NARRAGANSETT, R.I.

Governor switching party

Independent Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is joining the Democratic Party ahead of his 2014 bid for a second term, his spokeswoman said Wednesday, confirming a move that Chafee has been talking about for months as a way to better position himself for re-election. Chafee would not immediately address his party switch when asked about it Wednesday. The governor, a former Republican senator, became a political independent in 2007, the year after he lost re-election to the U.S. Senate. He was elected as the nationís only independent governor in 2010.

NEW YORK

Ricin mailed to mayor

Two threatening letters containing traces of the deadly poison ricin were sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York and his gun-control group in Washington, police said Wednesday. The anonymous letters were opened in New York on Friday at the cityís mail facility in Manhattan and in Washington on Sunday at an office used by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, police said. Chief New York Police spokesman Paul Browne said preliminary testing indicted the presence of ricin in both letters but that more testing would be done.

BANGOR, MAINE

Hero plot ends in death

A man used a fake Facebook account to lure a teenage girl out of her house in an attempt to stage her kidnapping and rescue so he could look like a hero but ended up killing her, a state police affidavit released Wednesday said. Kyle Dube, 20, was indicted Wednesday on charges of murder and kidnapping in the death of 15-year-old Nichole Cable, whose body was found a week after she went missing. The affidavit outlined the scenario leading to the high school sophomoreís death. It said that Dube told his brother that he used Facebook to trick her into leaving her house, while he waited in the woods wearing a ski mask. When Nichole came along, Dube jumped out and grabbed her, duct-taped her and put her in the back of his fatherís pickup truck, the affidavit said. Dube later discovered that she was dead, so he dumped her body and covered it with branches, it said.

Compiled from wire reports.