September 20th, 2010
09:58 PM ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver dies

Kenny McKinley played in eight games for the Broncos as a rookie in the 2009 season.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley has died, according to a statement released by the organization Monday. He was 23.

The NFL team hasn't released information about how McKinley died. Head coach Josh McDaniels will speak to the media at noon on Tuesday, the team said.

McKinley was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft from the University of South Carolina. He attended South Cobb High School in Austell, Georgia.

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Filed under: Colorado • Sports
September 20th, 2010
09:48 PM ET

Small plane makes emergency landing on Atlanta interstate

A small plane made an emergency landing on Interstate 85 northeast of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, Monday, snarling traffic during afternoon rush hour. No injuries were reported.

Aerial images from CNN affiliate WSB showed a small white plane on the left shoulder of the southbound lanes of the highway, surrounded by orange safety cones and rescue workers. Cars snaked slowly by on the right side of the road.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, Kathleen Bergen, said the plane was licensed to Saratoga Rental Options. The aircraft went down - either on takeoff or landing, she said - on I-85 near Shallowford Road north of downtown.

No fire or injuries were reported, according to Tameka Minter, dispatch supervisor with the Dekalb County Police Department.

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Filed under: Georgia • Plane emergency landing
September 20th, 2010
09:43 PM ET

Exploded gas pipeline wasn't on list of most risky segments

A vintage segment of gas pipeline that exploded earlier this month was not on a list of the Pacific Gas & Electric's top 100 risky pipeline segments, the president of the company said Monday.

The 30-inch pipe that exploded in San Bruno, California, on September 9, killing four people, was laid in 1948, the same year a segment just two miles away - one that was on the top 100 list - was laid.

"That segment of pipe?" PG&E president Chris Johns said, referring to the San Bruno segment. "It was not on the top 100 list."

"We were not aware of anything in this particular area that met the criteria of what would have put it on the list," Johns told reporters.

Johns said the list is used for planning purposes and can change.

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Filed under: California • Gas pipeline
September 20th, 2010
08:16 PM ET

Woman in acid-attack hoax charged with theft

Prosecutors have charged Bethany Storro, who admitted throwing a corrosive liquid on her own face, with three counts of theft from people or companies acting as good Samaritans, Clark County, Washington, officials said Monday.

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Filed under: Crime • Washington state
September 20th, 2010
07:36 PM ET

1 dead, 2 wounded in Fort Bliss shooting

The FBI is on its way to Fort Bliss in west Texas to investigate a shooting at a convenience store on the base that left a man dead  and two women wounded, according to base spokesman Dieter Jester.

The man, who authorities say shot the females, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers on the base.

It's unclear what may have been the motive for the shooting or even if
the man or his victims are in the military or are civilians.

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Filed under: Crime • Texas
September 20th, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Obama to headline DNC fundraiser Monday

President Barack Obama heads to Philadelphia on Monday to not only try and keep the state's open Senate seat in Democratic hands but to also raise funds for his party.

CNN learned Friday that Obama will be the main attraction at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. The DNC has committed to spending $50 million to help Democratic candidates running in this year's midterm elections.

While in Philadelphia Monday, the president teams up at a separate fundraiser for Rep. Joe Sestak - the party's Senate nominee.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Pennsylvania • Politics
September 20th, 2010
03:51 PM ET

Bermuda dries out after Igor's visit; Newfoundland on alert

Just hours after the island took a beating from Hurricane Igor, blue skies returned to Bermuda on Monday as the storm moved out into the Atlantic.

"It's a different world, so to speak," CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf said, reporting from Bermuda.

The island was cleaning up and drying out after Igor's visit, but there were no reports of serious damage, injuries or deaths resulting from the Category 1 hurricane.

"Compared to Fabian, this is a good outcome," said Frank Stocek, property manager at the Elbow Beach resort. Hurricane Fabian caused extensive damage on Bermuda when it struck in 2003.

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Filed under: Bermuda • Hurricanes
September 20th, 2010
03:44 PM ET

Many Afghans denied right to vote, watchdog says

Many Afghans were denied the right to vote in parliamentary elections because the country is too dangerous and because of logistical failures, an independent election watchdog said Monday.

But the relatively high level of voter participation and security arrangements for voting on Saturday were positive signs, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said.

There have already been arrests for vote fraud in the wake of the voting, police in Afghanistan said Monday.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Elections
September 20th, 2010
02:58 PM ET

Bermuda dries out after Igor's visit

Just hours after the island took a beating from Hurricane Igor, blue skies returned to Bermuda on Monday as the storm moved out into the Atlantic.

"It's a different world, so to speak," CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf said, reporting from Bermuda.

The island was cleaning up and drying out after Igor's visit, but there were no reports of serious damage, injuries or deaths resulting from the Category 1 hurricane.

"Compared to Fabian, this is a good outcome," said Frank Stocek, property manager at the Elbow Beach resort. Hurricane Fabian caused extensive damage on Bermuda when it struck in 2003.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Tropical weather
September 20th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

Murder defense: Too much caffeine

Can too much caffeine make you insane - and mentally unstable enough to unknowingly kill someone?

That's a question a Newport, Kentucky, jury will have to answer when they eventually deliberate in the trial of a man whose lawyer is expected to claim that too much soda, caffeine-laced diet pills and the energy drink No Fear - combined with sleep deprivation - meant he had no idea what he was doing when he killed his wife.

Woody Will Smith's murder trial begins Monday, and according to the Kentucky Enquirer, Smith's lawyer will argue that the combination of all that caffeine was responsible for the death of his wife.

Amanda Hornsby-Smith was strangled with an extension cord in 2009 - and now Smith is facing life in prison if he is found guilty of murdering his wife in their home.

Defense attorneys are expected to focus on a psychological evaluation conducted by an expert that determined Smith couldn't be criminally responsible for the murder because he was suffering a temporary psychotic disorder based on the lack of sleep and use of amphetamine and caffeine products, the Enquirer reported.

"This dissociative belief and intense paranoid delusions are the direct result of the ingestion of large amounts of caffeine and diet pills,"a psychologist wrote in his report, according to the paper.

The prosecutor is expected to call her own witness, the paper said, who will refute the entire argument.

It's not the first time a caffeine-induced defense has been heard in a courtroom. Last year a Whitman County judge dropped charges against Daniel Noble, who blamed too much caffeine as the reason he lost control of his car and hit someone on the Washington State University-Pullman campus. The accident didn't kill the victim, but did cause nerve damage and several broken bones.

The judge made the ruling after hearing testimony from several medical experts - but Noble also had been diagnosed as bi-polar. However, as part of the ruling, the judge made it a condition that Noble not be allowed to consume caffeine.

September 20th, 2010
12:49 PM ET

Bridge fire suspends some train service in New York

A fire Monday near a New York railroad bridge has caused the suspension of Metro North commuter train service to and from Grand Central Station, the city's Office of Emergency Management said.

The cause of the fire beneath a bridge crossing the Harlem River was unknown. Video footage of the blaze from CNN affiliate WABC showed thick smoke from visible flames on a wooden pier-like structure beneath the Manhattan side of what is known as the 138th Street lift bridge.

Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said subway service continued to run out of Grand Central Station.

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Filed under: Fire • New York
September 20th, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Lady Gaga

A rally Monday afternoon in Portland, Maine, is the latest effort by Lady Gaga to get the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy repealed. The law bars gays from openly serving in the military. The artist has used her Twitter account, which to date has 6.4 million followers, to raise awareness. Here's a look at some of her other efforts:

May 10, 2010 - In her first CNN Interview, Gaga urges viewers to help end sexual discrimination.

September 12, 2010 - Gaga brings four dates to MTV's Video Music Awards. They include three former members of the U.S. military, all discharged under DADT: former Air Force Staff Sgt. David Hall, former Air Force Maj. Mike Almy, and former Army Sgt. 1st Class Stacy Vasquez. She also brings former West Point cadet Katherine Miller, who resigned from the academy after attending for years.

September 14, 2010 – The singer challenges her Twitter followers to contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about calling a vote on the ban to the Senate floor. Reid quickly responded on Twitter that a cloture vote on the bill that includes language about the repeal would happen this week. It is now slated for Tuesday.

September 17, 2010 - Gaga posts a seven-minute plea on YouTube calling for an end to the ban. To date, it's been viewed nearly 1.5 million times. She also urges her followers to post video blogs sharing their thoughts on DADT, which she will share with her online community as well.

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September 20th, 2010
12:14 PM ET

Sex offender arrested in slaying of police chief's kin

A registered sex offender was arrested Monday in the slaying death of a 23-year-old woman, the daughter of a North Carolina police chief, authorities said.

Michael Neal Harvey, 34, was arrested without incident by FBI agents and U.S. Marshals in Niagara Falls, New York, in connection with the death of Valerie Hamilton, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, police said in a statement. Detectives from Charlotte were on the way to New York to interview him and "work on the extradition process," the statement said.

Earlier, Hamilton's father Merl Hamilton, the chief of police of Concord, North Carolina, about 30 miles northeast of Charlotte, issued a tearful plea on "Good Morning America" for help locating the suspect.

"I just want to get this guy now," he said.

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Filed under: Justice
September 20th, 2010
11:23 AM ET

Gang Green, Saints and 49ers, Yankees and Rays

Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots Sunday night.

The Sanchise is back in full swing…well, maybe. After a crushing 10-9 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, the Jets had a lot to prove to themselves and an army of Gang Green faithful who were starting to think that Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl proclamation was a pipe dream at best. Things weren’t looking so great after the first half against the New England Patriots Sunday, especially after Randy Moss’ 53 seconds-left-on-the-clock reception gave the Pats a 14-7 lead over the Jets going into halftime.

But when the Jets took to the field for the final quarters, sophomore QB Mark Sanchez busted out his best pro performance at just the right time, explains SI.com’s Richard Deitsch. Completing 21 of 30 passes for 220 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, Sanchez spearheaded the Jets’ second-half comeback, beating the Pats 28-14.

After such a strong showing and a much-needed victory the real question is can the Jets keep the momentum going and can Sanchez live up to the his career best performance. While the Jets and Pats get a break tonight, the Saints and 49ers will be battling it out as MLB action rolls on.

New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7:05 p.m.) – The Yankees will take to their home field for the first game in their four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. The Yanks have struggled as of late, holding only one-half game lead over the Rays.

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September 20th, 2010
10:51 AM ET

Recession officially ended in June 2009

The Great Recession ended in June 2009, according to the body charged with dating when recessions begin and end.

The National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent group of economists, released a statement Monday saying economic data now clearly points to the economy turning higher last summer.

But Monday's announcement comes at a time when there is growing concern among many economists that the U.S. economy is in danger of slipping into another downturn, a so-called double-dip recession. Measures of economic growth, hiring and other signs of recovery have all weakened in recent months.

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September 20th, 2010
10:15 AM ET

Gov: Utah wildfire suppressed 'in significant fashion'

[Updated 10:15 a.m.] Flames from a Utah wildfire have been suppressed "in significant fashion," Gov. Gary Herbert said Monday, and "today looks very good for us to get this fire out today."

[Updated 7:46 a.m.] About 1,600 homes are directly in the path of a dangerous blaze, and officials in Herriman, Utah, say they're working ferociously to save them.

Unified Fire Authority Chief Michael Jensen spoke with Candy Crowley on CNN's "American Morning" and explained how firefighters are actively trying to contain the blaze by creating fire breaks.

Michael Jensen: Luckily for us, the fire has gone down, the winds have lessened, and the temperatures have lowered. We're actively still fighting the fire. We have bulldozers that are out causing - creating fire breaks as well as firefighters laying down foam and water as it approaches homes. So what we're worried about is the winds are going to shift with the morning canyon breezes. And so it's going to push the fire back towards some other homes. And so we're just nervous about that right now.

Candy Crowley: And so is that your biggest worry this morning as you fight to contain this fire, the winds?

Jensen: It is. The winds are what hampered us yesterday. And they're going to switch and have - they're going to blow in the opposite direction this morning. And so we're worried we've got some homes. The fire did some flanking on us last night. And so we're worried that it's going to come back on some homes this morning.

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Filed under: Fire • TV-American Morning • Utah
September 20th, 2010
10:07 AM ET

Will BP drill again?

BP says it has permanently capped the ruptured oil well. But Adm. Thad Allen tells American Morning's John Roberts that there's still a lot of work to do to ensure cleanup operations continue.

Roberts: "As of Friday, there [were] still 2,600 vessels out there, 2,500 people working on cleanup operations. How long will that process go on?

Allen: As long as it takes to get the marshes and the beaches clean. We have detailed plans we've negotiated with the states and the parishes in Louisiana. In some areas, we're going to stay with this for quite a while. They still have oil in them; we still need to work on it. And some of these places we're going to have to agree on when we agree nothing further can be done. But right now, we're still at it."

Roberts: BP has left open the possibility of drilling into the reservoir again. Certainly there's an awful lot of oil beneath the sea floor there. But the question many people might have is after what happened with that well, is it a good idea to tap back into that reservoir?

Allen: I think whether they tap back into that reservoir or not will be something between BP and the Department of Interior. That's a policy decision. Frankly, it's above my pay grade. But through the joint investigative team and the reviews going on, not only deep sea drilling, but the response itself, there'll be a high level of assurance taken by the government before any decision is made.

Roberts: What's your personal sense of it after being involved so long? Should they go back down there?

Allen: I think we've got a lot of problems with energy in this country related to fossil fuels and [there's a] need to move to other types of fuels. This will have to be a balanced discussion taking in the need to have an energy policy moving forward as we transition to more environmentally friendly fuels.

September 20th, 2010
09:09 AM ET

On the Radar: Wildfire, modified salmon, poverty

Utah wildfire – About 150 firefighters in Herriman, Utah, spent the night trying to outmaneuver flames stoked by powerful winds, while families whose homes they were protecting huddled in a nearby high school, wondering if they would have homes to return to.

The fire that's razed at least four homes consumed about 3,500 acres through the night, Capt. Brad Taylor, the Unified Fire Authority spokesman said at a pre-dawn news conference Monday. Hundreds of homes are in path of fire, according to Unified Fire Authority Chief Michael Jensen who spoke with Candy Crowley on CNN's "American Morning."

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Filed under: Fire • Health • On the Radar • Utah
September 20th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Mike Pence on GOP message, O'Donnell, 'witchcraft' remark

The Republican field for 2012 is already crowded. And this morning, there's another name to consider: Indiana Rep. Mike Pence.

He won a presidential straw poll at the values voter summit this weekend - a meeting that raised some questions about the marriage of the Tea Party and traditional Christian conservatives. But what is on everyone's mind this morning is Christine O’Donnell.

Pence spoke to John Roberts and Candy Crowley on CNN's "American Morning" about those pressing GOP issues.

Crowley: Congressman, a question about Christine O’Donnell and all, the Republican choice for Senate out of Delaware. I'm sure you know that a new clip has come to the forefront showing her saying, well, she dabbled in witchcraft during high school. She's kind of pushed back and said, listen, who of us didn't hang around with questionable people in high school? But there have been other things about student loans and how she makes a living. Do you have any misgivings about O'Donnell as a candidate?

Pence: Oh, gosh. Look, you know, it's really something when Bill Maher becomes the vanguard of religion in America, isn't it? Welcome to the silly season. Look, you know, you ask me about last weekend and, you know, I don't think it was about me.

I don't think Delaware's about Christine O'Donnell. I don't think Alaska's about Joe Miller as much as the message. And I know there'll be this nitpicking and attempts to take things out of context. Certainly she has some explaining to do about that to her voters in Delaware.

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September 20th, 2010
07:33 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - Hurricane Igor tracker

8:00 am ET - Genetically modified salmon hearing – The Food and Drug Administration holds a public hearing on a company’s request to approve its application for genetically modified salmon.

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Filed under: On CNN.com today
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