In the Nation

Trooper Kevin Cook talks about the standoff withan Alabama man who abducted a boy.
Trooper Kevin Cook talks about the standoff withan Alabama man who abducted a boy. (AP)
Posted: February 04, 2013

Talks continue at Ala. bunker

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - Authorities said Saturday that they still have an open line of communication with a man accused of abducting a 5-year-old and holding him hostage in a bunker, and they thanked the man for taking care of the child as the standoff marked its fifth day.

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said in a briefing with reporters that Jimmy Lee Dykes has told them he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker. Olson said Dykes has allowed authorities to deliver coloring books, medication, and toys for the boy.

"I want to thank him for taking care of our boy," Olson said. "That's very important."

Negotiators were still trying Saturday to persuade Dykes to surrender. - AP

Conn. funeral directors reflect

SOUTHBURY, Conn. - Dozens of funeral directors who helped the families of 20 elementary school students and six educators killed in Newtown, Conn., have held an emotional service during which they recalled the shooting and the unfathomable work they did in December.

About 80 funeral directors at the 11 funeral homes that served the Newtown families and others who volunteered their services shed tears and hugged each other when they gathered Saturday in Southbury for a service of remembrance and reflection.

The Connecticut Funeral Directors Association organized the event to recognize the work done by the funeral directors. Twenty-six candles burned on a table in front of the room as participants streamed in. - AP

NAACP gives Image Awards

LOS ANGELES - Kerry Washington, the star of ABC's Scandal picked up a trio of NAACP Image Awards at the 44th annual ceremony: outstanding actress in a drama series; supporting actress in a motion picture for Django Unchained, and the President's Award, which is given in recognition of special achievement and exceptional public service.

Washington also serves on President Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Others receiving acting honors included Don Cheadle, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, LL Cool J, Loretta Devine, Cassi Davis, and Lance Gross. Sidney Poitier presented Harry Belafonte with the Spingarn Award, which honors outstanding achievement by an African American. - AP

Elsewhere:

A 13-year-old girl reported missing Thursday has been found dead in a park in Fairfield, Calif., police there said. Her name has not been released. Police said the girl was reported missing Thursday after leaving a foster home in nearby Suisun City.

Thousands have offered condolences via Facebook over the death of Barney, President George W. Bush's beloved black Scottish terrier. Bush and his wife, Laura, released a statement Friday saying their 12-year-old pooch, who had lymphatic cancer, had died.

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