National briefs: Census Bureau to remove 'Negro'
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WASHINGTON -- After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word "Negro" to describe black Americans in surveys.
Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels "black" or "African-American".
The change will take effect next year when the Census Bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households, Nicholas Jones, chief of the bureau's racial statistics branch, said in an interview.
First used in the census in 1900, "Negro" became the most common way of referring to black Americans through most of the early 20th century, during a time of racial inequality and segregation. "Negro" itself had taken the place of "colored." Starting with the 1960s civil rights movement, black activists began to reject the "Negro" label and came to identify themselves as black or African-American.
White House: No price tag
WASHINGTON -- Facing tough questions about President Barack Obama's past pledges to help curb the role of money in politics, the White House pushed back Monday against suggestions that donors to a new group supporting his agenda will have special access to the president.
Weeks after top Obama allies announced plans to convert his victorious re-election campaign into an unprecedented nonprofit, questions remain about how the group, dubbed Organizing for Action, will interact with the White House. Chief among them is what benefits will be offered to those who shell out hefty sums to help bolster Mr. Obama's legislative priorities.
Plants to cease coal use
WASHINGTON -- American Electric Power Co. said it will stop using coal to generate power at three plants, as part of a settlement with government regulators and environmental groups, a sign of continuing pressure on coal-heavy utilities.
As part of the agreement, AEP, the largest U.S. coal user, said it will also further reduce sulfur-dioxide pollution from other coal plants nationwide. It will close or shift to natural-gas three units at existing coal plants: Tanners Creek Generating Station unit four in Indiana, the Muskingum River Power Plant unit five in Ohio and the Big Sandy Power Plant unit two in Kentucky.
2 dead in latest blizzard
LUBBOCK, Texas -- The nation's midsection again dealt with blizzard conditions Monday, closing highways, knocking out power to thousands in Texas and Oklahoma and even bringing hurricane-force winds to the Texas Panhandle. Two people were killed.
Already under a deep snowpack from last week's storm, Kansas was preparing for another round of heavy snow Monday evening and overnight.
Crews search for family
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Crews planned to search by sea and air through the night Monday as they ramped up efforts to find a husband, wife and two young children who sent a series of distress calls saying their sailboat was sinking far off the Central California coast and they were fashioning a raft from a cooler and a life ring.
The unidentified family had been sailing a small vessel Sunday west of Monterey Bay, where strong winds, cold water and big swells made for perilous conditions. Forecasters had issued a weekend advisory warning boaters of rough seas in the area.
First Published February 26, 2013 12:00 am