Nudist management: Faced with a growing trend of public nudity in some neighborhoods, a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this week proposed some commonsense limits to the practice. “While we have a variety of views about public nudity, we can all agree that when you sit down naked, you should cover the seat, and you should cover up when you go into a food establishment,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose district includes the anything-goes Castro District. Local nudist George Davis said the proposed law would merely be “codifying what’s already nudist etiquette.” An outright ban on public nudity, Wiener stressed, is not under consideration. “San Francisco is a liberal and tolerant city, and we pride ourselves on that fact,” he said.
Carson City, Nev.
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Deadly rampage: A gunman armed with an AK-47 assault rifle opened fire on a group of uniformed National Guard members this week as they ate breakfast at an IHOP restaurant in Nevada’s capital. He hit all five Guard members, killing three; shot dead another woman; and injured five other civilians, before taking his own life. The gunman, Eduardo Sencion, 32, began his five-minute shooting spree at 9 a.m., when he shot and injured a woman in the parking lot of the pancake restaurant. Sencion then moved inside, and appeared to deliberately seek out the service members, police said. “Those people never stood a chance,” said IHOP regular Fran Hunter, adding that the restaurant’s cramped seating left the gunman’s victims with “no way to get out.” Police said that Sencion’s motives were unclear. His family told investigators that Sencion had mental-health problems, but did not have a criminal history.
Devastating wildfires: Fueled by strong winds and a record drought, more than 180 wildfires erupted across Texas over the past week, killing four and destroying more than 1,000 homes. The largest fire, in Bastrop County 30 miles east of Austin, burned 30,000 acres and destroyed more than 550 homes, making it the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. “These fires are mean, swift, and highly dangerous,” said Gov. Rick Perry, who cut short a presidential campaign trip to South Carolina to deal with the crisis. More than 2,000 firefighters, some from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico, fought the fast-moving flames as thousands of homes were evacuated across central Texas, where there has been no significant rainfall in a year. “It just gets worse and worse,” said a spokeswoman for the Texas Forest Service.
Storm wreaks havoc: Tropical Storm Lee brought wet weather but less damage than initially feared to the Gulf Coast over the Labor Day weekend. The slow-moving storm dumped a foot of water on New Orleans—subjecting the city’s pumps to their first major test since Hurricane Katrina—and spawned tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia that left hundreds of homes damaged. Downgraded to a tropical depression as it headed inland, the storm still left parts of Louisiana and Mississippi flooded and tens of thousands without power across the region. At least four people were reported dead. Lee continued to lumber through the Southeast early in the week, bringing heavy rains and flooding to Tennessee and the mid-Atlantic, and later fresh flooding concerns to areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York just beginning to dry out from Hurricane Irene.
Lawsuit over ‘hate crime’: The family of a black man who died in June after being beaten, robbed, and run over filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week against the seven white teens they deem responsible. The suit claims the teens deliberately set out to target a black person after a night of drinking. They found James Anderson, 48, in a motel parking lot early on the morning of June 26, and allegedly beat him while one of them shouted, “White power!” When Anderson staggered away from the gang, Deryl Dedmon, 19, allegedly ran him over with his pickup truck. “James Anderson lost his life for no other reason than the color of his skin,” said Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Prosecutors are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, and have so far charged Dedmon with capital murder, and John Rice, 18, with assault.
Bachmann campaign aides resign: Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann this week lost her campaign manager and a top deputy. Veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins, who took over Bachmann’s campaign in June and helped transform it into a big-budget operation, said he would continue to advise the campaign but was scaling back his involvement because he “hasn’t got the energy” for the day-to-day grind of a presidential race. His deputy, David Polyansky, also stepped down. Bachmann’s campaign downplayed the departures as a “restructuring,” but they raise questions about whether Bachmann can sustain her candidacy. The archconservative Minnesota congresswoman finished first in the Iowa straw poll last month, but has been overshadowed on the campaign trail since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race to challenge Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney from the right.
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