Visitors to the Jersey shore this weekend will find many of their favorite beaches and boardwalks ready for summer, thanks to a massive rebuilding effort after Superstorm Sandy.
While several neighborhoods remain damaged, all but one of the storm-wrecked boardwalks should be ready for Memorial Day weekend, and amusement rides will still be available from Keansburg to Wildwood.
Most beaches will be open, despite losing sand during the storm.
Shore rentals are still available; demand is running at about 75 percent of what it was at this point last year.
And despite highly publicized devastation in places like Mantoloking (mahn-toh-LOH'-king) and Ortley Beach, large stretches of the shore suffered little damage. Ortley's small boardwalk won't be ready until June.
The state medical examiner's office has revised the death toll from a tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb to 24 people, including seven children.
Spokeswoman Amy Elliot said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm. Authorities said initially that as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.
Teams are continuing to search the rubble in Moore, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, after the Monday afternoon tornado.
A foster mother faces 100 days in prison after acknowledging she spanked a 4-year-old girl with a wooden spoon.
Jami Littlefield, 51, of Griswold, pleaded guilty Monday in Superior Court in Norwich to third-degree assault. She told authorities she paddled the girl in January because she was acting out, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Littlefield was arrested after the girl's biological mother noticed bruises on her daughter's buttocks when the child bent over to pick up a toy during a supervised visit. Medical staff at the Pequot Health Center determined the girl's contusions appeared to have been caused by the repeated strikes of a blunt instrument.
Littlefield initially denied hitting the child but later said she spanked the girl with the spoon she was using to stir soup after the child struck her granddaughter, spat at her and used a racial slur, according to the arrest document.
Gary Kleeblatt, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Families, told The Day of New London that Littlefield's foster care license, which she received in 2004, was removed after her arrest.
Foster parents receive extensive training on the proper care of children, including how to manage behaviors without resorting to corporal punishment, Kleeblatt said.
"Certainly we expect that they will not use an instrument of any type," he said.
Littlefield is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17. Under terms of her plea deal she faces 100 days in prison and two years of probation.
A military burial is scheduled in eastern Pennsylvania for a World War II soldier whose remains were recovered after more than 65 years.
The Express-Times reports William Yawney was a 23-year-old Army private when he was killed on Saipan in July 1944, as Allied forces were trying to secure the island.
The family initially received a letter saying he had been buried at a military cemetery in Saipan, but the Department of Defense later said no grave for Yawney was found. The department said an archaeological company working in Saipan uncovered remains in 2011 that were confirmed to be Yawney's.
Now, the family has scheduled a full military burial for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Cemetery in Northampton.
Authorities are set to release more than 300 photos on Tuesday that investigators took in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department says many photos show the parking lot of the shopping center where the shooting took place in January 2011. The photos also include images of the handgun and high-capacity pistol magazine used by Jared Lee Loughner to carry out the attack. The release also will contain other routine photos that were part of the investigation as authorities gathered up evidence at the scene.
It will not, however, include any gruesome crime scene images of victims that are being shielded from the public out of respect to those who were injured and killed in the attack.
The images are being released nearly two months after the sheriff's department made public roughly 2,700 pages of investigative reports examining the shooting, marking the public's first view into documents that authorities had kept private since the attack.
The records provided more detail about the deteriorating psychological condition of Loughner in the hours leading up to the attack and the first glimpse into Loughner's family.
News organizations seeking police records and photos from the shooting were denied access in the months after the attack and after the arrest of Loughner, who was sentenced in November to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 140 years, after he pleaded guilty to 19 federal charges.
In late February, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns cleared the way for the release of the photos and records after Star Publishing Company, which publishes the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, joined by Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which publishes The Arizona Republic, and KPNX-TV, sought their release. The judge said Loughner's right to a fair trial was no longer on the line now that his criminal case has resolved.
Arizona's chief federal judge and a 9-year-old girl were among those killed in the rampage. Giffords, who was left partially blind with a paralyzed right arm and brain injury, resigned from Congress last year and has since started, along with her husband, a gun control advocacy group.
Loughner's guilty plea enabled him to avoid the death penalty. He is serving his sentence at a federal prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and forcibly given psychotropic drug treatments to make him fit for trial.