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POSTED January 2, 2012 7:40 p.m.

ANOTHER SYRINGE FOUND IN WALMART CLOTHING IN GA.: CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say another syringe has been found in clothing from a Walmart store in Georgia, bringing the number of cases to 15 at the same store since late November.
Sheriff's officials in Bartow County. North of Atlanta, say they're investigating what appeared to be a broken piece of a syringe with the needle intact. The Daily Tribune News reports (http://bit.ly/9IsA2e) that it was found in a pair of brown slippers purchased from the store in December.
A woman reported the case to the sheriff's office Friday, saying her daughter had bought the slippers and later discovered the needle. No injuries were reported.
24-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED IN LOS ANGELES ARSON SPREE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities arrested a man Monday in connection with dozens of suspected arson attacks that destroyed parked cars, scorched buildings and rattled much of the nation's second-largest city over the New Year's weekend.
Harry Burkhart, 24, was booked for investigation of arson of an inhabited dwelling and was being held without bail, authorities said.
Burkhart was arrested earlier in the day because he resembled a "person of interest" captured on surveillance video. He was stopped by a reserve sheriff's deputy in a van being sought by arson investigators.
More than 50 blazes have flared since Friday in Hollywood, neighboring West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, causing about $3 million in damage.
Firefighters have not responded to any other suspicious fires since Burkhart was detained, Capt. Jaime Moore said.
OBAMA, CONGRESS BEGIN 2012 IN OIL PIPELINE DISPUTE: WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Congress are starting the election year locked in a tussle over a proposed 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) oil pipeline from Canada to Texas that will force the White House to make a politically risky choice between two key Democratic constituencies.
Some unions say the Keystone XL pipeline would create thousands of jobs. Environmentalists fear it could lead to an oil spill disaster.
A law Obama signed just before Christmas that temporarily extended the payroll tax cut included a Republican-written provision compelling him to make a speedy decision on whether to build the pipeline. The administration is warning it would rather say no than rush a decision in an election year.
It's a dicey proposition for Obama, who enjoyed strong support from both organized labor and environmentalists in his winning 2008 campaign for the White House.
Environmental advocates, already disappointed with his failure to achieve climate change legislation and the administration's decision to delay new smog standards, have made it clear that approval of the pipeline would dampen their enthusiasm for Obama in the upcoming November election.
Some liberal donors even threatened to cut off funds to Obama's re-election campaign to protest the project, which opponents say would transport "dirty oil" that requires huge amounts of energy to extract.
OHIO MAN STABBED IN EYES WITH KNIFE, ANTENNA: CINCINNATI (AP) — Authorities say an Ohio man stabbed another man in the eyes with a steak knife and an antenna, a day after he had beaten someone else and stolen his cellphone.
Police say 33-year-old Eugene Dase of Cincinnati stabbed the man early on New Year's Eve. Media outlets report the man was in critical condition at a hospital.
Dase of Cincinnati appeared in a Hamilton County courtroom Monday on charges of felonious assault and robbery. He laughed and swore at the judge during the hearing, and the judge ordered a mental health evaluation.
Dase's lawyer, Greg Cohen, says his client has mental health issues and has denied the charges against him. Dase's bond was set at $950,000, and he's being held in the Hamilton County jail.
POLICE: BODY FOUND AT WASH. PARK IS THAT OF GUNMAN: MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) — An armed Iraq War veteran suspected of killing a Mount Rainier National Park ranger managed to evade snowshoe-wearing SWAT teams and dogs on his trail for nearly a day. He couldn't, however, escape the cold.
A plane searching the remote wilderness for Benjamin Colton Barnes, 24, on Monday discovered his body lying partially submerged in an icy, snowy mountain creek with snow banks standing several feet high on either side.
"He was wearing T-shirt, a pair of jeans and one tennis shoe. That was it," Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Barnes did not have any external wounds and appears to have died due to the elements, he said. A medical examiner was at the scene to determine the cause of death. Troyer said two weapons were recovered, but he declined to say where they were located.
According to police and court documents, Barnes had a troubled transition to civilian life, with accusations in a child custody dispute that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following his Iraq deployments and was suicidal.
FEDS SEEK SUSPECTS IN UTAH DEATHS, NEVADA SHOOTING: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal authorities joined a manhunt Monday for two fugitives described as "very dangerous" who are suspected of killing an elderly couple in their Utah home and shooting a woman in the head outside a Nevada casino.
"We have an extremely dangerous situation going on," Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Jim Phelps told The Associated Press.
Few details were released by a federal fugitive task force working with authorities in the two states.
The crime spree involved a shooting Saturday in the parking lot of a West Wendover, Nev., casino, when a man and woman tried to carjack another woman. The victim fought back but was shot in the head while escaping. She was hospitalized and is expected to survive.
Had she not resisted in the manner that she did, she probably would have been a third victim," Phelps said.
SAINTHOOD NEXT YEAR FOR 2 FROM NY'S MOHAWK VALLEY: FONDA, N.Y. (AP) — No one making a religious pilgrimage to Catholic shrines in this scenic yet hardscrabble stretch of New York's Mohawk Valley is going to mistake it for Italy. Yet starting next year, the region can boast of being the home of two of the Roman Catholic Church's newest saints.
The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk Indian, spent most of her life here during the 17th century. About 200 years later and 40 miles to the west, the Blessed Mother Marianne Cope began a religious life that focused on providing medical care in central New York and the Hawaiian islands.
On Dec. 20, Pope Benedict XVI certified miracles attributed to the two women, the final step toward sainthood. The women's canonization is expected to happen this year.
When they are elevated to sainthood, they'll be among just 12 of the Catholic Church's thousands of saints who either were born in America or ministered in what is now the United States.

 

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