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Thursday, Jan 18th

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Winter storm slamming Northeast with hurricane-strength winds

Winter storm slamming A powerful winter storm is blasting the Northeast with hurricane-force winds after delivering a mix of sleet, snow and freezing rain to the Southeast.

About 1/10-inch of snow fell on Tallahassee, Fla. on Wednesday -- the first measurable snowfall there since 1989. Nearly a quarter-inch of ice was measured in Lake City, Fla.

Ellabell, Ga., saw 6 inches of snow. South Carolina saw its third heaviest snowfall in one day on record in Charleston, where 5.3 inches of snow was measured Wednesday.

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Virginia Republican's lucky win solidifies GOP House control

GOP candidate wins draw in VirginiaBy luck of the draw, incumbent Republican David Yancey won a Virginia state House of Delegates race so close that its outcome was determined Thursday when an elections official pulled his name out of a ceramic bowl.

The drawing of lots happened after the race between Yancey and Democratic challenger Shelley Simonds ended in tie. The win allows Republicans to maintain a slim majority in the House, though a final tally is still uncertain because Simonds could ask for another recount. Adding another wrinkle: Another close legislative race is in doubt because it's locked in a court battle.

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Most big public colleges don't track suicides, AP finds

Few publcic universities track suicidesMost of the largest U.S. public universities do not track suicides among their students, despite making investments in prevention at a time of surging demand for mental health services.

Tabulating student suicides comes with its own set of challenges and problems. But without that data, prevention advocates say, schools have no way to measure their success and can overlook trends that could offer insight to help them save lives.

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Peter Martins to Retire From New York City Ballet After Misconduct Allegations

Peter Martins retires from NYC Ballet

Peter Martins, the artistic director of New York City Ballet and an instructor at School of American Ballet, has been accused of sexual harassment, and suspended from teaching his weekly class at the school, according to a new report.

According to an article in the New York Times, Martins has been accused of harassment in an anonymous letter. Both NYCB and the school told that publication that the allegations in the letter had not yet been substantiated but that the “safety and well-being of our students is our absolute priority.” (Variety has contacted both City Ballet and the school for further comment.)

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Customers line up for legal recreational marijuana in California

Legal marijuana sales begin in CaliforniaCustomers hoping to be among the first in California to purchase marijuana legally lined up early Monday, as the arrival of the new year brought with it broad legalization of cannabis, two decades after the state was the first to allow pot for medical use.

Just after midnight, some raised joints instead of champagne glasses.

Johnny Hernandez, a tattoo artist from Modesto, celebrated by smoking "Happy New Year blunts" with his cousins.

"This is something we've all been waiting for," he said. "It is something that can help so many people and there's no reason why we should not be sharing that."

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Neighbors Greet Vacationing Mike Pence With ‘Make America Gay Again’ Banner

Make America Gay Again banner greets PenceVice President Mike Pence was welcomed to Colorado with snow-dusted pines, cool mountain air and a bright rainbow banner with the words, “Make America Gay Again.”

Neighbors who live next door to the Aspen property where Pence and his wife are staying on vacation hung the flag on a pillar fronting the two homes’ shared driveway, according to the Aspen Times.

“You couldn’t miss it,” Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Buglione told the newspaper.

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Intoxicated man found with small arsenal on top floor of Hyatt Regency in Houston

Hyatt Regency in HoustonA man has been arrested on multiple charges after police located a small arsenal of guns on the top floor of the Hyatt Regency on Louisiana Street downtown, Houston police said.

Police at the hotel called for backup around 1:30 a.m. Sunday after they attempted to arrest the man for being intoxicated and trespassing. When help arrived, police noticed ammunition laying around the man's hotel room, Lt. Gordon Macintosh with Houston police said.

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