Rain Brings Northeast Floods

SPRING LAKE, N.J. -- Toilets backed up with sewage, military trucks plowed through headlight-high water to rescue people, and swans glided down the streets as rain fell for an eighth straight day around the waterlogged Northeast on Friday.

Overflowing lakes and streams forced hundreds of people from their homes in New Jersey and New Hampshire, and flood warnings were issued for parts of New York and Connecticut. Some places have had more than a foot of rain in the past week, and 2 to 3 more inches of rain were forecast for some areas by Saturday.

* SACRAMENTO -- Three people pleaded guilty in firebombing incidents linked to a group the FBI calls an eco-terrorist organization. Ryan Daniel Lewis, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted arson and arson. Eva Rose Holland, 26, and her sister, Lili Marie Holland, 21, each pleaded guilty to attempted arson.

* ROOTSTOWN, Ohio -- Two small planes collided in midair, killing the two men aboard each plane, authorities said. The names of the dead and the destination of the planes -- one a Cessna, the other a Lancair -- were not immediately released.

* KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A federal judge ordered Missouri prison officials to drive a pregnant inmate to a clinic and let her get an abortion despite a state law that forbids spending tax dollars to facilitate an abortion. U.S. Chief District Judge Dean Whipple ruled Thursday that the prison system is blocking the woman from exercising her right to an abortion.

* NEW YORK -- Ralph Alini, 54, was charged with murder in the death last year of a paralyzed man he allegedly shot 32 years ago during a dispute between Hispanics and Italians in Brooklyn. The medical examiner ruled that Jose Colon, 47, died from infections related to gunshot wounds suffered at age 15. The shooting had left Colon paralyzed from the neck down. Alini had served a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment.

* NORWALK, Calif. -- An unattended backpack prompted the evacuation of a commuter rail station and the closing of nearby freeways before authorities determined it was harmless.

* ALBANY, N.Y. -- Manhattan lawyer Edward Cox, a son-in-law of the late president Richard M. Nixon, withdrew from the race for the Republican Senate nomination after Gov. George E. Pataki (R) endorsed Jeanine Pirro's bid to unseat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D).

* NEW YORK -- A Family Court judge granted temporary custody to the maternal relatives of Valery Saavedra Lozada, 4, who was found wandering in Queens after her mother was killed. Cesar Ascarrunz pleaded not guilty to a charge of killing the girl's mother, Monica Lozada-Rivadineira.

* DEDHAM, Mass. -- Norman Porter, a twice-convicted killer who fled a life sentence 20 years ago, adopted the name Jacob J.J. Jameson and became a poet in Chicago, pleaded guilty to an escape charge and was sentenced to three years. The sentence will begin after Porter, 65, completes a life sentence for the 1960 murder of John "Jackie" Pigott, a 22-year-old store clerk he shot to death during a clothing store robbery.

-- From News Services