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Hooking up power in Vermont...Californians get back on the grid after storm... No government shutdown--for now

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BERLIN, Vt. (AP) — Fewer than 10,000 customers are still without electricity in Vermont, three days after a brutal storm that pounded the state with heavy, wet snow. Overall, some 100,000 customers lost power. Officials say restoring power to everyone may take at least the weekend. Parts of Vermont received more than a foot of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — Electricity is back on for nearly everyone who lost it in this week's big storm in California. But some roads, including a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County, remain closed. A mudslide in Camarillo, northwest of Los Angeles, has left 13 houses uninhabitable. But ski resorts in the mountains east of L. A. are welcoming up to a foot of fresh snow.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is sending President Barack Obama a short-term spending bill that'll keep the government operating through Wednesday and avert a shutdown. The Senate passed it today in a rare Saturday session with only hours to spare Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are trying to confirm roughly 20 of President Barack Obama's nominees in this lame-duck session.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of retiring Congressman John Dingell says he has a fractured hip and it will take time for the 88-year-old Michigan Democrat to recover. An update was posted today on Facebook by Debbie Dingell, who was elected to the seat last month. John Dingell was hospitalized Friday in Washington, and it turns out he fractured his hip in a fall last week.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's costumed pub crawl known as SantaCon is underway after a civil rights lawyer gave attendees lesson in the First Amendment. Norman Siegel said the government can't ban SantaCon but can reasonably regulate it. New Yorkers have complained about drunken Santas vomiting in the streets. Organizers say last year's event raised $60,000 for charity.

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