July 3, 2008 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Fire officials order Calif. town’s evacuation

The Spokesman-Review
 

Authorities ordered the remaining residents of this scenic coastal community to leave Wednesday because an out-of-control wildfire, one of hundreds in California, had jumped a fire line and was threatening more homes.

Flames raged in the hills above and ash fell from orange skies as evacuees in packed cars streamed north along Highway 1, the only major road out of Big Sur. Sheriff’s deputies told residents they needed to leave the area by late afternoon.

The blaze near Big Sur is one of more than 1,100 wildfires, mostly ignited by lightning, that have scorched 680 square miles and destroyed 60 homes and buildings across northern and central California since June 20.

Washington

Limbaugh signs $400 million deal

Talk-radio pundit Rush Limbaugh agreed Wednesday to stay on the air for at least eight more years, signing a deal with his syndication company that Limbaugh said is worth more than $400 million, including a $100 million signing bonus.

The lucrative agreement between Limbaugh and Clear Channel-owned Premiere Radio Networks of Los Angeles is the second-largest ever for a radio personality, ranking behind only Howard Stern’s five-year contract with Sirius Satellite Radio in 2004 that was valued at more than $500 million in stock and cash.

After almost 20 years in national syndication, Limbaugh, 57, remains the most popular personality on talk radio, as well as an influential voice among conservatives. His program commands a weekly audience of nearly 20 million listeners on 600 stations.

New York

Man, 90, maimed by two pit bulls

A 90-year-old man had three of his limbs amputated following a brutal attack in his own yard by two neighboring pit bulls Tuesday, authorities said Wednesday.

The attack on Henry Piotrowski occurred at about 11 a.m. outside his Staten Island home.

Witnesses said the two dogs, named Popeye and Brutus, savagely mauled the man, tearing his limbs, before a neighbor, Reginald Bell, grabbed a knife, scared the dogs off and called police.

“They ate him,” Bell later told reporters, adding: “They consumed this man.”

Police said the dogs have been euthanized and their owner, identified as James W. McNair, 28, of Staten Island, has been arrested and charged with two counts of unleashed dogs, two counts of no collar or tags on a dog and possession of fireworks.

Piotrowski was in critical condition at North Richmond University Hospital.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email