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In brief: Record-holding cat ‘touched many lives’ in his eight years

Wed., Feb. 6, 2013

Reno, Nev. – Stewie the Cat, the longest domestic cat in the world at more than 4 feet long from nose to tail, has died.

Stewie was surrounded by family when he succumbed to a yearlong battle with cancer Monday evening at his Reno home, owner Robin Hendrickson said Tuesday. He was 8.

Guinness World Records declared Stewie the record-holder in August 2010, measuring 48.5 inches from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.

Hundreds of fans flooded Stewie’s Facebook site with memories and condolences Tuesday. The Maine Coon cat was a certified therapy animal that frequently visited a Reno senior center and helped promote animal welfare awareness with the Nevada Humane Society.

“Stewie was always very social and loved meeting new people,” Hendrickson said. “He has touched many lives, and for that I am grateful.”

Explosives found in bunker where shooter held boy captive

Midland City, Ala. – The Alabama man who held a 5-year-old boy captive for nearly a week engaged in a firefight with SWAT agents storming his underground bunker before he was killed during the rescue operation, the FBI said Tuesday night.

Also, bomb technicians scouring his rural property found two explosive devices, one in the bunker, one in a plastic pipe that negotiators used to communicate with the man.

Officers killed 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes on Monday, said an official in Midland City, speaking on condition of anonymity. The bunker raid came six days after Dykes boarded a school bus, fatally shot the driver and abducted the boy, who by all accounts was unharmed.

Dykes “reinforced the bunker against any attempted entry by law enforcement,” FBI Special Agent Jason Pack said in an email. The devices found were “disrupted,” Pack said, though he did not say whether that meant they were detonated or disarmed. Officers will continue today to sweep the 100-acre property and, when they finish, investigators can more thoroughly investigate, Pack said.

Veteran charged in shooting acted ‘weird,’ 911 caller says

Fort Worth, Texas – The Iraq War veteran charged with gunning down a former Navy SEAL sniper and his friend at a Texas shooting range had been released from a mental hospital about a week earlier and had been “acting a little weird,” his brother-in-law told a 911 dispatcher in a recording of the call released Tuesday.

Shortly after the shootings, Eddie Ray Routh’s sister told a 911 operator that her brother had come to her house and confessed to killing two people, according to a recording of the frantic call released by Midlothian police.

Routh, 25, is charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder in the deaths of Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling book “American Sniper,” and his friend Chad Littlefield. He’s jailed in Erath County on $3 million bail and is on suicide watch.

In the 911 call Saturday, his sister Laura Blevins told the operator that Routh is “psychotic” and she’s afraid he will return to her house.

Her husband told the operator that Routh was released from a mental hospital about a week ago and that he had been “acting a little weird.” Routh’s brother-in-law also told the 911 operator that Routh was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.


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