CALIFORNIA

Chase ends with

arrest; four boys safe

A three-day search for a man wanted for questioning in his wife's disappearance and the abduction of their four young sons ended dramatically Thursday when police officers tackled him on a San Diego freeway bridge as he began climbing over a railing 150 feet above the ground. All four boys were safe.

Police feared Daniel Perez might kill himself and his boys after a pursuit that lasted about 10 minutes and reached speeds of 85 m.p.h., California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein said.

A police negotiator spoke by phone with Perez, 43, who released two boys. Police sensed a sudden change in demeanor and sent in armored vehicles from both directions to block the car.

Perez "was basically in control of the whole situation," Pearlstein said. "If he really wanted to hurt the kids, he could have just driven off a bridge himself." - AP

KENTUCKY

Ark tax under dispute

A Christian group building a massive wooden ark inspired by the biblical account of Noah is considering going to court to fight the state's rejection of the project's tax incentives. President Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis says the loss of the tourism tax rebate would be costly for the Ark Encounter theme park project, but it will continue. Kentucky's tourism secretary said the project isn't eligible for tax incentives because employees would be screened on the basis of religion.

- AP

CALIFORNIA

Whooping cough

California is battling the worst whooping cough epidemic recorded in the state in seven decades. A total of 9,935 cases of whooping cough were reported to the California Department of Public Health from Jan. 1 to Nov. 26. That's the highest number in 70 years. The cases include one infant who died. - AP