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US News: Maryland Mall Shooting; Michaels Possible Data Breach; Autistic Boy's NY Funeral; Car News; Dog Show Adds Mixed Breeds

By: ap
By: ap
Police disable devices found in Md. gunman

Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after a multiple shooting Jan. 25, 2014, in Howard County, Md. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

MALL SHOOTING
COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) -- Police say they disabled crude attempts at explosive devices that were found in a bag carried by a gunman to a deadly shooting at a Maryland mall.
Police say the gunman fatally shot two people and then himself Saturday morning in the Mall in Columbia.
A news release late Saturday night says investigators searched the gunman's bag inside the store where the two employees were shot. They found and disabled what they describe as "crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks."
The mall will remain closed Sunday and police will use dogs to search the mall overnight, which is standard procedure.
Police say they have tentatively identified the gunman but are declining to identify him while they follow up on leads.

CHEMICAL SPILL-WEST VIRGINIA
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's governor has ordered the company at the center of a chemical spill that tainted the water supply for the state capital to begin the process of removing all above-ground storage tanks from the Charleston operation.
A statement released Saturday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office says Freedom Industries must start the dismantling process by March 15.
The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.
The order to dismantle and properly dispose of the tanks also includes associated piping and machinery. The facility currently has 17 tanks.
The governor's order was included in a consent order issued Friday by the state Department of Environmental Protection and signed by Freedom Industries. The company has already been ordered to remove almost 1 million gallons of chemicals from the plant.

BRAIN DEAD-PREGNANCY
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A Texas hospital isn't saying whether it plans to appeal a judge's order to take a pregnant brain-dead woman off of life support.
A judge gave John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth until Monday at 5 p.m. to comply with his ruling to remove Marlise Munoz from life support, which her husband Erick Munoz says she would have wanted.
She was 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her unconscious Nov. 26, possibly due to a blood clot.
The hospital says it has a legal duty to protect the fetus and is considering an appeal.

WALK FOR LIFE
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Thousands of people from across California are in San Francisco to demonstrate against abortion.
A massive and diverse crowd of protesters rallied in front of City Hall on Saturday before marching down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza for the 10th annual "Walk for Life West Coast." They chanted "Pro Life" and carried signs that read "Defend Life" and "Women deserve better than abortion."
On Wednesday, thousands of abortion protesters participated in the annual Walk for Life rally in Washington, D.C. to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized the procedure.
San Francisco police did not immediately provide an official crowd estimate, but at one point marchers stretched across more than a mile of Market Street, the liberal city's main thoroughfare.
Last year, California expanded abortion access with a measure that allows nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform a type of early abortion.

MICHAELS STORES-DATA BREACH
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Michaels Stores says it is investigating a possible company data security breach that may have affected its customers' payment card information.
The Irving, Texas, company said Saturday that it launched the probe after learning of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards used at the home decor and crafts retailer.
Michaels Stores Inc. is working with federal law enforcement and data security experts, but has yet to confirm that its systems were compromised.
CEO Chuck Rubin suggests Michaels customers take steps to protect themselves, such as reviewing their account statements for unauthorized charges.
Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. recently said a security breach last year may have affected about 1.1 million cards. Target Corp. has said hackers stole about 40 million debit and credit card numbers during the holiday season.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A community of friends, relatives and strangers who came together to search for a missing New York City boy have come together again for his funeral.
About 200 mourners gathered Saturday at a Manhattan church for a mass for 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo.
The ceremony at the Church of Saint Joseph was led by the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, Cardinal Edward Egan.
Avonte vanished after walking away from his Queens school during a lapse in supervision in October. He had autism.
His disappearance prompted a massive citywide search that included regular announcements on the subways.
The teen's remains were discovered last week on the Queens waterfront, several miles from the spot where he was last seen.
Investigators are still trying to determine how he died.

CAR DEALERS-US SALES
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Boosted by rising employment, home values and housing construction, Americans will buy 16.4 million new cars and light trucks this year.
That's the prediction from the National Automobile Dealers Association, which is meeting in New Orleans.
Economist Steve Szakaly (ZAK-uh-lee), says the 5.8 percent expected increase will mark the sixth year of recovery from the financial crash and automotive bankruptcies.
Jonathan Banks, analyst for the group's Used Car Guide, says those years of new-car buying and leasing will push prices down for recent-model used cars and trucks, averaging 2.5 percent less than last year's prices. He says 5- to 8-year-old vehicles remain scarce because few people bought cars during the recession. Those prices are likely to be flat.
He says used-car prices are likely to be slightly lower than last year's.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Chrysler dealers from around the U.S. seem revved up by the purchase of the U.S. carmaker by Italy's Fiat SpA.
Chrysler dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans say Fiat has improved their cars, trucks and management.
Pamela Burger of La Mesa, Calif., says Fiat picked Chrysler up out of bankruptcy and has grown the company while improving quality.
Fiat dealer Juan Pablo Meivide (may-VEE-duh) of San Justo, Argentina, says Chrysler is a prestige brand in South America.
Dealer and Alabama state Sen. Dick Brewbaker says he's very impressed by the vehicles' interior design and the company's marketing.
Fiat said Tuesday that it had bought the last big chunk of stock, making Chrysler a wholly-owned subsidiary.

VEHICLE ROLLOVER
WINONA, Ariz. (AP) -- Authorities located 15 people who ran from a vehicle after it rolled over in northern Arizona.
KTVK-TV reports that the DPS and Coconino County Sheriff's Office say several people fled the scene Friday night near Winona, which is 10 miles east of Flagstaff.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the vehicle rolled on eastbound Interstate 40 around 7:30 p.m. Some witnesses report as many as 20 people may have been in the vehicle.
The DPS says no other occupants were found, and the search was called off.
Officials say six people were admitted to a local hospital with serious injuries that were not life-threatening.
Four people were found around a campfire, and two others knocked on doors looking for help.
The DPS says child protective services took in three minors, and the remaining adults went to a local shelter.

FILM-SUNDANCE-AWARDS
`Whiplash' wins audience, jury awards at Sundance
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- "Whiplash" is the winner of the Sundance Film Festival.
The dramatic story of a jazz drummer aspiring to greatness won both audience and jury awards for U.S. dramatic films Saturday at the festival's closing awards ceremony.
The musical drama by writer-director Damien Chazelle opened the independent film showcase last week and rode a wave of positive buzz throughout the 10-day event.
It stars 26-year-old Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer in pursuit of excellence and veteran actor J.K. Simmons as his unforgiving instructor.
The documentary "Rich Hill," about a tiny town in Missouri, won the jury award for U.S. documentary. The American documentary about dementia and music, "Alive Inside," won the audience award.
The Sundance Film Festival wraps Sunday in Park City, Utah.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mixed-breed dogs are getting a paw in the door at the nation's foremost dog show for the first time since the 1800s.
The mutts are allowed to enter a new agility competition at Westminster Kennel Club's elite show in New York next month.
Mixed-breed owners see it as a singular chance to showcase what everyday dogs can do. Animal-rights advocates call it a good step, though it isn't ending their long-standing criticism of a show that they feel champions a myopic view of man's best friend.
Westminster officials say it demonstrates that the show celebrates all dogs. They also say it enhances the 138-year-old show with a rapidly growing, fun-to-watch canine sport.

2nd Iditarod qualifier yields to warm temperatures
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A qualifying race for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has been cancelled due to warm weather, the second mid-distance qualifier to be cancelled.
Race officials called off the Tustumena 200 sled dog race on the Kenai Peninsula on Friday.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that the run of mild weather and rain wiped out much of the snow in south-central Alaska. Earlier this week, the Northern Lights 300 at Big Lake was also cancelled.
Race director Tami Murray says a dearth of snow and too much water forced their decision.
Reigning Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey topped the field signed up for the Tustumena.
Other events, including a high school cross-country ski race and a fat-tire bike series, were also canceled.


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