WASHINGTON

House panel probing Radel in crack case

The House Ethics Committee announced Monday that it has formally opened a probe into the conduct of Rep. Trey Radel (R., Fla.), who pleaded guilty last month to drug possession after being caught in an undercover sting.

The 10-member panel voted unanimously to establish an investigative subcommittee that will determine whether Radel's actions violated congressional rules. It could recommend sanctions, including a censure or even expulsion. Rep. Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.) will lead the investigation.

Radel, 37, came to the attention of the FBI and DEA during an investigation of Washington cocaine trafficking, prosecutors said. He agreed to buy about 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of possession, and was sentenced to a year of probation. - Tribune Washington Bureau
NEW YORK

Top cop's next job

New York's longest serving police commissioner is going into public speaking after he leaves the department at the end of the year. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement released by the Greater Talent Network on Monday: "I'm looking forward to sharing the lessons I've learned leading the finest police force in the world as we met countless challenges every day." - AP
CALIFORNIA

Fire near Big Sur

A wildfire burning Monday in the Big Sur area forced the evacuation of dozens of homes as it chewed through dry vegetation on its way toward the ocean. No injuries were reported. - AP
NEW YORK

Rare turtles born

Five endangered turtles have been born in New York City, a first for a North American zoo. The Chinese big-headed turtles were born in November at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn. - AP