Calif. court passes on gay marriage suit

SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court has refused to hear a case seeking to keep an initiative that would ban gay marriage off the November ballot.

The justices' decision not to take up the case means Proposition 8 will stay on the ballot barring further legal action. It also clears the way for the secretary of state to print voter information pamphlets on the issue.

Man killed woman, self in Missouri mall

FLORISSANT, Mo. - A man recently divorced from his wife of more than 20 years shot and killed her inside a suburban St. Louis mall on Wednesday before committing suicide, police said.

No one else was injured but the Jamestown Mall in Florissant was evacuated.

The shooter was 49 and his ex-wife was 47, but their names had not been released, St. Louis County police spokeswoman Tracy Panus said. Panus said they both lived in the nearby suburb of Hazelwood and had been married more than 20 years with grown children before recently divorcing.

The motive for the shooting just outside the Sears store had not been determined, Panus said.

Wayward N.J. dolphins move to different river

RED BANK, N.J. - Some of the dolphins that have been entertaining spectators in a river at the New Jersey shore appear to have moved into another waterway instead of returning to the ocean.

The marine mammals have been feeding on fish in the Shrewsbury River near Red Bank for the past few weeks.

Federal environmental representative Teri Frady said Wednesday that wildlife officials saw the dolphins during the weekend in the connecting Navesink River.

Frady says that area is more remote and fewer people will bother the dolphins there. Authorities have issued 11 citations for harassing the dolphins.

An estimated 8 to 12 dolphins were in the Navesink over the weekend, down from 15 in the Shrewsbury earlier. It's unclear whether the others are back in the Atlantic.

Cockpit smoke forces abrupt landing in N.Y.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A Rhode Island-bound airliner with 71 people on board has made an emergency landing in Rochester, N.Y., because of smoke in the cockpit produced by a faulty air conditioning unit.

No injuries have been reported.

Rochester airport director David Damelio says the regional jet traveling from Chicago to Providence, R.I., landed safely Wednesday morning. Firefighters evacuated the 67 passengers and four crew members.

Authorities said the air conditioning unit was repaired and the flight looked set to resume later Wednesday.

Fla. cancer survivor wins dream wedding

TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa bride-to-be who defied doctors' expectations after being told she had a year to live four years ago has celebrated another victory - she and her fiancee won a $100,000 dream wedding.

Courtney Dempsey, 33, and Gary Courtney, 37, were among 40,000 couples who entered US Magazine's wedding contest. The prize includes a dress and honeymoon.

Fire crews make progress on Calif. wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO - Fire crews conducted more controlled burns Wednesday, trying to block the spread of a wildfire that already has blackened 190 square miles of the Los Padres National Forest in the hills of the central California coast.

The fire was started by lightning more than three weeks ago and had destroyed 27 homes along the storied Big Sur coast before spreading inland.

Controlled 'back burns' set by firefighters Wednesday were proceeding well.

Woman accused of poisoning son in Pa. hospital

PITTSBURGH - A Tennessee woman has been charged with attempted homicide for trying to poison her 4-month-old son at a city hospital by injecting a saltwater solution into his feeding tube, police said.

Twenty-one-year-old Amber Brewington, who was taken into custody late Tuesday following the latest alleged poisoning attempt, told investigators she was trying to speed up the boy's death to end his suffering, according to a police affidavit.