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Ramiro Garcia Caps American Idol Audition with Compelling Story [VIDEO]

A large part of Thursday's American Idol auditions focused on jokester auditions and disagreements on talent between the judges. But the show closed with a great story about 28-year-old worship leader Ramiro Garcia, and his audition even had a little East Texas flavor to it.

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U.S. Currency
by david_shankbone,flickr
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Local and National News Headlines 1/27

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2.8 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year. The Commerce Department says Americans spent more on cars and trucks, and companies built up stockpiles. Consumer spending was up from October through December of 2011, it grew at a 2 percent annual rate, that’s up modestly from the third quarter. But growth was held back by the biggest annual government spending cuts in four decades. For the full year, the economy grew just 1.7 percent, about half as much as 2010.

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Foreclosure Sign
by Respres,flickr
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Local and National News Headlines 1/26

LOS ANGELES — A private research firm is reporting that foreclosures were a smaller share of all U.S. homes sold in last year's third quarter. RealtyTrac cites delays by banks in putting properties on sale and slower home sales. Even with the decline, foreclosures still made up 20 percent of total homes sold in the July through September period.

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President Obama Addresses State Of The Union
Pool,getty images
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Local and National News Headlines 1/25

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he wants to close the gap between rich and poor. In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama proposed refinancing at lower interest rates on some mortgages, forcing colleges to keep tuition down and higher taxes for the wealthy. In the GOP response, Gov. Mitch Daniels says Obama has resorted to "extremism" to divide Americans. Today the President will set off on a three-day tour of politically crucial states, with his first stop in Iowa, where he will visit a conveyor belt plant.

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President Obama
Alex Wong,getty images
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Local and National News Headlines 1/24

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's State of the Union address tonight includes an appeal for the middle class. President Obama will make an argument for economic fairness for the middle class and say he is the one to deliver it. He is also expected to urge higher taxes on the wealthy, propose ways to make college more affordable and offer new steps to tackle the housing crisis. The address before Congress is 8 p.m. tonight.

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2011 Income tax Forms
Morning Calm News
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Local and National News Headlines 1/23

If you have been receiving unemployment benefits, you could be in for a big surprise when you start filing your taxes. Bob Meighan, vice president at Turbo Tax, says unless filers asked that federal taxes be withheld from their jobless benefits, they will owe taxes on the income. On the upside, Meighan reminds the unemployed they might be eligible for tax breaks they didn’t get before, such as the earned income credit.

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British Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Troops In Afghanistan
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Local and National News Headlines 1/20

WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior U.S. defense official says all six reported killed in the crash of a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan were U.S. Marines. The helicopter crashed Thursday in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.The defense official who said all six were Marines spoke on condition of anonymity because the U.S. command in Afghanistan had not yet publicly released details, including the nationalities of the dead. The official says there is no indication that the helicopter was hit by enemy fire.

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Rick Perry Campaigns In Greer, SC
Mark Wilson,getty images
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1/19 Headlines: Rick Perry Drops Out of Presidential Race

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Just two days before the South Carolina primary, Rick Perry is dropping out of the race and endorsing Newt Gingrich. He says Gingrich "is not perfect," but adds, "who among us is?" He says Gingrich is a "conservative visionary" who is best suited to replace Barack Obama. Gingrich has been trying to unite conservatives around his candidacy in advance of Saturday's primary. He's urging Perry's supporters to take a look at his record.

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Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
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Miranda Lambert Takes Time Off Due to Death of Blake Shelton’s Dad

As expected, Miranda Lambert has announced that her shows scheduled for the rest of this week, through the weekend, have been rescheduled due to the death of Blake Shelton‘s dad.

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Tyler Police Logo
Tyler Police Department
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Local and National News Headlines 1/18

TYLER -- A Flint man suspected of attempting to rob and kidnap a woman from a Tyler grocery store is in jail.

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Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Runs Aground Off Giglio
Laura Lezza,Getty
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Local and National News Headlines 1/17

ROME (AP) — Get back on the boat. That was the order from the Italian coast guard to the captain of a cruise ship that turned on its side after hitting rocks along the Italian coast on Friday. On an audio tape that was made public today, an angry coast guard officer is heard demanding that the captain -- who was on a lifeboat at the time -- return to the ship to oversee the rescue and evacuation. The captain resisted. He's now in custody, facing charges in the wreck that has now claimed at least 11 lives.

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2008 CMT Music Awards - Show
Scott Gries, Getty Images
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Rodney Carrington in Longview on Thursday with KNUE

It's always great when a star from East Texas comes home to entertain the family. I'm so looking forward to seeing and meeting Longview native Rodney Carrington on Thursday at the Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview.

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