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Drinking, driving and posting don't mix

AN Oregon teenager was arrested in a hit-and-run case after informing friends on his Facebook page that he had struck a car on New Year's Eve while driving drunk, according to the Astoria police department.

The post by 18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown also included an apology:

"Drivin drunk ... classic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P"

Police say two of Cox-Brown's 655 "friends" tipped police to his online confession, including one person who informed an officer with a private Facebook message.

Investigating officers who went to Cox-Brown's house found what police said was car with damage consistent with the hit-and-run case.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver, police said.

Second of Chicago convicts captured

CHICAGO -- Federal officials say the second of two bank robbers who escaped a federal jail in downtown Chicago has been arrested.

U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Belkis Cantor says Kenneth Conley was captured Friday in the suburb of Palos Hills.

Conley fled the Metropolitan Correctional Center last month with Joseph "Jose" Banks, apparently by smashing a hole in a wall at the bottom of a narrow cell window and scaling down about 20 storeys using knotted bedsheets.

Banks was arrested without incident two days later at a Chicago home.

Surveillance video from a street near the jail showed the two hopping a cab shortly before 3 a.m. the day they escaped. They'd changed out of their orange jail-issued jumpsuits.

Jail officials didn't discover they were gone until about 7 a.m.

Saudi sergeant suspected of sex assault

LAS VEGAS -- A sergeant in Saudi Arabia's air force is jailed in Las Vegas on charges that he pulled a teenage boy into a Las Vegas Strip hotel room and sexually assaulted him the morning of New Year's Eve.

Records show 23-year-old Mazen Alotaibi is being held at the Clark County jail pending an evidence hearing Jan. 17 on kidnapping, sexual assault and felony coercion charges.

Police Lt. Dan McGrath says Alotaibi was arrested about 8 a.m. on Dec. 31 at the Circus Circus hotel.

Alotaibi's lawyer didn't immediately respond to messages.

Charging documents say the boy was younger than 14.

McGrath says Alotaibi produced a Saudi Arabian military identification and was visiting from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Park permanently limits Half Dome hikers

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- Climbing Yosemite's Half Dome is one of the U.S. national park system's most iconic hikes, but fewer people are going to be able to scale the granite monolith.

The National Park Service on Friday announced approval of a plan to permanently limit the number of hikers who can tackle Half Dome to 400 a day.

That is the same maximum number of daily hiking permits Yosemite officials have issued since 2010 under an interim plan that was put into place to reduce congestion and make the steep trek safer.

The park also decided to keep in place the metal cables hikers can use on the 45-degree final ascent up the slick granite.

Over the past decade, up to 1,200 hikers a day had crowded the route.

Pilot's blood-alcohol over limit to fly

MINNEAPOLIS -- An American Eagle pilot was suspended after failing a blood-alcohol test as he prepared to fly on Friday from Minneapolis to New York City, authorities said.

Police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport said officers and a Transportation Security Administration agent smelled alcohol as they passed the pilot waiting to get on an elevator. The pilot was conducting pre-flight checks at about 6 a.m. when police boarded the aircraft, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said.

Officers made him take a breath test and arrested the 48-year-old on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, Hogan said. Passengers had not yet boarded the flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport, he said.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 5, 2013 A21

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