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A look at key figures in the Will Smith case

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 1:11pm

Trial begins Monday for Cardell Hayes, 29, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the April shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. A look at some of the key figures in the case:

Woman charged after video showing cat thrown from 3rd floor

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:51pm

A New Jersey woman has been charged with animal cruelty after someone posted a video of her throwing a cat out of a third-story window on social media.

Officials: 3 remain hospitalized after West Texas bus wreck

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:51pm

Authorities say a West Texas high school cheerleader sponsor and two cheerleaders remain hospitalized after a semitrailer hit their bus in a crash that killed another cheerleader sponsor.

Dylann Roof to judge: Let lawyers back on death penalty case

Meg Kinnard, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:51pm

The white man charged with the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church asked a judge on Sunday if he could have his defense team back, at least temporarily.

Officials investigating cause of massive Boston-area fire

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:41pm

Fire investigators on Sunday were trying to determine what caused a massive blaze that ripped through a Boston-area neighborhood, displacing an estimated 60 to 80 people but "miraculously" resulting in no serious injuries or deaths.

UPDATED

24 dead in Oakland fire, more expected

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:31pm

Authorities say they have recovered more bodies from the charred remains of a building where at least 24 people died after a fire erupted during a dance party.

Police: Mutilated body of man, 68, found in NYC apartment

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:11pm

Police say a 68-year-old man has been found dead with his penis severed in a New York City bathroom and that a 32-year-old homeless man has been arrested in connection with his death.

Death toll in warehouse fire rises to 24, with more expected

Jonathan J. Cooper and Kristin J. Bender, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 12:01pm

The death toll in a late-night dance party fire at a converted Oakland warehouse rose to 24 on Sunday as firefighters dug slowly through the charred remnants of the building in their search for what they expect will be more victims.

Bipedal bear's apparent death motivates bear hunt opponents

Bruce Shipkowski, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 11:50am

New Jersey's long-debated black bear hunts have stoked strong passions, blasted by animal rights activists as inhumane and supported by hunters and wildlife officials who say they help control the population and minimize run-ins with humans.

NY tweaks medical pot law but still no talk of legalization

David Klepper, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 11:50am

New York is loosening restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law but, to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join eight other states in embracing full legalization.

Skiing Santas tackle the slopes in annual Maine charity

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 11:41am

Whether he's called Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Pere Noel, he had a slew of jolly, red-suited lookalikes hit the ski slopes on Sunday in Maine.

UW gets DOE funding for carbon capture and storage projects

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 11:31am

The U.S. Energy Department has awarded nearly $2.4 million to the University of Wyoming for research into commercial carbon capture and storage projects in Wyoming.

Leftovers 'Moana,' 'Fantastic Beasts' rule box office again

Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 11:29am

Audiences came back for a second helping of "Moana" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" this weekend. Both family-friendly films topped the post-Thanksgiving box office charts, with "Moana" bringing in $28.4 million and "Fantastic Beasts" earning $18.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Mummers seek inclusive tone after insensitive displays

Errin Haines Whack, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 10:50am

Organizers of the Mummers Parade are hopeful that cultural education efforts will help the city's annual New Year's celebration be more respectful and inclusive following a string of racially and ethnically offensive displays.

Deadly police chase prompts debate over tire-slashing device

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 10:40am

A police chase that killed three people has Pennsylvania officials debating the use of tire-slashing devices to prevent suspects from fleeing during traffic stops.

Experts warn of mental health woes as wildfires ravage South

Jeff Martin, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 10:40am

When U.S. Forest Ranger Jody Bandy confronted the man in the Pisgah National Forest, he said he'd been at the nearby wildfire and "couldn't take it anymore."

Hoax leads hundreds who served time in crowded jail to sue

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 10:33am

Hundreds of people who have been spent time in a crowded New Jersey jail have inundated federal court officials with lawsuits after being led to believe part of a large settlement was waiting for them.

Drought conditions persist in northeastern Wyoming

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 10:31am

Drought conditions are persisting in portions of northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.

5 more victims' names released in Gatlinburg wildfires

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 4th - 10:20am

Emergency officials have released the names of five more victims in the wildfires that ravaged the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.