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NATIONAL BRIEFS


MICHIGAN: Fire linked to squirrel burning

A blaze that displaced dozens of people from an apartment complex may have been sparked by a resident trying to cook a squirrel with a propane torch, authorities said. Fire Chief Jim Kohsel was quoted as saying the resident apparently planned to eat it and was burning off its fur on a third-floor deck at the building in Holland Township, Ottawa County, when the fire broke out Wednesday. Flames spread to the roof and Kohsel said eight apartments were destroyed, but no residents were injured.


COLORADO: Girl missing; a body found

Authorities looking for a 10-year-old girl were asking the public for help in finding a suspect in a possible abduction, a day after finding a body in a park. Police had yet to link the body, found 7 miles from Jessica Ridgeway's home, to her Oct. 5 disappearance, or even say whether it is of a child. Jessica was last seen leaving her home to meet friends at a park for her walk to school.


Delay in Aurora hearing

A hearing to decide whether James Holmes, accused of opening fire on a movie theater, killing 12 people, should stand trial might not be held until January, as lawyers review nearly 19,000 pages of evidence, along with thousands more pages of medical records. The preliminary hearing is set for November, but Judge William Sylvester said Thursday he would consider a defense request to delay the hearing until the new year.


NATIONWIDE: Meth coming from Mexico

Mexican drug cartels are quietly filling the void in the nation's drug market created by the long effort to crack down on American-made methamphetamine, flooding U.S. cities with exceptionally cheap, extraordinarily potent meth from factory-like "superlabs." Mexican meth is not new to the U.S. drug trade, but it now accounts for as much as 80 percent of the meth sold here, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. It is as much as 90 percent pure, a level that offers users a faster, more intense and longer-lasting high.

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