Fugitive swindler surrenders in Mass.

NEW YORK - A hedge fund swindler who set off a national manhunt when he faked his suicide to avoid reporting to prison surrendered Wednesday to small-town police in Massachusetts.

U.S. Marshals said his own mother helped broker the surrender. Authorities suspect he had been hiding out in RV parks and highway rest areas for three weeks.

Samuel Israel III, 48, walked into the police station in Southwick, Mass., at about 9:15 a.m. wearing a T-shirt and shorts, identified himself and said he was a fugitive wanted by the federal government, officials said.

'He was polite, very contrite and a perfect gentleman at all times,' said Southwick police officer Paul Miles.

Israel later appeared in federal court for a brief hearing in Springfield, Mass., where a judge ordered him sent back to New York. Already facing a lengthy prison term for conspiracy and fraud, Israel was charged Wednesday with failing to surrender to serve a federal sentence.

Israel disappeared June 9 just hours before he was to report to prison to begin serving a 20-year sentence for his role in the collapse of the Bayou hedge funds.

Police: Body of missing 12-year-old girl found

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont State Police said Wednesday they found a body believed to be that of a missing 12-year-old girl.

Col. James Baker said Brooke Bennett's body was found in Randolph shortly before 5 p.m. and her family had been notified.

According to an affidavit, a 14-year-old witness has told investigators that Brooke's uncle brought Brooke to his home to initiate her into a child sex ring the day she disappeared.

She was last seen alive with the uncle, Michael Jacques, at a convenience store a week ago.

Man guilty of killing wife with antifreeze

WOBURN, Mass. - A Massachusetts jury has convicted a former Missouri radio reporter of killing his wife by poisoning her with antifreeze.

The Middlesex County jury convicted James Keown of first-degree murder Wednesday. They deliberated for less than two days.

Keown faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said Keown was deeply in debt and killed his 31-year-old wife, Julie, in hopes of cashing in her $250,000 life insurance policy. Julie Keown died in September 2004 of a lethal dose of a chemical found in antifreeze.

Tenn. inmate freed after 22 years on death row

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A former death row inmate was freed from a Nashville prison Wednesday for the first time in nearly 23 years after an anonymous donor paid his bail.

Paul House, 46, who faces an October retrial in the 1985 killing of Carolyn Muncey, ate a candy bar and sipped a soft drink after his release.

Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded he would not have been convicted based on the DNA evidence that emerged years after his trial, and a federal judge ordered prosecutors to retry House or free him.

Arkansas thieves steal ATM, but can't get cash

BELLA VISTA, Ark. - Thieves in northwest Arkansas made a huge withdrawal at a bank - they took a whole automated teller machine with them.

Bella Vista police said the thieves early Monday used a stolen front-end loader to tear the 3,200-pound ATM from its bolts at a Pulaski Bank branch.

Two hours after the theft, sheriff's deputies said they found the truck and ATM. Police said all the machine's money remained inside - the thieves weren't able to open it.

Bridges, locks reopen as flooding recedes

ST. LOUIS - Transportation corridors opened over and on the Mississippi River Wednesday as floodwaters continued to recede at a rapid pace.

Two bridges - one at Quincy, Ill., the other at Louisiana, Mo. - reopened Wednesday because floodwaters no longer covered the bridge approaches. A highway reopened near Hannibal, Mo.

Space probes show solar system not round

WASHINGTON - When viewed from the rest of the galaxy, the edge of our solar system appears slightly dented as if a giant hand is pushing one edge of it inward, far-traveling NASA probes reveal.

Information from Earth's first space probes to hit the thick edge of the solar system - called the heliosheath where the solar wind slows abruptly - paint a picture that is not the simple circle that astronomers long thought.