WASHINGTON

Keystone pipeline proposes new route through Nebraska

The company planning the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline has proposed a new route through Nebraska that avoids the state’s environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Calgary-based TransCanada submitted a series of proposed routes – including a preferred alternative – late Wednesday to Nebraska environmental officials.

The state has become a focus of concern for the 1,700-mile pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. President Obama blocked the pipeline earlier this year, citing uncertainty over the Nebraska route, which would travel above an aquifer that provides water to eight states.

SPRING, Texas

Woman charged in killing of mom, taking her newborn son

Verna McClain told her fiancé she had given birth to their child. But after she suffered a miscarriage, authorities said, she went looking for another baby to present to him.

Now she’s accused of killing a young mother to take one by force.

Investigators say McClain waited outside a pediatrician’s office north of Houston and shot Kala Golden before taking her tiny newborn son, who was only three days old.

Little Keegan Golden was found unharmed hours later with McClain’s sister. He is back with family members. McClain is charged with capital murder and was being held Wednesday.

LONG BEACH, Calif.

No charges filed against girl, 11, in death of schoolmate, 10

Prosecutors declined to file charges Wednesday against an 11-year-old girl who fought with a 10-year-old schoolmate hours before the younger girl died.

The death of Joanna Ramos came after a “fight between two children that ended with unintended and tragic results,” but no crime was committed, the Long Beach Police Department said in a statement.

The fight near Willard Elementary didn’t appear to be especially violent, no weapons were used, and neither girl was knocked to the ground, police have said. Joanna had a bloody nose when she returned to her after-school program, but by the time she got home, she was complaining of a headache and vomiting.

CHICAGO

More oversight urged after $30 million stolen from city

Allegations that a finance officer for a small northern Illinois city was able to steal a staggering $30 million from government coffers to run a nationally renowned horse breeding business inspired calls Wednesday for more rigorous oversight in small communities.

Dixon’s mayor pledged new measures to protect the city’s finances a day after FBI agents arrested longtime comptroller Rita Crundwell. She is accused of using the money to fund one of the nation’s leading horse breeding operations and feed a lavish lifestyle that kept her outfitted with cars and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.

According to a criminal complaint, the siphoning of city funds went undetected for years until another staffer filling in as vacation relief became suspicious.

– From news service report