Democratic leader Reid has surgery to fix injuries

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has undergone surgery to remove a blood clot in his right eye and repair bones in his face, injuries from an accident he suffered while exercising more than three weeks ago.

A spokesman said the surgery was successful and doctors are optimistic that the 75-year-old Reid will regain vision in his injured eye, although they are not yet able to say if that will be the case.

Spokesman Adam Jentleson says Reid will recuperate at his home in Washington this week.

Veterans Affairs announces new regional organization

The Veterans Affairs Department said Monday it is creating a single regional framework that divides the sprawling agency into five clearly marked regions.

The new framework is part of a larger reorganization that VA leaders say will bring a singular focus on customer service to an agency that serves 22 million veterans, including more than 6 million who receive health care each year from the VA’s 970 hospitals or clinics.

The VA now has nine organizational maps and at least a dozen websites, many with their own usernames and passwords, as it provides services ranging from health care to disability benefits, home loans and cemetery plots.


Girl found in cornfield in 1979 identified as missing teen

A girl found shot to death in a western New York cornfield 35 years ago has been identified as a missing Florida teenager.

DNA from a half-sister confirmed the identity of 16-year-old Tammy Jo Alexander, who disappeared in the 1970s, the Livingston County sheriff’s office announced during a news conference Monday.

Sheriff Thomas Dougherty said investigators had followed thousands of leads over the years, but the break in the case came in August when a former classmate reported to the Hernando County sheriff in Florida that Tammy Jo had been missing since between 1977 and 1979. She had last lived in Brooksville, Florida, and attended Hernando High School.


Soldiers file complaints over restrictions at Guantanamo

Some female soldiers at the Guantanamo Bay prison have filed equal opportunity complaints challenging court orders barring them from jobs that would require touching detainees while escorting them to hearings and attorney-client meetings, a military judge said Monday.

The two complaints filed with the Defense Department’s Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity complicate a dispute that stems from the detainees’ assertion that their Muslim faith prohibits physical contact with females who are not their wives or relatives. Some defense lawyers have argued that the government recently added women to the escort teams to humiliate the men and disrupt their ability to defend themselves.


EPA says 4 million gallons of oil, brine pumped from spill

The Environmental Protection Agency says more than 4 million gallons of a mixture of freshwater, brine and oil have been pumped from the area affected by the largest saltwater spill of North Dakota’s current energy boom.

The federal agency made public on Monday an assessment on the nearly 3 million-gallon spill of saltwater generated by oil drilling that leaked from a ruptured pipeline. Operator Summit Midstream Partners LLC detected the spill Jan. 6, but it’s still unclear exactly when it occurred and what caused it.

Saltwater, also known as brine, is an oil-production byproduct that’s considered an environmental hazard.

— From news service reports