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THE NATION TODAY

Tournament of Roses parade might be damp

(Omission: A correction on Jan. 3 listing papers where Mike Royko wrote a column neglected to include the Chicago Daily News.)

(Correction: Because of an editing error, an item in yesterday's Nation Today roundup incorrectly said in an early edition that Mike Royko was a former Boston Globe columnist. Royko wrote for the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune.)

PASADENA -- It hasn't rained on the Tournament of Roses parade since 1955, but organizers were prepared yesterday, just in case 50 years of luck washes away. The floats are designed to withstand winds of 50 miles per hour, the glue holding the decorations to the floats is waterproof, and most of the flowers can withstand a little rain, said parade vice president Paul Holman. Forecasts warn of heavy rain and strong winds at the parade's start. (AP)

Colorado

Avalanche kills two snowmobilers

FORT COLLINS -- A New Year's Day avalanche killed two snowmobilers near Rocky Mountain National Park, officials said. A blizzard moving through the area near Trap Lake, northwest of the park, made communication difficult, so few details were available, said Eloise Campanella, a spokeswoman for the Larimer County sheriff. Their identities were not released. (AP)

Florida

Zeta drifts westward, still no threat to land

MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Zeta, the 27th named storm of a record-breaking hurricane season, drifted westward across the Atlantic yesterday and forecasters said it might weaken during the day. Zeta had top sustained wind of about 50 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters said it was not expected to become a hurricane or threaten land. The storm developed Friday, about a month after the end of the Atlantic hurricane season. It tied a record for the latest developing storm since record keeping began in 1851. (AP)

Illinois

Famed news service ends its 115-year run

CHICAGO -- The story has ended for the venerable City News Service. Saturday was the final day of business at the agency that trained generations of journalists and writers. The Chicago Tribune, which owned City News since 1999, announced Dec. 1 that it would eliminate the service and its 19 jobs at the end of the year to cut costs and to stop serving up news to the Tribune's online and broadcast competitors. Since its founding in 1890, it had provided breaking news via streetcar messengers, pneumatic tubes, Teletype machines and, finally, computers. City News was where former Boston Globe columnist Mike Royko, author Kurt Vonnegut and investigative reporter Seymour Hersh cut their teeth. (AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C.

New Orleans mayor: Population will return

New Orleans could take three to five years to regain its population of nearly half a million before Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin said yesterday. Nagin said on CBS News' ''Face the Nation" that reopening several public and private schools this month would help raise the city's population to about 200,000, double the current level, as families returned with their children. (Reuters)

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