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In brief: Spy’s dream: agile, tiny plane

Simi Valley, Calif. – A project manager has demonstrated a tiny spy plane with flapping wings like a hummingbird.

Matt Keennon of AeroVironment showed off the high-tech device Friday to journalists at company facilities in Simi Valley.

The aircraft with a 6.5-inch wingspan can record sights and sounds on a video camera in its belly.

Developers say it can perch on a window ledge and gather intelligence unbeknownst to an enemy.

The craft can hover and move quickly in almost any direction, a capability defense officials want in a small aircraft for intelligence and reconnaissance.

The craft was developed for a U.S. defense agency, but it’s not clear if it will ever leave the lab.

2 held, 1 sought in casino chip heist

Las Vegas – Police searched Friday for a man suspected of donning a fedora, fake mustache and sunglasses in a stickup that netted more than $33,000 in chips from a Las Vegas casino.

It was the second grab-and-run heist in Sin City in two months. In December, a bandit snatched $1.5 million in chips from a craps table at the Bellagio casino then sped away on a motorcycle.

Police do not believe the holdups were connected or were linked to organized crime.

Police said Steven Gao, 45, went to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Thursday and grabbed the chips from a pai gow poker table. He also pointed a gun at a card dealer who tried to stop him before he escaped in a cab, robbery Lt. Ray Steiber said.

Police arrested cab driver Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, 61, within hours of the robbery.

“He had knowledge of what was to occur,” Steiber said.

Yamaguchi and Gao worked together at the same taxi company, according to an arrest report.

Also taken into custody was Edward Land, 41, who police said met Gao at another casino after the robbery and received $17,000 in stolen chips.

Four children die in buggy accident

Mayfield, Ky. – A horse-drawn buggy carrying an Amish family home from dinner and using a community telephone toppled in a rain-swollen creek in rural Kentucky, killing four children who were swept away in the swift-moving water, authorities said Friday.

The group was traveling in a downpour in the dark Thursday about 8:30 p.m. when the buggy flipped just a mile from their house. The buggy was crossing a creek that is normally a trickle, but often floods during heavy rains.

Those killed were a 5-month-old; a 5-year-old; a 7-year-old; and an 11-year-old girl. Three of the children were siblings and one was a cousin.

Their names have not been released.

Two adults and three other children escaped. The horse pulling the buggy also survived.


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