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Many suffered from anti-gay violence in 2008

Updated: 12/24/2008 - From a series of street bashings in Seattle to the baseball bat murder of an Ecuadorean immigrant in New York, episodes of anti-gay violence punctuated a year now ending with police investigating the alleged gang rape of a lesbian near San Francisco.

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Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix canceled

Updated: 12/24/2008 - DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has been canceled because of economic problems in Michigan and the country, the latest setback in the sport rocked by sponsorship woes and a series of cutbacks and layoffs.

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Huge water main break traps motorists on Md. road

Updated: 12/24/2008 - A massive, aging water main ruptured Tuesday and sent a wave of water down a suburban Washington road, transforming the street into a raging river and trapping nine motorists who had to be rescued from the frigid deluge by emergency workers in helicopters and boats.

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Texas ranchers, farmers struggling after Ike

Updated: 12/24/2008 - Her boots, jeans and sweat shirt splattered with mud, Janet Lagow Lewis stretched barbed wire across metal posts, rebuilding a portion of her 38 miles of fencing that Hurricane Ike washed away.

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Lawyer: Ex-official pleased with NASCAR settlement

Updated: 12/24/2008 - CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The former official who filed a $225 million racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit against NASCAR is very pleased with her settlement and looking forward to moving on, her attorney said Friday. Maurica Grant reached a confidential settlement with NASCAR following 12 hours of mediation earlier this month in New York. The session was suggested by U.S. District Court Judge Deborah A. Batts after the first court appearance in what was expected to be a yearslong battle between the two sides.

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Davis sells NASCAR team, engine company

Updated: 12/24/2008 - CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Just a month removed from his first NASCAR championship, but hampered by the current economic crisis, owner Bill Davis has sold his race team and engine company.

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Utah custody fight complicated by tribal law

Updated: 12/24/2008 - Heather and Clint Larson hoped they'd be spending Christmas with a newly adopted 6-month-old boy. Instead, after a monthslong court battle, the couple had to hand him over to representatives of the birth mother's American Indian tribe and watch him being driven away.

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Blagojevich questioning takes up Obama's time

Updated: 12/24/2008 - President-elect Barack Obama has said all along that neither he nor his team was involved in any eye-popping dealmaking over filling his vacated Senate seat. Obama's hand-picked investigator agreed.

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More snow, ice vexes travelers in northern states

Updated: 12/24/2008 - Hundreds of holiday travelers spent the night in the nation's second busiest airport and others faced delayed or canceled flights and highways choked by snow and ice as storms kept up their assault on northern states.

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SoCal man killed by cops was 2004 murder suspect

Updated: 12/24/2008 - A man shot and killed by police after a two-hour standoff near Los Angeles where he held his 7-year-old son hostage in a restaurant was a suspect wanted for the 2004 murder of his girlfriend, authorities said Wednesday.

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Downed Light Pole Signals Hit and Run

Updated: 12/24/2008 - Topeka Police discover a hit and run accident after responding to a downed light pole on Huntoon; are now serching for a heavily damaged turquoise Honda.

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AP Coach of Year: Alabama's Nick Saban

Updated: 12/24/2008 - TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Four straight losses were bad enough for Alabama, and one humbling defeat to Louisiana-Monroe was even worse.

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Rodney Stuckey's 40 points lead Pistons past Bulls

Updated: 12/24/2008 - AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Rodney Stuckey scored 40 points, topping his previous career high by 13, and the Detroit Pistons overcame an injury to Allen Iverson in a 104-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

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Lakers down Hornets 100-87

Updated: 12/24/2008 - NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- So much for the Lakers' brief bout with vulnerability.

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Portland State upsets No. 7 Gonzaga 77-70

Updated: 12/24/2008 - SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Jeremiah Dominguez scored 25 points and Portland State upset No. 7 Gonzaga 77-70 on Tuesday night for its first win over a ranked team since it reinstated its basketball program for the 1996-97 season.

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LeBron, Cavaliers ground Rockets 99-90

Updated: 12/24/2008 - CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James scored 27 points - 18 in the second half- and Mo Williams added 23 as the Cleveland Cavaliers remained the NBA's only undefeated team at home with a 99-90 win Tuesday night over the Houston Rockets.

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Reports: Weapons, ammo seized at Burress' NJ home

Updated: 12/24/2008 - Authorities seized a small cache of weapons and ammunition from the New Jersey home of New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, the New York Post and Newsday both reported Wednesday, possibly setting up the embattled player for more legal trouble.

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AP sources: Teixeira, Yankees agree to $180M deal

Updated: 12/24/2008 - NEW YORK (AP) -- Even in the midst of a recession, the New York Yankees' hoard of cash - and players - appears to have no limit. Keeping up an unprecedented spending spree, Mark Teixeira joined the collection of pricey free agents in the Bronx when the first baseman reached a preliminary agreement on a $180 million, eight-year contract with the Yankees.

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Celtics win 19th straight, beat Philly 110-91

Updated: 12/24/2008 - BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics set a franchise record with their 19th consecutive victory on Tuesday night, getting 18 points apiece from Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-91.

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Kansas Man Among 19 Pardoned by Bush

Updated: 12/24/2008 - Nixon was sentenced on Feb. 2, 1962, in the District of Kansas and received three years probation, with the condition that he pay restitution.

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Mexican Beauty Queen Arrested in Gun-filled Truck

Updated: 12/24/2008 - A reigning Mexican beauty queen from the drug-plagued state of Sinaloa was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled guns and ammunition, police say.

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