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January 18, 2020
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Changes at the Mansion House | About Town

Tarmo Hannula: The New China Buffet, on the ground floor of the 1871 Mansion House on Main Street in Watsonville, has closed. The historic building, once seated at the corner of Main Street at East Beach Street (once named Third Street) was eventually moved one door to the north to make way for the Lettunich Building. The Mansion House was moved with teams of oxen who puled the structure atop large logs. No new tenants have come forward to occupy the spot.

FRESH COAT A painter adds new color to an early day home on Maple Street in downtown Watsonville. —Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Iraq has retaliated against the U.S. for its drone missile strike that killed Major General Quasi Suleimani, with a series of surface-to-surface missile hits on two Iraqi military bases that house U.S. troops. More that a dozen missiles have struck the airbases but there were no reports of casualties. More than a million people attended a funeral for Suleimani, the second most powerful official in Iran. President Trump continues his “chaotic brew of conflicting statements, crossed signals and mixed messages,” The New York Times wrote. While earlier he promised to bring troops home from the area, and then sent them to Syria, he is now sending troops from the U.S. to the Middle East. Trump has been forced by his own administration and the Pentagon to back off on his harsh threats to attack cultural sites in Iran after he was told that would constitute war crimes.

Massive devastation is being reported as “widespread” in Puerto Rico following a string of powerful quakes. Thousands of people are without power as dozens of buildings have collapsed and landslides have unfolded the island U.S. territory. Just before 4 a.m. Tuesday the latest quake, magnitude 6.4, struck, splitting some homes in half, unleashing massive rock slides over roadways and causing panic. This comes two years after Hurricane Maria left the island largely devastated with power outages, wiped out infrastructures, flooding and thousands left homeless.

Badly need rain is providing relief to firefighters in Australia where bush fires continue to burn an area the size of Denmark. Singer Elton John has come forward with the latest large donation to aid emergency crews with $1 million.