- - Sunday, September 30, 2012

BATON ROUGE — Hurricane Isaac damaged nearly 59,000 dwellings across southeast Louisiana. The figure is much more than officials estimated a week after the storm made landfall on Aug. 28.

The governor’s office of homeland security and emergency preparedness said the most severe damage was done to houses and rental units in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes, where flooding swamped some homes with several feet of water.

The latest estimates are for 46,663 owner-occupied houses and 12,289 rental units.

The damage data come from door-to-door inspections of more than 120,000 homes done by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after people registered for federal aid.

The devastation was less than one-third of the housing damage caused by the back-to-back blows of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Back then, more than 200,000 homes were damaged.


Los Angeles drivers heeded freeway-widening warnings

LOS ANGELES — The demolition of a bridge that forced the weekend closure of one of the nation’s busiest freeways is on schedule, while many Los Angeles drivers heeded warnings to steer clear of the area, and officials expect to reopen the lanes as planned Monday morning.

Crews working round-the-clock since Friday evening have taken down all but two columns of the Mulholland Drive bridge over Interstate 405, Rick Jagger, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said Sunday morning. The project is part of a $1 billion project to widen the freeway to accommodate a new carpool lane.

“Everything’s on pace for the 5 a.m. Monday reopening,” Mr. Jagger said.

Carmageddon II, the sequel to last year’s shutdown of a 10-miles stretch of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass, is going according to script as motorists heeded months of warnings to stay off the road.

Drivers faced additional challenges Sunday as the Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon temporarily closed many surface streets between Venice Beach and downtown LA. Metro detoured 42 bus lines, which meant riders could experience some delays, Mr. Jagger said.

Governor signs bill to limit life sentencing of juveniles

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday announced signing a bill that could one day bring the release of some criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison.

There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18.

Brown signed SB9, authored by Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco. It would let the inmates ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison.

Judges could then reduce the no-parole sentence to 25 years to life if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation.


Bonnie-and-Clyde-owned weapons sell for $504,000 at outlaw auction

NASHUA — Two guns once in the possession of gangsters Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed in a hail of gunfire sold at a New Hampshire auction Sunday for more than a half-million dollars.

The guns were two of 134 artifacts that sold for a total of $1.1 million at the auction in Nashua. About two-thirds of the auctioned items were from Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, but items also came from other such storied criminals as Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd and John Dillinger.

Parker’s .38-caliber detective special that was taped to her thigh when she was killed in a 1934 Louisiana ambush drew the highest bid and sold for $264,000, said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction in Amherst, N.H., which held the auction. Barrow’s 1911 Colt .45-caliber automatic sold for $240,000 to the same bidder, who didn’t want to be named, Mr. Livingston said.

“When rare items like that come up for sale, you expect this kind of enthusiasm,” he said. “There was some serious bidding going on.”

Many of the auction items came from the estate of the late collector Robert Davis of Waco, Texas, with the remainder coming from other collections.


Two dead, one hurt in shooting at VFW post before charity ride

WINTER SPRINGS — Police say two people are dead and one injured after a shooting at a central Florida Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Winter Springs Police said a charity motorcycle ride was supposed to depart from the post when the shooting broke out Sunday morning while the riders were eating breakfast. The Orlando Sentinel reports an unknown number of armed men came in and began firing. It’s unclear whether anyone in attendance shot back.

Authorities said there was some type of argument in the parking lot before the shooting.

Winter Springs Police spokesman Lt. Doug Seely said the agency has detained several people and confiscated a number of weapons.


Small quake rattles Dallas area, but no major damage reported

DALLAS — Damage from a small earthquake and an aftershock in a suburb west of Dallas was limited to cracked walls and toppled items, authorities said Sunday.

The unscathed Dallas-Fort Worth airport, near the epicenter of Saturday’s late-night temblor, continued normal flight operations. And emergency officials said there were no indications of any injuries.

“We have had no infrastructure impact at all,” emergency official Pat McMacken said Sunday morning.

The initial earthquake, measured at a preliminary magnitude of 3.4, struck at 11:05 p.m. CDT Saturday and was centered about 2 miles north of the Dallas suburb of Irving, the U.S. Geological Survey’s national earthquake monitoring center in Golden, Colo., reported.

Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin told the Associated Press from Colorado that the initial quake lasted several seconds and appeared strong enough to be felt 15 to 20 miles away. He said the smaller aftershock with an estimated 3.1 magnitude occurred four minutes later and just a few miles away in another area west of Dallas.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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