MINNEAPOLIS -- A 9-year-old runaway went through security, boarded a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without a ticket and flew to Las Vegas, an airport spokesman said Sunday.
Security officials screened the Minneapolis boy at the airport shortly after 10:30 a.m. Thursday after he arrived via light rail, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said. The boy then boarded a Delta flight that left for Las Vegas at 11:15 a.m.
The flight was not full, Hogan said, and the flight crew became suspicious midflight because the boy was not on their list of unattended minors. The crew contacted Las Vegas police, who met them upon landing and transferred the boy to child protection services, Hogan said.
"It's hard to piece anything together from his stories why he got on the flight and went to Las Vegas," Hogan said.
Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said officers talked to the family after Las Vegas police contacted them. A family member told police the boy ran away and was last seen earlier Thursday.
The boy had been at the airport on Wednesday as well, Hogan said. Video shows him grabbing a bag from the carousel and ordering lunch at a restaurant outside of the security checkpoints.
He ate and then told the server he had to use the bathroom. He left the bag and never returned to pay, Hogan said. Airport officials returned the bag to its owner.
Delta and the Transportation Security Administration said in separate statements that they were investigating.
Drug ring leader faces prison: Theresa Anderson, who controlled the crack cocaine trade in her western New York neighborhood and employed her own children and granddaughter faces sentencing this week. Anderson, a Buffalo resident, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy in June. Under the plea agreement, she faces 14 to 171⁄2 years in prison when she appears in federal court Tuesday. The 58-year-old also will forfeit $52,000 and 10 houses she owns. Authorities say Anderson led a drug operation for a dozen years in her neighborhood by buying up property, employing relatives and close acquaintances, and paying lookouts to watch for police.
Fire danger subsides: Crews built containment lines Sunday around a wind-driven wildfire that scorched nearly 4 square miles of dry brush and forced people to evacuate part of a Southern California military base. The blaze at the Marine Corps' Camp Pendleton was 20 percent contained as the fire danger subsided with calmer winds late Sunday. The fire broke out Saturday amid hot, dry and blustery conditions throughout the region. It quickly prompted the evacuation of 230 residents from a housing unit near Lake O'Neil and caused minor damage to four buildings, base officials said. Photos posted on Camp Pendleton's Facebook page showed a few charred vehicles.
Mormon leader defends stance: More states and nations may legalize same-sex marriage, but human laws cannot "make moral what God has declared immoral," a top Mormon leader said Sunday. Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, in an address at the Mormon church's biannual general conference in Salt Lake City, said the faith's stance against same-sex marriage might be misunderstood or prompt accusations of bigotry. But he urged members to remember that their first priority is to serve God, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' policies are based on God's decrees, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1huO8fj ).
Gas prices drop: The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped 14 cents over the past two weeks. The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday says the price of a gallon of regular is $3.38. Midgrade costs an average of $3.58 a gallon, and premium is $3.71. Diesel was down 4 cents at $3.92 gallon. Of the cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, St. Louis has the nation's lowest average price for gas at $3.01. San Francisco has the highest at $3.88.
Begin destroying chemical stockpile: International disarmament experts on Sunday began dismantling and destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and the equipment used to produce it, taking the first concrete step in their colossal task of eliminating the country's chemical stockpile by mid-2014, an official said. The inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have about nine months to purge President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical program. The mission, endorsed by the UN Security Council, faces the tightest deadline in the watchdog group's history and must simultaneously navigate Syria's bloody civil war.
Wreck kills 8, hurts dozens: An out-of-control monster truck shot into a crowd of spectators at a Mexican air show, killing eight people and hurting 79, officials said. The driver was detained Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and officials said they were investigating possible safety violations in the setup of the show. Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutors' office, said driver Francisco Velazquez appeared to lose control of the truck after leaping over cars it was crushing during a demonstration at the "Extreme Aeroshow" on Saturday.
Trial begins Tuesday: The longtime secretary of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff and four other back-office subordinates of the Ponzi king go to trial Tuesday as the government for the first time shows a jury what it has collected in its five-year probe of one of history's biggest frauds. The trial in federal court in Manhattan is expected to last up to five months and feature the unveiling of the government's prize witness -- Frank DiPascali, Madoff's former finance chief.