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Three rescued after avalanche levels Montana home
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 06:27

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — An avalanche roared into a residential neighborhood in the western Montana city of Missoula on Friday and destroyed a house, but three people were found alive amid the snow and wreckage, police said.

The survivors were an elderly couple and an 8-year-old boy, police Sgt. Travis Welsh said.

No one else had been reported missing.

All three were taken to a hospital. Their conditions weren't immediately known, but Welsh said the man was talking to rescuers.

"It's pretty incredible that we pulled three living bodies out of there," Welsh said.

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Crack found in Washington dam on Columbia River
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 06:26

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.

There's no immediate threat to public safety from the crack in the Wanapum Dam, Grant County Public Utility District spokesman Thomas Stredwick said Friday. The dam is located just downstream from where Interstate 90 crosses the river.

"At this point we already know there's a serious problem," Stredwick said. "We want to make sure the spillway is stable enough that inspectors are safe when inspecting it."

An engineer earlier this week spotted a slight "bowing" above the spillway gates near where cars can drive across the dam, The Seattle Times reported (http://is.gd/aE0vDj ). Divers found a 2-inch-wide crack along the base of one of the spillway piers.

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California soaked but little drought help, damage
Written by JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 06:20
California-Storm_rotator
Traffic splashes through water pouring across Bear Valley Road in Victorville, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/The Victor Valley Daily Press, James Quigg)
AZUSA, Calif. (AP) — A storm that brought some of the highest rainfall totals to the Los Angeles area in years, including eight inches on some mountains, was just the beginning of what the region needs to pull out of a major drought.

Although the storm was expected to remain strong Saturday, forecasters said such systems would have to become common for the state to make serious inroads against the drought.

"We need several large storms and we just don't see that on the horizon," National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Boldt said Friday. "This is a rogue storm. We will dry out next week."

But the storm had yet to do serious damage either. At least not yet.

In Azusa and neighboring foothill communities about 25 miles east of Los Angeles that sit beneath nearly 2,000 acres of steep mountain slopes that just weeks ago were menaced by a wildfire, about 1,200 homes were under evacuation orders over mudflow fears but were so-far spared.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 March 2014 09:33
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Three Frisbee team members killed in Minnesota crash
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 06:24

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — Three college students and members of one of the nation's top Ultimate Frisbee teams were killed when a semitrailer truck slammed into their SUV after it spun into the wrong lane on an icy Minnesota highway.

The accident happened around 3 p.m. Friday on Highway 3 near Northfield, the Minnesota State Patrol said in an incident report.

All three people killed were students at Carleton College, based in Northfield. The State Patrol identified the deceased as James P. Adams, 20, of St. Paul, Minn.; Paxton M. Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, Minn.; and Michael D. Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Conn. Two others in the SUV, including the driver, were listed in stable condition Friday, according to a news release from the college. The driver of the truck was not injured.

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Crimean leader claims control, asks Putin for help
Written by DALTON BENNETT, Associated Press DAVID McHUGH, Associated Press   
Saturday, 01 March 2014 06:18

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The discord between Russia and Ukraine sharpened Saturday when the pro-Russian leader of Ukraine's Crimea region claimed control of the military and police and appealed to Russia's president for help in keeping peace there.

It was the latest escalation of tension between the two countries following the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian president last week by a protest movement aimed at turning Ukraine toward the European Union and away from Russia.

Armed men described as Russian troops took control of key airports and a communications center in Crimea on Friday. Ukraine has accused Russia of a "military invasion and occupation" — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis, and raised fears that Moscow is moving to annex a strategic peninsula where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.

Ukraine's population is divided in loyalties between Russia and Europe, with much of western Ukraine advocating closer ties with the European Union while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support. Crimea is mainly Russian-speaking.

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