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AROUND THE NATION

Probe finds no crime in fall from ship

MIAMI (AP) -- The FBI has ended its investigation into the disappearance of a woman who fell from a cruise ship two years ago, citing insufficient evidence to prove a crime was committed.

An FBI spokesman said Tuesday the agency had been looking into what happened on Christmas night 2008 when Jennifer Ellis-Seitz of Winter Haven, 36, apparently plummeted from a balcony of the Miami-based Norwegian Pearl.

Ellis-Seitz and her husband, Raymond Seitz, took the cruise to celebrate their first anniversary. Four days after Ellis-Seitz disappeared, her family issued a statement saying she had emotional troubles and likely chose to end her life.

Despite a search by the U.S. Coast Guard, the woman's body was never recovered.

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O'Donnell denies using funds for personal gain

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Failed U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said Thursday that accusations she misspent campaign funds are politically motivated and stoked by disgruntled former campaign workers.

The Delaware Republican appeared on several network morning shows to defend herself a day after the Associated Press reported federal authorities have launched a criminal probe to determine whether she broke the law by using campaign money to pay personal expenses.

"There's been no impermissible use of campaign funds whatsoever," O'Donnell told ABC's "Good Morning America."

O'Donnell, the tea party favorite who scored a surprise primary victory before losing in the general election, suggested the accusations are driven by political establishments on the right and left, including Joe Biden. He represented Delaware in the Senate for decades before he became vice president.

"You have to look at this whole thug-politic tactic for what it is," she said Thursday.

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Parole denied for man who killed 3 patients

FOLSOM, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has rejected parole for a Southern California man who killed three of his dental patients in the 1980s by administering fatal doses of a general anesthetic, the man's attorney said Thursday.

Schwarzenegger made the decision on Dec. 15 even though a panel of appellate court judges and a state parole board favored release for Tony Protopappas, attorney Rich Pfeiffer told the AP.

In late 1983 and early 1984, Protopappas gave fatal doses of a general anesthetic to Kim Andreassen, 23; Cathryn Jones, 31; and Patricia Craven, 13, in his Costa Mesa office.

Protopappas was using narcotics at the time and wasn't licensed to administer the drug.

Protopappas, 65, has served more than 25 years of his 15 years-to-life sentence for three counts of second-degree murder. Protopappas has been a model prisoner and assists in the prison's dental lab, where dentists have praised his talent, Pfeiffer said.

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Supervisor's daughter held on sex misconduct

PHOENIX (AP) -- The daughter of a county supervisor has been arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct with the same teenage boy that her mother is accused of sexually abusing over a three-year period, police said Thursday.

Rachel Katherine Brock, 21, was arrested Wednesday on three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of transmitting obscene material as part of an ongoing investigation surrounding her mother, 48-year-old Susan Brock. Both women were being held at the Maricopa County jail.

Rachel Brock is the daughter of Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock, and Susan Brock is his wife of 28 years. The family lived together in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, but Fulton Brock filed for divorce after his wife's arrest.

Chandler police said it appears that Susan and Rachel Brock didn't know about each other's relationship with the teen. "I have filed to divorce my wife. I cannot divorce my daughter," Fulton Brock said. "She is my blood. I will always be her dad. And she needs me now more than ever."

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