Tropical Storm Cindy

Hits Louisiana Coast

NEW ORLEANS -- -- Tropical Storm Cindy blew ashore Tuesday night, pelting the Louisiana coast with sideways rain and intermittent squalls as it headed toward Mississippi's Gulf Coast for a second strike.

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Mike Sanders said the low-lying coastal parish had seen much worse, but residents were still watching Cindy and Tropical Storm Dennis, which was brewing in the Caribbean and could arrive in Florida on Friday.

Oil companies evacuated their Gulf of Mexico rigs, and tourists headed inland. Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde said 37,000 customers across southeastern Louisiana, including New Orleans, were without power Tuesday night.

As much as 10 inches of rain was forecast in some areas, and flood watches were issued for southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. A tropical storm warning was posted from Morgan City, La., to the Florida Panhandle town of Destin.

* COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- An 8-year-old girl told authorities that a violent sexual predator tied up her family before she and her 9-year-old brother, who remains missing, were taken away in a pickup truck. She said both of them were repeatedly molested, according to court papers. Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, of Fargo, N.D., was charged with two first-degree kidnapping counts and ordered held without bail.

* WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Philip Grant, who is accused of killing a woman at a Westchester mall, told police on videotape that he is fighting "a race war against white people" and that he stabbed Connie Russo Carriero last week because she was white. Grant, who is black, said on the tape played in court: "All I knew was, she had blond hair and blue eyes and she had to die."

* ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- A teenager charged with killing two high school students in 2003 was angry over being teased about his acne and told investigators that he had targeted classmate Seth Bartell "to hurt him like he hurt me," a prosecutor said in opening statements at the murder trial of John J. McLaughlin, then 15. Aaron Rollins, a senior, was also fatally shot.

* WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A suspicious fire late Monday damaged the Presidential Women's Clinic, where abortion protesters have held weekly demonstrations for more than a decade, authorities said. Arson was attempted there two months ago.

* BURLINGTON, Ky. -- A judge granted preliminary approval to a $120 million agreement between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington and hundreds of victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests and others.

* TAMPA -- Derrick McNeal, 36, tried to run over his former girlfriend with his truck but instead hit two children playing next door, killing Demontay J. Simmons, 2, and injuring Toshayla Hall, 4, police said. McNeal fled and was being sought.

* For the first time since record-keeping began in 1950, no one was killed by a tornado in April, May or June, federal storm forecasters said. An average of 52 deaths is normal for the top tornado months.

-- From News Services