Judge orders state to set early voting hours

A federal judge ordered Ohio’s elections chief Wednesday to set early voting hours on the three days before elections in a ruling that gives Democrats a victory going into the fall elections.

The order from U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus comes in a dispute that began before the last presidential election. The fight was especially intense because of Ohio’s role as a swing state rich with electoral votes.

President Obama’s reelection campaign and Democrats filed a lawsuit in July 2012 against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) over a law that cuts off in-person, early voting for most residents three days before Election Day.

The law, passed in 2011, ends in-person voting on the Friday evening before a Tuesday election. But it allows an exception for military and overseas voters to cast a ballot in person until Monday. Democrats claimed that amounted to unequal treatment of voters and said everyone should have the chance to vote on the three days before Election Day.

— Associated Press

Obama challenges schools on careers

President Obama on Wednesday urged the nation’s high schools to prepare their graduates for the realities of the 21st-century workforce.

While addressing the graduating class of Worcester Technical High School in Worcester, Mass., he challenged other communities to replicate the turnaround that took place at the vocational school 10 years ago when it pivoted to provide students with training for careers in technology and partnered with businesses to help students learn skills that can vault them straight to a career or college.

The school, which opened in 1908 to train ironworkers and woodworkers, now partners with Tufts University to run a veterinary clinic, operates a body shop and hair salon, and has a bank inside the school.

— Katie Zezima

Police interviewed couple in shootings

Las Vegas police said Wednesday that detectives talked on three occasions earlier this year with a married couple who killed two officers in a pizza shop and a good Samaritan in a nearby store, but they didn’t express the extreme anti-authority views that apparently led to the rampage.

After shooting the patrol officers at the restaurant, the couple went to a nearby Wal-Mart, announced they were starting a revolution and shot a man with a gun who tried to stop them before they died by gunfire. Authorities are still investigating what sparked the carnage.

“This continues to be a massive ongoing investigation,” said Assistant Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill, who corrected earlier reports that the woman, Amanda Miller, shot her husband, Jerad Miller, when they were cornered in the back of the store. In fact, Jerad Miller was fatally wounded by at least one gunshot from Las Vegas officers as they closed in, McMahill said.

Department officials released a 23-second store security video clip showing the last moments of the Millers’ lives.

— Associated Press

Chavez kin challenges candidate on name

The grandson of Cesar Chavez filed a challenge Tuesday against an Arizona congressional candidate who has been using the farm labor leader’s name.

Alejandro Chavez filed a legal complaint in Phoenix, asking that Scott Fistler be removed from the Democratic primary ballot.

Jim Barton, the attorney representing Alejandro Chavez, said Wednesday that Fistler’s campaign is “an effort to corrupt the election by confusing the voters.”

Fistler, a former Republican who has lost two bids for elected office, legally changed his name to Cesar Chavez last December and his party affiliation in April, the Arizona Capitol Times reported. He is running for a seat in the heavily Democratic 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Phoenix and Glendale.

— Associated Press

Group challenges Seattle minimum-wage hike: A national group filed a federal lawsuit in Seattle on Wednesday challenging the city’s adoption of what would be the nation’s highest minimum wage as unfair to small franchises. The Seattle City Council voted unanimously this month to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The District-based International Franchise Association said the ordinance discriminates against interstate commerce.

John Glenn has heart-valve replacement: Former astronaut and U.S. senator John Glenn has had a heart valve replacement as he approaches his 93rd birthday. Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, was recuperating, a spokesman at Ohio State University said Wednesday. Glenn is healthy ahead of his birthday on July 18, John Glenn School of Public Affairs spokesman Hank Wilson said. Glenn had a minimally invasive version of the valve replacement procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in May, he said.

Mormon activists face church discipline: A pair of Mormon activists who have pushed for greater acceptance of gay church members and the ordination of women are facing disciplinary action and possible excommunication by their faith leaders. In letters received this week, John Dehlin and Kate Kelly were told to appear at hearings before their local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders for alleged acts of “apostasy.” Such hearings are known as church court.

— From news services