BREA, Calif. (AP) — The Olinda Alpha landfill in suburban Southern California has declared war on nuisance birds. But rather than use high-tech scarecrows, the massive dump in Brea has hired a falconer to fly his birds of prey to scare away the seagulls.
It's part of an explosion in falconry for profit in recent years, with one-time hobbyists launching their raptors into the skies above vineyards, farms, landfills, shopping complexes and golf courses nationwide.
Recent changes in federal guidelines have created a niche industry in the past five years.
Since 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has granted 99 special permits to use captive-bred birds of prey for "bird abatement." Companies from California to Texas promise a no-kill, natural solution to cities, wineries and landfills harassed by gulls, grackles and starlings.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seldom makes a political miscalculation.
But when the likely 2016 presidential candidate tried to dump Tom Kean Jr. as state Senate Republican leader, he suffered a rare defeat — and alienated his political mentor, the popular former Gov. Tom Kean Sr.
The elder Kean, who is 78, tells The Associated Press Christie's maneuver surprised and disappointed him.
The question of the governor's loyalty has come up before.
His 2012 Republican National Convention speech was panned as self-serving. Christie's allegiance to Mitt Romney was questioned again when the governor embraced President Obama days before the election.
Obama's win — and Romney's loss — gives a Republican like Christie an open shot at the party's presidential nomination in 2016.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — No one knows how many atrocities Joseph Paul Franklin committed as he crossed the country more than three decades ago, fueled by hatred of blacks and Jews. Along the way he bombed a synagogue, robbed banks, shot and wounded a porn icon — and killed, by his own account, nearly two dozen people.
Even among the hard-core criminals on Missouri's death row, Franklin is perhaps the most notorious, killing and maiming victims while shooting from a vacant building, a grassy field and a highway overpass.
Franklin is scheduled to be put to death early Wednesday at a Missouri prison. His attorney says he is a paranoid schizophrenic who was abused as a child. She's asked federal and state courts and Gov. Jay Nixon to halt the execution. All have declined.