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Why Grady is walking on air

Jim Grady, the radio-news icon who felt squeezed off the air at KSRO after 44 years, has been snatched up by pop station KZST.

At 68, Grady will host a program of music, news, gab and community affairs from 6 to 10 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. His gig at KZST, Sonoma County's No. 1 station, starts April 10.

NAPPING IN ROOM 416:

There was a huge fuss at and around a Walnut Creek hotel the other night.

A 34-member search team, scent dogs, a helicopter and TV news crews all converged there at word that an 80-year-old woman from Santa Rosa had gone missing.

But Lorna Newton-Adams, who helps low-income children and moms as a volunteer with the Assistance League of Sonoma County and went to a conference at the hotel to learn to do more, never was missing. She was just asleep, in the wrong room.

Lorna and five other League members drove to the Embassy Suites in Walnut Creek on Monday. Early that afternoon, she told her roommate she was chilled and wanted to lie down and warm up.

Though the retired dental hygienist was staying in Room 516, she got off the elevator one floor too soon and went to the unoccupied Room 416. Her key card wouldn't work so a housekeeper let her in.

Lorna, too much in need of a rest to notice that she was in the wrong room, lay down for a short nap. She slept, for the next 16 hours.

We can imagine what raced through her roommate's mind when she went up to check on Lorna and found Room 516 empty.

IN QUICK SUCCESSION, there was a search of the grounds, a call to Lorna's daughter, Penny Tibbetts in Santa Rosa; a 911 call to the Walnut Creek police and the activation of the Contra Costa County Sheriff's volunteer search and rescue team.

Officers briefly closed nearby Interstate 680 to allow dogs to search there. Searching went on all night.

"It was hard," said daughter Penny. "You try not to go to a place of fear, but you do."

Lorna woke up about 6 a.m. Tuesday. After discovering she was in the wrong room, she ventured out.

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