Wolves could be subject to hunting

BILLINGS, Mont. - Wolves in the northern Rockies will be removed from the endangered species list within the next year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says, a move that would open up the population to trophy hunting.

Federal officials are expected to announce the plan tomorrow, said Sharon Rose, a spokeswoman for the service. The agency also will finalize removal from the list of a separate population of wolves in the Great Lakes region.

Federal officials for months have been preparing a proposal calling for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to assume management of the 1,200-plus wolves in their states. The plan would go into effect after a yearlong comment and review period, Rose said.

If the proposal for the Rocky Mountain gray wolf skirts expected legal challenges and becomes law, it would open wolves there to trophy hunting for the first time since an intensive restoration effort began in the late 1980s. The Great Lakes wolves would be protected from public hunting for at least five more years. - AP

Sex offender held

in kidnap of girl, 6

MARICOPA, Ariz. - A registered sex offender suspected of abducting a 6-year-old girl was arrested yesterday in a nearby town, sheriff's deputies said.

George Richard Horner, 26, was taken into custody at an airport near the town of Coolidge after negotiating with an investigator through cell-phone calls and text messages. He was booked on charges of kidnapping and sexual misconduct with a minor.

The girl was reported missing from her mother's home in Maricopa and found about three hours later walking down a rural road in the town of Casa Grande, about 20 miles away. Police said there was evidence that she had been sexually molested. - AP

Drop '64 charges, Miss. suspect asks

JACKSON, Miss. - The reputed Ku Klux Klansman accused in the 1964 slayings of two black men has asked a federal judge to dismiss the charges, saying the statute of limitations has expired.

Assistant Federal Defender Kathy Nester filed the motion Friday in U.S. District Court on behalf of James Ford Seale, who pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy.

Seale, 71, could be sentenced to up to life in prison if convicted in the deaths of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee. Prosecutors said Moore and Dee were seized and beaten by Klansmen, then thrown into the Mississippi River to drown. - AP

Elsewhere:

Police in Huron, S.D., killed a teenager who they said used a sword to kill his mother and injure three other people, including an officer.

Navy and Coast Guard vessels and aircraft searched off the Southern California coast yesterday for three crew members of a Navy helicopter that crashed during a training flight Friday, killing a fourth sailor.

A building in Nashville collapsed while undergoing renovations Friday, killing one worker and injuring another, fire officials said.

Fire broke out in a high-rise apartment building in Chicago on Friday night, killing at least two people and injuring two others. The fire began in an apartment on the 26th floor of the 43-story building.