NATION IN BRIEF: Sex offender is charged in teen's death

Sex offender is charged in teen's death

SAN DIEGO -- A 30-year-old sex offender was charged Wednesday with murdering a 17-year-old San Diego County girl who vanished after heading off for a run in a park.

Prosecutors said John Albert Gardner III also faces a special allegation of rape or attempted rape, and a count of assault with intent to commit rape in a December attack on another female.

An attorney entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of Gardner during his brief court appearance Wednesday. Gardner stood in shackles, looking downward.

Teenager Chelsea King was last seen alive on Thursday, and her car was found that night at a semirural park in northeastern San Diego.

After a huge search, a body was found Tuesday in a grave by a lake, and authorities said they believed it was King, although positive identification is pending.

Coast Guardchopper crashes in Utah mountains

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Coast Guard helicopter crashed Wednesday morning in remote Utah mountains after providing security at the Winter Olympics, and three people were airlifted to local hospitals, officials said.

One person was in critical condition and two others were in serious condition, said Sgt. Jeremy Hales of the Wasatch County sheriff's office. Two others sustained minor injuries and were being brought out with the help of snowmobiles, he said.

Wounded nurse, armed patient recovering

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Investigators are looking into an elderly heart patient's possible ''psychiatric issues'' after he allegedly tucked a revolver into the folds of his hospital gown and shot a nursing supervisor who tried to wrest the gun away.

The 85-year-old patient, Stanley Lupienski, shot himself once in the leg during the scuffle in Danbury Hospital's cardiac unit Tuesday, police said. He remained under guard Wednesday in the hospital.

Witnesses told police that nursing supervisor Andy Hull, a 35-year-old former Marine, jumped in to disarm Lupienski when he pulled the gun out and pointed it at another staff member. Police say Hull was shot three times.

He was being treated Wednesday in the hospital's intensive care unit for injuries described as serious but not life-threatening.

Audio indicates child directed planes at airport

NEW YORK -- An air traffic controller at New York's Kennedy Airport was suspended for allowing his young son to radio instructions to several pilots.

The few quick exchanges between the elementary-school-aged child and jets waiting to take off from JFK, one of the nation's busiest airports, appeared to delight pilots at the time.

''I wish I could bring my kid to work,'' one said, wistfully.

But the Federal Aviation Administration suspended the controller and a supervisor Wednesday after recordings of the calls were posted on the Internet, then reported on by a Boston television station.

''This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA's own policies, but common sense standards for professional conduct. These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable,'' FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said.

Hudson miracle pilot Sullenberger retires from flying

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Captain Chesley ''Sully'' Sullenberger has flown his final flight.

The pilot who landed a US Airways plane safely on the Hudson River last January said Wednesday he is retiring after 30 years and plans to spend some of his time pressing for more flight safety. He spoke at a news conference shortly after his last flight landed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

NY's Paterson faces ethics charge over tix

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Gov. David Paterson, trying to hold onto office in the face of one scandal, was accused Wednesday of violating state ethics laws when he sought and obtained free Yankees tickets for the 2009 World Series and then may have lied about his intention to pay for them, according to a state report.

He faces penalties of nearly $100,000, and the case was referred to the Albany County prosecutor's office and the state attorney general for possible criminal investigation.