NCAA Women's Championship: UCONN vs. Louisville
April 9th, 2013
11:01 PM ET

UConn women blow out Louisville for title

Connecticut's powerful offense scored almost at will Tuesday night as the Huskies blew out Louisville 93-60 to win the NCAA women's Division I basketball championship in New Orleans.

The title is head coach Geno Auriemma's eighth at UConn, tying him for the most all time with Tennessee's recently retired Pat Summitt.

The 33-point margin is the largest in the history of the tournament final.

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Filed under: College basketball • Connecticut • Kentucky • New Orleans • Sports
April 8th, 2013
09:42 PM ET

Winter weather just won't quit

A "major winter storm" was developing over the western Plains on Monday evening, promising "a plethora of interesting weather conditions," The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said.

"Blizzard conditions are likely over parts of Wyoming, Colorado, western Nebraska and western Kansas" beginning late Monday and lasting through much of Tuesday, the weather service said.

The Denver metro area could see as much as a foot of snow, and the foothills and mountains can expect even more than that.

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Filed under: Colorado • Weather • Winter weather
Caribou Coffee closing 80 stores
Caribou Coffee is disappearing or greatly diminishing in several U.S. markets.
April 8th, 2013
09:33 PM ET

Caribou Coffee closing 80 stores

Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee is closing 80 locations next week and plans to convert 88 others to Peet's Coffee & Tea shops within the next 18 months, the company announced Monday.

"Over the past few months, we at Caribou have revisited our business strategy, including closely evaluating our performance by market to make decisions that best position us for long-term growth," the announcement said.

As a result, 80 "underperforming" stores will close for good on Sunday.

After that, 88 other Caribou locations will become Peet's as Caribou becomes extinct or critically endangered in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, eastern Wisconsin and Washington.

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Food
April 2nd, 2013
12:58 AM ET

Connecticut panel crafts gun-law overhaul

A bipartisan legislative task force in Connecticut has agreed on a major overhaul of the state's gun laws in the aftermath of December's deadly attack on an elementary school, lawmakers announced Monday.

The draft legislation would add more than 100 types of guns to the state's list of banned assault weapons; limit the capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; ban armor-piercing bullets; require background checks for all weapon sales, including at gun shows; establish safety standards for school buildings; allow mental health training for teachers; and expand mental health research in the state.

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Brackets busted: Florida Gulf Coast defeats No. 2 seed Georgetown
Sherwood Brown of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles celebrates a 3-point basket against Georgetown on Friday in Philadelphia.
March 22nd, 2013
10:35 PM ET

Brackets busted: Florida Gulf Coast defeats No. 2 seed Georgetown

In an epic upset that will leave many fans crumpling their NCAA Tournament brackets in disgust, No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast laid a 78-68 thumping on No. 2 seed Georgetown on Friday night in Philadelphia.

The Eagles held a slim 2-point lead at halftime but went on a 21-2 run early in the second half, and the Hoyas could never recover.

FULL STORY FROM BLEACHER REPORT
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Filed under: College basketball • Sports
March 22nd, 2013
10:26 PM ET

Heat extend winning streak

The Miami Heat came from behind again Friday to defeat the Detroit Pistons 103-89 and extend their winning streak to 25 games.

Detroit has now lost 10 straight games.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
Report: Flawed device, errors contributed to Super Bowl blackout
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome stands in semi-darkness shortly after halftime of the Super Bowl on February 3.
March 21st, 2013
09:29 PM ET

Report: Flawed device, errors contributed to Super Bowl blackout

A combination of technical and communication failures contributed to the partial power outage that disrupted this year's Super Bowl, an independent analysis has determined, utility Entergy New Orleans said Thursday.

The power was cut off to half the Mercedes-Benz Superdome early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, causing a 34-minute delay in the February game.

Dr. John Palmer of Palmer Engineering & Forensics said a recently installed relay had a "design defect" that caused it to trip in an unpredictable way.

He said the device's trip level had been left at the factory default setting, which was inappropriate for its application in the dome.

Palmer's report also cited "inadequate communication between the manufacturer and the utility" as a contributing factor.

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Filed under: Energy • Louisiana • New Orleans • Pro football • Sports • Super Bowl • U.S.
February 4th, 2013
10:30 PM ET

Officials: Rescued 5-year-old is 'laughing, joking, playing, eating'

A 5-year-old boy held hostage nearly a week is safe and the Alabama man who held him hostage is dead, law enforcement officials say.

[Update 10:30 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama called FBI Director Robert Mueller to compliment him for the role federal law enforcement officers played in resolving the hostage situation in Alabama today, a White House official told CNN. "The president praised the exceptional coordination between state, local, and federal partners, and thanked all the law enforcement officials involved during the nearly week-long ordeal for their roles in the successful rescue of the child."

[Update 10:17 p.m. ET] Law enforcement officials in Alabama expressed gratitude and relief at the successful conclusion of the week-long hostage ordeal in Midland City.

At a 9 p.m. news conference, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said getting the 5-year-old hostage out alive was the goal of everyone on the scene.

"This is a very special child," Olson said. "He's been through a lot, (and) by the grace of God he's OK. ...

"I'm a father, a lot of these men and women that's been sacrificing tireless hours, they're parents as well. It's a relief to be able to reunite mother and child."

The boy, whose name is Ethan, is with his mother at a local hospital, said Steve Richardson, special agent in charge of the FBI's Mobile regional office.

"Ethan is laughing, joking, playing, eating - the things you would expect a normal 5-year-old child to do," Richardson said.

The officials refused to divulge any details of the rescue operation, saying they expect to need to employ the same tactics in another situation someday in the future.

Olson said officials believed Ethan was in danger.

"That's why we went in - to save the child," he said.

[Update 5:46 p.m. ET]

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley issued the following statement:

"Shortly after 3 p.m., I spoke with Col. Hugh McCall of the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier.  They informed me that law enforcement had breached the bunker, the child was safe and the abductor was killed.

"I want to thank the law enforcement, first responders and all additional personnel who worked tireless hours to bring this situation to a resolution.  They performed heroic efforts, and they should be praised for how they handled themselves in a professional manner.

"I am thankful that the child who was abducted is now safe.  I am so happy this little boy can now be reunited with his family and friends.  We will all continue to pray for the little boy and his family as they recover from the trauma of the last several days.

"At the same time, we also want to remember the family and friends of the bus driver - Charles Poland, Jr.  This man was a true hero who was willing to give up his life so others might live.  We are all inspired by his courage and bravery.

"I ask everyone across the state - and the nation - to continue to lift up these families and the entire Midland City community in your prayers."

[Earlier updates] Steve Richardson, the FBI's special agent in charge of the local office, said at a brief news conference that negotiations with Jimmy Lee Dykes had "deteriorated" during the past 24 hours, and that Dykes had been observed holding a gun.

At 3:12 p.m. CT, FBI agents entered the bunker and safely recovered the young hostage, Richardson said.

He said Dykes was dead and the child appeared to be physically unharmed. He did not say how Dykes died.

Richardson and other law enforcement officials declined to answer any questions.

The abducted boy, whose name is Ethan, has been taken to a hospital about eight miles from the place where he had been held hostage, Alabama Rep. Steve Clouse told CNN.

"Finally, this nightmare has come to an end," he said.

A neighbor of Dykes' said Monday he heard it end.

"I heard a big boom and then I heard, I believe I heard, rifle shots," Byron Martin told CNN. "Literally made me jump off the ground."

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'Gay' dog gets euthanasia reprieve
The Facebook page of TN Euthanasia said this dog was given up because its owner considered it gay.
January 31st, 2013
10:48 PM ET

'Gay' dog gets euthanasia reprieve

A dog whose rejection by his owner caused an Internet uproar has been adopted into a new, and presumably more tolerant, home.

The male pit bull mix, whose name no one seems to know, was left at the Madison County, Tennessee, Rabies Control animal shelter, CNN affiliate WBBJ reported.

According to the irreverent website Gawker, Facebook users had a hissy fit Wednesday when they found out the dog's owner got rid of the animal after he (the dog, not the owner) humped another male dog.

"His owner threw him away (because) he refuses to have a 'gay' dog!" a Facebook user named TN Euthanasia wrote.

The post went semi-viral, with 861 likes, 1,869 comments and 5,048 shares. After Gawker told the rest of the digital world about it, noting that the dog was in imminent danger of being put down, the shelter was swamped with calls offering to adopt the uncloseted canine.

By Thursday morning, shelter workers confirmed to WBBJ that the amorous animal had been adopted by a person associated with a rescue/shelter group.

What would you name this dog if you adopted him? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • Facebook • Gay and lesbian • Tennessee • U.S.
Student shot at Atlanta school; fellow student in custody
A police tactical team takes up a position at Price Middle School in Atlanta, where a student was shot Thursday.
January 31st, 2013
04:54 PM ET

Student shot at Atlanta school; fellow student in custody

[Update 4:54 p.m. ET] Families are having joyful reunions as students pour out of four buses that have delivered them from Price Middle School in Atlanta, where a student was shot and wounded Thursday afternoon.

[Update 4:45 p.m. ET] Students are being loaded onto buses for transport home or to a nearby church where parents have assembled to wait for their children.

Police detectives are interviewing the victim in the hospital, his mother told CNN affiliate WSB-TV. He knows the assailant, who the mother said was "talking smack" to her son before pulling out a gun and firing, the station said.

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Filed under: Crime • Georgia • Gun violence • U.S.
Watch out for rough weather
Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by a tornado in May 2011, is in the risk area again Tuesday.
January 28th, 2013
04:39 PM ET

Watch out for rough weather

People in the Mississippi River Valley could be in for some dangerous weather Tuesday, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center warns.

Very cold air surging southeastward will clash with warm, moist air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico; a line of severe thunderstorms is expected to erupt along the cold front that separates the two air masses, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

"This could be a particularly dangerous and deadly event due to the rapid movement of the storms and the tornado threat increasing during the overnight hours, causing people in the storms' paths to be caught unaware," Morris said.

A few of these storms could produce tornadoes across parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.

FULL POST

Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii dies
Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in World War II.
December 17th, 2012
05:51 PM ET

Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii dies

Sen. Daniel Inouye, 88, a long-serving Democrat from Hawaii and a wounded veteran of World War II, has died, Capitol Hill sources tell CNN.

Inouye died of respiratory complications at 5:01 p.m. EST Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his office said.

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Filed under: District of Columbia • Hawaii • Politics • U.S.
October 16th, 2012
07:43 PM ET

Earthquake recorded in Maine

[Update 8:55 p.m. ET] The U.S. Geological Survey revised its report of Tuesday's earthquake to magnitude 4.0, down from a preliminary magnitude of 4.6. The epicenter was pinpointed 4 miles west-southwest of Hollis Center, Maine, at a shallow depth of 4.2 miles.

Despite the downgrade, the quake was felt as far away as Boston, Massachusetts; Albany, New York, and even Waterbury, Connecticut, according to the USGS.

You can report your earthquake experience to the USGS at the above link, as well as adding your comment to the many at the end of this post.

"My entire house shook for 3 to 4 seconds. It felt like it was about to collapse," a viewer from Everett, Massachusetts, wrote to CNN affiliate WCVB in Boston.

"I live in Brockton (Massachusetts) and we just felt EVERYTHING shake here in Brockton," another viewer told his station.
Viewer Phillip Smith in Gorham, Maine, told CNN affiliate WCSH he felt a "Loud bang and 10 seconds of shaking ... scared us in Gorham. We must have qualified out here for the Guinness book of records: 10,000 homeowners at the same time run down to their basements to check if their furnaces have blown up."
The governor of Massachusetts said on Twitter that no harm was done:
Several people posted pictures of earthquake "damage" in the form of spilled pretzels and goldfish crackers.
Maine resident Brett O'Kelly sardonically assessed what may be the quake's greatest impact:

[Original post] An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 4.6  hit Maine at 7:12 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to the USGS website. The earthquake happened 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Hollis Center, Maine.

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Filed under: Earth • Earthquake • Maine • U.S.
Fire up the griddle! Stolen syrup recovered
There should be no problem covering these cakes now.
October 4th, 2012
06:55 PM ET

Fire up the griddle! Stolen syrup recovered

Pancake house patrons across North America, rejoice! Canadian authorities apparently have recovered a huge quantity of maple syrup stolen from a warehouse in August.

Quebec provincial police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police executed a search warrant last week at an export company in the province of New Brunswick, CNN affiliate CBC reported.

Etienne St.-Pierre, the export company's owner, told the CBC he bought the syrup from one of his regular suppliers, but police hauled it away in trucks. St.-Pierre's attorney, Sarto Landry, said St.-Pierre had no reason to believe the product was stolen, according to the Globe and Mail in Toronto.

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NHL cancels 82 regular-season games
After the last NHL game anyone will see for a while, the Los Angeles Kings celebrate winning the Stanley Cup last Junel.
October 4th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

NHL cancels 82 regular-season games

You just got more time to brush up on the Canadian national anthem.

The National Hockey League on Thursday canceled all regular-season games through October 24 as its labor dispute with the NHL Players' Association drags on. Regular-season games were have to begun October 11. A total of 82 games were scheduled between then and October 24.

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Baseball season's final day brings drama
The Oakland A's celebrate their American League West victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
October 3rd, 2012
09:02 PM ET

Baseball season's final day brings drama

The last day of Major League Baseball's regular season turned out to be one of its newsiest and most dramatic. Here are some of the top stories from the day:

Update:Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera became baseball's first triple crown winner (batting average, home runs and runs batted in) since 1967. Cabrera locked up the home run (44) and RBI (139) titles early in the day Wednesday as Texas' Josh Hamilton failed to produce either in the Rangers' loss to Oakland. Cabrera's batting title race against Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout hinged on both men's performances in their respective games later Wednesday. Detroit manager Jim Leyland pulled Cabrera from the lineup after he went 0 for 2, leaving him with a .330 season average, and Trout got two hits in three at-bats to finish the season at .326, according to mlb.com.

Update: • The American League East race between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees came down to the final game. The Yankees could clinch with a win or a Baltimore loss, but a Yankee loss combined with a Baltimore win would force a one-game playoff to be played Thursday. However, the Orioles lost 4-1 to Tampa Bay behind Evan Longoria's three home runs, making the Yankees' outcome moot. The Yankees crushed the Boston Red Sox 14-2 in New York.

• The Oakland A's captured the American League West by completing a sweep of the Texas Rangers, whom they'd been chasing all season.

• The Washington Nationals clinched the National League East, bringing postseason baseball to D.C. for the first time since the 1930s.

• The Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones singled in his only at-bat in the final regular-season game of his 19-year career. In the same game, Atlanta pitcher Ben Sheets struck out two batters in his one inning pitched as he also concludes his career.

• The Houston Astros set a club record with their 107th loss in the team's final game as a member of the National League. The Astros will shift to the American League West next season.

• The Philadelphia Phillies fired bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and fired first-base coach Sam Perlozzo. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs determined the cause of their 101-loss season and fired third-base coach Pat Listach.

• After more than 500 tries, Teddy Roosevelt finally won the mascot race at Washington's Nationals Park.

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
24 hours through the lens
October 2nd, 2012
06:42 PM ET

Mash-up: Crew crashes plane on purpose

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Prepare for impact

Hey, Bubba, watch me land this plane!

Actually, it wasn't some yahoo behind the stick of a 727. Professional pilots deliberately crashed the plane for scientific study.

Harrowing struggle to survive

At least 38 people are dead after two ferries collided during a holiday celebration Tuesday in Hong Kong's harbor. Survivors recounted the fear and chaos that followed the collision. One passenger told CNN affiliate i-Cable:

The water was suffocating me. My friend tugged with all her might and got my leg out. I was wearing a life jacket, so I floated up to the surface. I had swallowed a lot of water. I really thought I was going to die. Thinking about all those at the bottom who were stuck, they're not here anymore.

Calf rescued from mine shaft

Rescuers worked for several hours the pull a calf out of a mine shaft Monday in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, CNN affiliate WTAE reports. Professional and volunteer workers used an excavator to retrieve the animal from a 16-foot hole.

The calf's mother momentarily charged the dozens of people crowding the old mine shaft, according to WTAE. "We were a little nervous. Before darkness fell, she (the cow) kept trying to get up in here. Fortunately, she stayed away," Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Kromel said.

FULL POST

'One at-bat' player strikes out smiling
Adam Greenberg takes his cuts Tuesday night for the Miami Marlins.
October 2nd, 2012
04:01 PM ET

'One at-bat' player strikes out smiling

Update 8:32 p.m.: Adam Greenberg struck out on three pitches from Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Greenberg was pinch-hitting for Marlins left fielder Bryan Petersen at the top of the order with the Marlins leading 2-0.

The Marlins Stadium public address system played Aerosmith's "Dream On" as Greenberg, wearing No. 10, walked up to the plate and took his place in the left-hand batter's box. He took a strike from Dickey, swung at and missed the second pitch and waved at a pitch around his chin for the third strike.

Manager Ozzie Guillen gives Adam Greenberg a hug after Greenberg's belated first major-league at-bat Tuesday night in Miami.

The crowd cheered loudly for him as he returned to the dugout, where his one-day-only teammates congratulated him and slapped the beaming ballplayer on the back.

MLB.com quickly posted video of the brief at-bat.

The world of baseball and its fans greeted the moment with a wave of warm-and-fuzzy tweets:

Original post: Adam Greenberg signed a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of taking a single at-bat in the night's game against the New York Mets.

Greenberg, now 31, was hit in the head by a pitch in his first and only Major League Baseball plate appearance, with the Chicago Cubs in

Adam Greenberg today

2005 and has not played in the majors since. A hit-by-pitch does not count as an official at-bat, so Greenberg technically has never batted in the major leagues.

He petitioned the Cubs to let him come back for one official at-bat with them, but team officials turned him down. The Marlins agreed last week to help Greenberg make his dream come true. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said he plans to use him as a pinch-hitter in the middle of Tuesday night's game, perhaps in the pitcher's spot in the lineup, according to MLB.com.

"I'm ready to help the team," Greenberg said in a tweet on the Marlins' account. "The Marlins are an amazing organization. ... I couldn't be more thankful."

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NFL owner more interested in winning election than winning games
Woody Johnson owns the New York Jets and is New York chairman of Mitt Romney's campaign.
October 1st, 2012
08:11 PM ET

NFL owner more interested in winning election than winning games

His New York Jets are struggling on the field, but team owner Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson told Bloomberg News today that it's more important to him to see Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get elected.

Johnson, chairman of Johnson Co. and a great-great-grandson of the founder of Johnson & Johnson, is the New York state chairman of the Romney-Ryan campaign.

His Jets are 2-2 this season, and fans are smarting after Sunday's 34-0 pounding at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. Nevertheless, Johnson has his priorities. When an interviewer on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers" asked him whether football or politics was more important, Johnson responded:

"Well, I think you always have to put country first. So I think it’s very, very important, not only for us but in particular for our kids and grandkids, that this election come off with Mitt Romney and Ryan as president and vice president.”

That might be the best news coach Rex Ryan and beleaguered quarterback Mark Sanchez will hear all week.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • New York • Politics • Pro football
24 hours through the lens
October 1st, 2012
06:10 PM ET

Mash-up: It's a nice day for a wall wedding

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

iReporter Craig Smith saw dozens of couples getting married en masse.

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do ...

CNN iReporter Craig Smith of Orange County, California, was passing through China today on his way to Mongolia when he spotted a mass wedding of young Chinese couples near a section of the Great Wall. Today is a national holiday in China, and such ceremonies are common on holidays.

"The couples were happy and excited," he said. "They get married in these ceremonies because they do not have enough money for a private ceremony. Many of the parents kept having me take photos of their bride or groom since they did not have a photographer."

See more of Smith's festive photos here.

LeBron James of the Miami Heat did not endorse this message.

Don't take his talent there

Basketball star LeBron James has endorsed a lot of products over the years, but it seems safe to say he didn't willingly lend his name to this one. Police in a Philadelphia suburb say they busted a heroin dealer selling packets of the drug marked with a silhouette of a basketball player and the name "LeBron James," CNN affiliate philly.com reports.

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