MISSISSIPPI

Storm-hit region copes with loss

Dozens of people lost their homes amid torrential rain and deadly tornadoes in the South, yet they say they are grateful for another Christmas.

"It makes you thankful to be alive with your family," said Tony Goodwin, who emerged from a shelter to find two of his neighbors in Linden, Tenn., were among 14 killed in the storms across the South.

Parts of Mississippi remained under a flood warning Friday. Weather forecasters from the National Weather Service warned that a strong storm crossing the central part of the state could produce hail and winds of more than 40 m.p.h.

Friday evening, the National Weather service confirmed a tornado had touched down near Birmingham, Ala.

Nicholas Garbacz, disaster program manager for the American Red Cross of North Mississippi, said members of the Marine Corps brought donated toys to a center in Holly Springs for children whose families were hit hard by the storms. - AP
VERMONT

Thieves target senior community

Residents of an adult living community awoke Christmas morning to find that a Grinch-y thief or thieves had stolen food, gifts, and other items.

Vermont State Police said the National Church Residences Village Manor in Pittsford was hit sometime Thursday by a thief or thieves who pinched Christmas cookies, salad, several turkeys, frozen chicken, loaves of bread, canned vegetables, and 10 pounds of potatoes. Also taken were Christmas CDs, puzzles, a television, stereo, and 10 walkers.

Police say the community rallied and supplied the Manor's 30 residents with enough food for a Christmas feast and meals into next week. - AP
MASSACHUSETTS

Search for baby yields charges

A mother and daughter have been charged with making up a story about seeing a man throwing a baby into a river on Christmas Eve, touching off a massive search

Holly Fowler, 42, and Kristine Fowler, 23, were charged with misleading a police investigation and filing a false police report.

The women, who live near the Merrimac River in Haverhill, about 35 miles north of Boston, told police about 7:30 p.m. Thursday that they saw and heard a distraught man throw a baby into the river from a bridge, then leave the scene with an empty baby carriage, Police Capt. Robert Pistone said. He said police had not established a motive for the hoax. - AP
ARKANSAS

Arson suspected

at Bill Clinton site

Authorities say a fire that caused minor damage to former President Bill Clinton's childhood home in Hope, Ark., was apparently caused by arson.

Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson said a motorist spotted flames early Friday at the Clinton Birthplace National Historic Site. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the fire was quickly extinguished and only one interior room was damaged by flames. The house, where Clinton lived as a child, was designated a National Historic Site in 2011. - AP