Afternoon Briefing

Pit bull kills owner during attack

BREINIGSVILLE, Pa. — Police say a pit bull mix killed its owner during an attack on the deck of the woman’s Pennsylvania home.

Police say they were called to the home Thursday afternoon by neighbors who reported hearing screaming and a dog barking. The dog was still attacking the woman when officers arrived. They managed to put the dog in the home so responders could treat the woman’s severe injuries.

She was taken to a hospital where she later died.

500 get duplicate refund checks

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Five hundred Rhode Island residents have received duplicate tax refund checks totaling $364,000.

A state official says human error is to blame.

The checks were sent in a group of refunds mailed today. The checks people received are identical, but only one of the two checks can be cashed.

The Rhode Island Department of Administration and the Department of Revenue say they’re working to prevent duplicate checks from being mailed again.

Woman convicted in mom’s death

KINGSTON, N.Y. — A jury has returned a guilty verdict in the New York murder trial of the sister of a sex worker whose disappearance led to the discovery of 10 sets of human remains along a highway near a beach.

A jury found 28-year-old Sarra Gilbert guilty of stabbing her mother to death, rejecting a defense claim she was driven by mental illness.

Prosecutors say she stabbed 52-year-old Mari Gilbert 200 times and bashed her head with a fire extinguisher in a Catskills home last July.

Her sister Shannan Gilbert vanished in 2010 after fleeing a client. Searchers found 10 sets of human remains near Jones Beach. Police believe they were victims of unsolved serial killings but Shannan Gilbert accidentally drowned.

Teacher sprayed with lighter fluid

DURHAM, N.C. — A woman has been arrested and accused by police of spraying a teacher with lighter fluid and threatening to burn her.

Durham police said that 30-year-old Shequella Sheala Leonard went to her child’s school for a meeting Monday with the teacher. The woman became irate over accusations about her son’s behavior and that the principal asked her to leave.

Police say Leonard then took a container of lighter fluid from her purse and squirted it on the teacher, splashing it in the teacher’s eyes.

Blogger jailed for playing game

MOSCOW — Russian prosecutors are demanding that a blogger spend 3¢ years in prison for playing “Pokemon Go” in a church.

The trial of Ruslan Sokolovsky wrapped up today. The 22-year-old Sokolovsky has been in detention after posting a video on his blog showing him playing the smartphone game in a church built on the supposed spot where the last Russian tsar and his family were killed.

He is charged with inciting religious hatred.

Trump to expand drilling in Arctic

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

It’s part of Trump’s promise to unleash the nation’s energy reserves to reduce reliance on foreign oil and to spur jobs. The effort comes in spite of warnings by environmental activists who say offshore drilling harms whales, walruses and other wildlife and exacerbates global warming.

Poland to buy natural gas from U.S.

WARSAW, Poland — Poland has signed its first deal to purchase liquefied natural gas from a U.S. supplier, as the country seeks to cut its dependence on deliveries from Russia, officials said.

Probe into aluminum imports ordered

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has signed a memo ordering an expedited investigation into whether aluminum imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security.

Trump says aluminum is “critical” for national defense. High-purity aluminum is used for a number of defense purposes, including in military planes and in the armor-plating of military vehicles.

By The Associated Press