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The Journal Gazette

Friday, November 02, 2018 1:00 am

Nation

Tennessee man executed in chair

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee inmate's final words were “let's rock” moments before he became the first man executed in the electric chair in that state since 2007, put to death for the killings of two men during a drug deal-turned-robbery decades ago.

Edmund Zagorski, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. Thursday at a Nashville maximum-security prison, officials said.

In opting for the electric chair over a lethal injection as Tennessee allowed him, Zagorski had argued it would be a quicker and less painful way to die. He became only the second person to die in the electric chair in Tennessee since 1960.

Zinke investigation referred to DOJ

The Interior Department's internal watchdog has referred an investigation of Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Justice Department, signaling a potential escalation amid a series of inquiries into Zinke's conduct. The move came according to two people familiar with the investigation.

Zinke faces a number of probes, including one centered on a Montana land deal involving a foundation he created and the chairman of Halliburton, a prominent energy services company that does significant business with Interior. Investigators also are reviewing Zinke's decision to block two tribes from opening a casino in Connecticut and his redrawing of boundaries to shrink a Utah national monument.

Health care website running

The federal website where consumers can get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act was up and running Thursday after a slow start as sign-up season for 2019 opened days before the midterm elections.

During early morning hours, people accessing the site were directed to a screen that said work was underway. A recording at the HealthCare.gov call center conveyed a similar message.

In earlier years, technical problems with the site created major headaches for the Obama administration. Some Democrats cited HealthCare.gov's meltdown after its 2013 debut as one of the reasons they lost control of the Senate.

2nd NASA spacecraft declared dead

NASA has lost a second spacecraft this week, ending a fruitful mission in the asteroid belt.

Running low on fuel for some time, the Dawn spacecraft this week stopped communicating with flight controllers. NASA declared it dead Thursday, two days after delivering eulogies to the planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope.

The 11-year-old Dawn was the first spacecraft to orbit an object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.