FOREST SERVICE SEEKS $6.3M FROM MAN FOR WILDFIRE: CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service wants to collect $6.3 million from a 77-year-old man the agency blames for causing a 2012 forest fire that threatened to burn into the town of Jackson.
The Forest Service alleges James G. Anderson Jr. sparked the wildfire on Sept. 8, 2012, by burning twigs and paper in a rusted-out barrel at his son's home and allowing the flames to get out of control.
The Forest Service sent Anderson a bill in November for the firefighting costs. The amount was due to the agency's Albuquerque, N.M., service center on Dec. 13.
The Horsethief Canyon Fire burned 5 square miles of Bridger-Teton National Forest. At the height of the fire, officials urged some residents of nearby Jackson to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice. The firefighters succeeded in halting the flames a couple miles outside town.
Firefighting costs for several agencies totaled about $9 million. Anderson's share, according to a Nov. 13 certified letter the Forest Service sent him, includes about $3.8 million incurred by the Forest Service and some $2 million by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
He also owes about $64,000 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $154,000 to the National Park Service and $252,000 to the state of Wyoming and Teton County.
IN COLD, ESCAPED INMATE TURNS HIMSELF IN: FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Just how cold is it in Kentucky? Apparently cold enough for an escaped prisoner to decide to turn himself in.
Authorities said the inmate escaped from a minimum security facility in Lexington on Sunday. As temperatures dropped into the low single digits Monday, officials say the man walked into a motel and asked the clerk to call police.
Robert Vick, 42, of Hartford told the clerk he wanted to turn himself in and escape the arctic air, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.
Vick was checked out by paramedics and returned to Blackburn Correctional Complex, Roberts said.
"This was definitely of his own volition," she said. "It's cold out there, too cold to run around. I can understand why the suspect would turn himself in."
Vick would have been dressed in prison-issued khaki pants, a shirt and a jacket when he escaped, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb said. Wind chill readings were 20 below zero Monday in Lexington.
The Lexington Fire Department treated Vick for hypothermia Monday evening.
Vick was serving a six-year sentence for burglary and criminal possession of a forged instrument.
MAN STOPPED FOR SPEEDING HAD 48 BOMBS: LONDON, Ohio (AP) — A man stopped for speeding in Ohio was charged with illegally making or possessing an explosive device after nearly 50 bombs and four guns were found in his vehicle.
Andrew Scott Boguslawski, 43, was arrested late New Year's Day on Interstate 70 west of Columbus. Investigators found two pistols, two rifles, 48 explosive devices and tools and materials to make additional explosives,.Also inside was a remote detonating device, Assistant Madison County Prosecutor Nick Adkins said.
Investigators are trying to determine why the man had the arsenal. He faces a court hearing Friday in Madison County.
According to the state trooper who stopped him for going 85 mph in a 70-mph zone, Boguslawski said he had no weapons. However, the officer returned with a ticket and saw the handle of a gun between the man's knees.
KC MOTHER PLEADS GUILTY TO KEEPING GIRL IN CLOSET: KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City woman has pleaded guilty to abusing her 10-year-old daughter who was found in a locked closet in 2012.
The woman entered the plea Tuesday to felony child abuse, child endangerment and assault charges. The Associated Press is not naming her to protect the child's identity. The woman will be sentenced April 25 and prosecutors have agreed to seek a prison sentence of no more than 20 years.
The girl weighed just 32 pounds when she was found in a urine-soaked closet. She told authorities that she hadn't been allowed to eat for days and hadn't attended school since kindergarten.
WOMAN FOUND IN SUITCASE AT ARIZONA BORDER CROSSING: NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say a smuggling attempt at the U.S.-Mexico border was thwarted when inspectors found a woman from Thailand inside a suitcase.
Customs and Border Protection agents discovered 48-year-old Pornkamol Mongkolsermsak while inspecting a Honda SUV entering the United States on Dec. 30 in Nogales, Ariz.
Mongkolsermsak, from Bangkok, was hidden under clothing in the large suitcase in the back of the vehicle driven by a 56-year-old Phoenix man, whose name hasn't been released.
EX-HONORS STUDENT'S TERROR SENTENCING DELAYED: PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former high school honors student who led a double life online, aiding Muslim extremists overseas, has helped the U.S. pursue terrorists since his 2011 arrest but remains a risk, federal prosecutors said in court filings.
Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 20, of suburban Baltimore, was expected to be sentenced Tuesday in Philadelphia, but his hearing was postponed while the defense seeks further mental-health evaluations. He is the youngest person ever detained as a juvenile on federal terrorism charges.
Khalid, who was born in Pakistan, met a lonely Pennsylvania woman named Colleen LaRose online when he was 15. She called herself "Jihad Jane," and sought help for jihadists. LaRose, 50, of Pennsburg, Pa., was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for agreeing to kill a cartoonist who offended Muslims.
Khalid had agreed to help her get a stolen passport to terror suspects overseas, and frequently translated jihadist propaganda into English before reposting it, the government said in a sentencing memo.
"He appeared to be a polite and studious 15-year-old whose parents moved to the United States from Pakistan to give him a better life. However, in the anonymous world of online communications, Khalid was ... translating extremist online postings and organizing a terrorist cell," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said in the memo filed last week.