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POW's dad thankful to bikers for support

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The father of a U.S. soldier who was taken prisoner in Afghanistan thanked the motorcycle riders of Rolling Thunder on Sunday for raising awareness of missing-in-action troops and prisoners of war.

At the annual Rolling Thunder rally on the National Mall, Bob Bergdahl promised his son: "You will come home. We will not leave you behind."

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 26, of Hailey, Idaho, was taken prisoner in Afghanistan nearly three years ago. He is the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which the Obama administration would allow the transfer of five Taliban prisoners long held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"This is a complicated issue. We need every level, every agency and every dimension of American government to cooperate and pay attention," Bob Bergdahl said. "We're on a mission to get our son home, and we're not going to stop until we accomplish that."

Motorcyclists attending the ceremony wore yellow wristbands inscribed with Bowe Bergdahl's name and the date he became a POW.

Hundreds of thousands of bikers, including military veterans and nonveterans, gathered in the nation's capital over the weekend for the Rolling Thunder rally.



Fire destroys factory of longtime bell-maker

EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (AP) -- One of the oldest continuously operating bell-making factories in Connecticut was destroyed in a late Saturday night fire.

Little remains of the factory of Bevin Bros. Manufacturing Co., which has called itself the nation's only remaining company manufacturing just bells.

The company, which dates its East Hampton bell manufacturing to 1832, makes sleigh, hand, house, cow, sheep, door and ship's bells. The company says it has made as many as 20 sizes of sleigh bells and made the first bicycle bells.

Its products have been featured in Hollywood's Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life" and at events such as football games and ski races.

"This is a tremendous loss for us, as well as the country," Councilwoman Susan Weintraub told the Hartford Courant. "This is a tremendous loss for our community now and in the future."

Bevin Bros. was the last of a once-thriving industry that earned East Hampton the nickname "Belltown, USA."

The Courant reports that the Connecticut Region 3 Incident Management Team said propane tanks in the six-story factory caught fire and exploded, helping spread the blaze.



4 barnyard animals attacked at farm park

HERNDON, Va. (AP) -- Fairfax County police say four barnyard animals were attacked overnight at a Herndon-area farm park.

Police say farm staff at Kidwell Barn at Frying Pan Farm Park discovered Sunday morning that two goats, a calf and a chicken had been cut by an unknown object, but the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. The attack would have happened sometime after 5 p.m. Saturday.

Police say the calf and one of the goats are under a year old. Since they are bottle-fed, they would approach anyone they thought might feed them.

The attack comes weeks after three horses were stabbed in a barn adjacent to the park, but police say it's not clear if the two incidents are related.



Victims are identified in crash of small plane

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Authorities have released the names of four young men killed in the crash of a small plane at a southern Utah airport.

St. George city official Marc Mortensen says the victims were identified as Colby Hafen, 28, and Christopher Chapman, 20, both of Santa Clara; Tanner Holt, 23, of Washington City; and Alexander Metzger, 22, of St. George.

He says officials believe that all four people aboard the single-engine Cessna 172 were killed upon impact.

The plane crashed at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday about 400 feet from the runway but wasn't discovered on the airport property until more than four hours later, Mortensen says.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the cause of the crash has not yet been determined. It's unclear whether the plane crashed after takeoff or while landing.