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PARIS — The teenage sisters told their father they were staying home sick from their suburban Denver school. Instead, they took $2,000 and their passports and headed off for Syria with a 16-year-old friend. They made it as far as Germany before border guards detained them for questioning.

ASHLAND, Ore. — A black bear cub found wandering the aisles of an Oregon drugstore will be raised with the goal of releasing him into the wild next year.

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Police in central Tennessee have arrested a teenager and charged him with shooting and killing a man while robbing a Papa John's restaurant.

Over the course of 80 years, the unusual "See Rock City" advertising campaign led to as many as 900 painted barn roofs at its peak with surprisingly effective results. But as Americans turned to interstates for travel and began bypassing back roads, the roadside attraction known as Rock City began maintaining fewer sign, leaving the paint on the remainder to fade and the barns to slowly rot.

LOS ANGELES — Man's best friend is taking a bite out of renters' wallets.

WASHINGTON — Come January, nearly 60 million Social Security recipients will get benefit increases averaging $20 a month, the third straight year of historically small pay hikes.

ATLANTA — All travelers who come into the U.S. from three Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for three weeks, the latest step by federal officials to keep the disease from spreading into the country.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Two deadly attacks in three days against members of the military stunned Canadians and raised fears their country was being targeted for reprisals for joining the U.S.-led air campaign against an extremist Islamic group in Iraq and Syria.

WASHINGTON — A 23-year-old Maryland man was in custody Wednesday night after he climbed over the White House fence and was swiftly apprehended on the North Lawn by uniformed Secret Service agents and their dogs.

If we were going to be curmudgeonly about it — and "St. Vincent" is, after all, a movie about a curmudgeon — we'd focus on the one major flaw in the film, and not on its pleasures.

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Oct. 23, 2014

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