National briefs: Innovation labs touted by states

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ST. LOUIS -- Top politicians in Illinois on Sunday joined local leaders in Michigan in trumpeting as a coup news that their states have landed a part in what they consider a revolutionary effort to boost manufacturing innovation, seeded by $140 million from federal taxpayers.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the weekend announced Chicago's selection as eventual home to the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute touted last month in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. A second institute will be located in Canton, Mich., near Detroit.

Mr. Obama, a Chicagoan, is expected to officially announce the $320 million initiative Tuesday at the White House. The Pentagon is contributing $70 million to each of the Illinois and Michigan sites, with the remainder being contributed by states, including $16 million from Illinois, and outside interests that include corporations and universities.

The White House said pushing more research into lightweight metals through the planned institute also "will strengthen our defense capabilities, like enabling the creation of armored vehicles strong enough to withstand a roadside bomb but light enough for helicopter-transport."

Gas price jumps 12 cents

LOS ANGELES -- The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline rose 12 cents, to $3.41, during the past two weeks.

That's according to a survey released Sunday.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg cited changes in the price of crude oil because of violence in the petroleum-producing nations of Venezuela and South Sudan.

Mall gas leak kills 1

HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. -- A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a restaurant at New York mall, police said.

Police said all of those affected by the fumes were restaurant employees, police or ambulance workers.

They said the leak appeared to originate with the heating system.

Kiss decides not to plug in

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Kiss won't rock and roll all night -- or at any point during the day, either -- when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, the band said Sunday.

The 40-year-old group is unable to agree on which lineup should perform during the April 10 ceremony in New York City, and has decided not to plug in at all.

The dispute concerns whether original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would join Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in a live performance, or whether the current lineup of Mr. Stanley, Mr. Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer would play instead.



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