Utility may face $2.25B fine

SAN FRANCISCO - The California agency investigating the deadly 2010 gas pipeline explosion in a San Francisco Bay area neighborhood recommended Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pay a $2.25 billion fine for its negligence leading up to the blast.

The penalty would be the largest ever assessed by a state regulator, officials said.

The California Public Utilities Commission recommended the fine and said the company's shareholders should shoulder it, not the utility's customers.

The blast in San Bruno sparked a fireball that killed eight people, injured dozens more, and destroyed 38 homes in the quiet bedroom community.

The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously agreed in 2011 that the accident was caused by what board chairman Deborah Hersman called a "litany of failures" by PG&E, as well as weak oversight by regulators. - AP

Society honors fallen educators

NEWTOWN, Conn. - The six educators killed in the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School were honored Monday by an organization of Medal of Honor recipients.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society said it chose the women to receive its Citizen Honors Medal, the highest award it gives to a civilian, after receiving dozens of nominations for their actions during the shooting.

The educators' families received the awards on their behalf at the ceremony at Newtown High School.

Janet Robinson, who was superintendent of Newtown schools, told the audience the women were not trained for anything like what happened on Dec. 14 but they acted to protect the children.

"There are no people more worthy of this award," Robinson said.

Two of the educators honored, principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach, are believed to have lunged, unarmed, at the gunman to try to stop him. - AP

Minn. raid targets terror

MINNEAPOLIS - The FBI believes authorities disrupted a terrorism attack that was being planned in a small western Minnesota city after converging on a mobile home that contained Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs, and firearms, the agency said Monday.

Buford Rogers, 24, of Montevideo, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He made his first court appearance Monday and was appointed a federal defender, but an attorney was not immediately assigned to his case.

"The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack," FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday. - AP