WASHINGTON

Sandy relief approved

Three months after Superstorm Sandy ravaged coastal areas in much of the Northeast, Congress on Monday sent a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for storm victims to President Barack Obama for his signature. Despite opposition from conservatives concerned about adding billions of dollars more to the nationís debt, the Senate cleared the long-delayed bill, 62-36, after House Republicans had stripped it earlier this month of spending unrelated to disasters. All 36 votes against the bill were from Republican senators.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.

Death for arsonist

An arsonist was given the death penalty Monday for killing five men who died of heart attacks during a wildfire nearly a decade ago that ripped through the hills east of Los Angeles. Rickie Lee Fowler, 31, was convicted in August of five counts of first-degree murder and two counts of arson. A jury later recommended the death sentence.

EUREKA, Calif.

Rogue wave kills woman

A woman was swept out to sea by a large wave and drowned on a Northern California beach Sunday in the third such tragedy in the region this winter, authorities said. Humboldt County Coroner David Parris identified the victim as Susan Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove, about 90 miles south of Eureka. Archer was walking on a rocky beach near her home with her boyfriend and dog when the wave pulled her into the ocean, Parris said.

LOS ANGELES

Actor nabs suspect

Los Angeles police say actor Taye Diggs chased down and captured a burglary suspect he found rummaging through his garage. It happened after the Private Practice star and his wife returned to their Studio City home from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where Diggs was a presenter. LAPD spokesman Richard French says shortly before 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Diggs saw a man in his garage, apparently looking for items to steal.

Compiled from wire reports.