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AROUND THE NATION

High court rejects appeal in execution

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah is set to execute a condemned killer by firing squad early today, reviving an old West style of justice that hasn't been used for at least 14 years and that many criticize as archaic.

Barring an unexpected last-minute reprieve, Ronnie Lee Gardner will be strapped into a chair, have a target pinned over his heart and die in a hail of bullets from five anonymous marksmen armed with .30-caliber rifles and firing from behind a ported wall.

A flurry of last-minute appeals and requests for stays were rejected Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Gov. Gary Herbert.

Gardner, 49, was sentenced to death for a 1985 capital murder conviction stemming from the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during an escape attempt. Gardner was at the court because he faced a 1984 murder charge in the shooting death of bartender Melvyn Otterstrom.

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Campbell Soup recalls some SpaghettiOs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Campbell Soup Co. is recalling 15 million pounds of Spaghetti-

Os with meatballs after a cooker malfunctioned at one of the company's plants in Texas and left the meat undercooked.

Campbell spokesman Anthony Sanzio said the company is recalling certain lots of the product manufactured since December 2008 "out of an abundance of caution" because officials don't know exactly when the cooker at the Paris, Texas, plant malfunctioned.

Recalled are certain lots of three varieties of the pasta product often consumed by children: SpaghettiOs with Meatballs, SpaghettiOs A to Z with Meatballs, and Spaghetti-

Os Fun Shapes with Meatballs (Cars). The USDA said no illnesses have been reported.

The recalled products have "EST 4K," as well as a use-by date between June 2010 and December 2011 printed on the bottom of the can. The products were manufactured between December 2008 and June 2010.

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2-year-old twins found dead in locked car

PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. -- Twin 2-year-old girls found dead in a sweltering car in this southeast Missouri town apparently had a close call two weeks ago, getting locked in the same car, police say.

The girls, Allannah and Alliya Larry, were found dead in their grandmother's locked car at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. Police say they believe the girls sneaked outside -- sometime after 1:30 p.m. -- while their grandmother was napping. Relatives had to smash the car's window to get them out.

Two weeks ago, Portageville police were called to the house when relatives found the twins locked inside the same car.

"We had to get a locksmith and get them out," Police Chief Ronnie Adams said of the earlier incident.

Police aren't sure if another child, a 3-year-old boy, somehow had played a role in the girls gaining access to the car.

The grandmother, Anna Smith, 41, could face charges of child neglect, Adams said.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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