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Fire at Bill Clinton's boyhood home investigated as arson...Flood threat in Tennessee...Police: Report of baby in river was hoax

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say a fire that damaged former President Bill Clinton's childhood home in Hope, Arkansas, today was apparently caused by arson. They say a motorist spotted flames early today at the Clinton Birthplace National Historic Site. When firefighters arrived a short time later, flames were shooting 8 feet into the air on one side of the structure. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the fire was quickly extinguished and only one interior room was damaged by flames. Clinton lived in the home as a child before moving to Hot Springs, Arkansas.

NASHVILLE (AP) — A flash flood watch has been issued for parts of Tennessee following storms that have pounded the Southeast this week. In neighboring Kentucky, a flash flood watch has been issued for central and eastern parts of the state through midafternoon. The unseasonably warm weather that spawned deadly tornadoes and storms on Wednesday killed six people in Tennessee. Seven people died in Mississippi and one person was killed in Arkansas.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie is getting mixed reviews among gun rights advocates in a key primary state for regulatory changes he backed this week in his home state of New Jersey. Two groups said the proposals show his continued progress in promoting gun rights. Another said they didn't amount to anything. Christie has been seeking to counter his image among some voters in New Hampshire as weak on gun rights.

HAVERHILL, Mass. (AP) — A mother and daughter in Massachusetts have been charged with making up a story about seeing a man throwing a baby into a river on Christmas Eve, touching off a massive search. Forty-two-year-old Holly Fowler and 23-year-old Kristine Fowler live near the Merrimac River in Haverhill, north of Boston. Police say they reported yesterday evening that they saw and heard a distraught man throw a baby into the river from a bridge and then leave the scene with an empty baby carriage. The search ended a few hours later when police determined the report was a hoax. Police didn't establish a motive.

WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. (AP) — George Washington and his troops have made their annual Christmas Day trip across the Delaware River. The re-enactors crossed the river between Pennsylvania and New Jersey on a 65-degree day, considerably warmer than the actual crossing which took place on an ice-choked river during a snowstorm.

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