People take their dogs to a dog run in the snow, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
GOP lawmakers pass
‘right-to-work’ bill

Republican lawmakers in Kentucky passed a bill Saturday making it the 27th state to allow workers the right to work in union-represented shops and receive union-negotiated benefits without paying dues to the representing body.

Republican lawmakers in a handful of states have passed similar “right-to-work” and anti-union laws in recent years. Supporters say the measures spur economic growth, while opponents cast the laws as assaults on organized labor and blue-collar workers that limit union revenue.

The effort to pass the legislation in Kentucky came two months after Republicans won control of the state’s General Assembly for the first time since 1921. Republicans control both chambers in the state’s legislature and the governor’s office.

It is widely expected that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin will sign the bill into law in the coming days. If so, Kentucky will immediately become the 27th state and last Southern state to enact “right-to-work” legislation.

— Reuters

Heavy snow causes crashes, outages

Snow and sleet pounded a large swath of the East Coast on Saturday, coating roads with ice and causing hundreds of crashes. Thousands of people lost power and forecasters warned of blizzard-like conditions from Virginia to parts of the Northeast.

Police investigated several fatal crashes as potentially storm-related, but some of the South’s biggest cities — Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh — appeared to avoid the worst of the storm. Authorities praised residents for learning the lessons of past storms that resulted in icy gridlock, where thousands of people were stranded along the interstates. But officials warned that bitter cold would keep roads treacherous well after the snow and sleet stopped.

A National Weather Service map showed the snowfall seemed to follow the Interstate 85 corridor through North Carolina, with locations along and north of the highway receiving snow, and areas to the south getting rain and sleet.

Burlington and Roxboro in central North Carolina received eight inches or more of snow. Preliminary figures from the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C., showed snowfall totals reached up to 10 inches in at least seven locations.

— Associated Press

Prince’s real estate holdings worth $25.4 million: An inventory of Prince’s estate submitted to a probate court in Minnesota shows he had acquired tens of millions of dollars’ worth of real estate and other personal property before he died last year. Prince died April 21 of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. He did not leave a will. His estate has been valued at between $100 million and $300 million, before taxes. Carver County District Court records show that an asset inventory by Bremer Trust, the company overseeing the estate, lists a dozen properties in Carver and Hennepin counties, with an estimated value of $25.4 million.

La. wildlife agent shot during illegal hunting check: A Louisiana wildlife agent has been hospitalized after being shot multiple times while on patrol. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Tyler Wheeler, 25, of Monroe stopped a vehicle while patrolling in Morehouse Parish about 2 a.m. Saturday. Department officials said in a statement that Wheeler was shot multiple times. He was on a routine check for illegal night hunting when the incident occurred. Louisiana State Police and other authorities are searching for the shooter.

Police kill slaying suspect on commuter train: Authorities say a suspect in a Chicago-area slaying was killed Friday night in a police shootout on a Metra commuter train while dozens of other people were aboard. Police say the suspect shot at officers, who retreated and fired back. Officials say about 40 people were on the train when the shootout happened.

Manson back in prison after illness: Cult leader Charles Manson is back in a Central California prison after a reported hospital stay for an unspecified medical problem. Manson is serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Southern California.

— From news services