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Pipe organ destined for St. Louis, debuts in Benicia

BENICIA — David Erwin didn’t pull out all the stops Sunday as he played the three-manual, 46-rank pipe organ during an open house at Schoenstein & Co. on Sunday.

In a few months, Erwin will sit behind the organ at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church in St. Louis.

A small crowd had gathered around him. Some even took pictures.

“It’s my baby,” he said, after playing a few tunes.

New questions about why more women than men have Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and now some scientists are questioning the long-held assumption that it’s just because they tend to live longer than men. What else may put woman at extra risk? Could it be genetics? Biological differences in how women age? Maybe even lifestyle factors? Finding out might […]

2nd escaped murderer is shot, captured after other killed

MALONE, N.Y. — A three-week manhunt that began with a brazen prison break involving stolen power tools and hacksaw blades hidden in frozen hamburger meat ended Sunday when a single state police sergeant spotted a suspicious man walking down on a rural road near the Canadian border. David Sweat’s capture came two days after his fellow […]

Supreme Court ruling makes pride parades historic, jubilant

SAN FRANCISCO — Hundreds of thousands of people on Sunday packed gay pride events from Chicago to New York City, Seattle to San Francisco, with overall attendance expected in the millions for what amounted to a celebration of a freshly endorsed right to marry. In San Francisco, a parade that at times resembled a rainbow-colored dance […]

Long struggle, quick endgame as same-sex marriage prevails

NEW YORK — Back in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a law stipulating that the federal government would not recognize marriages between same-sex couples. On Friday night, the White House was illuminated with rainbow colors in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing such marriages in every state of the nation. For gay-rights activists, the two […]

Report details extent of Solano County homelessness

FAIRFIELD — Most are men, although there are more women than you might think. The majority are older than 40, with more than four in 10 over the age of 50. They’re mainly white, but almost as many are black. There are at least 1,000 of them and possibly as many as 3,000.

They’re Solano County’s homeless.

These and other characteristics of the county’s homeless population are derived from the 2015 Point-in-Time Census . . .

35 California counties extend health care to immigrants

SACRAMENTO — A group of 35 California counties have agreed to provide basic health care to people who are in the United States illegally. The decision was made Thursday by the governing panel of the County Medical Services Program, which pools resources of the mostly rural and sparsely populated counties to provide health services to […]

Celebrities react to Supreme Court gay marriage ruling

Some celebrity reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States: “What an amazing day for equality!!!! Love always wins!!!!” — Kim Kardashian West, via Twitter. ___ “Love is bigger than anything we can say.” — Diana Ross, via Twitter. ___ “Finally And at Last! […]

Supreme Court declares nationwide right to same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON — Same-sex couples won the right to marry nationwide Friday as a divided Supreme Court handed a crowning victory to the gay rights movement, setting off a jubilant cascade of long-delayed weddings in states where they had been forbidden. “No longer may this liberty be denied,” said Justice Anthony Kennedy. The vote was narrow […]

Pols, political leaders share views of SC church killings

FAIRFIELD — Rep. John Garamendi says “the Confederate battle flag belongs in museums, not on official government flag poles” and Democratic state lawmakers representing this region agree. “It is a symbol for racial hatred, oppression and violence. The flag was the banner for those who supported enslavement, lynching and persecution of our fellow Americans,” said […]

Solano residents find church killings tragic, but no surprise

FAIRFIELD — People look at what happened in Charleston, South Carolina, with a common sadness, but not surprise.

“It’s very sad,” said Maria Robles of Suisun City, taking a break from grocery shopping. “But crazy people go all the way back to the beginning of time.”

She and others said it is tragic that such sacred places as churches can be violated by violence like what happened when suspected killer Dylann Roof, 21, allegedly shot nine African-American people to death without mercy on June 17 while they were holding a prayer meeting in a Charleston church.

Judge dismisses juror in Henry Smith murder trial

FAIRFIELD — A juror in the Henry A. Smith murder trial who on a questionnaire omitted arrests of her family members was dismissed Friday by Solano County Superior Court Judge Peter B. Foor. “The first thing I’m noting is all of these situations involve significant legal charges,” the judge said in granting the prosecution request […]

Historic gay marriage ruling stirs emotion across US

Some snapshots of Americans reacting to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling declaring that same-sex couples have a right to marry in all 50 states. ___ TEXAS Customers at a Dallas comic-book store were confronted by a sign Friday warning that the business might open late because the owners were “waiting at the courthouse to see if […]

Gay couples wed on historic day as conservatives resist

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Benjamin Moore and Tadd Roberts wore matching tuxedos to the county clerk’s office in Louisville to get married Friday, and the mayor greeted them with a bottle of champagne. They were among a rush of gay couples across the South and Midwest who celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage with spontaneous weddings. […]

Obama delivers unvarnished race lecture at eulogy

CHARLESTON, S.C. — President Barack Obama used his eulogy for a slain pastor to deliver an unvarnished lecture on America’s racial history Friday, and then boldly sang “Amazing Grace,” a spiritual meant to summon hope in the darkest of times. Obama also called for gun control and efforts to eliminate poverty and job discrimination, and […]

Nurse camp opens eyes, doors for potential students

FAIRFIELD — One of the biggest vocational shortages in the country, and particularly in California, is nursing.

Nurses at NorthBay Medical Center decided to do something to help pique the interest of high school students and began a nursing camp 11 years ago.

While getting interest going was sluggish at first, the program has expanded the number of days it operate each year, the number of hours it operate each day and the program now has to turn away several dozen applicants.

Fairfield, Suisun, Vacaville get ready for July 4th

FAIRFIELD — It promises to be a sweet Fourth of July parade in Fairfield with Herman Rowland, chairman of the board of the Jelly Belly Candy Company, as the parade’s grand marshal. “Jelly Belly is a landmark in Fairfield and Herm’s patriotism and love of America is well-known,” said Fairfield Main Street Association Executive Director […]

Other legal challenges to health overhaul remain

WASHINGTON — If you thought the legal fight over the health care overhaul was finally over, think again. At least four issues related to the Affordable Care Act still are being sorted out in the courts, although none seems to pose the same threat to the law as the challenge to nationwide subsidies that the court rejected on Thursday, […]

Obama health care law survives second Supreme Court fight

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court sent a clear message Thursday that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is here to stay, rejecting a major challenge that would have imperiled the landmark law and health insurance for millions of Americans. Whether you call it the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, or in the words of a dissenting […]

Contours of Obama’s legacy form with help of unlikely allies

WASHINGTON — Long past the prime of his presidency, Barack Obama is defying the lame-duck label and solidifying the contours of his legacy with the help of unlikely allies in Congress and the Supreme Court. Led by Chief Justice John Roberts, the high court preserved Obama’s signature health care law Thursday, hours before a Republican-controlled […]

Tsarnaev sentenced to death for Boston Marathon bombing

BOSTON — Moments before a judge sentenced him to death, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev broke more than two years of silence Wednesday and apologized to the victims and their loved ones for the first time. “I pray for your relief, for your healing,” he said. “I am sorry for the lives that I’ve taken, […]

Mourners bid farewell as flag controversy grows

COLUMBIA, S.C. — State senator and pastor Clementa Pinckney was carried Wednesday into the Statehouse where he served the people for nearly 20 years, becoming the first African-American since Reconstruction to rest in honor in the South Carolina Rotunda. Hours later, his congregation returned to the scene of a massacre, keeping up his work of […]

Brown approves measures to help the poor

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed a spending plan Wednesday that uses California’s growing surplus to fund new initiatives aimed at providing relief to the poor. The new budget beginning next month will establish an earned income tax credit for working-poor families, boost the number of state-subsidized child care slots and expand state-funded health care […]

Vietnam POW shares experience with Travis airmen

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE — Former Vietnam War POW, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Barry Bridger, came to Travis on Wednesday to talk about the trials that he and other imprisoned airmen went through during their captivity and serve as a motivational speaker to show that the challenges posed by post-traumatic stress disorder can be dealt with.

“He is a living example of resiliency,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alan Boling, who introduced Bridger to a room full of airmen. “His story is one of determination and courage.
“The talk was part of Travis’ effort to combat the effects of PTSD: an estimated 20 percent of those who serve have some form of the disorder. Bridger was there to show them someone who had gone through a truly significant life event and show that things can be OK.

Defense wraps case in Smith murder trial

FAIRFIELD — The defense case for an accused cop killer had been predicted to take a week. Instead it took only a few hours as the defense team rested Wednesday after just a few hours of witness testimony. Jurors in the murder trial for Henry A. Smith, ongoing since April, were sent home early and […]

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