National briefing

West VA police: Woman branded

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — Police say a West Virginia man allegedly branded a woman with a horseshoe and a fork.

News outlets report Ervin Harold of Bluefield was charged with malicious wounding and domestic assault.

Bluefield Police Detective J.B. Fox says Harold allegedly held the woman against a wall last week and branded her twice with a horseshoe and once with a fork. Fox says Harold allegedly held the horseshoe with a coat hanger so he wouldn’t burn himself.

The woman sought treatment at a hospital.

Harold was being held Tuesday on $10,500 bond in the Bluefield City Jail. It wasn’t immediately known whether he had an attorney.


Store creates chasm in Alaska town

TALKEETNA, Alaska (AP) — Marijuana is causing a divide in a quirky Alaska tourist town in the shade of the continent’s tallest mountain.

The High Expedition Co. sounds like it would be an outfitters store for climbers getting ready for their ascent of Denali. Instead, it is the first retail marijuana store in Talkeetna, Alaska.

Longtime tourism operators fear the pot store on Main Street will give the town a bad eye. There are also fears that people will walk across the street to a river park and start lighting up.

But Alaska State Troopers say they have issued no citations for public consumption of marijuana in the first few months the store has been open.

And store owner Joe McAneney says his employees tell customers they can’t smoke in public and must be respectful. He also says the “sky hasn’t fallen” on Talkeetna after the store opened.


Evaluation ordered for suspect

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — The man suspected of killing two Florida police officers will undergo a competency evaluation before his first court hearing.

Orange-Osceola Circuit Court officials announced Tuesday that a judge will then review the evaluation of 45-year-old Everett Miller. Miller is accused of gunning down Kissimmee Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard on Aug. 18. Baxter died that night and Howard passed away the next day.

Officials said Miller is a veteran who spent 21 years in the Marine Corps. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Miller was previously involuntarily hospitalized after he stripped down to his boxers and walked down a street carrying a high-powered rifle.

Miller is facing first-degree murder charges.