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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A major snowstorm that shuttered airports in Missouri, stranded truckers in Illinois and buried parts of Kansas in knee-deep powder was promising a messy and possibly dangerous commute Friday morning as it crawled northeast.
ATLANTA — It turns out this year’s flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting senior citizens, the most vulnerable age group. The vaccine is proving only 9 percent effective in people 65 and older against the harsh strain of the flu that is predominant this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Health officials are baffled as to why this is so. But the findings help explain why so many older people have been hospitalized with the flu this year.
AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — Hormel Foods Corp. said Thursday its net income edged up as higher sales of Spam and Hormel chili and other products helped offset higher costs for grain and for commodity costs in its Jennie-O Turkey segment. The company, which agreed to buy Skippy peanut butter in January as part of its effort to expand its grocery store offerings, also raised its guidance. Its shares briefly rose to a new high.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, though it remains at a level that suggests slow but steady improvement in the job market. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 8,000 to 360,750, the highest in six weeks. A department spokesman said heavy snowstorms in the Northeast didn't affect the total.
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Gunshots fired from a black Range Rover on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday caused a Maserati to crash into a taxi, creating a fireball and killing three people as the SUV sped away. Initial reports had it as a gunfight between the luxury SUV and the high-end sports car. But investigators don't think anyone in the Maserati was shooting, said Sgt. John Sheahan.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Parts of the nation's heartland awoke Thursday to more than half a foot of snow, as a largestorm made its way eastward out of the Rockies, snarling traffic for morning commuters and allowing an army of children to trade pen and paper for shovel and sled, at least for a day. Winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado through Illinois, and many school districts cancelled classes ahead of time, in anticipation of the more than a foot of snow expected to fall in some places.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nikola Pekovic had 27 points and tied a career high with 18 rebounds to power the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 94-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. Derrick Williams had 17 points and eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 15 points and five assists in his return from a thigh injury for the Timberwolves, who won for the fourth time in their last 20 games.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Deshaun Thomas overcame a slow start to score 19 points and No. 18 Ohio State used a 16-0 second-half run to beat Minnesota 71-45 on Wednesday night. The teams came into the night in dire need of a Big Ten win. Both had lost three of their last four, and each was humiliated on the road on Sunday. The Golden Gophers (18-9, 6-8 Big Ten) were pounded at Iowa, 72-51, while Ohio State (19-7, 9-5) wasn’t a factor over the final 35 minutes in a 71-49 beatdown at Wisconsin.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Trevor Plouffe was drafted as a shortstop and spent most of his minor league time there. There were stints at first base and second base, too, and he started last season primarily as a right fielder with the Minnesota Twins.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An 8-month-old boy who was reportedly abducted from an apartment has been found safe, and the suspect is in custody. Authorities say it appears Carlos Orozco was not harmed. The mother told police she left Carlos in his car seat in her apartment in the 2100 block of Portland Avenue South while she took a shower around noon Wednesday. He was gone when she got out.