Program puts chaplains in Pa. bar to lend a sympathetic ear to those who may need one

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) Barflies, forget having to talk your troubles over with a bartender.

A pastor plans to put teams of chaplains in local bars in this central Pennsylvania town so they can lend a sympathetic ear to patrons who may need one.

The chaplains won't preach against drinking or evangelize when the program starts at Market Cross Pub, organizer Chuck Kish said.

"We're simply going to be there to help anybody who wants it. Sometimes people really just want somebody they can talk to who is not going to be judgmental, but be sympathetic," he said.

"Some people may think this would be a strange place to find a chaplain. But we need to go where the people are," said Kish, a 44-year-old senior pastor at the Bethel Assembly of God in Carlisle, southwest of Harrisburg.

Chaplains will work in teams, one male and one female, and will be in the bar for about three hours on the first Friday of every month, he said. The program is slated to start next month at one pub, with the hope it will be expanded.

Market Cross Pub owner Jeff Goss said he did a double-take when Kish first approached him.

"I thought, a chaplain in a restaurant and bar? And then I thought, that makes sense," Goss said.

Bartender Liz Horn said she'd have no problem referring a customer to a chaplain.

"Sometimes a bar is a place where people go when they're down," she said.

Small helicopter crashes into busy Los Angeles freeway, killing pilot

LOS ANGELES (AP) A helicopter pilot was killed when his small craft crashed into a freeway and burst into flames, authorities said.

The man's body was so badly burned that dental records may be needed to identify him, coroner's officials said Saturday.

The two-seat Robinson R-22 was heading from El Monte's airport to Torrance when it went down at about 11 p.m. Friday in the southbound lanes of the Harbor Freeway in South Los Angeles, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. The helicopter did not strike any vehicles.

The pilot, who was alone, was not in contact with air traffic controllers at the time, Gregor said.

Debris was scattered across several hundred yards of the freeway but nobody on the ground was hurt.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

FCC proposes $1.4 million fine for woman's 'nude buttocks' on NYPD Blue

WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC Television Network stations over a 2003 broadcast of cop drama NYPD Blue.

The fine is for a scene where a boy surprises a woman as she prepares to take a shower. The scene depicted "multiple, close-up views" of the woman's "nude buttocks" according to an agency order issued late Friday.

ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Co. The fines were issued against 52 stations either owned by or affiliated with the network.

FCC's definition of indecent content requires that the broadcast "depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities" in a "patently offensive way" and is aired between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The agency said the show was indecent because "it depicts sexual organs and excretory organs specifically an adult woman's buttocks."

The agency rejected the network's argument that "the buttocks are not a sexual organ."

Monte Carlo hotel-casino in Las Vegas remains closed following three-alarm fire on roof

LAS VEGAS (AP) The fire-damaged Monte Carlo hotel-casino remained closed to guests Saturday while inspectors checked the 32-story building for damage following the blaze that blackened the facade of the top floors.

Ron Lynn, chief of the Clark County Building Department, said he did not know when he would permit the 3,000-room hotel to reopen.

"It's a little soon to tell," Lynn told The Associated Press moments before he and a team of six inspectors entered the building Saturday morning. "We haven't completed the testing today. But there is no damage to the casino area."

The hotel on the Las Vegas Strip was filled nearly to capacity Friday when passing motorists reported seeing flames on the roof. No one was seriously injured.

Casino owner MGM Mirage Inc. found rooms for displaced guests at its other hotel-casinos.

Most guests were allowed inside with security escorts during the night to retrieve belongings left behind when they fled, officials said.

However, only hotel security and county inspectors were being allowed into rooms above the 26th floor, company spokesman Gordon Absher said.

The blaze was contained within an hour.

An ambulance company spokeswoman said 17 people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, mostly from inhaling smoke or from fleeing the building. None of the 120 firefighters was hurt.

The spectacle brought to mind the state's deadliest fire, the 1980 blaze that killed 87 people at the old MGM Grand just down the street from the Monte Carlo.

Since then, strict fire codes, including mandatory fire sprinklers, have been adopted for casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

However, Fire Chief Steve Smith credited firefighters, not the sprinkler system, for quickly containing Friday's fire.

Huge crowds formed to watch the fire, and traffic on the Las Vegas Strip was gridlocked as streets were blocked off. Nearby resorts were not evacuated.

The Monte Carlo Resort & Casino has 3,002 guest rooms and 211 suites. The resort, on Las Vegas Boulevard near Tropicana Avenue, opened in June 1996 and is modeled after the Place du Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Double-dog dare you! Boys left with bleeding tongues after sticking them to flagpole

CHESTERTON, Ind. (AP) Two fourth-grade boys mimicking a scene from the movie "A Christmas Story" wound up with their tongues stuck to a frozen flagpole.

Gavin Dempsey and James Alexander were serving on flag duty at Jackson Elementary School Friday morning, with the job of raising and lowering the school's flags. They decided to see if their tongues really would stick to the cold metal.

"I decided to try it because I thought all of the TV shows were lies, but turns out I was wrong," Gavin said.

Karen Alexander, James' mother , said her son told her he got the idea from the movie, which is based on stories about a boy growing up in the northwest Indiana community of Hammond in the 1940s.

"I can't believe he did it, but they learned their lesson," she said.

James said he plans to eat a lot of ice cream to help nurse his wound.

"When you're young, you're just messing around," he said.

Billie Dempsey, Gavin's mom, said a nurse called them to tell them the boys' tongues were bleeding.

"The nurse asked them, 'OK, who double-dog dared who?'" Billie Dempsey said, a reference to a phrase that a character in the movie used to dare another child to stick his tongue to the pole.

5-year-old migrant girl found cold but safe in Ariz. after smuggler abandoned her

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) A shivering, scared 5-year-old girl from Mexico spent a terrifying night in dark, mountainous terrain, first with a smuggler and then alone, before authorities found her safe Friday morning.

Candy Gabriela Barranco Gonzalez had crossed into Arizona with her stepfather, but they were separated and she was later abandoned by their smuggler. Candy will be reunited with her mother in Mexico, authorities said.

A Border Patrol ground search team that worked through the night found the girl in a tree-covered area known as "The Orchard" at an elevation of 7,000 feet in Miller Canyon south of Sierra Vista about 8 miles north of the Mexican border.

"They heard her crying and managed to locate her," Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said.

Candy began her journey with her stepfather and a group of illegal immigrants, said Raul Saavedra, deputy consul with the Mexican consulate in Douglas. But her 25-year-old stepfather was feeling tired and the coyote left him behind.

Candy stayed with the rest of the group as they hiked into Miller Canyon. Border patrol agents found the group and began arresting them. The illegal immigrants scattered into the brush and the girl left with the smuggler, Border Patrol spokesman Jesus "Chuy" Rodriguez said.

He said the stepfather was captured and eventually told authorities the child was with the smuggler.

Saavedra said when the girl's identity was determined, his office called her grandmother in California to see whether the coyote had contacted her family, "but they hadn't heard from him."

Agents searched for but did not find the smuggler. At least two law enforcement helicopters, Cochise County sheriff's deputies and search and rescue teams from Cochise and Pima counties joined in the search.

Border Patrol officials took Candy to a Sierra Vista hospital to make certain she was not injured or suffering from the effects of a night exposed to temperatures in the 20s. She was wearing a coat, hat and snow boots but had no gloves.

Candy will be turned over to Mexican officials and placed temporarily with Mexican child protective services in Agua Prieta, Mexico, until she and her mother can be reunited, authorities said.

"She's really scared, but CPS has a home for kids, so she's going be perfectly fine once she's there," Saavedra said.

The child and her mother are from Naucalpan, a suburb of Mexico City, and the mother was expected to be brought to the border region by Saturday, Saavedra said.

The girl's stepfather did not have legal custody of the child, Saavedra said.

Children of illegal immigrants frequently are separated from their parents while trying to cross into the United States, Rodriguez said.

"Fortunately, this is a happy-ending case," Saavedra said.

Man arrested in Texas in 2004 death of wife in Michigan

SPARTA, Mich. (AP) A 31-year-old man has been arrested in Texas in the 2004 slaying of his wife, whose body was found weeks after she disappeared from her Michigan home to go Christmas shopping.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Timothy Dawson was arrested Friday night at his Kerr County home and was being held Saturday on a murder warrant. Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer in Texas says an extradition hearing is Monday.

A message seeking comment on whether Dawson had a lawyer was left with the sheriff's department.

Julia Dawson disappeared Dec. 11, 2004 from her home in Sparta, and her van was found the next day. Her body was found Jan. 3, 2005 in Montcalm County's Pierson Township.