Mall gunman in custody

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Police say a suspect who fired about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall was cooperative when officers took him into custody.

Witnesses say they ran, screaming and ducking for cover, when Marcos Gurrola, 42, fired into the air and onto the ground Saturday afternoon at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Police Lt. John Lewis says Gurrola offered no resistance when bicycle officers arrested him around 4:30 p.m. Police recovered a handgun and ammunition.

Gurrola has been charged with shooting at an inhabited dwelling. He was being held Sunday on $250,000 bail. - AP

Fossils are of extinct cat

LAS VEGAS - Researchers say a pair of fossils unearthed in the hills north of Las Vegas belonged to a saber-toothed cat.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports a team from California's San Bernardino County Museum identified the fossils dug up in June as being front leg bones from the extinct predator.

Kathleen Springer, the museum's senior curator, says the saber-tooth fossils are thought to be approximately 15,590 years old.

The discovery marks the first of its kind in the fossil-rich Upper Las Vegas Wash. Springer heads a team that's been studying the wash for a decade and been collecting fossils there under a contract with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management since 2008.

She says the bones of Las Vegas' only known saber-toothed cat are still being studied. - AP

Gay marriage's new support

Doug Montzka, a contractor from St. Paul, describes himself as a devout Christian, a very conservative Republican and, only recently, a supporter of same-sex marriage.

He cannot pinpoint the moment he changed sides, he does know that five years ago, he never would have voted for it.

The ultimate decider was his conservative distrust of government interference in people's private lives. "If I'm going to make a mistake," he said, "it's on the side of less government."

On many fronts, Montzka's change of heart reflects what opinion and exit polls have been showing in recent years: a sharp increase in support for same-sex marriage in a short time among every age group, including the biggest voting group, the baby boomers.

In a Pew Research poll taken at the end of October, 49 percent favored same-sex marriage, versus 37 percent in 2009.

The shift in attitude has been reflected recently in the courts and at the ballot box. On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court agreed to review two cases related to same-sex marriage. In Washington state, same-sex marriage became legal on Dec. 6. It will become legal in Maine on Dec. 29 and in Maryland on Jan. 1. - N.Y. Times News Service