Attorney: Ex-cop's TV appearances put case at risk

CHICAGO - Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina knows what Drew Peterson is trying to do by repeatedly going on television to proclaim his innocence in the disappearance of his wife and death of an ex-wife.

He gets that the former Bolingbrook police sergeant is trying to quell growing suspicions being fed in the media by angry relatives, neighbors, an ex-wife and scathing words from the likes of TV hosts John Walsh and Geraldo Rivera.

But he also believes comments Peterson made about his missing wife, along with his behavior after she disappeared, could backfire.

Bush calls service members for Thanksgiving

CAMP DAVID, Md. - President Bush, who visited troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving after the U.S. invasion in 2003, called several servicemen and women Thursday to extend best wishes and say it was 'the least I can do.'

Three of those receiving holiday greetings are in the Army, two are Marines, three are in the Air Force, two serve in the Coast Guard and two in the Navy. The troops called are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and aboard ship, said White House press secretary Dana Perino.

'Dinnertime Bandit' returns to U.S.

GREENWICH, Conn. - After nine years on the run, the man accused of breaking into more than a dozen houses as the 'dinnertime bandit' was returned Wednesday to the United States, police said.

Alan W. Golder, 52, was extradited from Belgium and taken to Greenwich, where he was arrested on a warrant in connection with a string of residential burglaries in the 1990s, police said.

The suspect was dubbed the 'dinnertime bandit' because the burglar would strike affluent homes in the early evening, sometimes while residents were home eating dinner.

Skydiving formation sets apparent world record, kills one

LAKE WALES, Fla. - One-hundred skydivers linked together after opening their parachutes during a jump, apparently setting a record for their type of formation, but another skydiver died after being injured in an earlier practice run.

The 100 jumpers joined together on the second of two attempts Wednesday, using their hands and feet to hook up to adjacent open parachutes after jumping from five planes flying at staggered altitudes. The result was a diamond about 200 feet on each side.

The jump was seven years in the making, according to Mike Lewis of Lakeland, one of its organizers.

Man says he shot cow after mistaking it for a coyote

COLFAX TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A man says he shot and killed a neighbor's cow after mistaking it for a coyote.

Authorities and the owner are skeptical.

The undersheriff in northern Michigan's Benzie County says he doesn't see how anyone could confuse a 1,400-pound pregnant cow with a coyote, which typically weighs 20 to 45 pounds.

Suspect in slaying says accusations are 'ridiculous'

NEW YORK - The suspect in a brazen playground killing of a dentist gunned down in front of his 5-year-old daughter said he had 'no clue' about the incident.

'This is ridiculous,' Mikhail Mallayev told the New York Post on Wednesday in the DeKalb County Jail in Decatur. He is being held without bail while officials await court orders to send him to New York to face a second-degree murder charge. He was arrested Tuesday.

Concrete argument sparks shooting

WATKINSVILLE - Police say an enraged construction worker shot a fellow worker once in each leg after accusing him of stepping in some freshly laid concrete.

Alejandro Juarez was arrested Wednedsay and charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime.

Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry says Juarez became upset when he found a footprint in some concrete his crew had just poured.

Butterfly naming rights draw $40K bid

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A butterfly species discovered in a Florida museum has a new name after an anonymous bidder paid $40,800 for naming rights in order to honor a woman who died in 1972.

The butterfly's common name will be the Minerva owl butterfly. It's being named after the late Margery Minerva Blythe Kitzmiller of Malvern, Ohio.

While the bidder's name was not disclosed, the payment was made on behalf of Kitzmiller's grandchildren.

The butterfly's scientific name will be Opsiphanes blythekitzmillerae.