Guard was on break when inmate escaped

LAUREL, Md. - A prison guard who accompanied an inmate to the hospital was taking a break when the prisoner overpowered the other guard assigned to him, stole his gun and made a brazen escape that ended in his death, police said Thursday.

The inmate, Kelvin Poke, managed to wrestle a .38-caliber handgun from the guard in the room with him Wednesday morning, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said as more details of the short-lived getaway emerged.

Zoo reopens after tiger attack

SAN FRANCISCO - Nine days after a tiger mauled three visitors, the San Francisco Zoo reopened Thursday with safety improvements and more signs warning people not to pester animals such as the 350-pound Siberian tiger that killed a teenager.

The zoo's big-cat enclosure will remain closed indefinitely.

Zoo spokesman Paul Garcia said the zoo is installing a public-alert system that would broadcast an alarm to notify zoo staff of any emergency. Employees could then use portable speakers to give instructions to visitors.

Man wrongly convicted of rape walks free

DALLAS - Three times during his nearly 27 years in prison, Charles Chatman went before a parole board and refused to admit he was a rapist. His steadfastness was vindicated Thursday, when a judge released him because of new DNA evidence showing he indeed wasn't.

The release of Chatman, 47, added to Dallas County's nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.

District Judge John Creuzot, whom defense lawyers credited with shepherding Chatman's case for exoneration through the legal system, recommended that Texas' Court of Criminal Appeals find Chatman not guilty. With several relatives dabbing at their eyes with tissues and cheering, Chatman was released.

Man using GPS drives into path of New York train

BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. - A Global Positioning System can tell a driver a lot of things - but apparently not when a train is coming.

A computer consultant driving a rental car drove onto train tracks Wednesday using the instructions his GPS unit gave him. A train was barreling toward him, but he escaped in time and no one was injured.

The driver had turned right, as the system advised, and the car somehow got stuck on the tracks at the crossing. He jumped out and tried to warn the engineer by waving.