Alaska man charged in series of machete and gun attacks

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A car chase through rush-hour traffic ended in the arrest of a man who killed two people and seriously injured three others in a series of machete and gun attacks, police said.

Police stopped Christopher Erin Rogers Jr., 28, on Monday in Anchorage by ramming the stolen sport utility vehicle he was driving, police spokesman Lt. Paul Honeman said.

Rogers, who was being held on $1 million bail, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder. An arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday.

Lawyer: Mother did not know Internet messages were sent to girl

ST. LOUIS - A woman linked to an online hoax played on a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide had no idea MySpace messages to the girl had turned cruel and did not write any of them herself, the woman's lawyer said Tuesday.

Attorney Jim Briscoe appeared on NBC's 'Today' show, as did the parents of Megan Meier. Megan, a 13-year-old girl from the St. Louis suburb of Dardenne Prairie, hanged herself last year minutes after receiving mean messages on MySpace.

Briscoe said his client 'absolutely, 100 percent' had nothing to do with negative, nasty comments posted online about Megan Meier and wasn't home when they were sent.

Medical helicopter carrying four vanishes in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Authorities launched a search Tuesday for a medical helicopter that vanished while carrying a patient and medical crew.

The LifeGuard Alaska helicopter, which was heading from Cordova to an Anchorage hospital, disappeared Monday sometime after 5:18 p.m., authorities said. The helicopter crew had made a satellite phone call about that time, but it was not a distress call, said Coast Guard Lt. John McWhite.

A patient, pilot, paramedic and nurse were aboard the helicopter.

Pledge of Allegiance cases to be heard in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO - An atheist seeking to remove the words 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance and U.S. currency is taking his arguments back to a federal appeals court.

Michael Newdow, a Sacramento doctor and lawyer, sued the Elk Grove Unified School District in 2000 for forcing public school children to recite the pledge, saying it was unconstitutional.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Newdow's favor in 2002, but two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Newdow lacked standing to sue because he didn't have custody of the daughter on whose behalf he brought the case. He immediately filed a second lawsuit on behalf of three unidentified parents and their children.

Police: Philly couple financed lifestyle with identity theft

PHILADELPHIA - A young couple financed their jet-setting lifestyle on the credit cards of unsuspecting neighbors in their high-end apartment building and other identity-fraud victims, police said Monday.

Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, and Edward K. Anderton, 25, were charged Friday with identity theft, forgery, unlawful use of a computer and a laundry list of other counts.

Their fraud scheme, estimated at $100,000 this year alone, paid for jaunts to Paris, London and Hawaii and other luxury perks.

Tenn. Christmas tree farm finds fir tops chopped off

FLAG POND, Tenn. - Authorities are on the lookout for a Grinch who stole the tops off more than two dozen Christmas trees from Danny Tipton's farm.

The thief or thieves raided the farm in eastern Tennessee sometime between Nov. 24 and last week and cut the top off the Fraser Firs that were 10- to 12-feet tall.

The culprit sawed the top six feet off about 28 trees and hauled them off the property, probably to sell off for use in smaller homes. Tipton estimates they would get about $15 to $20 each.

Group warns of violent video games

WASHINGTON - Graphic scenes of gunshot victims spurting blood and a man urinating into a prisoner's cell are included among the 10 video games that a media watchdog group warns should be avoided by kids under 17.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, the National Institute on Media and the Family presented its 12th annual video game report card Tuesday to help parents decide what games are appropriate for their children.