Report: Hazing rules ignored

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A blistering state report released Friday contends that Florida A&M University officials failed to follow state laws and regulations on hazing in the years leading up to the death of a FAMU drum major.

A 32-page report from the Florida Board of Governors inspector general's office concludes that the school lacked internal controls to prevent or detect hazing, citing a lack of communication among top university officials, the police department, and the office responsible for disciplining students.

But investigators said there was insufficient evidence to conclude whether university officials ignored allegations of hazing given to them by the former director of the Marching 100 band shortly before the November 2011 death of Robert Champion.

Larry Robinson, FAMU's interim president, said the university would officially review the report for any inaccuracies, but noted there were no new incidents detailed in the report. - AP

Loose dog led to traffic deaths

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - The deaths of two women who were struck by vehicles on a Southern California highway last week have been connected to a chase after a loose dog.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Lt. Butch Arnoldi told the Santa Maria Times that Sara Ornelas, 54, and Barbara Romero, 49, were driving to a casino about 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 21 when they pulled over. Officials believe that when one of them opened a door their small dog jumped out into traffic and was struck.

Arnoldi said the other woman went to save her companion and was struck multiple times. Both women and the dog died. - AP

Sheriff may post in school zones

PHOENIX - An Arizona sheriff has announced plans to deploy an armed volunteer posse to protect Phoenix-area students in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut school.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told KTVK-TV he has the authority to mobilize private citizens to fight crime but hasn't talked to specific districts. He said he doesn't plan to put posse members inside schools but will have them posted around the perimeters.

Arpaio's plan comes after two other Arizona officials released ideas for firearms training for some school employees. - AP

Elsewhere:

Sen. Michael Crapo

(R., Idaho), who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, doesn't plan to fight the charges when he appears in court in January, a spokesman said Friday. Meanwhile, results from a blood alcohol test at the jail show Crapo registered a higher level an hour after being arrested than when he was tested by the arresting officer.

An orphaned black bear cub that was burned in a wildfire last summer is recovering and may be released in June, an Idaho wildlife sanctuary official said. The 4-month-old bear was found in a tree days after the wildfire.