CALIFORNIA / Rescued from spring snow
A fierce spring storm that stranded hundreds of drivers along a major freeway, prompted the rescue of stranded hikers and closed roads into Yosemite National Park dwindled to showers Monday as a new wet weather system headed toward California. Ventura County deputies worked through the night to rescue 32 hikers stranded in Los Padres National Forest when the storm swelled rivers and dumped snow in the remote area of Southern California. Three were treated for hypothermia, sheriff's Deputy Shane Matthews said. A separate group of nearly 100 youths, 10 to 17, were stuck at a snowed-in mountain campground in another part of the park until crews managed to clear roads using snow plows. The youths were met by a Kern County Fire Department bus loaded with blankets, meals, water and sports drinks.
SOUTH CAROLINA / Fatal kids' ride never tested
A state inspector falsified a safety report and admitted he never tested a children's train ride that derailed over the weekend, officials said Monday. A 6-year-old boy was killed and dozens were injured. Meanwhile, new details of the moments before the crash emerged, with witnesses saying it felt like the small train was increasing its speed just before it went off the tracks near a bridge. Officials have not said what caused the Saturday derailment at Cleveland Park in Spartanburg. The train ride had opened a week earlier than planned. The ride was supposedly tested last Wednesday by state inspector Donnie Carrigan, but he came forward after the accident to admit falsifying the report, an official said. Carrigan has since been fired.
ARIZONA / Testing ordered in shooting
An Arizona judge has ordered the suspect in Tucson's shooting rampage to undergo a mental evaluation at a specialized facility in Springfield, Mo., as soon as possible. Late Monday, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled that the evaluation will be videotaped. Jared Lee Loughner is charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).