Two levees break under force of rain

Two levees broke Tuesday in California’s chief agricultural region, flooding a trailer park, threatening other homes in Merced and inundating farmland near Sacramento.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries across the Central Valley.

The breaks occurred as rain continued to fall across Northern California, with some residents evacuating their homes near San Francisco because of the threat of landslides and forecasters predicting continued wet weather for two more weeks.

Water breached a 30-foot section of levee along a creek in Merced, sending up to 18 inches of water pouring through a mobile home park. A total of 200 people were evacuated from three trailer parks.

Claremore, Okla.

Singer’s ex-wife escapes abductor

The ex-wife of country music star Garth Brooks was kidnapped at gunpoint by a man who worked on her farm after she cooperated with a bail bondsman who wanted to arrest the worker, authorities said Tuesday.

Sandy Brooks had allowed the bondsman onto her property Monday to apprehend the man, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. The worker responded by drawing a weapon, forcing her into a car and ordering her to drive away, said Barry Lamb, undersheriff of Rogers County. After driving for several miles, Brooks stopped the car and ran into a convenience store.

Quintine Cornelius Harper was arrested and charged Tuesday with kidnapping and weapons offenses.

Ventura, Calif.

Teacher, squashing bug, blows up hand

A teacher who kept a 40-mm shell on his desk as a paperweight blew off part of his hand when he apparently used the object to try to squash a bug, authorities say.

The 5-inch-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students at an adult education class.

Part of Colla’s right hand was severed, and he suffered severe burns and minor shrapnel wounds to his forearms and torso. No one else was injured.

Compiled from wire reports


Click here to comment on this story »



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(509) 747-4422
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile