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Search for dog leads to uproar over signs

NEWARK, Ohio (AP) -- A central Ohio woman on a crusade to find her missing dog says she didn't intend to cause the trouble that erupted when she put up more than a hundred yellow and red yard signs seeking help and offering a reward.

Officials in Newark say Jody Gardner violated local rules because she didn't get the proper permit when she posted signs all around town, prompting complaints. Officials have removed some signs that were considered potential safety hazards but categorized the signs in a way that allows Gardner to post them in certain locations.

Gardner met with officials this week to find a way to keep up her crusade without breaking the law.

Her Afghan hound, Flower, disappeared in December.


Mysterious hair loss affecting polar bears

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska polar bears are losing their fur, and U.S. Geological Survey scientists don't know why.

In the past two weeks, nine of 33 bears checked by scientists in the southern Beaufort Sea region near Barrow were found to have alopecia -- loss of fur -- and skin lesions, Tony DeGange, chief of the biology office at the USGS Science Center in Anchorage, said Saturday.

Three of four bears inspected last week near Kaktovik showed the symptoms as well.

Scientists have been collecting blood and tissue samples from the afflicted bears, but they do not know the cause or the significance of the outbreak, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

"Our data set suggests that this is unusual but not unprecedented," DeGange said. Ten of 48 bears checked by the team in 1998-99 had a similar condition, he said.


State sued over tree that fell, killed couple

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The family of a couple who was killed when a tree crashed on their car on the Merritt Parkway is suing Connecticut for millions of dollars.

The Hartford Courant reports that family members and the estate of Joseph Stavola and Jeanne Serocke-Stavola, who were killed in June 2007, say the state Department of Transportation failed to clear trees from the parkway, which could have prevented the accident. The Pelham Manor, N.Y., husband and wife died when a 70-foot tree fell onto their car on the parkway in Westport.

Their two sons were in the back seat and were treated for cuts and bruises.