NJ Democrats combine traffic jam probes

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democrats have voted to merge separate legislative investigations into allegations that Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s aides manufactured traffic jams as political payback.

The state Assembly and Senate voted Monday to establish a joint bipartisan committee with power to subpoena people and correspondence related to the traffic scandal and other matters. The two chambers had been conducting parallel investigations.

Chicago lawyer Reid Schar will serve as special counsel to the panel of eight Democrats and four Republicans.

Co-chairs of the committee say the focus is on finding out who ordered the blocking of two lanes of traffic near the George Washington Bridge, leading to hours-long delays in the town of Fort Lee, at the base of the span.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has launched a separate investigation.

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Tue, 01/17/2017 - 19:22

Arkansas lawmakers advance junk food ban for food stamps

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas would ban food stamps from being used to purchase soda or junk food under a proposal endorsed by a legislative committee Tuesday, joining a list of Republican-led states hopeful the Trump administration will allow such restrictions to the federal program.

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Tue, 01/17/2017 - 19:21

Arkansas House OKs delay in medical marijuana launch

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas House voted Tuesday to delay the launch of the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana program and ease a restriction on doctors who certify a patient is eligible to use the drug.

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Tue, 01/17/2017 - 19:08

Wal-Mart to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the US

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart plans to add about 10,000 retail jobs in the U.S. as it opens new stores and expands existing locations. The world’s biggest retailer said Tuesday that its plans will also generate about 24,000 construction jobs.

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