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Wednesday's news briefs from the Associated Press

Obama Travels to NC to rally support of jobs plan. Obama proposals face quick opposition in Congress. NY schools name theater after Pete, Toshi Seeger. NY assembly GOP members plan safety forum. Legislature pushes to define 'rape is rape' in law. Cops: Upstate NY woman tried to burn down apartment.

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Obama travels to NC to rally support for jobs plan

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama is kicking off three days of travel to rally support for the job-creation and economic proposals he unveiled in his State of the Union address.

Obama will launch the effort today in Asheville, N.C., with a visit to Linamar Corp., a supplier of engine and transmission components that has expanded its manufacturing operations. He'll make stops in Atlanta on Thursday and Chicago on Friday.

In his speech before a joint session of Congress last night, Obama called job creation his “North Star.” He asked Congress to focus on attracting jobs to the U.S., training American workers and boosting investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy.

Obama also says he wants to raise the minimum hourly wage from the current $7.25 to $9 by the end of 2015.


Obama proposals face quick opposition in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama set up high-stakes clashes over guns, immigration, taxes and climate change in a State of the Union address that showcased a newly re-elected president determined to mark his legacy in spite of Republicans eager to rein him in.

Obama pushed a raft of new initiatives in his speech last night _ initiatives to improve preschool programs and voting, boost manufacturing and research and development, raise the minimum wage and lower energy use.

Republicans who control the House and hold enough votes to stall legislation in the Senate were quick to declare that the government helps best when it gets out of the way.

In the GOP response, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said more government won't help people get ahead.


NY school names theater after Pete, Toshi Seeger

BEACON, N.Y. (AP) The high school in Pete Seeger's Hudson Valley hometown has named its theater after the 93-year-old folk singer and his wife.

A ceremony held Tuesday night unveiled a bronze plaque outside the theater at Beacon High School in southern Dutchess County. The plaque identifies the venue as “The Seeger Theatre” and is adorned with an engraving of a banjo, Seeger's signature instrument.

The Poughkeepsie Journal ( ) reports that the school board voted in October to name the theater after Seeger and his wife of nearly 70 years, Toshi. The couple has lived in Beacon for decades and the folk singer helps out local students.

After the dedication ceremony, students performed a musical tribute to the couple, including such Seeger classics as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “If I Had a Hammer.”

Information from: Poughkeepsie Journal,


NY Assembly GOP members plan safety forum

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Some Republican members of the New York Assembly are holding a legislative forum on the issues of mental health, gun violence and school safety.

The two-hour forum is scheduled for Wednesday in Buffalo.

The lawmakers say the goal is to have a transparent conversation with individuals and organizations in light of the discussion over New York's new gun control law.

The Assembly members participating are Jane Corwin, John Ceretto, Raymond Walter, David DiPietro, Steve Hawley, Joseph Giglio and Andy Goodell.

The discussion starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Mahoney Office Building.


Legislature pushes to define `rape is rape' in law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's Legislature is moving to classify more types of violent sexual attacks as rapes in a bill referred to as “rape is rape” legislation.

The push is fueled by the case of a New York City school teacher who was brutally attacked at gunpoint by a police officer in 2011. She was waiting to start the first day of her dream job teaching elementary school. She was sexually assaulted in several ways, but not vaginally. That's currently required to bring a rape charge.

Instead, the man was charged with forcing anal and oral sex, which carry lesser sentences.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says Tuesday he's consulting with prosecutors while drafting a bill.

Senate Republicans have a bill that expands the definition of sexual contact as rape.


Cops: Upstate NY woman tried to burn apartment

WARRENSBURG, N.Y. (AP) A woman accused of trying to set fire to an apartment while her boyfriend was asleep has been arrested at an upstate New York airport trying to flee with their two infants.

The Warren County Sheriff's office tells local media outlets 29-year-old Sadie Robinson put a can of WD-40 in a hot oven and left the Warrensburg apartment to get $2,500 from ATMs and buy plane tickets to Florida on Monday.

Peter Moody called police when he was awakened by smoke alarms. There was no fire.

Deputies say Robinson was arrested just before her flight at Albany International Airport.

She's jailed on charges of second-degree attempted arson and third-degree grand larceny. Court officials weren't available Tuesday to say if she has a lawyer. The children are in the care of county officials.


(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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