Curtis Tate

Trains, not pipelines, channel new U.S. oil boom

Who needs a pipeline when you have a railroad? While Republicans in Congress accuse President Barack Obama of killing American jobs by delaying a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the Delaware City refinery, 100 miles northeast of Washington, never needed it. | 07/31/13 16:28:37 By - By Curtis Tate

California businesses pushing GOP lawmakers to back immigration overhaul

As a comprehensive immigration overhaul appears stuck, for the moment, in the House of Representatives, an influential coalition is betting that members of Congress from California can break the logjam. | 07/22/13 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

After Asiana crash, global adoption of new pilot standards urged

As the Federal Aviation Administration finalized new, more stringent training requirements for commercial airline pilots Wednesday, some lawmakers urged the agency to push international carriers to adopt the same standards or ban them from flying to the United States. | 07/10/13 18:47:13 By - By Curtis Tate

Crashes command Anthony Foxx’s attention in first days at DOT

When Anthony Foxx took the oath as transportation secretary last week, it had been more than four years since the last fatal commercial airline accident on American soil. That changed Saturday, when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed, killing two passengers and injuring more than 100. However, the most public face of the response isn’t Foxx’s. According to Mary Schiavo, a Transportation Department inspector general in the 1990s, transportation secretaries are more behind-the-scenes players in the responses to accidents. | 07/09/13 18:54:09 By - By Curtis Tate

Gay marriage fight isn’t over in Congress

Though the U.S. Supreme Court struck a mortal blow to the Defense of Marriage Act last week, gay marriage is far from settled at the federal level, with lawmakers in Congress responding in very different ways. | 07/03/13 16:44:17 By - By Curtis Tate

Same-sex spouses of veterans in most states may not receive equal benefits

This week’s Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage will mean that the same-sex spouses of active-duty military personnel can soon qualify for benefits their opposite-sex counterparts have long enjoyed. | 06/28/13 16:47:27 By - By Curtis Tate

Senate approves Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as DOT chief

The Senate unanimously confirmed Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx on Thursday as the next U.S. transportation secretary. Foxx, who’s 42, will immediately confront safety and funding challenges in a large department that oversees the nation’s highway, transit, aviation and rail networks. Skeptics have questioned whether he brings enough heft to the job. But supporters admire his push for improvements to Charlotte’s airport, highways and transit systems. | 06/27/13 12:38:39 By - By Curtis Tate and Kevin Thibodeaux

Uncertainty remains for same-sex couples in many states

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to strike down the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act means that the federal government can grant a vast array of benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in at least a dozen states. The ruling still leaves decisions on who’s married and who isn’t to the states. That creates uncertainty for same-sex couples who married in one state but live in any of at least three dozen states that don’t recognize their marriages. | 06/26/13 18:31:45 By - By Curtis Tate

California Rep. Jeff Denham juggles national, local needs on House rail panel

High-speed rail has dominated the transportation debate in California in recent years, but the state has other passenger and freight rail needs that have received less attention, transportation experts say. | 06/20/13 16:08:30 By - By Curtis Tate

Airline merger casts doubt on Charlotte’s future as air hub, GAO says

Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s status as a major airline hub is not guaranteed in the proposed American Airlines-US Airways merger, according to Senate testimony Wednesday. | 06/19/13 19:32:22 By - By Curtis Tate

Corps of Engineers won’t review climate change impacts of Northwest coal exports

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers will not review the broader climate-change impacts of proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, an agency official told Congress on Tuesday. | 06/18/13 16:30:26 By - By Curtis Tate

Senate commerce panel approves Foxx as U.S. transportation secretary

A Senate panel on Monday unanimously confirmed Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next U.S. transportation secretary, a final step toward what’s expected to be an easy confirmation by the full Senate. | 06/10/13 19:54:27 By - By Curtis Tate

California GOP Rep. Jeff Denham urges shift in high-speed rail funds to Northeast

A California congressman said Friday that billions of dollars in federal funds should be spent on high-speed rail – just not in his state. Rep. Jeff Denham, the chairman of the railroads subcommittee in the House of Representatives and like many fellow House Republicans a critic of California’s high-speed rail project, said the money should go instead to Amtrak’s busy but aging Northeast Corridor, which serves the nation’s most densely populated region. | 06/07/13 17:34:59 By - By Curtis Tate

Bankruptcy judge removes obstacle to American-US Airways merger

A federal bankruptcy judge sided Tuesday with American Airlines, overruling a U.S. trustee’s objection to the company’s plan to pay its chairman and CEO a nearly $20 million severance package. | 06/04/13 16:31:39 By - By Curtis Tate

Boxer, with more women in Senate, pushes military to end sexual assaults

Sen. Barbara Boxer says she never imagined how long she’d have to keep fighting to protect women and men in uniform from sexual assault. | 06/01/13 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Whatever cause, Washington state bridge collapse points to bigger problems

The collapse of an interstate highway bridge in Washington state brings new attention to the limits of the country’s infrastructure, especially older structures that were designed with little room for error and were never intended to carry the number of cars and trucks they see today. | 05/24/13 19:08:54 By - By Curtis Tate

Anthony Foxx coasts through hearing to take wheel at Transportation

Anthony Foxx avoided the controversy of other Capitol Hill hearings Wednesday, receiving a mostly warm reception from senators who considered his nomination to become transportation secretary. | 05/22/13 18:54:11 By - By Curtis Tate

Transportation nominee Anthony Foxx prepares for DC debut at confirmation hearing

Anthony Foxx appears to have a clear path to confirmation as U.S. transportation secretary next week, as virtually all of his 16 predecessors have. | 05/17/13 16:33:08 By - By Curtis Tate

Senate overwhelmingly approves water infrastructure bill

In a rare display of bipartisanship on major legislation, the Senate passed a bill Wednesday to move forward on a variety of water infrastructure projects throughout the country. | 05/15/13 17:49:35 By - By Curtis Tate

On fatal crash anniversary, feds urge states to get tougher on drunken driving

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended Tuesday that states lower their threshold for drunken driving with the goal of reducing alcohol-related fatal crashes, which have held steady for much of the past 15 years. | 05/14/13 17:42:08 By - By Curtis Tate

Smaller airports have fewer departures, seats as airlines shift focus toward profits

Medium and small hub airports across the country have fewer flights and fewer seats than they did five years ago, according to a study released this week, but it wasn’t a struggling economy that caused it, according to aviation experts. | 05/10/13 17:11:13 By - By Curtis Tate

Water bill could see smooth sailing in Senate, despite critics

Amid sharply partisan exchanges over guns, immigration and the federal budget, the debate that began in the Senate this week over a water resources bill seems relatively tame. | 05/09/13 16:13:36 By - By Curtis Tate

Congress moves to ease air travel delays, then heads for airport

Congress moved fast Friday to ease delays at airports around the nation triggered by furloughs of air traffic controllers, as the House of Representatives approved by 361-41 a budget fix designed to avert more trouble. | 04/26/13 16:17:01 By - By David Lightman and Curtis Tate

Flight delays become real consequence of partisan gridlock

Politicians in Washington swapped accusations this week as anticipated mandatory spending cuts began to have their first noticeable impact on the nation’s air travel, with hundreds of flights delayed after airport personnel were forced to take unpaid days off. | 04/24/13 17:03:47 By - By Curtis Tate

Fireworks salesman says Boston bombing suspect wanted 'biggest, loudest' explosive

New details emerged Tuesday about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects as the surviving brother’s medical condition marginally improved and two of his alleged victims were buried, including an 8-year-old boy. | 04/23/13 20:38:38 By - By Michael Doyle, Lesley Clark, William Douglas and Curtis Tate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein defeated on assault weapons, but not done with gun control push

Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a lot of support in her push to renew a federal ban on assault weapons, including from law enforcement officials, hundreds of mayors and President Barack Obama. | 04/18/13 18:24:36 By - By Curtis Tate

Senate rejects series of tougher gun control measures

Gun control advocates led by President Barack Obama suffered a huge setback Wednesday as the Senate defeated a delicately crafted compromise aimed at strengthening background checks for gun buyers – and then proceeded to reject a ban on assault weapons and limits on ammunition clips. | 04/17/13 19:27:36 By - By David Lightman and Curtis Tate

Senators wrangle over how to shape gun-control amendments

The Senate struggle over guns begins Wednesday, and even the easiest votes are going to be hard. | 04/16/13 20:16:30 By - By David Lightman and Curtis Tate

Bombs shatter festive Boston Marathon, leave at least three dead

The peace of a historic and festive event was shattered Monday when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an 8-year-old, and injuring at least 130 more. | 04/15/13 23:55:49 By - By Jonathan S. Landay

For gun control supporters, the hard part has just begun

The Senate next week plans votes on a wide-ranging series of gun control measures, the first time in years lawmakers will go on the record on major steps to curb gun violence, such as banning assault weapons and restricting the size of magazine clips. | 04/12/13 16:36:36 By - By David Lightman and Curtis Tate

Gun measure clears first Senate hurdle, but tougher ones await

A Senate vote Thursday to proceed with debate on gun legislation cleared an important, early hurdle for supporters of firearms restrictions, but backers face huge and potentially insurmountable obstacles in the days and weeks ahead. | 04/11/13 17:23:10 By - By David Lightman and Curtis Tate

Senate moves closer to compromise on gun background checks

Nearly four months after the shooting deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six others in Connecticut, the Senate moved closer Wednesday to a vote on a package of gun-related legislation, in a turnaround for supporters of new gun restrictions whose efforts have faltered in recent weeks. | 04/10/13 19:29:52 By - By Curtis Tate

In shift on immigration, GOP takes cues from California

As Republican leaders nationwide rethink their positions on immigration to bring Latino voters into the party, they might look to California, where years of hard-line immigration rhetoric put the GOP on the losing side of the state’s fastest-growing group of voters. | 04/08/13 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Outside Supreme Court, supporters and opponents of gay marriage divided by family, faith

While lawyers inside the majestic Supreme Court building argued over gay marriage Tuesday, hundreds of opponents and supporters gathered outside to dance, sing and pray – and debate the issue. For the opponents of California’s ban on gay marriage, which a federal court already had declared unconstitutional, the day was reason for near-celebration, as a cause that they said was so central to same-sex couples’ ability to enjoy what every other American can – but that they’ve been denied – had scaled to the top of the legal system. | 03/26/13 19:16:14 By - By Curtis Tate and Emma Kantrowitz

In a Congress split by party, region and culture, gun control prospects appear dim

Despite a strong push for tighter gun restrictions by the White House and others, common ground continues to elude lawmakers, even in the wake of the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children dead and a nation horrified. | 03/22/13 18:07:49 By - By Curtis Tate and David Lightman

Assault weapons ban dropped from Senate bill in setback for Feinstein

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s effort to ban assault-style weapons fizzled Tuesday, as Majority Leader Harry Reid did not include the measure in a larger package of legislation to address gun violence. | 03/19/13 19:22:14 By - By Curtis Tate

American-US Airways merger raises concerns, but no major opposition

Senators questioned the top executives of American Airlines and US Airways on Tuesday about their proposed merger, but aside from concerns about the potential impact on jobs, competition and airfares, no significant obstacle has yet risen to the $11 billion deal. | 03/19/13 17:45:33 By - By Curtis Tate

Assault weapons ban clears Senate panel, with ‘uphill’ battle yet to come

After a couple of false starts, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that would ban assault weapons, restrict the size of ammunition clips and require universal background checks on gun sales. | 03/14/13 19:42:05 By - By Curtis Tate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein presses her decades-long crusade on guns

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s long pursuit of stricter gun laws began more than three decades ago on a day of bullets and bloodshed in San Francisco, when she was the president of the city’s Board of Supervisors. On Nov. 27, 1978, former supervisor Dan White walked into City Hall with a grudge and a .38 revolver. He fatally shot Mayor George Moscone, walked past Feinstein’s office and then turned his weapon on Supervisor Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials and a rising political star. The shootings recast her political career, becoming its consequential moment and one that’s forever defined her in the public sphere. | 03/12/13 12:21:45 By - By Curtis Tate

Pricey gas, more jobs equal boom for mass transit – mostly

Mass transit ridership increased nationwide last year, according to new numbers Monday, an indication that more people are going back to work and high gasoline prices are changing how they get there. However, a closer look at the ridership report reveals that while many transit systems posted large gains, others saw a decline, reflecting the unevenness of the economic recovery. And declines in the state, local and federal tax revenues that support transit systems have forced many of them to cut back service. | 03/11/13 16:45:52 By - By Curtis Tate

Largest metro areas lead growth in Amtrak ridership, report concludes

Amtrak’s ridership increased 55 percent from 1997 to 2012, and much of that growth was driven by the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, according to a report by the Brookings Institution. | 03/01/13 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Heated Senate testimony on assault weapons brings sides no closer

More than two months after the horrific mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the Senate on Wednesday held its second hearing on legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and to extend background checks to gun shows and private sales. | 02/27/13 18:16:02 By - By Curtis Tate

Lawmakers worry hub airports might lose in American-US Airways merger

Members of Congress expressed misgivings Tuesday about a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways, pressing company officials about whether the $11 billion deal would preserve competition and jobs and keep fares from rising. | 02/26/13 17:21:37 By - By Curtis Tate

Florida port officials, lawmakers blame Corps of Engineers for delayed improvements

The nation’s ports aren’t ready for changes in global trade patterns and the United States risks losing out to competitors if the federal government doesn’t speed up improvements, a group of port officials told lawmakers Thursday. | 02/14/13 16:50:04 By - By Curtis Tate

Politics and road building intersect in Kentucky

Interstate 66, once envisioned as a cross-continent highway from the Potomac to the Pacific, ends in a pile of dirt just past a cloverleaf interchange north of Somerset, Ky., the hometown of U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers. | 02/03/13 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate and Greg Gordon

U.S. keeps building new highways while letting old ones crumble

America’s highway system, once a symbol of freedom and mobility envied the world over, is crumbling physically and financially, the potentially disastrous consequence of a politically driven road-building binge. Many agree that the country needs to invest trillions of dollars in its infrastructure, yet there’s little consensus on how to finance it or what the most pressing needs are. | 02/03/13 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate and Greg Gordon

Special-interest push for South Carolina interstate hits roadblock

Business leaders in Myrtle Beach, S.C., tried every tactic they could to win $1.3 billion in funding for Interstate 73, a six-lane gateway to their seaside getaway. | 02/03/13 00:00:00 By - By Greg Gordon and Curtis Tate

Gun debate begins in Congress, but both sides start out far apart

A Capitol Hill hearing on gun control Wednesday brought together both sides of the debate, but the sharp differences on display showed that common ground could prove to be elusive. | 01/30/13 20:21:10 By - By Curtis Tate

California’s new congressman, Ami Bera: a doctor in the House

On the fourth floor of the Longworth House Office Building, a short distance down the white marble hallway from the elevator, Rep. Ami Bera is still unpacking things in an office that just last month was somebody else’s. | 01/25/13 18:56:39 By -

Democrats offer assault weapons ban, but no GOP support dims its chances

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and a group of Capitol Hill lawmakers joined law enforcement officials, mayors, clergy and victims of gun violence Thursday to offer a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like the ones used in recent mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado. | 01/24/13 19:46:52 By - By Curtis Tate

California freshmen add diverse mix to a changing Congress

The new Congress looks like a changing country, and California’s delegation looks a lot like the change. | 01/21/13 17:40:39 By - By Curtis Tate

NASA, Boeing planning to use lithium batteries in space station

NASA is planning to install batteries in the International Space Station that are similar to the ones that grounded Boeing’s Dreamliner fleet this week and which are also made by the same company. | 01/17/13 19:58:00 By - By Curtis Tate

FAA grounds Boeing’s Dreamliner over battery fire risk

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounded Boeing’s flagship 787 Dreamliner until the company resolves problems with lithium batteries that caught fire in two different aircraft. | 01/16/13 20:20:04 By - By Curtis Tate McClatchy Newspapers

Boeing Dreamliner battery fire hot enough to melt fuselage, tests show

A fire that broke out last week in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner could have been hot enough to melt the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic that makes up the plane’s shell, according to the results of tests the Federal Aviation Administration performed last year. | 01/15/13 19:48:19 By - By Curtis Tate

Fires in Boeing Dreamliner electrical compartment raise safety concerns

While Boeing maintains that a fire in an electronics compartment of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner last week and another fire on a test flight in 2010 are not related, the plane’s fire-suppression system does not protect the site where both fires occurred. | 01/14/13 17:24:05 By - By Curtis Tate

FAA’s Dreamliner probe may lead to key Boeing supplier

The Federal Aviation Administration’s review of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner could involve fresh scrutiny of a supplier that has furnished several of the plane’s key components, including faulty electrical panels and engine gearboxes that had previously grounded planes operated by three airlines. | 01/14/13 06:20:19 By - By Curtis Tate

Transportation would suffer because of fiscal cliff and impact on economy

If Congress and the White House fail to deliver a deal on spending and taxes, funding for an array of federal transportation programs could suffer. But the bigger impact could result from an economic downturn that reduces travel and transportation demand. | 12/06/12 17:32:07 By - By Curtis Tate

Debate over coal exports in Pacific Northwest leaves some out, critics charge

While proposals to turn green-leaning Washington state into a major exporter of coal to China have caused an uproar in coastal communities, the heated debate is largely absent from other places along the industry’s expected trade route to Asia. | 12/05/12 15:18:13 By - By Curtis Tate and Kristi Pihl

Lawmakers press Obama for action on Mississippi River

Lawmakers from drought-stricken states along the Mississippi River on Thursday asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and President Barack Obama to act quickly to remove navigation hazards from the river that threaten to slow or stop barge traffic. | 11/29/12 18:35:21 By - By Curtis Tate

After a week of uncertainty, California’s Ami Bera heads home as congressman-elect

Dr. Ami Bera came to the nation’s capital this week for freshman orientation in the House of Representatives not yet knowing whether he’d actually won his seat. | 11/16/12 18:34:41 By - By Curtis Tate

In shift, gay marriage racks up wins on the ballot

Supporters of same-sex marriage reached a major milestone in Tuesday’s elections, when Maryland and Maine became the first states where voters upheld marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. | 11/07/12 18:17:36 By - By Curtis Tate

Sandy exposes need to invest in transit, some advocates say

Hurricane Sandy exposed decades of neglect of transit systems, and some transit advocates think the storm’s impact has the potential to dramatically reshape how and where people live and how they get to work. | 11/02/12 18:40:11 By - By Curtis Tate

Who will pay the big bill that Sandy left?

Hurricane Sandy’s costs could run into the tens of billions of dollars, leaving state and local governments, federal agencies, utility providers and insurance companies to figure out how to split the bill. | 10/31/12 19:51:54 By - By Curtis Tate, Maria Recio and Lindsay Wise

Northeast airports, transit systems slowly start moving again after Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy brought every mode of transportation to a halt in the most populous region of the country this week, and getting people and goods moving normally again could take days, if not weeks, and add to costs that already are in the tens of billions of dollars. | 10/30/12 19:24:51 By - By Curtis Tate and Maria Recio

U.S. doubled international air travel in 20 years, but aid favors smaller airports

International air travel to and from the United States has more than doubled in the past 20 years in spite of 9/11, a deep recession and industry consolidation, according to a report released Thursday. | 10/25/12 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Boy Scouts abuse cases echo Catholic Church, Penn State scandals

The publication Thursday of 20 years worth of secret records kept by the Boy Scouts of America reveal a widespread effort by the organization to cover up a scandal involving allegations of sexual abuse against 1,200 scout leaders. | 10/18/12 19:41:03 By - By Curtis Tate

As rail lines come to life, towns and trains collide

Changes in global trade and the economy mean more freight trains are moving through America’s neighborhoods and communities, but not everyone hears romance when a locomotive whistles in the night. | 10/16/12 14:56:25 By - By Curtis Tate

47 (percent): A prime number in politics and a whole lot else

What’s up with the number 47? It’s been a frequent figure in the presidential campaign. | 10/10/12 18:26:45 By - By Curtis Tate

Overheated politics cooks up conspiracy theories

In case you missed it, we learned in just the past week that: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cooked the unemployment numbers, Mitt Romney cheated in the debate and the liberal media fixed President Barack Obama’s poll numbers a month before the election. | 10/08/12 21:00:30 By - By Curtis Tate

For the first time in decades, California House races are hot

Millions of dollars in campaign cash are pouring into California this year, but the ubiquitous television ads they’re funding aren’t for the presidential race; the hot ticket is the House of Representatives. | 10/05/12 18:05:03 By - By Curtis Tate

At memorial service, friends say Neil Armstrong’s ‘big idea’ lives on

Former astronauts, friends and family of Neil Armstrong on Thursday celebrated the first man to walk on the moon as a “regular guy” who shunned fame but embraced big, bold ideas that inspired the country. | 09/13/12 20:06:45 By - By Curtis Tate

Flight 93 memorial still $5 million away from completion

A year after the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa., the project remains short of its financial goal and is the only one of the three major 9/11 tributes that isn’t fully funded. | 09/10/12 14:10:55 By - By Curtis Tate

U.S. airport terminals upgrade to first class

A year ago, a dingy, cramped and aging terminal greeted travelers to Sacramento International Airport. The utilitarian, 44-year-old building was designed for another era in air travel, one without long security lines and with in-flight dining. | 08/30/12 15:23:18 By - By Curtis Tate

Isaac pounds Gulf Coast on Katrina anniversary

Although the National Weather Service downgraded Isaac late Wednesday afternoon, the slow-moving tropical storm continued to menace the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coasts with high winds, heavy rains and flooding as it drifted slowly northwest. | 08/29/12 20:19:27 By - By Curtis Tate and Melissa Scallan

Train derailments fuel debate over transporting coal

A string of derailments of trains carrying coal has galvanized opponents of new coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, who are concerned that more traffic in their communities would compromise health, the environment and public safety. | 08/21/12 19:01:36 By - By Curtis Tate

States to get nearly $500 million in unused earmarks for transportation projects

LaHood said that states have until Oct. 1 to identify how they intend to use the money and must obligate the funds by the end of the year or lose them. The funds were originally requested by lawmakers for projects in their states but went unspent. | 08/17/12 17:39:54 By - Curtis Tate

What science can’t yet solve: HIV’s impact on minorities, poor

For all the strides made against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, science and medicine alone can’t end an epidemic that affects vulnerable populations disproportionately: minorities, young people, poor people and those who lack access to health care. | 07/26/12 16:09:27 By - By Curtis Tate and Farah Mohamed

Researchers: With no AIDS cure, treatment for HIV is best medicine

Eight years ago, Waldon Adams tested HIV-positive. Four years ago, he developed symptoms of AIDS, which meant bouts of pneumonia and weeks-long stays in hospitals and nursing homes. Now, Adams, 51, is healthy enough to run marathons. | 07/24/12 16:39:28 By - By Curtis Tate and Farah Mohamed

Conference in D.C. to address AIDS, around the world or the block

The world’s largest gathering of AIDS researchers, activists and policymakers will convene in the nation’s capital this weekend amid rising optimism that a vaccine for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is within reach, and as more of the world’s population gains access to testing and treatment. | 07/20/12 16:29:51 By - By Curtis Tate

After 25 years, AIDS quilt continues to mend the loss of loved ones

It’s won an Oscar and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. At 1.3 million square feet, it would take up nearly half the office space in the new One World Trade Center tower in lower Manhattan. It received a “Save America’s Treasures” federal grant to preserve it for future generations. | 07/19/12 16:11:48 By - By Curtis Tate

Penn State emails tell different story of officials’ handling of Sandusky case

Perhaps the most damning details of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State are in emails exchanged between top university officials over two incidents in 1998 and 2001 that involved allegations of inappropriate contact between Jerry Sandusky and boys in a campus athletic facility. | 07/12/12 19:19:34 By - By Curtis Tate

Report: Penn State’s ‘most powerful’ leaders failed to stop Jerry Sandusky

Top officials at Penn State University, including former head football coach Joe Paterno, knew as far back as 1998 that Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys on campus, yet they repeatedly failed to take action to stop it and even hid the allegations from the university and the public, according to the findings of a long-awaited report released Thursday. | 07/12/12 09:44:34 By - By Curtis Tate

Federal highway fund is running on fumes

Last week, lawmakers in Congress approved a bill that keeps highway and transit spending at current levels for the next two years, but there was a catch: They came up nearly $20 billion short. Rather than cut spending or raise taxes to make up the difference, they tapped the U.S. Treasury, something they’d done three times already. | 07/02/12 16:20:56 By - By Curtis Tate

Jury convicts Jerry Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse

Jurors convicted Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of child sex abuse Friday, ending his high-profile trial, but opening another painful chapter in which more victims might come forward and Penn State University could find itself the defendant. | 06/22/12 22:10:55 By - Curtis Tate

In Jerry Sandusky’s hometown, residents reach their own verdict

Long before he stood trial for child sex abuse, Jerry Sandusky was the hometown hero who grew up in his family’s youth recreation center in Washington, a small town in southwest Pennsylvania, and later founded a youth charity of his own. | 06/21/12 14:58:55 By - By Curtis Tate

Why did suspicions about Jerry Sandusky yield no action for so long?

The boy, only 11 in 1998, said he felt uncomfortable when Jerry Sandusky, then a powerful assistant football coach from Penn State, first wrestled with him on the carpet and then invited him to undress so the two of them could take a shower together. | 06/15/12 18:42:42 By - Rob Hotakainen

In Jerry Sandusky trial, accusers’ testimony brings tears, angst

Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky trial are hearing from witnesses who’ve struggled at times to recount the sexual abuses they say happened to them as children, a personally painful but legally necessary outpouring. | 06/14/12 18:40:31 By - By Curtis Tate

Accuser testifies as Sandusky sex-abuse trial opens

As opening arguments began Monday in the trial of Penn State football legend Jerry Sandusky, prosecutors showed jurors a slide show of eight adolescent boys, putting faces to the stories of children alleged to have suffered sexual abuse by Sandusky over a period of years. | 06/11/12 19:08:20 By - By Curtis Tate

Federal ban on job bias still eludes gay rights groups

Gay rights activists have made significant strides in recent years on marriage and military service, but one longstanding policy goal remains elusive: a federal law to ban discrimination against gay workers. | 06/11/12 00:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Plan to update air traffic-control system faces delay

A Federal Aviation Administration plan to consolidate hundreds of outdated facilities isn’t ready two weeks before a deadline set by Congress, potentially delaying a $40 billion program to modernize the nation’s World War II-era air traffic-control system. | 05/31/12 16:26:39 By - By Curtis Tate

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng’s visa is ready, U.S. says

The State Department said Tuesday that documents to allow Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng to come to the U.S. had been completed, and Chen himself talked to lawmakers on Capitol Hill from his hospital room to describe the brutal treatment of his relatives by Chinese authorities. | 05/15/12 17:47:10 By - By Curtis Tate

Quietly, the Republican Party is embracing gays

A quiet transformation is taking place in the Republican Party, which has begun to embrace openly gay candidates – and among gay Republicans, who now feel more comfortable speaking out in a party that may have accepted them but didn’t always show it. | 05/15/12 15:21:34 By - By Curtis Tate

Year shapes up to be big one for both sides of gay marriage battle

Almost overnight, gay marriage has again emerged as a prominent national issue, and a series of coming ballot initiatives will test supporters’ and opponents’ sway over voters, lawmakers, courts and presidential candidates. | 05/09/12 19:32:23 By - By Curtis Tate

Poll: Indiana’s Sen. Lugar trails GOP challenger by 10 points

It doesn’t get more GOP establishment than Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, an elder statesman who’s been known for reaching across the aisle over his six terms in the Senate. But for the first time in decades, Lugar, 80, faces a challenger from his own party in the Hoosier state’s May 8 primary, and Indiana political observers have begun to think the unthinkable: That he could actually lose. | 05/04/12 14:52:15 By - By Curtis Tate

Mitt Romney calls Chen Guangcheng case 'a day of shame' for Obama

The controversy over Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng spilled into the presidential campaign Thursday as Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the situation. | 05/03/12 19:17:16 By - By Lesley Clark and Curtis Tate

As states seek funds for deeper ports, will ships come in?

A wider, deeper Panama Canal will open in 2014, meaning that bigger cargo ships filled with more containers of consumer goods can move directly to the population centers of the East Coast instead of stopping on the West Coast and sending the goods across the country. | 05/02/12 15:50:09 By - By Curtis Tate

Freeways no longer? Interstates might get more tolls

The last thing a public that’s paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline wants to hear is that more taxes or tolls might be necessary to keep up with the maintenance of the nation’s highways. But transportation experts and officials almost universally agree that if Americans want to drive on good roads, they’re going to have to pay more for them, or do without. | 04/16/12 19:46:10 By - By Curtis Tate

Schools across the country bring iPads to the classroom

On a warm spring morning, a pair of first-grade boys enter the computer lab at Jamestown Elementary, a traditional-looking red-brick neighborhood school that's educated generations of students. The first-graders take a black cart, big enough that they both could fit in it, and push it down the hall to their classroom. It contains an Apple iPad for every student in their class. This school is anything but old school. | 03/27/12 15:05:00 By - Curtis Tate

Immigration, marriage laws leave same-sex couples in limbo

Love may cross oceans and borders, but tens of thousands of same-sex couples in the United States live under the threat of separation because federal law prohibits immigration authorities from treating them the same as married opposite-sex couples. | 03/21/12 14:35:00 By - Curtis Tate

Florida, Kentucky plead for unity in fighting drug abuse

The White House drug czar and the state attorneys general of Florida and Kentucky told Congress on Thursday that prescription drug abuse is "a national crisis" and efforts to fight it will falter without better cooperation between states and better education of the medical community and the public about its dangers. | 03/01/12 17:19:00 By - Curtis Tate

Tornadoes raise memories of 2011's deadly storms

A powerful late-winter storm system mowed across six states late Tuesday and early Wednesday, spawning a series of tornadoes that reminded many of the deadly and costly outbreaks in the Midwest and Southeast last April and May. | 02/29/12 18:37:00 By - Curtis Tate

Gay marriage question evolves one state at a time

Though same-sex marriage is racking up victories in state legislatures and federal courts, and gaining public support, especially among younger people, it could be years before gay and lesbian couples can marry in all 50 states. And in the meantime, opponents of gay marriage vow to take the issue directly to voters — and the ballot box is the one place where they haven't lost. | 02/23/12 17:51:00 By - Curtis Tate

Drug-fighting effort along northern border a national model

In the northwest corner of Washington state, local and federal law enforcement officials have been working together for several years to crack down on the cross-border narcotics trade, and the Obama administration has modeled a broader drug enforcement strategy on their efforts. | 02/13/12 15:25:00 By - Curtis Tate

Gay marriage supporters say they're seeing gains

With momentum building in several states to give same-sex couples the right to marry, and with legislators and voters alike rallying to their side, supporters of gay marriage feel good about 2012. But along with gains, there could be setbacks, and it's far from clear how the issue will play in a presidential election year. | 01/30/12 19:11:00 By - Curtis Tate

Websites plan to shut down to protest anti-piracy bills

Opponents of a congressional effort to curb Internet piracy gained their biggest ally yet Tuesday, as the search engine Google said it would join a protest of the legislation planned by dozens of websites, many of which will shut down Wednesday. | 01/17/12 18:10:00 By - Curtis Tate

Internet piracy bill splits technology, entertainment industries

Legislation to thwart Internet piracy is dividing Capitol Hill lawmakers and has the entertainment industry facing off against the technology industry. At least one major social media website is planning a daylong blackout next week to protest the bill. | 01/11/12 18:57:00 By - Curtis Tate

As Boeing leaves Air Capital, wind energy could provide lift

Wichita, Kan., prides itself as the Air Capital for the multitude of aircraft manufacturers that call it home, but after this week, it will have to contemplate a future without Boeing, the signature company of the city's signature industry. But another potential answer for Wichita is energy, a solution that both Charlotte and Fremont have embraced. And Kansas has one form of energy in abundance: wind. | 01/06/12 17:00:00 By - Curtis Tate

New safety rules don't satisfy truckers or safety advocates

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood laid out rules Thursday on the number of hours that truckers can stay on the road in an effort to curb deadly accidents caused by driver fatigue. However, neither the trucking industry nor safety advocates appeared satisfied. | 12/22/11 18:30:00 By - Curtis Tate

AP opens North Korea news bureau, but celebration will wait

The Associated Press was ready to formally dedicate a new bureau in North Korea's capital this week, giving AP the first permanent bureau operated by a Western news organization in the reclusive country. With the party canceled on news of Kim Jong Il's death, the bureau staff got right to work covering the story. | 12/22/11 16:18:00 By - Curtis Tate

Asian Americans press Army on race bias in private's death

The Army filed charges Wednesday against eight Alaska-based soldiers in the death of a 19-year-old Army private, in a sign that the military is investigating whether racial harassment could have led him to commit suicide. Pvt. Danny Chen's body was found in a guard tower in Afghanistan's Kandahar province in October. | 12/21/11 19:14:00 By - Curtis Tate

Did Penn State violate civil rights laws? Groups urge inquiry

As the U.S. Department of Education investigates whether Penn State University might have broken federal law in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, legal experts say the university also might have violated civil rights laws designed to protect students and others from sex discrimination. | 12/15/11 17:43:00 By - Curtis Tate

Perry ad in Iowa accuses Obama of 'war on religion'

With Texas Gov. Rick Perry struggling to regain traction four weeks before the Iowa caucuses, his presidential campaign is running television ads attacking the Obama administration on gay rights instead of the economy, which tops even socially conservative voters' list of concerns. | 12/07/11 19:25:00 By - Curtis Tate

Railroads, unions reach deal to avoid pre-Christmas strike

The nation's freight railroads and two labor unions representing 26,500 railroad employees reached a tentative agreement Thursday to avoid a strike that threatened to halt shipments of consumer goods three weeks before Christmas. | 12/01/11 23:17:00 By - Curtis Tate

Sandusky scandal's pain extends deep into 'Penn State country'

While most of the media attention in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal has focused on the state's flagship public university, the impact can be felt in the rural communities 40 miles north of State College, where some of the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky still live. | 11/21/11 00:01:10 By - Curtis Tate

Sandusky's NBC interview possible confession to sex crime under Pa. law

Under Pennsylvania's child protection laws, what Sandusky admitted to in an interview with NBC's Bob Costas could fit the definition of indecent exposure. If children under 16 were involved, it could be a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. | 11/15/11 17:36:00 By - Curtis Tate

At last home game of season, abuse scandal clouds Penn State's future

A clear, sunny afternoon brightened the somber mood at Beaver Stadium as Penn State played Nebraska in the last home game of the season — and the first in 46 years without legendary head football coach Joe Paterno on the field. | 11/12/11 20:43:00 By - Curtis Tate and Mike Dawson

Penn State officials weren't only people who failed to report Sandusky

While the grand jury investigation into child sexual abuse at Penn State revealed that university authorities had knowledge of crimes allegedly committed by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, it also showed that others knew, too, and didn't call police. | 11/11/11 20:37:00 By - Curtis Tate

Penn State community wonders: What's next?

As students, faculty and alumni process their feelings of shock, sadness and betrayal over a child-sex abuse scandal in the school's legendary football program, the Penn State University community is beginning to ask: What comes next? | 11/10/11 19:45:00 By - Curtis Tate

Coal is king on the rails now, but maybe not forever

A big part of what saved the freight rail industry from disaster lies not far beneath the rolling grasslands of eastern Wyoming. Coal still generates half the country's electricity, but railroads can make money hauling other goods, too, and they aren't spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new facilities to run more coal trains. | 10/31/11 15:39:00 By - Curtis Tate

How railroads came back from the brink and got ahead

More than three decades after the federal government deregulated freight railroads, the industry is enjoying "a new golden age," said Frank Wilner, the author of several books on railroad economics. After being left for dead in the 1970s, railroads reinvested nearly $10 billion in themselves last year, according to industry figures, and they haven't received taxpayer bailouts. | 10/31/11 15:33:00 By - Curtis Tate

FCC aims to bring broadband to millions in rural areas

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that proposed changes to subsidies for rural telephone service are intended to help customers in remote areas gain access to faster Internet service and better wireless phone service, and some industry groups say that reflects what consumers are choosing already. | 10/28/11 18:16:00 By - Curtis Tate

Ethics panel asks: How to repair college athletics?

After a round of high-profile scandals in college sports this year, including at the University of Miami and the University of North Carolina, an advisory panel said Monday that it would launch a wide review of practices ranging from student athlete scholarships to postseason play. | 10/24/11 19:04:00 By - Curtis Tate

Obama honors citizens 'who stopped to help'

President Barack Obama on Thursday personally thanked what he called "a remarkable group of Americans" for answering the call of service to their fellow citizens. | 10/20/11 18:14:00 By - Curtis Tate

Idaho's Labrador pitches his own immigration solution

With Congress unable to agree on a comprehensive immigration overhaul, and with states taking immigration matters into their own hands, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho thinks he has an idea that can draw bipartisan support. | 10/18/11 17:40:00 By - Curtis Tate

Gay couples, allies set eyes on ultimate prize: Marriage

Now that the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is history, gay rights advocates and their supporters in Congress and the Obama administration are shifting their focus to repealing state and federal laws that define marriage as between one man and one woman. | 10/03/11 15:45:00 By - Curtis Tate

Pentagon says chaplains may perform gay weddings

The Defense Department issued new guidelines Friday that allow military chaplains to officiate at same-sex weddings, on or off military installations, in states where such weddings are allowed. | 09/30/11 19:31:00 By - Curtis Tate

Census shows more gay couples, but original count was flawed

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday sharply revised downward its estimate of the number of same-sex households across the country, reflecting confusion over how to accurately count gay and lesbian couples that have gained varying degrees of legal recognition of their partnerships over the past decade. | 09/27/11 19:37:00 By - Curtis Tate

Specter of big defense cuts prompts big worries

After more than doubling in the past 10 years, Pentagon budgets are in for big cuts from Congress in coming years. No one yet knows exactly what will be cut or how deeply the cuts will go, but everyone knows they’re coming. | 09/25/11 00:01:48 By - Rob Hotakainen, Adam Ashton and Curtis Tate

Remember Nemo's sea turtle friend? Now he's endangered

The Obama administration took steps Friday to protect the loggerhead sea turtle, downgrading the status of some populations from threatened to endangered. | 09/16/11 18:11:00 By - Curtis Tate

As Obama pitches jobs bill, voters aren't pressing Congress

Since he announced his job-creation plan last week in a nationally televised address at a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama has hit the road, using stops in crucial swing states to press Americans to speak up. | 09/14/11 18:04:00 By - Curtis Tate and Lesley Clark

GOP wants to give Congress veto on national monuments

Citing state sovereignty and economic hardship, Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they wanted to give Congress the authority to veto presidents' national monument designations, a power used by nearly every executive since Theodore Roosevelt. | 09/13/11 18:11:00 By - Curtis Tate

Amtrak rolls on 40 years later, destination still uncertain

In 1958, an Interstate Commerce Commission report predicted that the passenger train would vanish by 1970, the victim of a traveling public whose affection had shifted to cars and airplanes. But the passenger train refused to die. | 09/12/11 16:09:00 By - Curtis Tate

In Shanksville, Pa., a memorial to heroism 'that will live forever'

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush praised the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 and their families Saturday, dedicating a memorial to the only hijacked aircraft that didn't reach its intended target on Sept. 11, 2001. | 09/10/11 19:28:00 By - Curtis Tate

Cathedral, long America's spiritual home, out of service for 9/11

The collapse of a large construction crane at the Washington National Cathedral has forced the most of the Sept. 11 anniversary events to relocate to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. | 09/08/11 18:29:00 By - Curtis Tate

Is the post office too big to fail? Maybe not

Talk in recent weeks of post office closings and the elimination of Saturday mail delivery has shifted to a more dire prospect: The entire U.S. Postal Service could go out of business within a year. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the postal service is running out of money and could go into default as soon as next month unless Congress acts, he testified at a Senate hearing Tuesday. | 09/06/11 19:42:38 By - Curtis Tate

In Alaska, earthquakes are a fact of life

When a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the East Coast last week, millions of people felt it. When a 6.8 magnitude quake struck in Alaska's remote Aleutian island chain early Friday, few noticed — though it was about 10 times more powerful. | 09/02/11 19:39:00 By - Curtis Tate

Flight 93 memorial: 10 years later, $10 million short

Of the three memorials that commemorate the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, the Flight 93 National Memorial stands out. I's the only rural site, a world away from the urban bustle that surrounds Ground Zero and the Pentagon. It's the only one Congress has designated as a national park. And it's the only one of the three that isn't yet fully funded. | 09/01/11 16:34:00 By - Curtis Tate

Irene wasn't overhyped for rural areas on East Coast

WASHINGTON — While many in major East Coast cities wondered whether officials over-prepared the public for Hurricane Irene, the answer from the mostly rural areas hardest hit by the storm was unequivocally no. | 08/30/11 19:23:00 By - Curtis Tate and Kate Howard

Irene wasn't overhyped for rural areas on East Coast

While many in major East Coast cities wondered whether officials over-prepared the public for Hurricane Irene, the answer from the mostly rural areas hardest hit by the storm was unequivocally no. | 08/30/11 19:43:07 By - Curtis Tate and Kate Howard

No matter Irene's path, North Carolina leads response

As Hurricane Irene gathers strength in the Caribbean with a U.S. landfall likely over the weekend, North Carolina finds itself once again in the path of a storm, and in the position of first responder. | 08/24/11 17:21:00 By - Curtis Tate

Congress looks for ways to help struggling dairy farmers

With a gallon of milk costing as much as or more than a gallon of gasoline this summer, a consumer scanning the supermarket shelves might think the situation is a cash cow for dairy farmers. | 08/18/11 15:47:00 By - Curtis Tate

Giffords' recovery renews focus on coverage gap for veterans

From the critical moments after she suffered a gunshot wound to the head in January to her triumphant return to Congress last week for a vote on the debt-limit deal, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords owes her recovery in no small part to veterans with similar injuries. | 08/10/11 16:29:00 By - Curtis Tate

Senate leaders reach deal to end FAA stalemate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that leaders in Congress had worked out a deal to end a two-week-old partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that threatened to become the capital's next partisan stalemate. | 08/04/11 16:59:56 By - Curtis Tate

Congress goes home, keeping FAA funding up in the air

Barely a day after the dust cleared from the long, bruising battle over raising the debt ceiling, Democrats and Republicans in Congress launched their next war of words, this time over a once-routine reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. | 08/03/11 18:26:00 By - Curtis Tate and Daniel Lippman

Battle over coal for China highlights global economic change

When a Seattle-based shipping company announced plans last year for a deepwater cargo port that it promised would create hundreds of jobs, it looked like good news for Bellingham, Wash. But not everyone was happy about what cargo the company had in mind: coal, and potentially 48 million tons of it a year. That coal would end up in China, where it would fuel the blistering growth of America's biggest competitor. | 08/02/11 17:52:00 By - Curtis Tate and John Stark

Debt limit fight brings N.C.'s Ellmers close to GOP leadership

Freshman North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers' tea party supporters expected her to hold the line on cutting spending and reducing debt. In the past few weeks, however, Ellmers has emerged as one of the House leadership's strongest freshman allies in the debate over raising the debt limit. | 07/29/11 11:09:06 By - Curtis Tate

Treaty stuck in Senate could unlock Arctic's riches, panel told

Melting Arctic sea ice presents a wealth of new economic opportunities for the United States, but the nation can't take advantage of them until it joins an international treaty that has languished in the Senate, a panel of military and energy experts told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday. | 07/27/11 18:03:00 By - Curtis Tate

Bipartisan House vote defeats bid to defund ethics office

The House of Representatives on Friday roundly rejected a move to cut the budget of the Office of Congressional Ethics by 40 percent. The amendment had been offered by Rep. Mel Watt, a North Carolina Democrat who was investigated last year by the office. | 07/22/11 17:18:00 By - Curtis Tate and Jim Morrill

Bipartisan House vote defeats bid to defund ethics office

Capping a week when Congress could agree on almost nothing else, the House of Representatives today soundly defeated an effort to cut the budget of the Office of Congressional Ethics by 40 percent. | 07/22/11 06:25:01 By - Curtis Tate and Jim Morrill

Constituents getting savvier on debt ceiling

As the end game in the political battle of wills over raising the debt ceiling approaches, the switchboards on Capitol Hill have been lighting up. They reflect the deadlock over the issue between Congress and the White House. | 07/20/11 18:16:00 By - David Goldstein, Curtis Tate and Daniel Lippman

Obama raises $86 million for re-election effort

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee said they've raised more than $86 million in the second quarter this year, far outpacing the combined $35 million that six Republican candidates have raised for 2012. | 07/13/11 18:20:00 By - Curtis Tate and Lesley Clark

House GOP proposes deep cuts to highway, transit funding

A six-year transportation funding bill that Republicans in the House of Representatives outlined Thursday would sharply cut highway and transit funding and seek to curb Amtrak and high-speed rail projects that the Obama administration supports. | 07/07/11 16:54:00 By - Daniel Lippman and Curtis Tate

Northeast, Midwest, California get more high-speed rail funds

The Obama administration parceled out $2 billion Monday for high-speed rail projects in the Northeast, Midwest and California, repurposing a pot of funds rejected in February by Florida's new Republican governor. | 05/09/11 14:55:00 By - Curtis Tate

States vie for money from Florida's canceled high-speed rail project

Despite the efforts by Republican lawmakers to scrap President Barack Obama's funding for high-speed rail projects, 24 states have submitted applications for additional money, the Department of Transportation said Wednesday. | 04/06/11 17:36:39 By - Curtis Tate

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