Nation Briefs


State police fatally shoot fugitive Florida prisoner

GRAPEVINE, Texas – The Florida prisoner who escaped in Texas after stabbing a detective with his eyeglasses was fatally shot early Saturday after refusing to cooperate with officers and lunging at them, police said.

Alberto Morales was shot in a wooded area of Grapevine, a community near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It put an end to a massive five-day manhunt that started when he escaped Monday from a Walmart parking lot after attacking the Miami-Dade, Fla., detective.

Police said Morales, 42, used a sharp piece from his eyeglasses to stab Miami-Dade Detective Jaime Pardinas, who was transferring him by car to Nevada, where Morales was to serve a sentence of 30 years to life after being convicted of a sexual assault.

Pardinas was treated at a Dallas hospital for deep stab wounds to the neck, shoulder and back and a collapsed lung. Parkland Memorial Hospital spokeswoman April Foran said Pardinas was released Saturday.


Yacht sets record for sailing from NYC to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – A racing yacht named after one of the world’s fastest cars docked in San Francisco after what organizers said was the fastest passage of a single-hulled sailing vessel from New York to San Francisco.

The 70-foot Maserati sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge late Saturday morning and tied up at Pier 39 Marina around 11:30 a.m., 47 days after pulling out of New York City, said Judy Laws, a spokeswoman for the event.

The Maserati finished the 13,225-mile trip in 47 days, two hours and 33 minutes, easily beating the most recent record of 57 days, three hours and two minutes set in 1998, Laws said.

The eight-member crew of the Maserati – led by its Italian skipper, 47-year-old Giovanni Soldini – left New York City on New Year’s Eve.


BMW recalls nearly 570,000 automobiles to fix cables

DETROIT – BMW is recalling almost 570,000 cars in the U.S. and Canada because a battery cable connector can fail and cause the engines to stall.

The recall affects popular 3-Series sedans, wagons, convertibles and coupes from the 2007 through 2011 model years. Also included are 1-Series coupes and convertibles from 2008 through 2012, and the Z4 sports car from 2009 through 2011.

The German automaker says dealers will replace the battery cable connector and secure it free. It will start notifying owners in March.


Groups set up video project to reassure gay teens

INDIANAPOLIS – Some gay-rights groups are trying to bolster the confidence of gay teens after an Indiana teacher said she believes gays have no purpose in life.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays state coordinator Annette Gross said Saturday the “You Have a Purpose” Facebook page will collect videos submitted to encourage gay youths. She compared the project to syndicated columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project aimed at deterring bullied gays from suicide.

The project comes after several residents in Sullivan, including some high schoolers, proposed holding a non-school-sanctioned “traditional” prom that would ban gay students. Diana Medley, a group member who is a special education teacher in another school district, made comments in support of the plan, saying she believes being gay is a choice people make and that gays have no purpose in life.

Associated Press