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USDA orders farms to report pig virus infections
Written by M.L. JOHNSON, Associated Press   
Friday, 18 April 2014 13:38

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Farms stricken with a deadly pig virus must report outbreaks as part of a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of the disease, the federal government announced Friday.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea has killed millions of pigs in 27 states since showing up in the U.S. last May, with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina being hit hardest. The disease has been blamed for recent increases in bacon and pork prices. Farmers have struggled to control the virus, because little is known about how it spreads and there is not yet a federally approved vaccine.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would step up efforts by requiring farms to report infections and labs to report positive tests from submitted tissue and fecal samples. Farms that suffer an outbreak also will have to participate in a program to help control the spread of the disease; details of that program have not yet been worked out.

Previously, the USDA and the nation's pork industry tracked PED with voluntary reports from the labs.

The USDA said Friday it would commit $5 million to fight the disease, boosting the $1.7 million research effort already begun by the pork industry. It also will require farmers to report cases of a similar disease, swine delta coronavirus.

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Man who avoided prison is overwhelmed by support
Written by JIM SALTER, Associated Press   
Friday, 18 April 2014 13:35

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri man who avoided prison because of a clerical error and led a law-abiding life for 13 years said he is overwhelmed by the support he's received since the story of his incarceration became public.

Meanwhile, the Missouri attorney general signaled that he would look for a way to take Cornealious "Mike" Anderson's many years of clean living into account in attempting to resolve the "difficult situation."

Anderson, who was convicted in 2000 of armed robbery for holding up a restaurant manager in suburban St. Louis, said he's been cheered by inmates and guards at the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Mo., after his story appeared this week in news accounts.

An online petition urging his release has collected nearly 30,000 signatures, and one of Anderson's attorneys said Friday that the office has been flooded with calls from people who feel he has been wronged.

"It's a little overwhelming and embarrassing to me, but I can't thank people enough," Anderson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Everybody here has been positive, the prisoners and the correctional officers. I've had other prisoners tell me it gives them hope."

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Deputies: Florida man smothered crying son over video game
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 18 April 2014 07:39

HOMOSASSA, Fla. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in north Florida say a man suffocated his young, crying son so he could play video games.

Authorities say 24-year-old Cody Wygant is charged with third-degree murder and child neglect. He was being held Friday without bail at the Citrus County Jail.

Sixteen-month-old Daymeon Wygant wasn't breathing when emergency crews arrived at the home Thursday morning. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

According to investigators, Wygant said the boy was crying uncontrollably, preventing him from playing his Xbox games. He covered the boy's nose and mouth for three to four minutes until the boy became lethargic, then placed him in a playpen and covered him with bedding.

Deputies say Wygant didn't check on Daymeon for five hours.

His infant daughter is in the Department of Children and Families' custody.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
New roller coaster debuts at Kings Island in Ohio
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 18 April 2014 07:42

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Kings Island theme park in southwest Ohio is unveiling a new inverted roller coaster more than 4,000 feet long with speeds up to 68 miles per hour.

The "Banshee" is making its debut Friday at the park north of Cincinnati.

Kings Island says the steel roller coaster named for a wailing mythological messenger from the underworld includes a 167-foot lift hill and a 150-foot curved first drop. Riders also will experience a zero-gravity roll.

Three trains containing eight cars each will be able to carry 1,650 riders per hour.

Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. The Sandusky-based company owns and runs 10 other amusement parks, three outdoor water parks, an indoor water park, and five hotels.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes
Written by MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer   
Friday, 18 April 2014 07:33

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's small moon-orbiting spacecraft LADEE is no more. Flight controllers confirmed early Friday that LADEE crashed into the back side of the moon.

Researchers believe the robotic explorer vaporized upon contact because of its high orbiting speed of 3,600 mph, possibly smacking into a mountain or side of a crater. As of late Thursday afternoon, the spacecraft was flying 300 feet above the lunar surface. Its altitude had been lowered on purpose to ensure a crash by Monday.

LADEE — short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer — was launched in September. It completed its main science mission last month and was on overtime.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 April 2014 07:40
 
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