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October 9, 1996
Web posted at: 11:50 p.m. EDT

Woman detained, questioned about L.A. freeway vandals

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A 19-year-old woman arrested for robbery may know who has been shattering the rear windows of vehicles on Los Angeles freeways, the California Highway Patrol said Wednesday.

"We feel at this time that she may not be involved in the acts of vandalism, but may have information as to who is and we are continuing our investigation," said Highway Patrol Sgt. Ernie Garcia.

Atlantis Rose was arrested on a robbery warrant Tuesday night after officers received a hotline tip that she may be connected to the freeway attacks. The vandals have broken the windows of more than 240 vehicles since September 11. Police are not sure what weapon is being used in the vandalism.

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big sur

Fire burns out of control near Big Sur

LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST, California (CNN) -- Backed by air tankers and helicopters, more than 1,100 people were fighting two fires that have consumed more than 1,000 acres in the rough, dry terrain of the Los Padres National Forest.

The "Wild Fire," which has burned 700 acres near Highway 1 between Big Sur and Cambria, destroyed a house and five outbuildings Tuesday. Several other houses were threatened and some families were evacuated, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jim Youngson said.

The fire began late Monday on a steep coastal hill. It was only 10 percent contained by Wednesday and it was unclear when firefighters might have it under control, he said. A second forest fire, near Lake Piru, began Tuesday evening when a camper lit a flare to seek help for another camper, who was suffering a diabetic seizure.

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Miami commissioner pleads guilty in corruption probe

MIAMI (CNN) -- A Miami City Commissioner agreed Wednesday to plead guilty in a wide-ranging corruption probe.

Commissioner Miller Dawkins reached a settlement with federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to corruption charges in return for a lighter sentence.

The agreement does not require him to testify against anyone else involved in the ongoing FBI investigation. Federal prosecutors announced a criminal complaint against Dawkins and other city officials last month. He is charged with soliciting a $100,000 kickback from mainframe computer-maker Unisys in exchange for $20 million worth of city contracts.

Dawkins reportedly was videotaped accepting $25,000 in cash from Miami's finance director, who at the time was working as an informant for the FBI.

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Missile launch makes rainbows in Southwestern sky

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) -- Some residents in New Mexico and Arizona awakened Wednesday to a spectacular display in the desert sky caused by vapor trails from a target missile launched from White Sands Missile Range near Socorro.

The rocket's exhaust left a contrail much like an airplane, said Jim Eckles, a White Sands spokesman. "The contrail is twisted and pulled apart by wind at different altitudes. It creates a prism effect in a rainbow of colors as the sun comes up."

The two-stage Hera missile is used to test the radar system of the Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense missile. The 40-foot target missile went about 100 miles high and south toward the heart of the missile range.

New York jail guards accused of abuse

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The U.S. attorney in Manhattan has charged 11 New York City jail guards with beating inmates and covering up the violence.

The guards are accused of using "excessive force" against three inmates at New York's Rikers Island jail, according to indictments unsealed Wednesday. The charges were investigated for more than two years.

Evidence includes secretly made tape recordings and testimony from confidential informants. The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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