By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Fall storms that brought rain and snow to parts of California have made a small but measurable dent in the state's four-year drought, experts said. The precipitation has put the state ahead of the normal rainfall for the season and nudged a few areas out of the worst drought designation, scientists at the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday. The weekly report shows that as of Nov. 3, 44.84 percent of the state was experiencing exceptional drought conditions, the worst designation, down from 46 percent last week and 55 percent a year ago at the same time.
Six people died early on Friday morning when a charter bus veered off an interstate highway in Arkansas and crashed into a concrete barrier and an overpass, according to state police. Three of the people who died were ejected, one was partially ejected and two were inside the bus, Arkansas State Police Colonel Bill Bryant told reporters on Friday. Six other people suffered minor injuries in the crash at about 1 a.m. along Interstate 40 in North Little Rock, state police said.
ATLANTA (AP) — An ex-Georgia lawmaker and civil rights activist who pleaded guilty to tax fraud has told a judge he takes full responsibility for his actions and said he will not make the same mistakes again.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Reports that trick-or-treaters in a Philadelphia suburb found needles stuffed in their Halloween candy turned out to be made up, officials said Friday, the latest in a season of similar hoaxes across the country.
A Missouri man who had seriously wounded his sister and nephew with a hammer was shot to death by police after he repeatedly refused orders to drop his weapon, an official said on Friday. Jacob Hohman, 30, of the St. Louis suburb of Lakeshire, died of his injuries in a hospital on Thursday night after being shot by both a veteran Lakeshire sergeant and a St. Louis County police officer, said Brian Schellman, spokesman for the St. Louis County Police. Hohman came out of the residence armed with the hammer, and ignored orders from officers to drop it, Schellman said.