The Associated Press

Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered and rookie Ryan Merritt delivered shutdown pitching as Cleveland beat Toronto 3-0 to win the American League Championship Series in five games.

The Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1997 and will host the first two games. Cleveland last won a World Series in 1948.

Mike Napoli's double off of Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada put Cleveland on top in the first inning. Estrada also gave up two home runs.

Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter in his latest postseason gem, Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer off Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the defending National League champion New York Mets 3-0 Wednesday night in the wild-card game.

Trying to follow their World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14, the Giants open the NL Division Series on Friday at the best-in-the-majors Chicago Cubs.

Hurricane Matthew is roaring across the Caribbean Sea as a monster Category 5 storm on a course that puts Jamaica, as well as parts of Haiti and Cuba, in the path of its potentially devastating winds and rain.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center called it the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007, and said Matthew will be approaching Jamaica late Sunday night. It is expected to reach the eastern part of the island on Monday.

Igor Spasic / Flickr

A nearly 40 percent increase in the number of reported cases of child abuse in Pennsylvania is straining the resources of county district attorneys' offices, with one prosecutor saying her staff is overwhelmed by the surging workload.

Prosecutors say they support a 2014 legislative overhaul of the state's child abuse law, which, among other things, expanded the definition of child abuse and made more adults legally responsible for reporting suspected cases of it.

But they're having trouble keeping up with the resulting surge in abuse claims.

Keith Srakocic / AP

  Changes are in store for Pennsylvania hunters taking to the state's 1.5 million acres of game lands this season, including new and canceled programs offered by the state Game Commission.

During the 2015-16 season, 937,000 hunters purchased licenses or mentored permits in Pennsylvania, a slight decrease from the previous year.

Game Commission statistics show that more than 10 percent of that number was from female purchasers, with 96,555 licenses or mentored permits bought by women or girls.

A tight budget has the Game Commission monitoring its spending.

12:25 a.m.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the north side is calming after violence in the wake of a police shooting that left one man dead.

The violence erupted a few hours after an officer shot and killed a 23-year-old man. Police said the man was fleeing a traffic stop and was armed with a gun. It wasn't immediately clear if he pointed it at or fired it at the officer.

Alex Rodriguez returned to the infield, hugged a reception line of teammates and was handed the final ball from his final game with the New York Yankees. He walked to the area behind third base, leaned down and grabbed a handful of dirt.

Baseball's most notorious star of the last two decades then headed back to the dugout after a Yankee Stadium finale Friday night that included a pregame ceremony punctuated by thunder cracks and cut short by a downpour, a first-inning RBI double and a surprising ninth-inning return to third base.

A failed asylum-seeker from Syria blew himself up and wounded 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival in southern Germany in what officials said Monday may have been a suicide bombing. It was the fourth attack to shake Germany in a week — three of them carried out by recent immigrants.

The 27-year-old blew himself up at a bar shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, having been turned away from an open-air music festival in the southern town of Ansbach because he didn't have a ticket.

A burned body was found Saturday at the scene of a brushfire north of Los Angeles that has scorched 31 square miles and prompted the evacuation of 1,500 homes, authorities said.

The body was discovered outside a home on Iron Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, and detectives are trying to determine whether the person was killed by the blaze or another cause, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Rob Hahnlein said. The home also may have burned, he said.

Alan Levine / Flickr



The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined two health systems for illegally dumping medical waste in a landfill.

The state agency says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has been hit with $451,000 in fines and Allegheny Health Network has been fined $86,900. Officials say the state found 12 of UPMC's hospitals illegally dumped large quantities of needles, bloody dressings and body fluids into a Monroeville landfill.

A massive fire broke out during a fireworks display in a Hindu temple in south India early Sunday, killing more than 100 people and injuring at least 200 others, officials said.

The fire started when a spark from the unauthorized fireworks show ignited a separate batch of fireworks that were being stored at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village, a few hours north of Kerala's state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the state's top elected official.

North Carolina will look for its sixth NCAA championship when the Tar Heels meet the Villanova Wildcats, trying for their second, on Monday night.

The Tar Heels (33-6) last won it all in 2009 and Villanova's only title came in 1985.

Both teams advanced to the championship game with lopsided wins, but Villanova's was far more of a blowout than North Carolina's.

About one inch of snow fell on parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Easter Sunday and officials say the precipitation provided a boost to their efforts to contain a wildfire described as the largest in Kansas history.

The fire began last week in Oklahoma and spread north to Kansas. Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, says the fire has burned almost 400,000 acres of prairie and ranch land in three counties across two states.

Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year contract, wrapping up five months of negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit automakers.

The UAW said late Friday that Ford's contract passed with a 51.4-percent vote. The agreement covers 53,000 U.S. hourly workers at 22 plants.

Allegheny County / Twitter


A large, smoky chemical warehouse fire near Pittsburgh forced residents from about 70 nearby homes and injured multiple people.

Emergency crews on Tuesday moved people living near Weatherford Engineered Chemicals in Leetsdale to a high school gymnasium as a precaution.

The evacuation order has since been lifted, according to county officials. 

President Barack Obama's plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally suffered another setback Monday in a ruling from a New Orleans-based federal appeals court.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based federal judge's injunction blocking the administration's immigration initiative.

Republicans had criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.

Robert Morris University is getting a new president from Virginia.

Trustees have announced Christopher Howard will become the school's eighth president Feb. 1. He has served as president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia since 2009.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File

Kraft Heinz has announced it is cutting about 2,500 jobs in the U.S. and Canada. The move comes as the company seeks to cut costs following the Kraft and Heinz merger earlier this year. The impact on Pittsburgh will be minimal, according to Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen.

“As part of the integration, some employees will move from Pittsburgh to Chicago and likewise, some employees will move from Chicago to Pittsburgh,” said Mullen. “Heinz will continue to have a significant presence in the Pittsburgh area.”

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called the Legionella-related deaths of six veterans at a Pittsburgh VA hospital a “tragedy.”

“Whenever there are any missteps, there is no excuse,” Obama told thousands of veterans at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Point Park University in Pittsburgh is cutting 32 full- and part-time employees as part of restructuring spurred by declining enrollment.

University officials say the cuts amount to 3 percent of the school's workforce, but did not specify how the lay-offs were spread among faculty, administrators and staff.

An online poll that drew more than 12,000 votes shows nearly 85 percent of Pittsburghers don't want the city's three "sister bridges" across the Allegheny River to be painted a different color when they're rehabbed.

So, the Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson — or 6th, 7th and 9th street — bridges will remain "Aztec Gold."

Kraft shareholders have approved the sale of the company to ketchup maker H.J. Heinz, creating one of the world's largest food companies with annual revenue of about $28 billion.

Heinz' owners, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital engineered the deal, first announced in March, and will control 51 percent of the new Kraft Heinz Co.

AP Photo/Chris Knight

Pennsylvania's Democratic governor is inviting legislative leaders to meet in his Capitol offices, a day after the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed a state budget he vetoed.

Gov. Tom Wolf said he hopes the Wednesday afternoon meeting will restart negotiations over a spending plan for the fiscal year that has just begun.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Republican majorities in the Pennsylvania House and Senate are expected to send budget legislation today to Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, along with bills to completely change how wine and liquor are sold and to squeeze billions in savings from public sector pensions.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is applauding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, but says state lawmakers should follow up by passing a law to protect people against discrimination based on their sexual or gender preference.

Wolf said in a statement Friday that the high court's 5-4 decision makes clear that "gay marriage" is now simply marriage and same-sex couples cannot be denied the pursuit of happiness.

Pittsburgh-area Catholics can expect to hear about a topic this Sunday that is not usually the focus of their pastors’ homilies — the environment.

On Thursday, Pope Francis issued a teaching document laying out his theological argument on the imperative to curb climate change and protect the environment.

Francis framed climate change as an urgent moral issue in his encyclical, “Laudato Si’ (Praised Be),” and blamed global warming on an unfair, fossil fuel-based industrial model that harms the most poor.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Pennsylvania school districts whose communities are similar economically are supposed to receive about the same amount of money per student from the state.

But officials have long complained that isn't happening.

More of Gov. Tom Wolf's Cabinet members are removing the word "acting" from their title.

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas, Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn and Banking and Securities Secretary Robin Wiessmann.

It voted 31-18 to confirm State Secretary Pedro Cortes.

The field of candidates for three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now set.

Republicans on Tuesday chose Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey and Adams County Judge Mike George as their candidates. Democrats nominated Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty, and Superior Court judges David Wecht and Christine Donohue.

Philadelphia Judge Alice Beck Dubow was dubbed the Democratic nominee for a seat on the state Superior Court. She defeated Allegheny County Judge Robert Colville.