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NEW YORK (AP) — Birds took the blame for bringing down the jetliner that "Sully" Sullenberger landed on the Hudson River eight years ago this weekend. They have been paying for it with their lives ever since. An Associated Press analysis of bird-killing programs at the New York City area's three major airports found that nearly 70,000 gulls, starling, geese and other birds have been slaughtered, mostly by shooting and trapping, since the 2009 accident, and it is not clear whether those killings have made the skies safer.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials are pledging to revamp the city Police Department following a scathing federal report, but a change in presidential administrations could spell uncertainty for the critical next step in the process: negotiating a court-enforceable improvement plan with the Justice Department.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Just weeks before a gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale's airport, authorities said he walked into an FBI office in Alaska, telling agents the government was controlling his mind and that he was having terroristic thoughts. It's a daily occurrence for law enforcement agencies and authorities say the difficulty is in assessing whether people are reporting a credible threat, whether or whether they need medical help.
HAVANA (AP) — Two days before Christmas, Luis Gonzalez received a little Chinese modem from Cuba's state-owned telecommunications company. The 55-year-old theater producer connected the device to his phone and his laptop computer, which instantly lit up with a service unimaginable in the Cuba of just a few years ago — relatively fast home internet.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Unable to find enough workers to carry out the painstaking tasks of milk production, dairy producers in South Dakota hope to tap into a different labor force: unemployed residents of Puerto Rico. It could be a tonic both for dairy operators and Puerto Rico, where the jobless rate stands at 12 percent but workers are far freer to travel to the U.S. for jobs than immigrants due to the island's status as a U.S. territory.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Hy-Vee food store chain has recalled store branded candy distributed to 242 stores in eight states after learning an ingredient from another company could be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee says a milk powder ingredient used in chocolate coating has the potential for contamination and the candy's manufacturer, Palmer Candy Co., announced a recall of some of its products.
RAPID (AP) — Authorities say the death of an escaped South Dakota prison inmate was a homicide. The body of 32-year-old Moses Dubray was found Wednesday along state Highway 89 in southwestern South Dakota. Dubray had walked away the day before from his assigned unit in Rapid City. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Friday that preliminary autopsy results indicate Dubray's death was a homicide. Details were not released.
Officials in South Dakota are continuing to make upgrades to an animal disease research lab in Brookings a priority, with Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently saying he hoped to earmark $5 million in state money for the project. The almost 50-year-old lab at South Dakota State University is important to the state's livestock industry, as evidenced by the bird flu outbreak two years ago. Some things to know about the lab as the Legislature considers the governor's request: THE LAB
PIERRE (AP) — A legislative panel has approved one part of an anti-meth package that would allow South Dakota authorities to wiretap cellphones. The House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously Friday to send the bill to the chamber's floor. State authorities and law enforcement agencies say the measure would give them another tool to keep up with criminals. It would change state law to allow authorities to tap cellphones, not just landlines.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Police allege in court filings that opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline allegedly made threats against officers and public officials in North Dakota last year, prompting additional security for the state's governor.