Stolen dog reunited with family

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. — A dog found abandoned in Colorado has been returned to its family, nearly two years after it was stolen in Florida as a puppy. Animal charity organization Wings of Rescue says the German Shepherd named Cedar was covered with snow in a rural Colorado ditch, apparently malnourished with an injured leg when a deputy marshal found her. The pet was identified thanks to its microchip. The youngest of four dogs in the Peterson family, Cedar was stolen from their backyard in May 2017 in the town of Southwest Ranches, north of Miami. At the time, other signs for missing pets were going up around the community. Back then, Tamara Peterson told reporters that she thought someone had hopped the fence to take the 4-month-old puppy. The family posted flyers with Cedar’s photos around the town, drove around several neighborhoods and hired a detective to track the pet down. It was not clear how the dog wound up nearly 2,000 miles away in the Colorado town of Hugo. Deputy Marshal Steve Ryan found Cedar in a ditch and picked the dog up to put it in his car. When Ryan took the dog to a veterinarian, she scanned the pet for a microchip and found out the puppy belonged in South Florida. Then the Petersons got a phone call. “I immediately cried,” Tamara Peterson told The Miami Herald . “I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. It’s almost two years to the day.” After three weeks of recovery, Wings of Rescue, a charity known for flying pets in disaster zones, helped arrange Cedar’s return flight on Saturday. The Peterson kids petted Cedar’s furry chest and neck on a Fort Lauderdale airport tarmac as the dog looked around and shook its body. “Miracles do happen, especially when you microchip your pet,” the animal charity wrote on a Facebook post about Cedar.

Bonnets, costumes on display

NEW YORK — The fancy hats and finery were out and on display for New York City’s annual Easter extravaganza. Participants in the annual Easter Parade made their way along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday in a processional of the wild and whimsical. The annual event is a New York City tradition that goes back well over a century, when the wealthy would get dressed in their best and go out for a stroll after Easter church services. These days, people wear a slew of outrageous hats, covered with flowers and feathers and everything in between. Some people dress their pets up as well. The most well-known reference to the procession is the movie “Easter Parade” starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.

Musicians tie knot

NEW YORK — Michelle Branch and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys are married. The Grammy-winning musicians tied the knot Saturday at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans in front of close friends and family, a representative for Carney told The Associated Press on Sunday. Among those attending the wedding were the couple’s 7-month-old son, Rhys, and Branch’s 13-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Owen. Branch, 35, wore a dress by Temperley London and walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” performed by The Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. Carney, 39, wore a Burberry suit. The couple began dating in 2015. They collaborated together on Branch’s 2017 album, “Hopeless Romantic.”

Man sentenced in drug test scam

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A 35-year-old Kansas man has been sentenced to prison after his father-in-law died while taking methadone to help the younger man cheat on a drug test. Justin Jones was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the 2017 death of 47-year-old Eric Everts. As part of his treatment for drug addiction, Jones was required to turn in urine samples containing nothing but methadone, which treats opioid addiction. Investigators said in an affidavit that for months Everts took methadone and provided otherwise clean urine samples, which Jones submitted as his own. Everts was found dead at his home in September 2017.

Peeping Tom suspect killed

ATHENS, Ga. — Police in Georgia have identified an armed man shot to death by one of the officers who responded to a “Peeping Tom” call. The victim who had made the call identified a suspect and officers went to the man’s residence to try to contact him. The release posted on Facebook says one officer fired after Carlton Steve Brooks, 63, “brandished a shotgun at the officers.”

7 puppies dumped behind store

COACHELLA, Calif. — Authorities are trying to identify a woman captured by security cameras tossing seven newborn puppies into a dumpster in Southern California. The Riverside County Department of Animal Services released surveillance video of the woman pulling up to a dumpster behind an auto parts store in Coachella Thursday afternoon. The video shows her stepping out of a white Jeep, peering into a dumpster used for recyclables before dropping a plastic bag into the trash dumpster and driving away. A man who rummaged through the trash shortly afterward spotted the bag and took it to the store. Authorities said the puppies, believed to be 3-day-old terrier mixes, may not have survived the 90-degree heat had they not been found within an hour of being dumped.

Mercury in peregrine falcons

LAS VEGAS — A Nevada wildlife researcher has found that not even the fastest bird on Earth can escape mercury contamination. The toxic element is turning up in feathers of peregrine falcons from coast to coast, including those at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, state Department of Wildlife biologist Joe Barnes told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . Over the past decade, Barnes has tested for mercury in 700 individual peregrines in southern Nevada, Washington, Maryland and the Gulf Coast of Texas. “Every single one of them was impacted, regardless of whether they live in wide-open desert or Lake Mead or Greenland or coastal British Columbia,” he said. More research is needed to determine how much mercury peregrine falcons can tolerate, Barnes said. But studies of other raptors suggest concentrations of between 5 and 15 parts per million can significantly reduce breeding.

Zookeeper’s condition improving

TOPEKA, Kan. — The director of the Topeka Zoo says a zookeeper who was attacked by a Sumatran tiger remains in intensive care but her prognosis for recovery is good. The zookeeper was attacked Saturday while in the outdoor tiger habitat of Sanjiv, a 7-year-old male tiger. Zoo director Brendan Wiley said the zookeeper was talking Saturday night. Wiley said she remained in intensive care Sunday but could be transferred out of the unit soon. The woman has worked at the zoo since 2002 and has several years of experience with tigers. The zoo is conducting an investigation and will determine what protocol changes might be needed after talking to the injured employee. The zoo has no plans to euthanize Sanjiv, who was back on display Sunday.

Passengers take ill during flight

BOSTON — An official says 16 passengers reported feeling ill on an American Airlines flight from Miami to Boston. Boston EMSs’ Twitter page says 13 of the ill passengers were taken to the hospital Sunday morning after the plane landed. Massachusetts Port Authority spokeswoman Samantha Decker says the passengers’ symptoms appeared mild. She said she didn’t have information on what may have caused the illnesses. An American Airlines spokesman said they were part of a student group. He said no other passengers or crew members felt ill.

Kids shot in road rage incident

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — A man has been arrested after two children were shot in a road rage incident. Byron Donnell Green, 41, of Mount Airy is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, discharging a weapon into an occupied property causing bodily injury and assault by pointing a gun. A 9-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl were shot Saturday afternoon after Green became involved in a road rage incident with their father in the Flat Rock community of Mount Airy. The children were driven to the hospital by their father. The boy was treated and released, and the girl was in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

Giuliani addresses Russian issue

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani insisted Sunday there was “nothing wrong” with the president’s 2016 campaign taking information from the Russians, as House Democrats pledged stepped-up investigations into campaign misconduct and possible crimes of obstruction detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Giuliani called the Trump campaign’s effort to get political help from representatives of the Russian government possibly ill-advised but not illegal. “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Giuliani said, referring to a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a lawyer linked to Russia. The Trump campaign was seeking harmful information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The Sunday news shows offered the latest back and forth following the long-anticipated release on Thursday of Mueller’s 448-page redacted report on his two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign and made no decision on obstruction of justice. Giuliani rebutted Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who said in a statement on Twitter Friday he was “sickened” by the findings in Mueller’s report that cited details on how the Trump campaign welcomed political dirt from Russia.

Accuracy at core of census case

WASHINGTON — Justice Elena Kagan’s father was 3 years old when the census taker came to the family’s apartment on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, on April 10, 1930. Robert Kagan was initially wrongly listed as an “alien,” though he was a native-born New Yorker. The entry about his citizenship status appears to have been crossed out on the census form. Vast changes in America and technology have dramatically altered the way the census is conducted. But the accuracy of the once-a-decade population count is at the heart of the Supreme Court case over the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The justices are hearing arguments in the case on Tuesday, with a decision due by late June that will allow for printing forms in time for the count in April 2020. The fight over the census question is the latest over immigration-related issues between Democratic-led states and advocates for immigrants, on one side, and the administration, on the other. The Supreme Court last year upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on visitors to the U.S. from several mostly Muslim countries. The court also has temporarily blocked administration plans to make it harder for people to claim asylum and is considering an administration appeal that would allow Trump to end protections for immigrants who were brought to this country as children.

Town reflects on dragging death

JASPER, Texas — A technology company was almost ready to bring up to 300 new jobs to Jasper, Texas, but in the final stages of recent negotiations, a potential deal-breaker emerged: the community’s history as the place where three white men dragged a black man behind a pickup, killing him. The 1998 death of James Byrd Jr. was one of the most gruesome hate crimes in U.S. history, and it gave the company president pause in the discussions about where to locate his firm’s newest facility. Local clergy and community leaders made their case that the town of 7,600 people is not defined by a murder that happened almost 21 years ago. They were able to convince the executive “that we are a lot different than what the world sees us as,” said Eddie Hopkins, head of the Jasper Economic Development Corporation. The town’s past will be revisited this coming week, when the convicted ringleader in Byrd’s slaying is scheduled to be executed. Local leaders insist Jasper is a welcoming place that punished Byrd’s killers and will never forget what happened to him. But other townspeople, as well as members of Byrd’s family, believe Jasper has never fully accepted the crime’s place in its history. They say some tensions between the white and black communities remain unresolved. “I think, quite frankly, people in Jasper are tired of talking about it. They want to forget it,” said Mylinda Washington, 66, one of Byrd’s sisters. “It happened here, and we need to always have that in front of us.”

Spur push for shore protection

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s iconic Waikiki Beach could soon be underwater as rising sea levels caused by climate change overtake its white sand beaches and bustling city streets. Predicting Honolulu will start experiencing frequent flooding within the next 15 to 20 years, state lawmakers are trying to pass legislation that would spend millions for a coastline protection program aimed at defending the city from regular tidal inundations. The highest tides of recent years have sent seawater flowing across Waikiki Beach and onto roads and sidewalks lining its main thoroughfare, and interactive maps of the Hawaiian Islands show that many parts of the state are expected to be hit by extensive flooding, coastal erosion and loss of infrastructure in coming decades. That’s an alarming scenario for a state where beach tourism is the primary driver of the economy, leading some lawmakers to insist that planning for rising tides should start now. “The latest data on sea level rise is quite scary and it’s accelerating faster than we ever thought possible,” said state Rep. Chris Lee, a Democrat and lead author of a bill calling for the creation and implementation of the shoreline protection plan. The project would focus on urban Honolulu but act as a pilot program for other coastal communities around the state.

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