Man questioned in Hudson case to stay in prison

JOLIET, Ill. - A parole review official on Monday refused to release the convicted felon questioned in the killings of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, after a witness reported seeing him with a gun similar to the one used in the slayings.

A 35-minute hearing ended with a decision that there is probable cause to believe that William Balfour, Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, violated parole and should be held until a Dec. 3 hearing before the full Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

Balfour has been questioned, but not charged, in the killings. Authorities have called him a 'person of interest.'

Teen left in Neb. is state's 30th abandoned child

OMAHA, Neb. - A 17-year-old boy left by his mother at an Omaha hospital on Monday is the 30th child abandoned under Nebraska's safe-haven law, state officials said.

The boy from the Omaha area was left at Creighton University Medical Center on Monday morning, said Todd Landry, director of children and family services for the Department of Health and Human Services.

The state was still investigating the case and additional details were not available, he said.

Two suspects had no role in Fort Dix plot, witness says

CAMDEN, N.J. - The government's star witness in the case against five men accused of plotting an attack on soldiers at the Army's Fort Dix said two of the men 'had nothing to do' with the scheme.

Mahmoud Omar, a paid FBI informant who made hundreds of secret recordings of the men, told jurors Monday that one defendant - Mohamad Shnewer - said all five were on board with the alleged plot.

But two - brothers Dritan 'Tony' Duka and Shain 'Shaheen' Duka - knew nothing about it when Omar later asked them, he testified under cross-examination.

Big purse stops bullet from hitting Tenn. student

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Don't knock those trendy, oversized purses - they could save your life, as one college student found out.

Police say the contents in an oversized purse saved Elizabeth Pittenger, a 22-year-old Middle Tennessee State University student, by stopping a bullet during an attempted robbery.

Pittenger was walking to her car on campus Thursday evening when a man confronted her and demanded her purse, cell phone and laptop, university Police Chief Buddy Peaster said. She fought the man off, but he fired a gunshot before fleeing.

World's ugliest dog dies after bout with cancer

GULFPORT, Fla. - A one-eyed, three-legged dog that won the title of world's ugliest pooch this summer has died.

The St. Petersburg Times in Florida reported that Gus, a Chinese crested dog, had cancer. He was 9.

Gus was rescued from a bad home and went on to win the annual World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in northern California.

Gus came from humble origins. According to the fair, his adopted family in Gulfport, Fla., rescued him after learning he was being kept in a crate inside someone's garage.

He had one leg amputated because of a skin tumor and lost an eye in a cat fight.

Gus' owner had said the prize money from the contest would be put toward the dog's radiation treatment.

Charity worker finds $7,500 in donated shoes

GLEN CARBON, Ill. - This stacks up among the better finds at a Goodwill store: $7,500 in cash stuffed in a shoebox.

A recent Bulgarian immigrant found the money during her first day on the job last week at a Goodwill near St. Louis in Glen Carbon, Ill.

Teodora Petrova didn't hesitate after finding the cash with a pair of donated shoes - she turned the money over to a manager who told executives for the nonprofit charity.

The president and chief executive of the area's Goodwill organization said it's eager to find the owner of the money. The charity figures it may have been left with the shoes accidentally.

If the owner isn't found, Goodwill said the money will go toward the charity's job-placement efforts.