indicted the couple Monday.

Police say the boy had been locked in his room from September to late November and allowed to leave only when he had to use the bathroom.

Wire reports