Cleanup begins after earthquake

WELLS, Nev. - A powerful earthquake damaged hundreds of homes, toppled chimneys and reduced part of a historical district to rubble, but residents of this rural northeastern Nevada town are grateful it wasn't worse.

No one was killed and no serious injuries were reported after the magnitude-6.0 quake jolted the high desert town at 6:16 a.m. Thursday and rumbled across much of the West.

About 20 to 25 buildings suffered heavy damage in the largely vacant historical district of Wells, where brick facades tumbled off several buildings, signs fell and windows broke.

Former Arizona governor Mecham dies at age 83

PHOENIX - Evan Mecham, a firebrand conservative who served 15 months as Arizona's governor before a dramatic impeachment trial removed him from office in 1988, died Thursday, a former aide said. He was 83.

Mecham, who always blamed his downfall on political enemies, had been in deteriorating health with Alzheimer's disease for years and was at the Arizona State Veteran Home in Phoenix until recent weeks, when he went into hospice care, said state Sen. Karen Johnson, who was Mecham's aide while he was governor.

Driver of van that hit school bus charged with homicides

MINNEAPOLIS - The driver of a van that hit a school bus in a crash that killed four children was charged Friday with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two lesser charges, authorities said.

The woman, identified as Alianiss Nunez Morales, 23, of Minnesota, failed to stop at a stop sign Tuesday before hitting the bus, which was carrying 28 students from Lakeview School, a prosecutor said. The accident happened near the small town of Cottonwood in southwestern Minnesota.

Fire destroys hotel owned by Nora Roberts

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Fire destroyed a historic hotel Friday owned by best-selling novelist Nora Roberts, who was remodeling it to turn it into a literary-themed inn.

The fire also badly damaged two other buildings in downtown Boonsboro but there were no injuries, Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph Zurolo said. Damage was estimated at $1.5 million, he said.

He said the fire started about 7:30 a.m. in the Boone Hotel, owned by Roberts and her husband, Bruce Wilder. It spread to the two other buildings, Zurolo said.