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In brief: FAA scrutinizes American Airlines

Sun., Jan. 3, 2010, midnight

Fort Worth, Texas – The Federal Aviation Administration is increasing oversight of American Airlines after three mishaps during landings last month.

Jetliners’ wingtips touched the ground during two landings, one in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 13, the other in Austin, Texas, on Dec. 24. And in Jamaica, a plane overshot the runway during heavy rain on Dec. 22.

FAA officials said in a statement they will conduct a review of the mishaps to see if there might be a larger issue.

Suspect in killings apprehended

Weston, Fla. – A Florida man suspected of killing four family members in a Thanksgiving shooting was arrested Saturday in the Florida Keys, authorities said.

Jupiter police Sgt. Scott Pascarella said Paul Merhige was taken into custody by U.S. marshals and Monroe County sheriff’s deputies at a motel in Long Key.

The 35-year-old Merhige had been the subject of a massive manhunt that included a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture. Pascarella credited coverage of the case on “America’s Most Wanted” with helping lead to the apprehension.

Merhige is accused of killing his twin sisters, aunt and 6-year-old cousin.

Driver dozes, meth cooks, cops arrive

Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Police say a driver passed out in his car at a Tennessee gas station while a batch of methamphetamine was cooking in the back seat.

An employee at the gas station in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, called police because the car was sitting at the pump for about an hour on New Year’s Day.

Nathan E. Beasley, 31, is being held on a $15,000 bond on charges of driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, reckless endangerment and manufacturing meth.


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