Tropical storm floods hundreds of homes in Fla.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Emergency crews launched airboats into submerged streets Wednesday to rescue central Florida residents trapped by rising floodwaters from a stalled Tropical Storm Fay, which soaked the state for a third consecutive day.
Meanwhile, Gov. Charlie Crist requested an emergency disaster declaration from the federal government to defray rising debris and response costs. Crist issued his own disaster order ahead of the advancing storm several days ago, when it seemed the Florida Keys would get the worst. Instead, Fay skipped almost harmlessly over the island chain, but stalled over the peninsula on a second swing through Florida.
Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people
WASHINGTON - Some Democratic senators say proposed rules to help the FBI catch terrorists could allow the government to spy on innocent Americans 'without any basis for suspicion.'
Known as the 'attorney general guidelines,' the rules have not been approved or even publicly released yet, but lawmakers are raising concerns after being briefed on what they say.
Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island join a growing chorus of lawmakers who are asking the Justice Department to delay the rules.
Man who caused train derailment sentenced to life
LOS ANGELES - A man convicted of causing a deadly commuter rail crash that he blamed on an attempt to commit suicide was sentenced Wednesday to 11 consecutive life terms by a judge who denounced him as a remorseless killer.
Superior Court Judge William Pounders said he would have imposed a sentence of 'forever' on Juan Alvarez, if it were possible. Alvarez will not be eligible for parole.
Alvarez parked his gasoline-soaked SUV on railroad tracks in suburban Glendale, where it was struck by a Metrolink train that derailed and struck another Metrolink train traveling in the other direction on Jan. 26, 2005. Eleven people were killed and about 180 were injured.
Tribal members going home after canyon flooding
PHOENIX - Dozens of members of the Havasupai tribe are returning to their remote village near the Grand Canyon for the first time since a devastating flash flood during the weekend.
Bureau of Indian Affairs spokeswoman Adrienne King said at least 50 residents of the village of Supai had signed up for transportation back home Wednesday.
Zoo drops plan to ship elephant to Mexican park
DALLAS - Jenny the lonely elephant, whose pending move from the Dallas Zoo to Mexico had angered activists, isn't going anywhere after all.
The Dallas Zoo announced Wednesday that the roughly 10,000-pound pachyderm will remain at her home of 22 years and will eventually get a new companion.
The decision to keep the elephant in Dallas 'serves Jenny's best interests,' said Gregg Hudson, the zoo's executive director.
Dallas Zoo officials had planned to ship Jenny to a wildlife park in Mexico after her companion died in May.
Tiger captured after escape from Fla. sanctuary
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a part of the country better known for missing alligators, officials locked down schools and warned residents to stay inside Wednesday until they captured a Bengal tiger that somehow escaped from its cage at an animal sanctuary.
The tiger was tranquilized and captured on the grounds of McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary by 11 a.m. Wednesday, said a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Bandit convicted in Connecticut burglary string
STAMFORD, Conn. - The man dubbed the 'Dinnertime Bandit' was convicted Wednesday of robbing wealthy homes in the evening, when residents turned off their alarms.
The jurors convicted Alan Golder of kidnapping, two counts of burglary and one count of larceny.