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POSTED May 14, 2012 8:22 p.m.

DOG CUSTODY BATTLE COSTS NYC MAN MORE THAN $60,000 : NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man has spent more than $60,000 in lawyers' fees trying to win custody of his dog after his ex-girlfriend took the pooch to California.

Thirty-four-year-old Craig Dershowitz said that he's gone through his life savings but it's worth it.

Dershowitz considers his dog, Knuckles, his "son."

In papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan state Supreme Court, Dershowitz said ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega "kidnapped" Knuckles after they broke up.

Brega says Dershowitz gave her the puggle pup — half pug, half beagle.

The Post says Dershowitz has started a website to raise money for the custody fight. For $250, contributors can "play fetch with Knuckles."

The drive is off to a slow start. Dershowitz raised $85 in the first week.

FAMED FAMU MARCHING BAND SUSPENDED ANOTHER YEAR: TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida A&M University's prestigious marching band, scarred by the hazing death of one of its drum majors, won't be taking the field for at least another year.

At a school where people attend football games just for the Marching 100 halftime show, where students enroll just for a shot at playing on the field, such a move is like saying the Alabama Crimson Tide won't play football for a year. The full impact on enrollment and the school community can't immediately be measured, but students and alumni said it's a move they support to make sure hazing is rooted out.

"What do we do in that one-year process to make sure these things do not happen again?" asked 25-year-old Travis Roberts, who has played clarinet in the band for four years. "We lack consistency at times, and this is something that needs to change. ... No one has taken accountability for what has happened. This thing didn't start only five years ago. This thing has happened the past 50 years."

Among the rules being considered: Academic standards for band members, more chaperones on out-of-town trips and limits on how long a student can remain in the band.

BRET MICHAELS SETTLES CASE OVER 2009 TONYS MISHAP: NEW YORK (AP) — Bret Michaels and organizers of the Tony Awards have settled a lawsuit filed by the rocker after a 2009 incident in which he was hit in the head with a set piece and suffered injuries that contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him.

The confidential settlement also covers Michaels' claims against CBS Broadcasting, which aired the show and the mishap, which became which a viral video watched by tens of millions online. The Poison frontman blamed the network for airing the moment and claimed Tony Awards producers never warned him there would be a set change after he and his band performed "Nothin' But a Good Time."

The whack initially left Michaels with a busted lip and broken nose, but also caused brain bleeding. He was hospitalized in April 2010 and doctors found he had a brain hemorrhage and he later suffered a warning stroke, which the musician says nearly killed him.

RUSH LIMBAUGH HONORED AT MISSOURI'S CAPITOL: JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Monday during a secretive ceremony in the state Capitol as police stood guard to keep out any uninvited political opponents of the sometimes divisive radio show host.

Limbaugh, a native of Cape Girardeau in southeast Missouri, addressed a crowd of more than 100 Republicans during a closed-door event in the Missouri House chamber. Speaking from the chamber's dais, he thanked his family for their support throughout his career, denounced liberals and Democrats as "deranged," then helped lift a black curtain off a bronze bust of himself, which he hugged — head to head — for photographs.

The timing of the ceremony was kept secret until shortly before it occurred, and then only Republican lawmakers, other invited guests and the media were allowed into the chamber to watch — an attempt to avoid any public disruption after Limbaugh's selection was criticized by Democrats, some women's groups and other political foes.

CALIF. LAWMAKER BLASTS TITLE IX BEFORE SOCCER STAR: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — If Brandi Chastain could have cried foul, she would have.

The world-famous women's soccer player was in Sacramento on Monday to be honored by the California Assembly as it recognized the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

The occasion prompted Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby of Fullerton to say that he wasn't a fan of the 1972 federal law, chiefly known for mandating gender equity in high school and collegiate sports.

With Chastain visibly wincing at the back of the chamber and raising her hand to speak, Norby said he thought Title IX had come at the expense of male athletes, particularly those who depend on sports scholarships.

Chastain, who plays with the semi-professional California Storm, was denied a rebuttal because resolutions don't have public hearings. The resolution eventually passed unanimously.

POLICE: REMAINS FOUND BELONG TO MISSING BOY: DALLAS (AP) — Authorities have identified skeletal remains found in a rural creek near Dallas as those of a 10-year-old boy allegedly starved to death by his father and stepmother, police and a family member said Monday.

Dallas police said they confirmed with the Dallas County medical examiner that DNA tests have linked the remains to Johnathan Ramsey. The boy's remains were found April 21 in rural Ellis County, south of the city.

The medical examiner declined to comment on the case because the remains were found in another county. However, Starla Swanson, stepmother to Johnathan's mother, confirmed that the family had been informed that a positive identification of Johnathan had been made.

The boy's father and stepmother, Aaron and Elizabeth Ramsey, remain jailed on charges of felony injury to a child.

Aaron Ramsey allegedly told police he limited the boy's meals to bread, water and sometimes milk for several months. According to police records, the boy was confined to his bedroom in the family's Dallas home, The Dallas Morning News reported.

MISS. ROAD DEATHS RAISE WORRY ABOUT FAKE OFFICER: HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — Two shooting victims along Mississippi highways may have been killed by someone who posed as law enforcement and pulled them over late at night, authorities said Monday.

Investigators were not releasing many details, including whether they believe a single gunman is responsible or what type of weapon was used, said DeSoto County district attorney John Champion. Champion said the shootings are related, but there's no evidence to suggest that the victims knew each other.

Thomas Schlender, 74, of Raymond, Neb., was found in his car on Interstate 55 in Panola County on May 8 about 1:30 a.m. Three days later, Lori Anne Carswell, 48, of Hernando, was found near her car on Mississippi Highway 713 in nearby Tunica County about 2:15 a.m.

 

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