- - Sunday, December 19, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Rainfall triggers accidents, mudslides

LOS ANGELES — A wet pre-winter storm dumped as much as 7 inches of rain on parts of Southern California over the weekend, causing scores of accidents, a few minor mudslides and forcing the cancellation of Sunday’s final seven horse races at Hollywood Park.

Rainfall that began Saturday morning continued relentlessly throughout Sunday and wasn’t expected to let up until sometime Monday. It was expected to resume again Tuesday, continue through Wednesday and then, after a brief break, return on Christmas Day, said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service.

A flash-flood warning was in effect for parts of Southern California, particularly mountain areas burned in recent years by wildfires.

In Northern California, the San Francisco Bay area caught only a portion of a powerful storm system, the National Weather Service said, although the weather was blamed for a series of scattered power outages in the area.

ILLINOIS

Rural areas lack children’s doctors

CHICAGO — There are enough children’s doctors in the United States, they just work in the wrong places, a new study finds. Some wealthy areas are oversaturated with pediatricians and family doctors. Other parts of the nation have few or none.

Nearly 1 million children live in areas with no local children’s doctor. By moving doctors, the study suggests, it would be possible for every child to have a pediatrician or family physician nearby.

There should be more focus on evening out the distribution than on increasing the overall supply of doctors for children, said lead author Dr. Scott Shipman of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Lebanon, N.H. “I worry that it could get worse,” Dr. Shipman said.

Mississippi had the highest proportion of children (42 percent) in low-supply regions, defined as areas with more than 3,000 children per children’s doctor. Next were Arkansas, Oklahoma, Maine and Idaho. Areas with an abundance of children’s doctors were Washington, D.C., and Delaware, which had no children living in low-supply regions.

The study appears Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

NEBRASKA

Lawsuit over illegal immigrant tuition tossed

OMAHA — A Nebraska judge has thrown out a lawsuit on challenging a state law that allows some illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of six Nebraska residents who claimed their taxes were being used to support the state’s immigration-tuition law in violation of federal law.

Judge Paul Korslund said in his ruling Friday that the residents should have first gone to the federal government to ask it to challenge the law.

The state law says students whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally may pay in-state tuition if they graduated from Nebraska high schools, lived in the state for at least three years and are pursuing legal status.

The residents’ attorney, Kris Kobach, called the dismissal “a bump in the road.”

PENNSYLVANIA

Four killed as car runs off road

CHAMBERSBURG — Police say a car ran off a road and through several yards in central Pennsylvania before hitting a fire hydrant, a tree and the porch of a house, killing four people.

The crash happened around 2 a.m. Sunday in a mostly residential section of Chambersburg. Authorities say the car passed another at high speed before going out of control.

Franklin County coroner Jeffrey Conner said three men were ejected from the car, and they and a woman were pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Conner identified them as 24-year-old Felix Perez-Cenas, 25-year-old Dorian Sanchez-Reyes, 18-year-old Tomas Ramirez and 22-year-old Cecelia Ramirez.

A girl was hospitalized in critical condition.

Mr. Conner said nobody in the car was wearing a seat belt. Authorities are not sure who was driving.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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