National Briefs: Cleric's posh residence

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ATLANTA -- Archbishop Wilton Gregory seems to have gotten the pope's message about modest living.

Days after Pope Francis permanently removed a German bishop for his lavish spending on a new residence, the Atlanta archbishop apologized Monday for building a $2.2 million mansion as his residence. He bowed to criticism from local parishioners and said he would consider selling the new home in Buckhead, Atlanta's toniest neighborhood.

The Tudor-style mansion, stretching nearly 6,400 square feet, includes two dining rooms and a safe room. The archbishop said the new pope has "set the bar" for church leaders and others, and Archbishop Gregory said he hadn't looked at the project's cost in terms of his own "integrity and pastoral credibility."

Jackpot winner

SAN FRANCISCO -- The sole winner of February's $425 million Powerball jackpot came forward to claim his prize Tuesday.

California Lottery officials said B. Raymond Buxton, a Northern California retiree, claimed the prize at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.

The one winning ticket for the Feb. 19 drawing was sold at a convenience store in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Milpitas, about 10 miles north of San Jose.

Lottery officials said Mr. Buxton chose to take a lump sum payment of $242.2 million before taxes.

Landslide toll at 27

OSO, Wash. -- Searchers continued to recover remains Tuesday amid the debris caused by the landslide that swept down a mountainside more than a week ago in western Washington, officials said, as the death toll rose to 27, with 22 other people still missing.

On the list of missing, at least 16 of the 22 once lived on Steelhead Drive in Oso, which was in the direct path of the slide and is now buried and robbed of any landmark or sign by which one might even find it.

Coal ash battle

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy asked a judge Monday to prevent citizens groups from taking part in any enforcement action that would make the company clean up nearly three dozen coal ash pits across North Carolina.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources filed a complaint against Duke last year. Several citizens groups got involved in the case, saying the pits polluted groundwater.

Gas plant blast probed

PLYMOUTH, Wash. -- State and federal regulators looking for what caused an explosion at a liquefied natural gas facility on the Washington-Oregon border began interviewing injured workers Tuesday, while a team that went inside found no lingering fire.

The safety check came after the explosion Monday at the Williams Northwest Pipeline storage facility outside Plymouth, injured five employees and ruptured a huge liquefied natural gas storage tank.

Bishops, immigration

NOGALES, Ariz. -- Roman Catholic leaders made a rare visit to the border and celebrated Mass on Tuesday in the shadow of the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico, offering Holy Communion through the steel barrier to people on the Mexican side as they sought to bring attention to the plight of immigrants.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the leader of the Boston Archdiocese, led a delegation of bishops from around the country and Mexico in the trip to the border, less than a week after President Barack Obama discussed immigration reform in a meeting with Pope Francis.

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