Fire Threatens Calif. Wine Country

SACRAMENTO -- Firefighters battled a 9,200-acre wildfire that was bearing down Sunday on California's prized wine country and threatened to knock out power to parts of northern California.

A second blaze in the Sierra Nevada foothills destroyed 13 houses and 45 other buildings as low humidity, high winds and dry terrain made conditions throughout the state ideal for wildfires. The fire, sparked by a burning recreational vehicle, forced 3,000 people to evacuate and threatened 1,400 houses and 100 businesses, authorities said.

The fire threatening Sonoma County's wine country began Friday and was fueled by wind gusts of up to 20 mph, said Janet Marshall, spokeswoman for the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The blaze threatened about 100 houses.

"It's mountain goat country. It's very inhospitable to firefighters, but very hospitable to fires," she said.

Major power lines from 21 generating plants in the Geysers, the world's largest geothermal power facility, also cross over rugged terrain near the fire, creating the possibility of blackouts.

Police in Mo. Link Body to Five Others

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A body found in July behind a vacant apartment building in Kansas City has been linked to five others discovered since Thursday in the same part of the city, police said.

Three of the victims had been identified, but the other three bodies were so decomposed that police have not been able to determine their race or gender, police Capt. Rich Lockhart said.

The body of Anna Ewing, 42, was found July 14 by a man spraying for weeds, he said. Because her body was discovered in the same 18-square-block area, and because all six were found on or near a vacant property, police consider her death to be related.

"The neighbors in that area, they have reasons to be concerned," Lockhart said.

The bodies of Patricia Wilson Butler, 45, and a 38-year-old woman were found Thursday in a detached garage after someone notified police of a foul odor.

Another body was found Friday behind a vacant house after someone called 911 and told police where to find it. On Saturday, police believe the same caller told a 911 operator where to find two more badly decomposed bodies.

* WICHITA -- Two girls left unattended in an idling car were killed Saturday when the vehicle slipped into gear and ran over them after they fell out, police said. The girls, 4 and 2, were not siblings, police said.

* SEWARD, Alaska -- Two people drowned after their recreational boat sank in Resurrection Bay off Alaska's southern coast and they tried to swim for shore, state troopers said. Three survivors said they were fishing when the 22-foot boat was swamped by waves.

* BOSTON -- Three men were killed as they sat in a car and a fourth was critically injured in two separate but nearby shootings, police said.

-- From News Services