NATION IN BRIEF: 'Barefoot Bandit' suspect appears in US court

The Associated Press. Federal officials meet a convoy believed to be carrying Colton Harris-Moore, the American teenager who police call the "Barefoot Bandit" as it waits at the back of the Miami federal courthouse Tuesday.

The Associated Press. Federal officials meet a convoy believed to be carrying Colton Harris-Moore, the American teenager who police call the "Barefoot Bandit" as it waits at the back of the Miami federal courthouse Tuesday.

MIAMI -- The teenager dubbed the ''Barefoot Bandit'' by authorities will cool his heels in a Miami jail at least two more days while he sorts out which attorney will represent him.

At his first U.S. court appearance Wednesday since his arrest in the Bahamas, Colton Harris-Moore, 19, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube he thought his mother had hired a lawyer but he didn't know the attorney's name.

Dube set another hearing for Friday morning to determine Harris-Moore's legal representation, whether he should be released on bail and when he should return to Seattle to face an alleged two-year string of crimes. Harris-Moore is suspected in about 70 burglaries, thefts and other property crimes in eight states and British Columbia, including thefts of aircraft -- one of which he allegedly flew from Indiana to the Bahamas.

Crews battle Idaho lab fire

BOISE, Idaho -- A fire at the Idaho National Laboratory site in southeastern Idaho has burned about 170 square miles since it started Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say ''critical infrastructure'' has burned, including power lines, causing a loss of electricity to the Materials & Fuels Complex, where research and development of nuclear fuels takes place. The complex, about 28 miles west of Idaho Falls, is being powered by diesel generators.

Cops plead not guilty in Katrina bridge shootings

NEW ORLEANS -- Three officers pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the shooting deaths of two unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge in the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina.

Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen and Officer Anthony Villavaso stood before a federal magistrate in green prison garb, shackled at the waist and ankles. They will remain jailed at least until a hearing Friday.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office said the Justice Department hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty against them and former officer Robert Faulcon, who was arrested in Texas on Tuesday and has not entered a plea.

Body found at shuttered NY funeral home

BATH, N.Y. -- A man's decomposed body was discovered inside a sealed casket at an upstate New York funeral home that was shut down two months ago, authorities said Wednesday.

An auctioneer found the body Tuesday along with the cremated remains of 12 other people while cataloging items to be sold at the Seager-Jones Funeral Home in Bath, Steuben County sheriff's investigators said.

15 hurt in steel plant explosion

CLAIRTON, Pa. -- Authorities say three of the 15 people hurt in an explosion at a U.S. Steel plant near Pittsburgh were critically injured.

A doctor at Pittsburgh's UPMC Mercy hospital said a man injured at U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works is in critical condition with burns to his airways.

Dr. Alain Corcos said the man and four other patients admitted after Wednesday's explosion are expected to survive. The men, ranging in age from 20 to 50, are among 15 people who were injured when an oven at the coke plant exploded.

Heir's wife accused in similar death

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A woman already charged with orchestrating the brutal slaying of her wealthy hotel heir husband in New York was accused by a prosecutor Wednesday of plotting a similar beating death of her elderly mother-in-law in Florida, all in hopes of reaping millions of dollars from their wills.

Narcy Novack, 53, and her brother hired two men to assault her 86-year-old mother-in-law, who was beaten with a monkey wrench at her Fort Lauderdale home in April 2009, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott Jacobson said at a bail hearing for Novack involving the New York charges. Three months later, her husband Ben Novack was beaten to death at a suburban New York hotel with dumbbells carried by assailants, one of whom also gouged out her husband's eyes with a utility knife, Jacobson said.

Pilot, grandkids die in plane crash

DETROIT -- A 73-year-old Chicago area man and three of his granddaughters from Israel were killed when their small plane crashed on an interstate in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

A 13-year-old grandson, who was hospitalized after being ejected from the aircraft, was the only survivor from the Tuesday evening crash, Mackinac County Sheriff officials said.

The pilot, Moshe Menora of Skokie, Ill., was killed, along with Rikki Menora, 16; Rachel Menora, 14; and Sara Klein, 17.