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In brief: Tropical storm threatens coast

Miami – Tropical Storm Danny formed Wednesday on a path that could threaten coastal North Carolina and the Eastern Seaboard by Saturday.

Late Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center reported the system remained disorganized but had grown powerful enough to become the season’s fourth named storm, with winds topping 45 mph. Danny was just over 560 miles east of Miami, moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

Depending on the timing of its turn, the coastline from North Carolina to New England could see impacts. Forecasters expected the storm to slowly strengthen, potentially to hurricane status, as it moves north.

Vandalism case takes partisan turn

Denver – An act of vandalism at Colorado Democratic headquarters that shattered windows next to signs about health care reform took a strange turn Wednesday when it was revealed that one of the suspects was a Democratic activist.

Democratic leaders initially said that the window shattering was an act of political vandalism, possibly by opponents of health care reform. But the political leanings of suspect Maurice Schwenkler raised the prospect that one of the party’s own might have vandalized its building to make a statement.

Schwenkler refused to discuss possible motive with police Wednesday.

State campaign records show Schwenkler, 24, was paid $500 by Colorado Citizens’ Coalition in November to walk door to door for Democrat Mollie Cullom, a candidate for the Legislature from Centennial. The nonprofit group receives funding from several sources, including unions.

Mike Hamrick, chairman of the Arapahoe County Democrats and Cullom’s campaign committee agent, said he’s never heard of Schwenkler. There was no record that Schwenkler was registered to vote in Colorado.


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Police: Man killed deputy, stole his car and robbed store

new  NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine – A gunman in Maine killed a sheriff’s deputy, stole his cruiser and robbed a convenience store early Wednesday, triggering an intensive manhunt in a heavily wooded rural town, officials said. Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole was killed around 1:45 a.m. on U.S. Route 2 in Norridgewock, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of Bangor, state police said. His cruiser was driven to a Cumberland Farms store, which was robbed.