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US News: California Rains-Good and Bad; Colorado Pileup in Snow; Crack in Wash. Dam; 13 Dogs Die in Fire

By: ap
By: ap
California storms bring welcomed rain but unwanted mudslide danger... 1 killed, 20 injured in massive pileup in Colorado... Crack found in Washington dam on Columbia River... NYPD officers save unresponsive baby in patrol car... Navy: Fighter jet crashes in western Nevada... 13 dogs found dead in fire, NY man charged... Montana avalanche rescue in neighborhood... Frisbee team members killed in Minnesota crash...

1 dies and more than 30 were injured in this interstate pileup in snow in south Denver Saturday. (Credit: CDOT)

CALIFORNIA STORMS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Saturated slopes capable of deadly mudslides worry foothill communities in Los Angeles County as a storm continues to dump heavy rain on a state that sorely needs the moisture but not at such dangerously high rates.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for hundreds of homes below saturated mountainsides where recent fires burned away vegetation that holds soil in place.
Officials say that despite lengthy lulls, more heavy downpours are expected, and they're urging evacuees to be patient.
Although the storm marks a sharp departure from many months of drought that has grown to crisis proportions for the state's vast farming industry, experts say it won't solve the problem.
The storm is forecast to move east over the Rockies and into the Plains and Mississippi Valley through Sunday.
A mixture of sleet and snow in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois will eventually change over to all snow while northern Arkansas will see freezing rain. The system also has its sights set on the Appalachians and the East Coast into Monday.

MASSIVE INTERSTATE PILEUP
DENVER (AP) -- Colorado authorities say one person died and 30 others were injured in a massive pileup on Interstate 25 as a band of heavy snow moved through south Denver on Saturday.
Police say 104 vehicles were involved in crashes along a roughly 2-mile stretch of highway as a short but intense burst of snow slammed the area in the morning. The northbound lanes were closed for several hours, but the interstate has been reopened.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Department of Transportation says about 100 snowplows and four large tankers with deicing fluid are busy clearing roads throughout Denver.
Meteorologists say the storm was part of the same system that's saturated California and is slowly moving across the West en route to the Plains and Mississippi Valley on Sunday.

EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) -- A 65-foot-long crack in a Columbia River dam in central Washington has prompted officials to begin lowering the water level by 20 feet so inspectors can get a better idea of how serious the damage is.
Grant County Public Utility District spokesman Thomas Stredwick said Friday there's no immediate threat to public safety from the crack in the Wanapum Dam, located just downstream from where Interstate 90 crosses the river.
Still, The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/aE0vDj) Stredwick calls the crack a serious problem.
Public utility district officials decided Friday that the failure risk was high enough that they should notify other government agencies and downstream water users.
Wanapum Dam was built in 1959 and is more than a mile long.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The belch of a 15-month-old baby girl has brought tears of joy to a couple of New York City officers.
NYPD Officer Michael Konatsotis and his partner, Officer David Roussine, saved the non-breathing baby Saturday after her panicked parents called 911 when she turned blue.
The officers say it took them 45 seconds to rush to the midtown Manhattan apartment where they found the unresponsive girl. Konatsotis sat up front with her, delivering emergency breaths while Roussine made the 10-block trip to Weill Cornell Medical Center in roughly 80 seconds.
When they arrived, Konatsotis says the baby let out a big burp, color returned to her face and she started crying.
He says the officers did too.
The baby is in stable condition. Her name wasn't released.

FIGHTER JET CRASH
FALLON, Nev. (AP) -- The Navy says a fighter jet has crashed during a training exercise in western Nevada, and the pilot's condition is not immediately known.
The F/A-18C Hornet crashed about 3 p.m. Saturday on a Navy range training complex about 70 miles east of Naval Air Station Fallon.
Lt. Reagan Lauritzen of Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet said she didn't immediately know the pilot's condition.
She said Navy personnel were heading to the scene, and anticipated more details to be released late Saturday.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) -- Thirteen pit bulls were found dead in a one-car garage that went up in flames and a New York man is facing 18 counts of felony and misdemeanor animal fighting charges.
A spokesman for Nassau County prosecutors says Saturday that Anthony Reddick was a tenant in the Long Island home where investigators discovered dogs and dogfighting apparatus following the Friday afternoon fire.
Spokesman Shams Tarek says the 53-year-old man fled the scene when the fire broke out but was arrested Saturday afternoon. He says investigators found the dead pit bulls and dog fighting equipment after executing a search warrant. He says three other pit bulls were found alive.

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- Rescue officials say about 100 neighbors converged to help find three people buried when an avalanche swept down a mountain in a residential area of Missoula and crushed a house at the bottom.
A St. Patrick Hospital spokeswoman says the three remained hospitalized Saturday, a day after the avalanche slid down Mount Jumbo into the northeast Missoula neighborhood.
The hospital says 66-year-old Fred Allendorf is in serious condition while his wife, Michel Colville, is in critical condition.
An 8-year-old boy whose name hasn't been released is in fair condition.
Jeff Brandt of the Missoula Fire Department says the couple was in the home while the boy was playing outside.
Brandt says the boy's mother and sister witnessed the 200-yard slide but weren't caught in it.

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) -- Three college students and members of one of the nation's top Ultimate Frisbee teams have died after a semitrailer truck slammed into their SUV when it spun on an icy Minnesota highway.
The Minnesota State Patrol says the accident happened around 3 p.m. Friday on Highway 3 near Northfield. Killed in the accident were 20-year-old James P. Adams of St. Paul, Minn.; 21-year-old Paxton M. Harvieux of Stillwater, Minn.; and 20-year-old Michael D. Goodgame of Westport, Conn. Two others in the vehicle sustained serious injuries. The driver of the truck was not injured.
Eric Sieger, media relations director for Northfield-based Carleton College, tells The Minneapolis Star-Tribune the students played on the school's Ultimate Frisbee team, which finished third in the country last year.


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