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Officials seek pelican killers

Sat., Sept. 20, 2008

Ten pelicans have been found dead on Bolsa Chica State Beach this week with their wings intentionally broken, prompting an investigation by federal wildlife authorities and the offer of a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The sole pelican to survive is being cared for at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach in Orange County, which put up the reward.

Ten of the birds were younger than 1 year and probably were feeding in the water; residents have reported seeing fishing boats close to shore in recent days, said Lisa Birkle, the center’s assistant wildlife director.

“The birds targeted are new birds arriving from the Channel Islands,” she said. “They’re young and inexperienced and don’t have a fear of humans. … Because they’re so hungry, they’ll go right up to people.”

West Palm Beach, Fla.

State ends probe of D.C. page scandal

Florida officials have closed their two-year state investigation against former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, saying they found “insufficient evidence” for filing criminal charges for allegedly sending salacious electronic messages to underage congressional pages.

Results of a state investigation were released Friday. A separate FBI investigation hasn’t been closed. The state report comes from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where detectives have struggled for months to get access to computer information from Congress to finalize their report.

“FDLE conducted as thorough and comprehensive investigation as possible considering Congress and Mr. Foley denied us access to critical data,” FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said. “Should additional information arise which is pertinent to this case, we will ensure it is appropriately investigated.”

Foley, who represented Florida’s 16th congressional district, resigned in 2006.

Sheboygan, Wis.

Piggy bank thief gets six years

A man convicted of stealing $20 from a toddler’s piggy bank has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Four-time convicted burglar Ryan Mueller was convicted Thursday of felony burglary as a repeat offender in a Sheboygan, Wis., court.

Prosecutors say the 31-year-old Mueller broke into a home in August 2007 and stole money from a 2-year-old girl’s piggy bank while she slept. They say the girl’s mother walked into the room and caught Mueller in the act.

Mueller also was sentenced to five years’ probation. He is to serve his sentence consecutively to a six-year prison sentence he was handed in June for a separate burglary conviction.

From wire reports


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