Wildfire traps 5 people at ranch near Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said five people who refused to heed wildfire evacuation orders are trapped in a canyon and it's too dangerous to rescue them.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the four men and a woman refused to leave the Angeles National Forest two days ago. On Monday, they called for help because they were unable to leave a ranch in Gold Canyon.

Whitmore said a sheriff's helicopter had planned to help but the flames are too intense and authorities must wait for the fire to pass by before going in.

Teacher accused of selling grades

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey social studies teacher has been charged with accepting cash from students looking to improve their grades.

Thirty-year-old Megan Laboy is accused of collecting more than $1,400 from Colts Neck High School students during the 2008-09 school year.

Police said the Howell resident told students she'd give them extra credit and the money was for charity. But they say she kept the money for herself.

Astronauts moving huge chest of drawers

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The astronauts aboard the linked shuttle and station are moving a giant chest of drawers from one spacecraft to the other.

The Italian-built chest - nicknamed Leonardo, as in Leonardo da Vinci - flew up on Discovery. It's filled with tons of equipment and experiments for the space station. The astronauts were using a robotic arm Monday afternoon to hoist Leonardo onto the orbiting outpost.

Former Miss California sues over firing

LOS ANGELES - Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean sued pageant officials Monday for libel, slander and religious discrimination, accusing them of telling her to stop mentioning God even before her controversial remarks against gay marriage.

Prejean sued California pageant executive director Keith Lewis and actress and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, who served as a co-director before resigning in protest of Prejean.

Prejean was fired in June by pageant officials who said she missed several scheduled appearances.

Her attorney, Chuck LiMandri, said that wasn't true, and Prejean was ousted because of controversial remarks in April during the Miss USA pageant that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Flight 93 Memorial construction to start in November

PITTSBURGH - The federal government will pay about $9.5 million to acquire land so the Flight 93 National Memorial can be built by the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday.

With the National Park Service reaching agreements with eight landowners, construction is expected to start in November, Salazar said.

Salazar called the site where the plane crashed, near Shanksville in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, hallowed ground and said the nation was 'eternally grateful for the heroes of Flight 93.'

Major cigarette makers sue over new tobacco law

RICHMOND, Va. - Two of the three largest U.S. tobacco companies filed suit against federal authorities Monday, claiming a law that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration new authority over tobacco violates their right to free speech.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., maker of Camel cigarettes, and Lorillard Inc., which sells Newport menthol brand, filed the federal lawsuit with several other tobacco companies.

Part of the bill, passed in June, covers cigarette marketing.

The lawsuit doesn't challenge the decision to give the FDA authority over tobacco products. But the tobacco makers claim provisions of the law 'severely restrict the few remaining channels we have to communicate with adult tobacco consumers,' Martin L. Holton III, senior vice president and general counsel for Reynolds, said in a statement.

NC Police: Dog chewed off baby's toes as mom slept

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Authorities say they are charging a North Carolina woman who slept as a pit bull chewed the toes off her 4-month-old baby's left foot.

The Onslow County Sheriff's Office said Monday that the child's mother, Robie Lynn Jenkins, and her boyfriend, Tremayne Spillman, will be charged with felony child abuse.