Nominee for energy post

President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated the former head of Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Ronald Binz sat on Colorado’s utilities commission from 2007 to 2011 and helped oversee efforts to reduce Colorado’s reliance on coal-fired utility plants and increase the state’s use of renewable energy. He previously served as the state’s advocate for energy consumers. He now works as a consultant and is affiliated with a Colorado renewable energy institute headed by former Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter. His nomination comes as the coal industry and others are criticizing Obama for regulations to reduce carbon emissions, contending the president is waging a “war on coal.”


Teen held in fatal beating

A 13-year-old North Texas boy faces a capital murder charge in the death of a 5-year-old boy who was hit in the head multiple times, authorities said. The teen, whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile, was arrested Thursday in the death of Sida Osman. Because he is younger than 14, the suspect is not eligible to stand trial as an adult, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. His case is in juvenile court. After Sida’s parents reported him missing Tuesday evening, officers started knocking on doors and kept searching overnight using police dogs and helicopters. The youngster’s body was discovered the next afternoon, prompting residents to quickly gather, shouting, “Peace and justice!”


Bird blamed in F-16 crash

The pilots flying an F-16 fighter jet that went down near Luke Air Force Base in suburban Phoenix reported hitting a bird shortly after takeoff, the Air Force general who commands their base said Thursday. The two pilots, who were practicing landings and takeoffs at the base Wednesday evening, ejected safely and the fighter crashed in a farm field near the base. The plane had just taken off when the pilots reported hitting a bird and the engine in the plane malfunctioned, 56th Operations Group commander Col. John Hanna said.

Compiled from wire reports.