- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009

CALIFORNIA

Residents home after deluge

LOS ANGELES | Heavy rain tapered off, skies cleared and residents of the Los Angeles area foothills started returning home Sunday, a day after they fled because of fears that heavy rains would cause mudslides.

Public-works and fire department officials drove through the wildfire-scarred neighborhoods early Sunday and determined that it was safe for the residents of the 44 evacuated homes in the La Crescenta, La Canada-Flintridge and Big Tujunga Canyon areas to return, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Lillian Peck.

Fifteen patrol vehicles continued to make rounds in burn areas Sunday, scanning the hillsides for potential mudslides, said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey.

COLORADO

Man accused in bar incident

BRECKENRIDGE | A white man accused of dragging a black woman out of a Colorado bar by her hair has been charged with a bias-motivated crime.

The Summit County district attorney filed assault and bias-motivated crime charges Wednesday against 37-year-old Dustin Meadows. Prosecutors said Mr. Meadows used a racial epithet against the woman, as well as other obscenities, during an argument at a bar in Summit Cove.

According to the Summit County sheriff’s office, the argument began after Mr. Meadows spilled his beer on the woman while he was dancing. According to the report, the woman turned to him and said, “What, no apology?”

The sheriff’s office said the woman was missing hair on the right side of her scalp. Mr. Meadows is free on $2,500 bail.

FLORIDA

Dog mauls, kills 20-month-old

NEW PORT RICHEY | Authorities said a Rottweiler attacked and killed a Florida toddler when the boy reached to pick up a cookie he had dropped.

Kevin Doll of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said 20-month-old Dallas Walters was at his aunt’s home during a party Saturday night when the dog attacked.

Family members at the party managed to pry the dog off the child and then took him to a hospital. The boy later died.

Animal control has taken possession of the dog.

MAINE

Stephen King pays for troops’ trip

BANGOR | Author Stephen King and his wife are donating money so 150 soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard can come home for the holidays.

Mr. King and his wife, Tabitha, who live in Bangor, are paying almost $13,000 toward the cost of two bus trips so that members of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit can travel from Camp Atterbury in Indiana to Maine for Christmas. The soldiers left Maine last week for training at Camp Atterbury. They are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.

Julie Eugley, one of Mr. King’s personal assistants, told the Bangor Daily News that the Kings were approached about giving $13,000. Mr. King thought the number 13 was a bit unlucky, so the couple pitched in $12,999 instead. Miss Eugley chipped in $1 to make an even $13,000.

NEW YORK

Spitzer call girl has advice column

NEW YORK | Got a problem with your love life? Ask Ashley.

That would be Ashley Dupre, 24, the former call girl whose tryst with former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer led to his resignation last year.

The New York Post has hired her to write a weekly advice column dealing with sex and relationships.

The column in Sunday’s paper is illustrated with photos of Miss Dupre wearing glasses and a conservative suit, along with a half-unbuttoned blouse and 6-inch heels.

One reader asks whether she needs to tell her boyfriend how many men she’s slept with.

Miss Dupre’s answer: “It’s really none of his business (and vice versa).”

A spokesman for the Post did not answer a call seeking comment.

OREGON

Search helicopter seeks 2 climbers

GOVERNMENT CAMP | Fears of an avalanche on Mount Hood forced rescuers to use a helicopter and airplanes in their search for two missing climbers on Sunday, a day after crews found the body of their climbing companion on a glacier on Oregon’s highest mountain.

Eight inches of snow fell on the 11,249-foot mountain overnight, and avalanche dangers in the higher elevations made a rescue mission on foot too risky.

The three climbers began their ascent on the west side of the mountain about 1 a.m. Friday and were due back in the afternoon, but failed to return. Crews found the body of Luke T. Gullberg, 26, of Des Moines, Wash., on Saturday, on the glacier at the 9,000-feet level.

Mr. Gullberg’s equipment was found scattered around the glacier, including a camera with at least 20 photos of the climbers. Crews have looked over the photos for landmarks and other clues to the location of the two missing climbers - Anthony Vietti, 24, of Longview, Wash., and Katie Nolan, 29, of Portland.

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