- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 26, 2003

CALIFORNIA

Wind-driven fire devours 200 homes

A wildfire leapt through dense housing tracts in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains yesterday, destroying more than 200 homes, threatening 1,000 others and forcing thousands of people to flee under a sky thick with smoke and tinged orange-red by flames.

The fire, which erupted around 9 a.m. about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, was propelled by fierce Santa Ana winds as it devoured 10,000 acres of chaparral within hours, spreading to a 12-mile front. The blaze and an even larger wildfire nearby closed highways and choked the region with heavy smoke and flaming ash.

The fires were among several major blazes in Southern California, fueled by high winds, low humidity and temperatures that climbed into the 90s.

The cause of the San Bernardino blaze was unknown, and no injuries were reported, but more than 200 homes were destroyed last night, said Robin Renteria, a San Bernardino National Forest spokeswoman.

IDAHO

4 dead in shootings; suspect kills himself

OLDTOWN — A man fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and three other people in a small-town tavern, then killed himself hours later as sheriff’s deputies approached him in his car, authorities said.

The shooting Friday at the Stateline Bar apparently stemmed from a dispute between the suspect, Ralph Reeves, and his ex-girlfriend.

Bonner County Sheriff Phil Jarvis said deputies from Pend Oreille County, Wash., and Bonner County had had the car under surveillance for some time Friday night, and “as we approached, the man shot and killed himself.”

IOWA

Charges dropped against ex-inmate

COUNCIL BLUFFS — Murder charges against a man who had served 25 years for a 1977 slaying have been dismissed after a key witness recanted his testimony.

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matthew Wilber announced late Friday that charges had been dropped against Terry Harrington, who had been convicted of shooting retired Council Bluffs Police Capt. John Schweer.

The Iowa Supreme Court had overturned the conviction and Harrington’s life sentence earlier this year because prosecutors had failed to show defense lawyers some police reports mentioning another suspect.

TENNESSEE

June Carter Cash’s daughter found dead

CLARKSVILLE — A daughter of the late country music singer June Carter Cash was found dead in a parked bus along with a Nashville bluegrass fiddle player, authorities said.

Officials said yesterday that carbon monoxide from six propane or kerosene heaters on the bus may have killed the two and that an autopsy was planned. The bodies were found Friday afternoon.

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