Storms threaten burned Calif. areas
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Southern California's weather turned from dangerously dry to extremely wet Friday as storms brought the threat of mudslides and flash floods to areas burned by recent wildfires, causing evacuation orders.
Residents were temporarily ordered to leave 200 homes in Orange County's Modjeska and Williams canyons, while voluntary evacuations were urged in Silverado Canyon, county Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion said. The evacuation orders were lifted by Friday night.
The National Weather Service said flash flooding and debris flows were reported in the Modjeska Canyon area at midafternoon. Sheriff's deputies went door to door to alert residents to the risk and an emergency shelter was set up at an area high school.
Police identify body as missing college student
WICHITA, Kan. - Police on Saturday identified a body found earlier in the week as that of a missing Butler Community College student.
The identification of the body of Emily Sander, 18, was confirmed by a forensic orthodontist, El Dorado Police Chief Tom Boren said.
The body was released to Sander's family after forensic examinations and an autopsy. The results of that examination and the cause of death were sealed by the county attorney's office, and police would not release details about the cause of death.
Police also said Saturday they were re-interviewing witnesses, family and associates of suspect Israel Mireles, 24, and his pregnant 16-year-old girlfriend. They said his whereabouts were still unknown, but they believed she was still with him.
Student charged after mall Santa gets pie in his face
MISSOULA, Mont. - A college student accused of shoving a pumpkin pie into the face of a shopping-mall Santa Claus has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
Clint Westwood, 22, said he 'lightly smooshed' the pie into the man's face Friday and shouted, 'What do you think of that, Santa?'
Westwood, a drama student at the University of Montana, said he videotaped the encounter and plans to include the clip in an upcoming film.
He said that after the pie ruckus Wednesday, he expected to approach Santa for a signature on a film-release form, but police arrived first.
'It's a good thing he didn't wait around, because I think Santa would have laid him out,' said Sgt. Travis Welsh of the Missoula Police Department.
Winter storm plasters Midwest with snow, ice
DES MOINES, Iowa - Snow and ice plastered a wide area of the Midwest on Saturday, disrupting campaigning by presidential hopefuls, making highways hazardous and closing Des Moines' airport.
The National Weather Service posted winter storm and ice warnings across parts of Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the eastern Dakotas, Illinois and northern Michigan, although some warnings were lifted by midday.
Widow convicted of poisoning husband granted new trial
SAN DIEGO - A judge ordered a new trial Friday for a woman who was convicted of poisoning her Marine husband with arsenic and using the life insurance to pay for breast implants.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh found that Cynthia Sommer, 34, received ineffective representation from her former defense attorney.
Deddeh said the attorney's errors allowed prosecutors to introduce evidence about Sommer's wild partying immediately after her husband's death.
Sommer's former attorney, Robert Udell, told the judge he committed tactical errors, including failing to call witnesses to adequately refute prosecutors' theories about the source of the arsenic.
Fla. landscaping crew uncovers World War II shells
KEY WEST, Fla. - A landscaping crew about to grind a tree stump discovered 30 World War II mortar shells buried on property once owned by the Navy.
A worker hit and broke one of the shells Friday, but it did not detonate. The mortars could have done serious damage had they exploded, Sgt. Bobby Randolph of the Monroe County Sheriff's office said.
As a precaution, about a dozen homes were evacuated and cars were cleared from the area while a bomb squad removed the explosives.
Couple wanted in $7 million theft arrested Saturday
CLEVELAND - A couple wanted in the disappearance of $7 million in cash and checks from an armored car company was arrested Saturday in West Virginia, the FBI said.
Roger Lee Dillon, 22, and his girlfriend, Nicole N. Boyd, 24, were arrested early Saturday morning outside Beckley, FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson said.
Agents recovered 'a large sum of money' at the time of the arrests, Wilson said. The FBI planned to hold a news conference on Monday, Wilson said.