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May 5, 2007

Kansas hit by tornado

A large tornado killed at least nine people and destroyed everything in its path in Kansas on Friday.

Greensburg, Kansas was hit the hardest. According to the Red Cross, about 90 percent of the town was destroyed or heavily damaged. Hundreds of residents were taken to shelters in schools and other facilities in neighboring towns.

MSNBC.com reported that at least 50 people had been taken to hospitals. One of the victims who died was a sheriff’s deputy.

The twister was estimated to be at least a half-mile wide. Two smaller tornadoes followed the original, larger twister. The storm system then moved on into parts of Nebraska and the Dakotas, as forecasters tried to track it Saturday afternoon.

The weather service reported a tornado in Greensburg about 9:30 p.m., Friday night. CNN said its meteorologist Reynolds Wolf said warning sirens alerted most residents to take cover.

Greensburg had no electricity, gas or running water, and at least 400 of the less than 2,000 residents were in shelters, CNN.com reported.40 members of the Kansas National Guard were sent to Greensburg to help with security, and searched houses for people trapped under rubble.

Rescue crews have pulled some people alive and more are expected to be found on Saturday and Sunday, CNN.com said.

The storm caused a collapse of one wing of Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, which trapped 30 people who were later rescued with minor injuries.

Stabbing at MOA

A female is currently in the hospital in critical condition after being stabbed Saturday in the stomach at the Mall of America.

According to police, a 14-year-old stabbed the victim. It was not said how old the victim is.

Bloomington Police said the incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., on the mall’s third floor. Investigations into determining what caused the confrontation, as well as looking at a potential relationship between the suspect and the victim, are underway.

The victim is currently in a hospital, but it was not disclosed which one in the state. The suspect is in custody.

The Pioneer Press did not have a report on this story as of 4 p.m, on Saturday.

Rollar Coaster Accident

A roller coaster in Japan hit a guardrail at an amusement park Saturday, killing one person and injuring another 21.

MSNBC.com said the roller coaster was traveling at 46 mph. Of the injured, two suffered serious injuries, and 12 people who saw the accident were taken to a hospital after they complained of feeling ill.

According to reports, an axle on one of the six cars broke during a ride, causing the accident. The ride could hold up to 24 passengers.

The accident occurred amidst Japan’s “Golden Week? holiday, in which many families attend amusement parks and other tourist sites, the Star Tribune said.

The park, called Expoland, was closed immediately following the accident. It has been in operation since 1970.

No further information about previous accidents or lack of accidents were provided in the articles.

Wife for sale?

The Brazilian Government has ordered an Internet auction site to remove an ad which a man offered to sell his wife for $50.

Mercado Liyre, partially owned by eBay, was ordered to remove the ad by the Secretariat of Public Policies for Women on Friday, CNN.com said. They said the ad was violating a law banning the offer or sale of human organs, people, blood, bones or skin.

CNN.com said the ad was not longer on the website on Saturday.

The Estado news agency said it was not clear if the ad was a joke.

According to CNN, the man who posted the ad said: “I sell my wife for reasons I prefer to keep short…I really need the money.?

The ad went on to describe the wife physically and listed her qualities as homemaker and companion, CNN said.

Shots

Shots were offered starting at noon Saturday to a potential 1,500 people who may have been exposed to hepatitis A at a Minnesotan resturant earlier this week.

The Pioneer Press reported that another 200 people were given shots Saturday morning, bringing the total number of people to around 1,800. The Pioneer Press also reported that there was a third case of Hepatitis A confirmed on Friday.

The Pizza Ranch in Slayton closed on Tuesday after tests showed that two employees were infected, according to the Star Tribune. The shots are being offered to customers who ate there or at catered events from April 20 to May 1.

Shots are available at the Murray County Fairgrounds in Slayton.

There has been no indication that any paying customers had been infected, the Tribune said.

Health officials plan to offer all customers and employees shots that can prevent infection up to 14 days after exposure. The shots use immune globulin.

The Star Tribune said that Hepatitis A is caused by a virus found in feces, and is commonly spread through eating food or drinking beverages.

Local health officials hope to have more test results on other employees as early as Saturday. There are around 20 people that work at the resturant.

The Star Tribune also reported that this breakout of Hepatitis A has been the first in seven years that it has been traced to a restuartant. In 2000, an outbreak occurred at a bar in Little Canada and sickened several dozen people.
Annual cases of hepatitis have dropped since the 1990s, when they numbered in the hundreds, to 36 in 2005, the Star Tribune reported.