Chestnut wins hot dog eating match, again

NEW YORK - Joey Chestnut chomped down a record 68 hot dogs, capturing his third straight July Fourth hot-dog eating contest at Coney Island, an annual showcase for flamboyant hot dogging contestants eager to show they really are what they eat.

Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., hoisted the American flag and then stood proudly like an Olympic athlete as 'The Star-Spangled Banner' played following his 68 to 641/2 dog victory over his archrival, six-time titleholder Takeru Kobayashi.

As soon as he knew he had won, he shot his right fist into the air, his mouth still bulging while he chewed the last of his wieners at Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Teen 5th killed by suspected serial killer

GAFFNEY, S.C. - A teenage girl shot while helping her father in their family's small furniture and appliance store died Saturday, becoming the fifth victim of a suspected serial killer terrorizing a small South Carolina community, authorities said.

Abby Tyler, 15, died about 11:15 a.m. at a Spartanburg hospital after fighting for her life for two days, Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said.

Tyler was wounded and her father was killed Thursday as they worked to close the Tyler Home Center near downtown Gaffney.

County Sheriff Bill Blanton said investigators believe the killings are linked and the search is on for a suspected male serial killer.

Palin's replacement wants full term

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Republican inheriting the job as Alaska governor from resigning Sarah Palin plans to seek a full term in office in 2010.

Palin spokesman David Murrow says Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will run for a four-year term as governor.

The 46-year-old former state legislator will be sworn in as governor July 26, the date Palin steps down. The current term expires in early December 2010.

Explosion on NC island kills 2

OCRACOKE, N.C. - A truckload of fireworks exploded Saturday morning on a dock at a remote North Carolina island, killing two workers and critically injuring three others preparing for an Independence Day celebration, authorities said.

The explosion shook homes and businesses and was heard across a village on the southern end of Ocracoke Island, which is the only inhabited part of the 15-mile spit of land, accessible only by boat.

Dock master Robert Raborn noticed the workers unloading the truck from the Anchorage Marina about 200 yards away and described the explosion as one of the loudest things he has ever heard.

'It was like 40 minutes worth of fireworks going off in four seconds,' Raborn said.

1 dead, several hurt in Fla. lightning strike

LAKELAND, Fla. - A lightning strike at a Fourth of July gathering in central Florida killed one person and 18 others were taken to hospitals, officials said Saturday.

About 100 people from a church group were outside playing soccer and volleyball in Lakeland, about 30 miles east of Tampa, when a lightning bolt or series of strikes hit nearby, seemingly out of nowhere, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Benjamin Gonzalez, 30, who was playing soccer, was hit and collapsed. He was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead. Eighteen others were hospitalized and nine more treated at the scene.

Judd said their injuries were not life-threatening, with symptoms including numbness and tingling.

TSA agent arrested after boarding plane

NEWARK, N.J.- A Transportation Security Administration agent was arrested at a New Jersey airport after authorities say she avoided a pre-flight screening and boarded a plane.

Authorities say Wanda Weems of Newark was detained Friday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport after she boarded a Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston.