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 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Residents in Ventura County, Calif., who were forced to flee ahead of a wind-driven wildfire are being allowed to return home this morning.

 Residents in some 80 homes had to evacuate when a windy storm swept through the state and fanned flames. Two homes were destroyed.

The same storm system is threatening to leave up to 20 inches of snow in Colorado's mountains and up to 11 inches in the Denver area.

In Arizona, gusty winds created a dusty haze and closed 34 miles of Interstate 40 in the northern part of the state for several hours. And at least four people were injured in a pileup involving two semi-trucks.

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LONDON (AP) - The British government says former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral will be held April 17.

Today undertakers removed the ex-leader's body from London's Ritz Hotel, where she died Monday, amid preparations for a ceremonial funeral with full military honors.

A van carrying Thatcher's casket left the hotel for an undisclosed location.

Officials say Thatcher's funeral will be held with full military honors at St. Paul's Cathedral. It is not technically a state funeral, which requires a vote in Parliament, but is the same level of honor given Princess Diana and the Queen Mother Elizabeth.

Thatcher's coffin will lie overnight at the Houses of Parliament before the funeral, and then travel on a horse-drawn gun carriage to the cathedral along a route lined by military personnel.

 

   

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27-year-old Sandra Lupo alleges she was pushed out of her job after brain surgery left her with buzz cut hair and a healing scar that made it too painful to wear a wig.

Lupo had worked as a waitress at a St. Peters, Mo., Hooters since April 2005 but took a leave from her job for a few weeks last summer to have a cranial mass removed.

 Lupo had the support of her manager, who visited her in the hospital and suggested when she was ready to return to work that she wear a "chemo cap" or jewelry items "to distract from her lack of hair and the visibility of her cranial scar," court documents said.

On July 16, 2012, doctors gave Lupo clearance to go back to work at Hooters, where she worked to put herself through nursing school.

Shortly before she returned to work, Lupo and her immediate manager met with the Hooters regional manager who said Lupo would be required to wear a wig while at work, according to court documents.

Lupo told him "she did not have a wig and that she could not afford a wig, as they range in cost between several hundred and several thousands of dollars," according to the lawsuit, adding that the regional manager did not offer to pay for the wig.

After her manager approached her again regarding a wig, Lupo said she borrowed one and tried to wear it at work. But it "caused extreme stress to her body because of the surgery and the healing wound," according to court records.

Lupo said her manager then reduced her hours to the point where she was making so little income that she was forced to quit, which made her ineligible for unemployment benefits.

"[Lupo's] physical injury was an actual disability from her surgery which limited the major life activity of working when such work required a wig to be worn," court documents said.

In a complaint filed with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Lupo said she never believed her customers were ever "offended" by her appearance at the chain, which is known for its hot wings and servers clad in tight white tank tops and orange hot pants.

"My customers were not offended, and were in fact curious about the obvious scar from my surgery," she wrote in the complaint.

The lawsuit was moved from St. Charles County Circuit Court to U.S. District Court in St. Louis last week at the request of Georgia-based Hooters.

"Hooters of America believes the lawsuit is without foundation, denies the accusations and has filed a motion that the lawsuit be dismissed," a spokesman wrote in an email to ABCNews.com.

Lupo, whose attorney said Lupo now works as a trauma nurse, was not immediately available for comment.

The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals who have a disability. This includes having a physical or mental impairment, a history of having an impairment or the perception of having one.

Marcia McCormick, an associate professor of law at St. Louis University, said Lupo's surgery to remove a brain mass qualifies as a disability, but that Hooters could argue that her appearance was a bona fide qualification for her job.

"In the disability context, if Hooters is to say she's not as attractive now without this wig, if they're selling her attractiveness that might be a real function of her job and mean she isn't qualified by the Americans With Disabilities Act," McCormick said.

"Most companies can't say s something like this, but Hooters sells this experience," she said.

 

 
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 07:49
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   BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A spokesman for the Illinois National Guard and Air National Guard says more than 1,300 of its civilian employees will be taking unpaid furloughs as part of the automatic federal spending cuts that kicked in last month.

   Capt. Dutch Grove tells the Belleville News-Democrat workers will be taking 14 days of furloughs through the end of this fiscal year. Those workers include 230 at Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois.

   He says those furloughs are set to start in mid-June, but that details on how that will play out remains unclear.

   The Scott base employs almost 5,600 civilian workers. It is located near Mascoutah. Base officials say those exempted from the furloughs include firefighters and others who hold jobs are considered essential for base safety and security.

 
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 03:54
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