WOODEN BOX AT GOODWILL CONTAINED DOG ASHES: TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The ashes of Onyx, a 165-pound rottweiler, were returned to her owner Wednesday, ending the mystery of a box purchased for $2.99 from a Puyallup Goodwill.
Kim Johnson, a Parkland woman, lost her 13-year-old dog two years ago, had her cremated, then had the box containing Onyx's ashes stolen a year ago.
"I've looked for her ever since," Johnson said. "I've lain awake nights wondering where she is."
Gerry Sperry, the Puyallup artist who bought the box on Dec. 31, was delighted to return it to Johnson.
"It brings closure to someone who really loved their pet," he said. "It obviously was emotional for her, and I'm glad the story has a happy ending."
After Sperry's story ran in The News Tribune, he said he got plenty of email from folks who had similar boxes - and all of those contained pets, not human remains. When Johnson saw a photo of the box, she said, she instantly recognized it.
"I had her from the time she was 5 weeks old until she died at 13, and she went everywhere with me," Johnson said. "When the box was stolen about a year ago, I filed a police report. We got files that had been taken, but not what mattered most - Onyx."
5-YEAR-OLD CHILD LOCKED IN MEMPHIS SCHOOL CLOSET: MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Police say a Memphis teacher locked a 5-year-old girl in a closet, then left the school.
Shelby County Schools says the teacher, whose name was not released, has been suspended.
According to police, the teacher at A.B. Hill Elementary locked up the kindergarten student on Tuesday.
Police say the child was not harmed and the teacher was not at the school when police arrived.
Police and school officials are investigating. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
STRAY BULLET KILLED 5-YEAR-OLD OMAHA GIRL: OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A stray bullet that killed a 5-year-old girl Wednesday as she ate breakfast in her Omaha home may have come from as far as a block away, authorities said as they pleaded for suspects to step forward.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said at a press conference Wednesday night that Payton Benson did not appear to be the intended target of the bullet, which authorities believe came from a morning shooting at least a block away. It involved several individuals and included the use of multiple weapons.
Payton was with her mother when the bullet ripped through her north Omaha home. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
No one has been arrested in the case, which is being treated as a criminal homicide. The shooting took place in an area that has had reports of gang and gun violence.
MICH. CHAIR EXEC SUES AFTER FALLING OUT OF CHAIR: GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The founder of a Michigan chair company is suing another furniture company after falling out of a chair and hurting his back.
The lawsuit says David Miller was attending a staff meeting at Grand Rapids Chair in 2012 when he leaned down to pick up a pencil. A chair leg broke, sending Miller crashing to the concrete floor.
Miller says sharp pain in his lower back prevented him from continuing to serve as president of the Grand Rapids-area company. A lawsuit filed Monday in Grand Rapids federal court seeks more than $75,000.
The lawsuit accuses U.S. Furniture of making a defective chair. The California-based company said no one was available to speak to a reporter Tuesday.
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IS 'TONIGHT SHOW' GUEST: BURBANK (AP) — Fresh from the U.S. budget battle, House Speaker John Boehner is heading to TV.
Boehner is scheduled as a guest next week on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." The show airs on Jan. 23.
NBC says the speaker will discuss his background and the latest political news.
The divided House on Wednesday approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill for operating the government until just before next fall's election. Boehner had pushed for the bipartisan deal, which avoids a potential government shutdown.
A 16-day shutdown last fall was politically damaging to both Democrats and Republicans.
COPS: CONN. WOMAN TRIED TO 'SET THE PUPPIES FREE: NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Police say a 23-year-old Connecticut woman spotted by an officer using a rock to try to smash open the front door of a closed pet store said she "wanted to set the puppies free."
The officer heard a banging sound while on patrol at a Norwalk strip mall early Wednesday. He spotted a woman running away from the Puppies of Westport store but caught up with her, rock in hand.
The officer noted there was fresh damage to the store's front door.
Police say when asked what she was doing, the woman said she "wanted to set the puppies free."
Anouk Govil, of Norwalk, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief. She's posted $500 bond and has been ordered to return to court next Tuesday.
CW TO AIR MINISERIES ABOUT SEARCH FOR HOLY GRAIL: PASADENA (AP) — The CW network says it has acquired a miniseries about the search for the Holy Grail.
The cast of the four-hour project, "Labyrinth," includes former "Downton Abbey" star Jessica Brown-Findlay, along with Vanessa Kirby, Sebastian Stan and John Hurt.
The miniseries centers on a 13th-century teenager and a modern woman, and their shared quest for the grail, the cup said to have been used by Jesus Christ.
"Labyrinth" is adapted from Kate Mosse's best-selling novel of the same name. An air date wasn't announced for the drama, which has appeared in Britain and elsewhere.
The network also said Wednesday it's adding two reality series to its schedule later this year: "Barber Battle," a competition series hosted by Cedric The Entertainer, and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," in which aspiring magicians perform their best tricks for the comedy duo.
Airdates for the reality shows were not announced.