Heavy rains bring threat of mudslides

California was lashed Friday by heavy rains that the parched state desperately needs, although with the soaking came traffic snarls, power outages and the threat of mudslides.

Rainfall totals exceeded six inches in some places by midday, but the powerful Pacific storm did not put much of a dent in a drought that is among the worst in recent California history.

The first waves of the storm drenched foothill communities east of Los Angeles that just weeks ago were menaced by a wildfire — and now face the threat of mudslides. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for about 1,200 homes in the area. Small debris flows covered one street in Glendora, but no property damage occurred, police said.

Forecasters expected the storm to last through Saturday in California before trundling east.

— Associated Press

Kerry Kennedy cleared in accident

Kerry Kennedy was acquitted Friday of drugged driving after she accidentally took a sleeping pill and then sideswiped a truck in a wild highway drive she said she didn’t remember.

The six-person jury cleared Kennedy, 54, of driving while impaired, a misdemeanor. It had carried the potential for up to a year in jail, although that would have been unlikely for a first-time offender.

Kennedy is a daughter of slain Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the former wife of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D).

— Associated Press

Toxic mix of drugs killed Hoffman

A toxic mix of heroin and other drugs killed Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, New York City officials said Friday.

A spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner said Hoffman died from a mix of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, which are drugs such as Xanax and Valium that are prescribed for anxiety, trouble sleeping and other problems. His death was ruled an accident.

Law enforcement officials have said Hoffman, 46, was found Feb. 2 with a needle in his arm, and tests found heroin in samples from at least 50 packets in his Manhattan apartment.

— Associated Press

Copies of ‘Mein Kampf’ auctioned: Copies of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf” signed by the German Nazi leader sold for $64,850 at an auction Thursday in Los Angeles, auction house Nate D. Sanders said. The autographed copies of the two-volume work steeped in anti-Semitism are inscribed as Christmas gifts to Josef Bauer, an officer in the German SS during World War II and a participant in Hitler’s failed Munich coup in 1923.

— From news services