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POSTED December 9, 2013 9:45 p.m.

COACH ACCUSED OF TATTOOING MINOR: COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota high school gymnastics coach has been accused of tattooing a teenage girl without her parents' permission.

Thirty-eight-year-old Terry Robert Hardy is the head gymnastics coach at Park High School in Cottage Grove. A man told Hastings police last week that Hardy had tattooed the man's juvenile daughter twice without his consent.

Police cited Hardy for two counts of misdemeanor assault.

In a statement, the South Washington County school district says Hardy is on leave pending further investigation. The statement says he also was fired from his post as gymnastics coordinator for a district community education program.

POLICE: NJ MAN DIDN'T KNOW HE HAD KNIFE IN BACK: TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a New Jersey man awoke after a long night's sleep to discover a knife stuck in his back.

Police in Trenton say the 42-year-old man didn't know why his back was hurting when he got up Sunday so he had his brother take a look. The brother saw a knife protruding from the middle of his back.

Police did not identify the man. They say he had gotten into a fistfight on his porch after a night of drinking and apparently didn't realize he had been stabbed.

The man was uncooperative when detectives tried to talk to him at the hospital. He was expected to be released as early as Monday.

POLICE: PHILADELPHIA DECORATION THIEF CAUGHT  ON VIDEO: PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say they've caught a Grinch who was captured on surveillance video stealing Christmas decorations outside a south Philadelphia house last month.

Authorities released surveillance video — complete with cartoon images from Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" — of two people taking decorations from the house about 2:15 a.m. Nov. 26.

Police say 45-year-old Marie Amari was arrested at her nearby home on Saturday, and the stolen decorations were found inside. She is charged with theft and related offenses.

A home telephone phone listing for Amari could not be located and she could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Police are still looking for a second suspect.

GIRLFRIEND WANTS CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST ZIMMERMAN: ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman asked a judge on Monday to change the terms of his bond so he can have contact with the girlfriend he's accused of assaulting.

Zimmerman filed an affidavit from his girlfriend that says she doesn't want him charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.

In the signed affidavit, Samantha Scheibe — referring to Zimmerman as "my boyfriend" — said that detectives misinterpreted what she said and that she hasn't been coerced into the request.

Zimmerman was arrested last month after Scheibe accused him in a call to 911 of pointing a gun at her, smashing a coffee table and pushing her outside. Zimmerman also called dispatchers, denied pointing a gun at her and blamed her for the broken table.

"I am not afraid of George in any manner and I want to be with him," Scheibe said in the affidavit.

Prosecutors could continue with the case despite Scheibe's request.

OKLAHOMA LEADERS SAY SATANIC MONUMENT UNLIKELY: OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislative leaders in Oklahoma sought to ease public concern Monday over a plan by a group of satanists to erect a monument at the state Capitol.

Both House Speaker T.W. Shannon and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman suggested that such a plan was far from a reality, and members of the committee that would need to approve the monument sounded skeptical. But a constitutional law professor says the state could be on legally questionable ground if it rejects the New York-based Satanic Temple's request to put an homage to Satan near a Ten Commandments monument that's already at the Capitol.

The Associated Press reported Sunday about the Satanic Temple's plans to donate such a memorial. The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission would have to approve such plans.

"That's Oklahoma's house. It's not the Satanic club of New York's house," said Capitol architect Duane Mass, who serves on the commission.

Officials with Satanic Temple suggest that Oklahoma opened the door to other religions when it allowed the Ten Commandments monument, with a sectarian message, to be placed at the Capitol.

US VET HELD IN N. KOREA SAYS STATEMENT WAS COERCED: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The 85-year-old U.S. Korean War veteran who was detained for weeks by North Korea said Monday that the videotaped confession in which he apologized for killing North Koreans during the war was given involuntarily and under duress.

In a written statement issued Monday, Merrill Newman said he tried to show that the words he read on the recording were not his own by emphasizing the apology's awkward phrasing and poor English grammar.

"Anyone who has read the text of it or who has seen the video of me reading it knows that the words were not mine and were not delivered voluntarily," Newman said. "Anyone who knows me knows that I could not have done the things they had me 'confess' to."

The former Army lieutenant said that while the North Koreans treated him well during his detention at a Pyongyang hotel, an interrogator told him repeatedly that if he did not apologize for his alleged crimes during the Korean War and during his visit to the communist nation, he would be sentenced to 15 years in jail for espionage.

"Under these circumstances, I read the document with the language they insisted on because it seemed to be the only way I might get home," he said.

Newman, who was deported Friday and returned home to California on Saturday, was detained in late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea. His visit came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war while serving in one of the U.S. Army's 8240th unit, an early special forces unit also known as the White Tigers whose missions remained classified until the 1990s.

 

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