Author’s ashes go up in fireworks

Woody Creek, Colo. With a deafening boom, the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson were blown into the sky amid fireworks late Saturday as relatives and a star-studded crowd bid an irreverent farewell to the founder of “gonzo journalism.”

As the ashes erupted from a tower, red, white, blue and green fireworks lit up the sky over Thompson’s home near Aspen.

“He loved explosions,” explained his wife, Anita Thompson.

She said the tower, shrouded by tarps for days, was modeled after Thompson’s Gonzo logo: a clenched fist, made symmetrical with two thumbs, rising from the hilt of a dagger.

The private celebration included actors Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, rock bands, blow-up dolls and plenty of liquor to honor Thompson, who killed himself six months ago at age 67.

Security guards kept reporters and the public away from the writer’s Owl Farm compound Saturday as the 250 invited guests arrived, but Thompson’s fans scouted the surrounding hills for the best view of the celebration of the author’s life.

Thompson shot himself in his kitchen Feb. 20, apparently unable to handle his declining health. One close acquaintance suggested Thompson did not want old age to dictate the circumstances of his death. Anita Thompson said no suicide note was left.

Man pleads not guilty in murder, robbery case

Albuquerque, N.M. A man accused of killing two men at a motorcycle shop, then gunning down two police officers a few hours later, pleaded not guilty Saturday to murder and armed robbery.

John Hyde, 48, complained at his video arraignment about having to wear a red prison jumpsuit and said he wasn’t given enough time to groom himself before the hearing.

According to the criminal complaint against him, Hyde had told police after his arrest that he was responsible for shooting the two officers.

Officer Michael King, 50, and Richard Smith, 47, were shot to death late Thursday as they arrived to pick up Hyde for a mental health evaluation that had been requested by a doctor. The shootings at the motorcycle shop had happened a few hours earlier.

Hyde was being held without bond Saturday, and Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said her office was considering seeking the death penalty.

Miller Brewing Co. celebrates 150 years

Milwaukee When it’s Miller Time, Miller Brewing knows how to party.

The nation’s second-largest and oldest major brewer threw a 150th birthday bash Saturday with more than 100 descendants of the Miller family attending.

Lured by the Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi and Miller beer, the invitation-only event called “The Big Brew-Ha” was expected to draw about 35,000 people to Miller Park, less than a mile from the brewery.

“This celebration has been 150 years in the making, and it’s one that no other major American brewing company is able to celebrate,” said Miller Brewing President and CEO Norman Adami. “We are here to celebrate a major milestone, but more importantly, we are here to celebrate the employees, past and present, who made the last 150 years possible.”

Ex-boyfriend arrested in death of woman, fetus

Philadelphia Police discovered the remains of a missing pregnant woman and quickly arrested the father of her unborn child Saturday, ending an exhaustive, monthlong search.

District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said Stephen Poaches would be charged with two counts of murder and related offenses for the deaths of 24-year-old LaToyia Figueroa and her fetus.

Authorities did not provide a motive or say what led them to suspect Poaches, 25, who police said was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a pistol when he was arrested.

The remains were recovered in a partially wooded lot in Chester, 13 miles from Philadelphia. A few dozen members of the Figueroa family and supporters arrived at the scene shortly after daybreak, clustering close to the police tape and embracing each other.

Figueroa, who also is the mother of a 7-year-old girl, was last seen July 18 in West Philadelphia.


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