Across the Southeast

Fire destroys former home of Johnny Cash


HENDERSONVILLE, TENN. - A fire destroyed the lakeside home of the late country singer Johnny Cash on Tuesday as construction crews were preparing the home for its new owner, Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb.

The fire started around 1:40 p.m. in this suburb about 20 miles northeast of downtown Nashville.

Fire trucks arrived within five minutes, but the house was already engulfed in flames, Hendersonville Fire Chief Jamie Steele said.

The cause is unknown, but Chief Steele said the flames spread quickly because construction workers had recently applied a flammable wood preservative to the exterior of the house. The preservative was also being applied inside the house.

No workers were injured, but one firefighter was slightly hurt while fighting the fire, Chief Steele said.

'Girls Gone Wild' founder is jailed

PENSACOLA, FLA. - The founder of the Girls Gone Wild video empire will likely remain in jail in Panama City through at least Thursday.

Joe Francis was taken into custody by federal marshals early Tuesday to face a contempt of court citation after initially defying a federal judge.

Mr. Francis, 34, makes an estimated $29 million a year from videos of young women baring their breasts.

He drew the contempt citation during negotiations in a civil lawsuit brought by seven women who say they were underage when they were filmed by his company during spring break in 2003.

- From wire reports