WASHINGTON

White House chef ready to move on

Political advisers, chiefs of staff, press secretaries, and national security advisers have come and gone in the nearly six years Barack Obama has been president. Now, the White House chef is also waving goodbye.

Sam Kass, 34, has been a fixture at the executive mansion, serving up nutrition policy as well as meals for Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. He was also senior adviser for nutrition policy, giving him a seat at the table where administration officials hashed out everything from updated food labels to new requirements for healthier school lunches.

Kass, a newlywed, is leaving the White House at the end of the month. "I love this family and believe in everything the president and first lady are doing and this has been the greatest job of my life," he said in an interview. "But . . . Once you're married you kind of need to be together." - AP
HAWAII

Hikers rescued

Firefighters in Hawaii rescued more than 60 hikers, including some who were stranded for days, when heavy rain made streams too swollen to cross on the island of Kauai. The Kauai Fire Department was notified Wednesday that some hikers were stranded in a valley for several days with dwindling supplies. A total of 62 people were airlifted by the end of the day, the county said. A man who suffered a non- life-threatening injury was flown to Princeville Airport, then taken to Wilcox Hospital. - AP
MISSISSIPPI

Power restored

Authorities say they have restored all power in the Mississippi town of Columbia, two days after a powerful tornado swept through, killing four people. The storm cut power to 4,100 members of the Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, but power was restored to the last 450 customers - whose homes were dark Christmas morning - by 3 p.m. Thursday, said a spokesman for the power association. - AP