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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has some pluses and minuses as he prepares to deliver his final State of the Union address. Friday's December jobs report capped a strong year in which employers added 2.65 million positions. That made 2015 the second best year since 1999 for job gains. One the other hand, wages seem stuck. Average pay last year grew 2.5 percent while 3.5 percent is considered healthy. Obama is expected to express optimism, though 7 in 10 Americans say the U.S. is on the wrong track.
NORTHFIELD CENTER, Ohio (AP) — A father and son who tried to rescue a family after their Ohio house exploded say there was a lot of fire and debris when they entered the home. Only the family dog escaped. Fire Chief Frank Risko says the bodies of a mother and her two daughters, 8 and 12, were found on the first floor near the front of the home. The father was found near the back of the house.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Concerns are starting to build about the potential for another border crisis amid an already contentious immigration debate during a presidential election year. The most recent statistics find a spike in families and children arriving at the U.S. southern border from Central America. The number has almost doubled from the year before. Arrivals traditionally increase in February.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Scientists are puzzled by a massive die-off of one of the Arctic's most abundant seabirds. Thousands of common murres (murz), a penguin-like bird, have been found dead, apparently of starvation. Die-offs have occurred before, but not like this. Federal researchers are investigating but say there's little they can do. There's speculation ecosystem changes have affected food supplies.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The college football season ended in a cascade of fireworks from both teams. In the end, Alabama needed everything it had to give coach Nick Saban another title with a 45-40 win over Clemson. It made Alabama's run of championships under Saban the greatest in college football history.
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