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OF SPECIAL NOTE THIS WEEK:
--- From booming North Dakota, National Writer Sharon Cohen reports on a negative consequence of the wealth flowing from the oilfields: an influx of drugs and the criminals who supply a surging demand.
--- One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, a package of AP stories, photos, interactive and video examines how survivors and the city itself have moved forward.
IN THE SHOWCASE:
WILLISTON, N.D. — The oil boom in the Bakken shale fields has touched off an explosion of growth and wealth on this remote wind-swept prairie, but the bonanza has also brought with it a dark side: a growing trade in meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana, the shadow of sinister cartels and newfound violence. Drugs and dealers are popping up in all kinds of places: Heroin is being trafficked on isolated Indian reservations. Mexican cartels are slowly making inroads in small-town America. And hard-core criminals are bringing drugs in from other states, sometimes concealing them in ingenious ways, such as liquid meth in windshield wiper reservoirs. "Organized drug dealers are smart," says one federal prosecutor. "They're good businessmen. They go where the demand is, and that's what they're seeing there. ... There's simply a lot of money flowing in these communities." By National Writer Sharon Cohen. UPCOMING: 2,600 words by April 9. Advance for print release Sunday, April 13. Abridged version available. Photos, video.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-HEALING THE WOUNDS
BOSTON — In the course of a year, limbs are replaced, psyches are soothed, the wounds sustained in a moment at the Boston Marathon finish line at least begin to heal. At the same time, a city shaken by an unthinkable act of terrorism returns to its usual rhythms — sadder, but some say stronger, as well. By Paige Sutherland. SENT: 1,900 words. Advance for use April 12-13. Abridged version available. Photos, video.
NOTE: This story is part of an extensive AP package marking the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Other stories are listed at the bottom of this digest and in a separate advisory.
FOR THIS WEEK (for immediate release unless noted):
When a 6-foot-5, 270-pound man with a history of violence broke out of a mental health ward near Philadelphia and tried to withdraw money from a bank, a confrontation with police seemed likely. But Lower Merion Township Police Officer Matthew Freind used his mental health training to calmly talk to the man and defuse the crisis. Says Freind: "No force was necessary. He thanked me. He said, 'You're the only person that's ever truly listened to me.' That was a situation where things could've gotten out of hand very quickly." Sometimes, they do, especially if police aren't trained how to respond to the severely mentally ill. By Michael Rubinkam. SENT: 950 words on April 10. Photos, video.
POLICE-MENTAL HEALTH-GLANCE — Signs officers are taught to recognize in people who might be having psychiatric crisis. SENT: 100 words.
MATSUMOTO, Japan — Yukie Hashimoto's 12-year-old daughter didn't want to leave her young brother, and her grandparents certainly didn't want her to go away. But a family living on the edge of the "no-go zone" surrounding Japan's wrecked nuclear plant has other things to consider. Hashimoto and her husband sent their eldest child far away to the picturesque ski town of Matsumoto, where the mayor offered to take in and educate young people living in the shadow of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Research has not shown the children to be in danger at home, but Hashimoto and the parents of seven other children accepted the mayor's offer. "We made our decision with her future, 10 years and 20 years later, in mind," Hashimoto said. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 870 words on April 7. Photos.
SANDS POINT, N.Y. — Tanisha Verdejo loves to surf the Web for online shopping deals. She chats on Facebook, learns about new recipes and sending emails to family and frields thanking them for their updates. A year ago, the 40-year-old deaf-blind New York native could do none of that. Verdejo, who lives in a group home in Port Washington, is among thousands of people across the country who have benefitted from a pilot program run by the FCC that provides low-income deaf-blind indivduals with the latest telecommunications devices and special training. By Frank Eltman. SENT: 700 words on April 8. Photos, video.
DALLAS — Airlines are making it more complicated for travelers to earn and redeem their coveted frequent flier miles. American Airlines is the latest to tinker with its program, adding new mileage redemption levels. The changes aren't as dramatic as those recently made by Delta Air Lines but do make it harder for fliers to understand the programs and to notice price hikes. The ability of a family to easily cash in on a free vacation appears to be fading as airlines continue to focus on increasing profits. By Airlines Writer David Koenig. Incorporates BC-US--American Airlines-Bag Fees. SENT: 600 words on April 8. Photos.
ORDWAY, Colo. — Mini-storms of tumbleweed have invaded the drought-stricken prairie of southern Colorado, blocking rural roads and irrigation canals, and briefly barricading homes and an elementary school. The invasion of the tumbleweed, an iconic symbol of both the West's rugged terrain and the rugged cowboys who helped settle it, has conjured images of the Dust Bowl of 80 years ago, when severe drought unleashed them onto the landscape. It has also cost communities tens of thousands of dollars to clean it up. By P. Solomon Banda. SENT: 740 words on April 9. Photos, video.
EXOTIC CAR RENTALS
LAS VEGAS — They're a chance for the middle class to feel like a movie star for a Vegas weekend. Or for a movie star to feel like a movie star away from home. In the past few years, some of the biggest car rental firms have added the finest autos money can buy to their fleet of practical Toyotas and Fords. And as the recession fades to a memory, the programs are seeing more customers take advantage of its Aston Martins and Lamborghinis. By Michelle Rindels. SENT: 840 words on April 7. Photos.
PALESTINIANS-COMMANDOS IN HEADSCARVES
JERICHO, West Bank — Palestinian women in combat fatigues and headscarves rappelled down a six-story tower, fired assault rifles at imaginary terrorists and in a drill straight out of the movies bundled a would-be VIP into a car and sped off after a shooting. The 22 future commandos are trailblazers in a still largely male-dominated society, set to become the first female members of the Presidential Guards, a Palestinian elite force of 2,600 men. Their inclusion is the result of gradual changes in the West Bank in recent years. By Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh. SENT: 900 words on April 7. Photos.
CAIRO — Women activists say they won a major step forward with Egypt's new constitution, which enshrined greater rights for women. But months after its passage, they're worrying whether those rights will be implemented or will turn out to be merely ink on paper. Men hold an overwhelming lock on decision-making and are doing little to bring equality, activists say, and the increasingly repressive political climate is stifling chances for reforms. By Laura Dean. SENT: 1,100 words on April 8. Photos.
SPAIN-SCALING THE FENCE
MELILLA, Spain — They perched atop a barbed-wire laced fence for more than seven hours, hands and feet bloodied, buffeted by chill winds whipping the epic cliffs of Africa's Mediterranean coast. The 27 sub-Saharan African migrants were literally on the edge between Africa's economic misery and the long dreamt riches of Europe: On one side of the fence was Morocco, on the other the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Thirst, hunger and exhaustion wore the migrants down. The men are part of a spring migration offensive from Africa to Europe, with record numbers of desperate people risking death in their quest for a better life. By Paul Schemm. SENT: 1,120 words on April 9. Photos.
PARIS — Irish photographer Mike Sheil says he knew "literally nothing" about military history before he began taking photos of World War I battlefields. "I just thought with the centenary coming up it was a good idea for some photographs," Sheil said in Paris, where he inaugurated an exhibit of his work: Fields of Battle-Lands of Peace 14-18. The 79 large photographs hang on the wrought iron fence around Paris' Jardin du Luxembourg park. The French senate, which sponsored the exhibition, expects more than 2.5 million people to see the free exhibit by the time it leaves Paris on Aug. 4 and moves to London's St. James's Park. By Greg Keller. SENT: 900 words on April 10. Photos.
D-DAY ANNIVERSARY-PHOTO GALLERY
PARIS — France is preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. A gallery of aerial photos includes views of the Pointe du Hoc, an imposing cliff on the Normandy coast that was scaled by U.S. Army Rangers at high cost of life to seize German artillery pieces. Also pictured: The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, which contains the graves of 9,387 Americans, most of whom were killed in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. SENT: 140 words on April 9. Ten photos.
HAMILTON, N.J. — A larger-than-life sculpture of Marilyn Monroe has arrived safely in New Jersey after a cross-country trip by flatbed. The 26-foot-tall "Forever Marilyn" goes on view starting May 4. SENT: 100 words. Seven photos.
ALSO ON THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING ANNIVERSARY (in addition to the story listed above):
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-THE INVESTIGATION
BOSTON — A year after two bombs ripped through crowds gathered at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260, one suspect is awaiting trial and the other is dead. Although prosecutors believe they have strong evidence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's guilt, there are still many unanswered questions about the attacks and the men at the center of the investigation. By Denise Lavoie. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m. EDT, April 14. Photos.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY
BOSTON — Events commemorating the anniversary are to include a ceremony at the Prudential Center with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and other officials. UPCOMING: Moving spot April 15. Photos, video.
BOSTON MARATHON-UNFINISHED BUSINESS
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Amputee runner Jeff Glasbrenner was three-tenths of a mile from the finish at the Boston Marathon last spring when the twin pressure cooker bombs exploded. He's among the 5,633 runners who didn't finish last year but were given the chance return and cross the finish line a year later. This time, Glasbrenner is bringing some company. He trained two fellow right-leg amputees who had never even imagined running a marathon before. For him, it's all about the finish line. For them, it's about the start. By Pat Graham and Alex Sanz. UPCOMING: 850 words by 3 a.m. EDT, April 16. Photos, video.
BOSTON — The Boston Marathon expects to host its second-largest field in 2014. How do a massive number of registrations, amped up security procedures, charitable donations and sponsorships affect the financial health of the race? By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 p.m. EDT, April 17. Photos.
BOSTON MARATHON TOURISM
BOSTON — With an additional 9,000 runners for this year's Boston Marathon, hotel rooms in Boston were already harder than usual to come by. Add the people who aren't running but just want to be part of the experience, and the company that handles bookings for the Boston Athletic Association has had to find space for people far outside the city. "The appearance is people seem to be embracing the whole experience this year differently than in past years," says Thomas Gilligan of Marathon Tours and Travel. "There's an emotional side to the event that didn't exist in previous years." UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 p.m. EDT, April 18. Photos.
BOSTON — The 118th running of the Boston Marathon will have more security than ever before. Organizers are trying to find a balance between allowing people to enjoy the race and keeping everyone safe, but runners and up to a million spectators expected to cheer them on will see security checkpoints, bomb-sniffing dogs, and other security measures that have not yet been disclosed. By Denise Lavoie. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 p.m. EDT, April 19. Photos.
BOSTON MARATHON-ELITE RUNNERS
LONDON — A look at how elite runners are making the choice to run — or not run — this year's marathon. UPCOMING: April 19.
An Associated Press interactive will tell stories of three survivors in the midst of their recoveries — combining text, photos, video and graphics in a rich multimedia package. A link will be available April 11 for members to be able to use the material starting at 3 a.m. on Monday, April 14.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-ARTIFACTS
BOSTON — After the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon, mourners began leaving thousands of items at a makeshift memorial near the finish line to honor the victims of the attacks. Some left teddy bears, signs and marathon bibs while others draped running sneakers to commemorate the three people killed and more than 260 injured during the April 15 attacks. To mark the anniversary of the bombings, the material will be curated into an exhibit hosted by the Boston Public Library. By Paige Sutherland. SENT: 620 words for March 31 and thereafter. Photos.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-BAUMAN
CARLISLE, Mass. — Jeff Bauman lost both his legs in the Boston Marathon bombings, injuries documented in an arresting Associated Press photograph that showed him being rushed from the scene in a wheelchair by three rescuers. He then became a hero when he played a key role in identifying the men suspected of placing the two bombs. Bauman speaks with the AP about his recovery on the eve of the publication of his book about the past year. By Michelle R. Smith. SENT: 930 words for April 5. Photos.
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