CHICAGO (AP) — Lex the police dog from central Illinois is far from top dog in drug-sniffing skills.
That's the core finding of a potentially influential new ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which considered the question of how much police should rely on their K-9 partners to justify searches when a dog's own competence, as in Lex's case, is itself suspect.
The opinion stems from an appeal by Larry Bentley Jr, a St. Louis man serving 20 years in prison for drug possession. He argued the 20 kilograms of cocaine Bloomington police found in his car during a 2010 traffic stop derived from an illegal search triggered by Lex.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two houses featured on the hit AMC-TV series "Breaking Bad" are up for sale in Albuquerque.
A mother-daughter realty team said this week they are helping sell the home where the fictitious Jesse Pinkman made methamphetamine.
The two-story, 3,500-square foot, 4-bedroom home in Albuquerque's Country Club area is listed for $1.6 million.
The sales team created a website to promote the houses, which includes the caveat "Meth lab not included."
Susan C. Feil and Alicia Feil Peterson of Coldwell Banker Legacy list another house that appeared in the series finale in Albuquerque's North Valley for $2.65 million.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — "Have you found Jesus?" That's what employees at a Rhode Island soup kitchen are asking after a religious statue disappeared from the kitchen's garden.
Pawtucket Soup Kitchen Director Adrienne Marchetti told the Valley Breeze (http://bit.ly/1JRQItL) on Wednesday that she last saw the statue, which depicts Joseph carrying the baby Jesus, on July 20.
Marchetti says the kitchen staff will take back the statue, no questions asked, and even offer a free meal to the person who returns it.
Marchetti says the 2-foot statue is made of ceramic or clay and is not valuable.
She says the statue inspires the volunteers at the kitchen.
TETON VILLAGE, Wyo. (AP) — The middle of summer looked like the middle of winter in the mountains of western Wyoming.
A cold front that moved through Monday afternoon dumped heavy rain on the valleys and snow above 9,000 feet.
Officials at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort say they saw the storm coming and shut down their tram before it hit. Resort spokeswoman Anna Olson she didn't hear of any problems from the snowy weather.
She says an inch accumulated at most, but some stuck around until Tuesday.
Photos of the snow posted by the resort on Facebook triggered excitement among skiers — with four months to go yet until ski season.
Olson says snow in July isn't unheard of but she hasn't seen it for several years.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A 6-month-old New Hampshire boy has become the first child to get a newborn hunting and fishing license in the state.
Daylen Brickley's grandfather read about the state program in a hunting and fishing magazine. The family from Milford bought the license July 23, the first day it was available.
New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are offering a lifetime, combined hunting and fishing license that can be purchased for those under a year old.
Daylen will be able to redeem his fishing license when he turns 16 and redeem his hunting license after he completes the state's hunter education course.
The lifetime license costs $300 plus a fee of $4.50. A seasonal fishing and hunting license costs $46 per year.
DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who jumped a fence to pet cougars at the Columbus zoo and posted video of it on YouTube says he jokingly said "Here, kitty" and decided to move closer when the animals seemed to respond.
Thirty-five-year-old Joshua Newell of suburban Gahanna is set for arraignment Wednesday on a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge.
The video posted last week showed an outer fence being jumped, then two cougars being petted through another fence as a voice says "Kitty, kitty, kitty."
Newell tells WBNS-TV (http://bit.ly/1D8DCLI ) the encounter lasted several minutes. He says he may have acted like an idiot but also questions the ease of access to the cats.
NEW YORK (AP) — Five thousand people dressed in white got together for the world's largest popup picnic at a location revealed only at the last moment.
Guests for Tuesday's Diner en Blanc, French for Dinner in White, showed up at one of 24 designated spots where the secret venue was disclosed.
Then came the spectacle: dining and dancing under the open sky at Pier 26 on the Hudson River in Manhattan's tony Tribeca neighborhood. Participants brought what they wanted for a chic BYO, including food, tables, chairs and even silverware and candles. They also had to clean up after themselves.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Winning another national championship has made Urban Meyer a butter man.
The Ohio State University football coach and Buckeyes mascot Brutus are being honored with butter sculptures at this year's Ohio State Fair, which opens Wednesday in Columbus.
The life-size sculptures are joining the traditional butter cow and calf in a 46-degree cooler in the American Dairy Association display. There's also a national championship trophy and two Buckeyes football helmets. All made out of butter. About 2,000 pounds of it.
The display required about 500 hours of work. Wooden and steel frames were built to support the weight of the butter, which was sliced from 55-pound blocks. The butter was sculpted inside the chilly cooler.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The governor of the nation's top cheese-producing state has finished up a presidential campaign stop in the capital of cheesesteaks without committing any dietary gaffes.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker got his sandwich orders right as he made a swing through Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Walker is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. He stopped at rival landmark cheesesteak joints Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's, ordering a sandwich from each.
He chose American cheese for both, bypassing the more traditional Cheez Whiz. He avoided the blunder of former presidential candidate John Kerry, who asked for Swiss, which isn't an option.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — People from Buffalo hear it all year — over the phone or while traveling: "Buffalo? Got snow there?"
The answer, still: "Why, yes!"
Two piles remain in one abandoned lot where trucks dumped it after a freak November storm buried neighborhoods in so much snow — 7 feet fell in spots — that crews had nowhere else to put it.
"I tell my customers; 'You want ice cubes? Go get them,'" Eugene Kiszelewski, who owns the GT Inn across the street, said Tuesday as the temperature climbed past 80 degrees.
At its height, Kiszelewski said, the snow mounds towered over the light poles. One of the piles is about the size of two school buses end to end, the other a bit smaller.
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A fugitive has been arrested after federal agents saw his photo in a Washington state newspaper that ran a story about a low-budget horror movie.
The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1JqhmOs ) that 44-year-old Jason Stange, a convicted bank robber, plays a leading role in the movie, "Marla Mae." The Olympian newspaper ran a feature story on the film Friday with photos that showed Stange on the film set in Olympia.
Federal agents tracked down Stange and arrested him Friday at a restaurant close to the filming location.
Stange pleaded guilty to an armed bank robbery in 2006 and was given a 117-month prison sentence.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say a man who led officers on a wild two-hour chase spanning two states had been facing charges of stealing $21 worth of underwear from a supermarket.
Police records show 54-year-old Robert Ritter was accused of stealing a pack of underwear and a package of T-shirts on July 9 from a supermarket in Brooklawn, New Jersey. Authorities say he also shoved a security officer.
He also faces stalking charges in Gloucester Township, New Jersey.
Ritter had two warrants out for his arrest, and police spotted his van Monday night. Ritter drove into Philadelphia, back into New Jersey, and then back into Philadelphia.
The pursuit ended in Philadelphia when a police car bumped the van, causing it to flip over.
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) — A trapped, hungry, wet and scared cat is now safe after it was found tucked away in a boat that had sank to the bottom of Lake Havasu.
Today's News-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1h31xlO) the brown-and-black American shorthair breed was found when the boat was brought ashore by Dive Time Recovery owner John Zucalla.
It's unclear who the cat belongs to, if anyone, and Western Arizona Humane Society workers named the cat River.
Zucalla says River had been in the water for at least an hour and was alive, though frightened, when she was spotted in a front storage compartment.
He said the cat must have stowed away sometime before boat owner Genaro Rudaldava left Orange County, California.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwean police said Tuesday they are searching for an American who allegedly shot a well-known, protected lion with a crossbow in a killing that has outraged conservationists and others.
The American allegedly paid $50,000 to kill the lion named Cecil, Zimbabwean conservationists said. Authorities on Tuesday said two Zimbabwean men will appear in court for allegedly helping with the hunt.
Walter James Palmer was identified on Tuesday by both the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe as the American hunter, which police then confirmed.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Two men will appear in court for allegedly helping to kill a well-known lion, whose death is seen as a blow to Zimbabwe's tourism, wildlife authorities said Tuesday.
A professional hunter and a farm owner face poaching charges for allegedly hunting a protected lion known as Cecil, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said in a joint statement.
Killing the lion was illegal because the farm owner did not have a hunting permit, the joint statement said. If convicted, the men face up to 15 years in prison in Zimbabwe.
MAHWAH, N.J. (AP) — Police say a man drove off with a bag containing $150,000 in cash after two employees who were replenishing ATMs mistakenly left it on a lawn in northern New Jersey.
Mahwah police say in a news release that the ATM employees had stopped at a business on Industrial Avenue when one of them placed the satchel on the front lawn as he moved items around in their vehicle.
They drove off, forgetting the bag.
Sometime after 11:15 a.m. Monday, surveillance video shows a passenger in a white van grabbing the bag.
The van was seen in other video surveillance pulling into a nearby auto repair business and pilfering used tires.
Police say the ATM employees are cooperating with the investigation.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) — A public safety alert in one North Texas city has nothing to do with traffic or weather but instead involves a 6-foot creature that slithers.
Officials in Wichita Falls say be on the lookout for a pet boa constrictor reported missing in the City View area.
Monday's advisory does not say who owns the big snake, which has been missing since Sunday. Experts say the reptile is not poisonous.
Animal control officials say anyone locating the snake should not approach or try to capture the animal. People in Wichita Falls are advised to closely watch their dogs, cats or other small animals if the pets are taken outside.
Boa constrictors wrap their bodies around prey to suffocate the creatures.