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OLYMPIA — Josh Powell’s in-laws say Washington’s child-protection system is flawed.

Chuck and Judy Cox said Thursday that they are hoping to see changes to better ensure safety of children involved in custody cases. The Cox family had cared for Powell’s two young boys until he killed the children and himself in a fire earlier this month.

Chuck Cox is supporting several changes to the system, including more rights for grandparents, restrictions on private home visitations and less of a focus on trying to reunify children with their biological parents.

He and attorneys are also backing a bill that would prohibit a child-custody award to a murder suspect. Powell’s wife, Susan, has been missing since 2009, but Utah authorities never publicly labeled her disappearance as a murder. Investigators also never called Powell a suspect.

MISSOURI

St. Louis, suburbs clash over homelessness

ST. LOUIS — The communities surrounding St. Louis have long been accused of using the city’s downtown as a dumping ground for homeless men. But as the weak economy and foreclosures push more people onto the streets, overwhelmed city officials say enough is enough.

St. Louis leaders want suburban areas to start taking care of their own.

Advocates for the homeless point to repeated examples of dumping. They say homeless men sometimes emerge from out-of-town police cruisers that stop at shelters. Others turn up still wearing gowns from suburban hospitals.

Suburban leaders insist the complaints are based on a myth. They say transient people often make their way to the city on their own, not because of a concerted effort to shoo them away.

FLORIDA

Peru makes long-shot bid for Spanish treasure

TAMPA — The government of Peru is making a last-minute, long-shot bid at ownership of 17 tons of Spanish silver recovered from a warship that sank nearly 200 years ago.

Spain took control of the treasure earlier this week after prevailing in a legal battle with the Florida-based deep-sea explorers who raised it from the Atlantic Ocean five years ago. The treasure is scheduled to fly to Spain as early as Friday.

The Peruvian government asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the shipment until it could make further arguments to support its claim of ownership.

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