St. Louis-area man pleads guilty in kidnapping case

' UNION, Mo. - A former pizza parlor manager was sentenced to life in prison Monday for kidnapping one of two boys authorities said he held captive and sexually abused in his apartment.

Michael Devlin, 41, pleaded guilty to one charge of child kidnapping and one charge of armed-criminal action in the January abduction of 13-year-old William 'Ben' Ownby as the boy walked home alone from his school bus stop.

It was the first in a series of hearings this week in four jurisdictions where Devlin faces more than 80 counts in the abductions of Ben and Shawn Hornbeck, a 16-year-old who was snatched in 2002 while riding his bike and held for more than four years.

19-year-old arrested in hoax 911 call reporting shooting

' TRENTON, N.J. - A 19-year-old man was arrested for allegedly making a bogus 911 call reporting a shooting on a college campus, authorities said Monday.

Michael Larkin was arrested Sunday afternoon, hours after the 6 a.m. call reporting gunfire at the College of New Jersey. The call prompted authorities to go door-to-door at a freshman dormitory and warn students to stay inside.

Larkin was held in lieu of $25,000 bail on a charge of making a false public alarm, said Casey DeBlasio, a spokeswoman for the Mercer County prosecutor.

Police: 1 killed in balloon accident during N.M. festival

' ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The basket of a hot air balloon tipped after the craft got stuck, sending a woman on a 60- to 70-foot fall to her death Monday, state police said.

The balloon snagged a fiber-optic line running above a power line about 8 a.m. during an annual balloon festival. The pilot threw down a tether to a pickup truck on the ground to reel the balloon down and free it, state police spokesman Andrew Tingwall said.

But the tether broke, and the balloon flew back up, causing its gondola to tip and Rosemary Wooley Phillips, 60, of California, fell to the ground, Tingwall said.

1 dead, 2 injured when taxi runs curb onto N.Y. sidewalk

' NEW YORK - An out-of-control taxicab ran onto a crowded sidewalk outside a midtown restaurant, killing a man and injuring two others.

The crash killed Paul Smith, 60, as he was leaving the restaurant Sunday evening, WABC-TV said on its Web site Monday. Smith, a helicopter pilot, was an employee of Newscopter Seven, a subcontractor for WABC-TV, the station said.

Smith's wife, Donna, 55, suffered a broken leg, the station said. A 7-year-old boy, who was not identified, had a broken arm, police said. Both were hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

N.D. high school students try to set Twister board record

' FARGO, N.D. - With lots of stretching and reaching toward blue, red, yellow and green circles, some 450 high school students played Twister on 180 mats in what they hope will set a world record for the largest Twister game board.

Sunday's attempt took place during a conference held over the weekend by North Dakota DECA, a high school business club.

The mats formed a Twister board measuring 4,699 square feet. The current Twister board record was set in April 2005 in the Netherlands, at 2,453 square feet.

Man faces hefty prison term in theft of doughnut

' FARMINGTON, Mo. - It's a hefty price for a pastry: A man accused of stealing a 52-cent doughnut could face time in jail.

Authorities said Scott A. Masters, 41, slipped the doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying, then pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store.

The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. Because he has a criminal history, prosecutors say they could seek 30 years.

Police charge 3 in shooting death of Univ. of Memphis football player

' MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Three men were charged Monday in the fatal campus shooting of a University of Memphis football player, authorities said.

Taylor Bradford, 21, was shot Sept. 30 shortly before police found him fatally wounded in his car, which had crashed into a tree.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said that the attackers intended to rob Bradford, but apparently did not get what they had come for. He declined to elaborate.