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Pennsylvania girl's fatal 8-story fall ruled an accident

The death of a teenage girl who fell eight stories while trying to reach a makeshift rope hanging from her suburban Philadelphia apartment window has been ruled an accident. Authorities say the 14-year-old girl had been sent to her room by her foster parents when she decided to try to escape out the window at the Marquis Apartments in Upper Merion on Tuesday night. Police say she fashioned a rope of shoelaces and electrical cords and tied it to a heating unit. The Times Herald reports Upper Merion Police Chief Tom Nolan says investigators believe she fell as she climbed out the window and that she never got onto the makeshift rope. A coroner has ruled the death accidental. Continue Reading →

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Suspicious package containing explosive material sent to Arizona Sheriff Arpaio

Authorities are investigating an explosive device addressed to Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” known for his tough treatment of jail inmates and cracking down on illegal immigrants. The device intercepted in Flagstaff late Thursday was in a package addressed to Arpaio at his downtown Phoenix office, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. It appeared suspicious, so it was X-rayed and the device was detected. A bomb squad team neutralized the explosive, the statement said. Arpaio’s chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, told The Arizona Republic that investigators believe the package was picked up on Thursday at a rural Post Office box. Continue Reading →

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Sandy Dog Nannies helps take bite out of superstorm for displaced pets

Burlington, Vt., is a long way from New York and the Jersey Shore, but when Joan Shannon read about the storm ravaged victims of Hurricane Sandy and their struggles to care for their pets she knew she had to get involved. “I thought that there was probably a need for temporary shelter for the dogs,” she said, explaining her efforts were aimed as much at pet owners who found themselves in an unimaginable situation. Hundreds of families were left homeless, and unable to take their dogs with them were forced to leave their beloved pets behind in the unheated remnants of their houses. Shannon founded Sandy Dog Nannies, an organization of volunteers willing to temporarily foster dogs affected by the storm. Dog owners in need are asked to provide a profile of their hound which is then shared with approved foster families that have been vetted by the organization. Continue Reading →

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Pennsylvania school crossing guard allegedly sold pot from home

A western Pennsylvania school crossing guard has been fired after the district attorney’s office charged her with selling marijuana out of her home. Online court records don’t list an attorney for 47-year-old Tracy Lynn Padilla, of New Castle, who faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday on charges including delivery of marijuana. According to a criminal complaint, Padilla sold the drugs out of her home to undercover informants on March 7 and 13. She has since been fired by the New Castle police from her post crossing children at the J.F. Kennedy Primary Center. Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa says Padilla’s Tuesday arrest “had to be a priority. Continue Reading →

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George Zimmerman's mother pens critical letter on arrest anniversary

The mother of Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has written a letter to the public that criticizes the justice system for her son’s arrest in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Gladys Zimmerman’s letter was written to coincide with the one-year anniversary of her son’s April 11, 2012, arrest. He’s accused of killing Martin, who was unarmed, in February 2012. The letter was written in Spanish and translated by her son, Robert Zimmerman. He released it on his Twitter account. Continue Reading →

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Honolulu court screeners find pet duck in bag

Officials are reminding the public that animals aren’t allowed into courthouses after Honolulu security screeners had to turn away a defendant’s pet duck. Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz says Michael Hubbard reluctantly revealed to guards that his pet was inside his bag when X-ray screeners noticed something was moving inside. Schwartz says there was also another contraband item inside the bag: a bottle of beer. Screeners told Hubbard that the duck and beer wouldn’t be able to go with him into Circuit Court for his appointment Monday. Hubbard left and then returned to ask the screeners to look after his belongings. Continue Reading →

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