In brief: Wildfire forces evacuations

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – About 100 people have been ordered to leave their homes as a wildfire burns outside Yosemite National Park, fire officials said Sunday.

Residents of the community of Rancheria were told to evacuate Saturday, while residents of the nearby communities of Yosemite West, Old El Portal, Incline and Jerseydale have also been told they may have to leave their homes.

The blaze, which is burning in a steep and rugged area of thick forests along Highway 140, has also forced the indefinite closure of the roadway. The highway, one of the main entrances into the park, is shut down for nearly a 15-mile stretch from just east of the town of Mariposa to about two miles outside of the park’s entrance.

Park officials are suggesting tourists traveling to Yosemite take Highway 120 or Highway 41 instead. The Tioga Road is also open for visitors entering the park on Highway 395.

Despite the size of the blaze and its proximity to Yosemite, park officials said it was not affecting activities within the park.

The blaze, which began Thursday when a motor home caught fire, was 35 percent contained Sunday. It had burned about 4,600 acres, or a little more than seven square miles.

Prosecutor writing Anthony trial book

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jeff Ashton, the veteran assistant state attorney who became a national figure during the Casey Anthony murder trial, confirmed he plans to author a book about the case.

Reached by phone late Saturday, Ashton confirmed what had until then been Internet rumors. Those began when a mysterious listing began popping up on popular book websites.

The Internet was abuzz after listings appeared on and bookseller Barnes & Noble’s website, offering pre-orders for “Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony,” with Ashton listed as author.

“I wasn’t aware that it was going to go online today,” Ashton said.

Anthony, 25, was acquitted on all major charges in the death of 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie.

Ashton, an assistant state attorney with the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office for three decades, retired days after the verdict in the case was handed down.

Angler catches lost prosthetic leg

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – A woman who lost her prosthetic leg while swimming in a western Minnesota lake three years ago has been reunited with the limb thanks to an angler.

Beth Krohn was fishing last month on Lake Ida in Alexandria. She said her line kept snagging on something, and she hoped it wasn’t a dead body.

Her catch turned out to be a prosthetic leg belonging to Pam Riley, of Morris, Minn.

Krohn returned the leg to Riley after tracking her down through a prosthetic limb manufacturer in Alexandria.

Krohn said she’s proud of the catch, comparing it to going deer hunting and shooting the biggest buck.


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