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Possible poisoned letter sent to senator

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A suspicious letter sent to the office of a Mississippi senator Tuesday tested positive for a deadly poison, The Wall Street Journal said.

The letter was addressed to Senator Roger Wicker's office, but was intercepted before reaching Capitol Hill, ABC News and The Wall Street Journal said. The letter had no return address but was postmarked from Memphis, Tenn., said ABC News.

After the letter was screened at a senate mail facility in Maryland, it was flagged for possibly containing poison, The Wall Street Journal said. The preliminary test for ricin came back positive, ABC News said.

A spokesperson for the Capitol Police told The Wall Street Journal that the envelope contained a "white granular substance." Mail to the senate has been suspended, ABC News said.

The substance was sent to the lab and final results will be available within 24 to 48 hours, The Wall Street Journal said.

Authorities told ABC News and The Wall Street Journal an individual who frequently sends letters to members of Congress is being questioned.

Algae leads to manatee deaths in Florida

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The bloom of toxic red algae has killed 241 of Florida's endangered manatees, The Columbus Dispatch said.

The death toll this year already exceeds the previous annual record of 151, The New York Times said. The number of deaths is expected to rise because the deadly toxins from the algae has already contaminated the sea grass that the manatees eat, The Columbus Dispatch said.

The Red Tide algae appeared last year on Florida's west coast, the home to an estimated 5,000 manatees, The Columbus Dispatch said.

The toxins are usually inhaled by the manatees when they come up for air, which can lead to seizures or paralysis, causing them to drown, The Columbus Dispatch said.

Sometimes the algae can grow out of control causing the water to to red and producing a large amount of toxins, The Columbus Dispatch said. Even residents and tourists can have respiratory problems if they breath the toxins in after being on beaches near red tide algae, The New York Times said.

Dental patients in Tulsa and Owasso waited in line at a health clinic Saturday after possible exposure to HIV and hepatitis, USA Today said.

Letters to 7,000 patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington, an oral surgeon in Tulsa, were sent out advising them to get checked for HIV and hepatitis due to possible exposure from unsanitary practices, USA Today said.

The North Regional Health and Wellness Center tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C. 420 people were tested Saturday, and should receive their results within two weeks, CNN and USA Today said.

The state dentistry board filed a 17-count complaint against Dr. Harrington with a pending license revocation hearing. The board found reused needles, expired drugs, rusty instruments, improper use of instuments and dentist assistants administering sedatives to patients, USA Today said.

The dentistry board started its inspection after one of Harrington's patient tested positive for hepatitis C, CNN said.

Unlike other states who conduct random inspections of dentist offices, Oklahoma inspects only after a complaint is filed, CNN said.

Oberlin College in Ohio cancelled classes Monday after another hate-related incident disrupted the campus, the Star Tribune said.

The latest of a month-long series of hate-related crimes occurred after midnight Sunday when someone reported seeing a person dressed in a white robe and hood near the Afrikan Heritage House, The New York Times said.

Oberlin College, known for its strong prevalence of liberalism, convened for a campus wide meeting. President Marvin Krislov apologized to students who felt threatened by the incidents, The New York Times said. The meeting was also intended to inform students about groups that have been formed to put an end to these incidents, the Star Tribune said.

Some students at the meeting spoke out saying the administration was not doing enough to create a "safe and inclusive" environment, and only took action when urged by student activists, The New York Times said. However, many students praised the administration for the decision to hold the meeting, The New York Times said.

In the last month, racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay messages have been found around campus, the Star Tribune said. Some of the incidents include slurs written on Black History Month posters and swastika drawings and "whites only" written above drinking fountains, The New York Times said.

It's not clear if the people involved in these incidents are students or from off-campus, the New York Times said.

A pregnant Brooklyn woman and her husband died Sunday after the livery cab they were riding in was hit by another vehicle, however their unborn child survived, the Las Vegas Sun said.

Their baby boy was delivered prematurely after his mother's death, and survived, The New York Times said.

Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, and their driver were struck by a BMW in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn on their way to the hospital because Raizy Glauber was not feeling well, the Las Vegas Sun said. The driver and a passenger of the BMW fled the scene, and have not been found, The New York Times said.

Raizy Glauber was thrown from the car and landed under a parked trailer nearby, her husband was pinned in the car and emergency workers cut the roof off to get him out, the Las Vegas Sun said. Both were pronounced dead at hospitals from blunt-force trauma and the driver was in stable condition, the Las Vegas Sun said.

The couple's baby was listed in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital, a community leader told The New York Times.

A young Kansas City woman was killed in a gas explosion at a popular restaurant Tuesday.

The explosion triggered a fire and blew out windows of nearby buildings, leaving one woman dead and 15 injured. The woman's identity has not been released.

Three of the injured are in critical condition and three others are in serious condition at area hospitals, the Chicago Tribune said.

A contractor was drilling in the ground near J.J.'s restaurant and hit a pipe, the Chicago Tribune said.

Throughout the day many people in the surrounding area complained of a strong gas smell, the New York Times said.

The leak in the pipe had allowed gas to build up around the restaurant. The gas in the air was ignited in the restaurant engulfing the building in flames, as crews were trying to fix the pipe outside, the Chicago Tribune said. The source of the ignition is still unclear.


Jesse Jackson Jr. charged with misusing campaign funds

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Former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged with conspiracy for allegedly misusing $750,000 in campaign funds Friday.

Jackson Jr. is alleged to have spent the $750,000 on personal items such as expensive watches, clothing and collectibles, The Washington Post said.. Also, the government has alleged him of making false statements to the House of Representatives for not reporting loans and gifts he received.

Jackson Jr. has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sandi Jackson, Jackson Jr.'s wife, has allegedly understated their income on tax returns for the past six years, the Chicago Tribune said. She faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Both Jackson Jr. and his wife plan to plead guilty to the charges and have apologized for their mistakes, the Chicago Tribune said.

Massive snow storm hits Northeast

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Many Northeasterners woke up Saturday to massive amounts of snow, after a snow storm hit Friday leaving some dead.

At least five deaths have been blamed on the snow storm, The Miami Herald said. In addition, about 650,000 homes and businesses lost electricity, with some who's electricity won't be restored for days.

Milford, Conn. got hit the hardest with 38 inches of snow followed by Portland, Maine with 31.9 inches, breaking their 1979 record. Other heavily affected areas include: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

Along with the amount of snow being an issue there were winds up to 80 mph causing major drifts, The Washington Post said.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut issued travel bans to keep cars of the road. There were over 240 auto accidents and 90 motorists who were rescued in Connecticut, The Washington Post said.

Connecticut wasn't the only place were motorists were stranded; some Long Island motorists were stranded on highways overnight. Emergency workers used snowmobiles to reach stranded motorists because snowplows were getting stuck, The Washington Post said.

Unfortunately for those affected the snow storm didn't leave behind light fluffy snow, it left behind the wet heavy snow making it even harder to shovel.

A man from Indiana convicted of murder was put back in custody Saturday.

Steven Robbins, 44, was mistakenly released Wednesday from Cook County Jail in Chicago after Illinois officials lost paperwork directing them to return him to Indiana to continue serving his sentence, said The New York Times.

Robbins was convicted of muder in Indiana in 2004 and sentenced to 60 years in prison. He was brought to Chicago by Cook County deputies for a court appearance for a seperate case; a case that had been dismissed in 2007, said the Chicago Tribune. There is still confusion as to why Robbins had a court appearance for the old case when the case had already been dismissed five years ago.

Illinois officals found Robbins at a friends house about 60 miles away and put him back in custody Friday night. Officials were able to find him after knocking on Robbins' family and friend's doors asking for information regarding his location, said The New York Times.

The public was not informed of Robbins release until 24 hours later which has caused some controversy. Officials said this was due to the fact that they were trying to look in expected spots before Robbins realized they were looking for him, reported the Chicago Tribune.

The mistake of Robbins release is still being investigated to see where things went wrong. A spokesman for Cook County has apologized for the mistake, said the Chicago Tribune.

A smiliar issue occurred in 2009 at the same jail. A convicted sex offender from Mississippi serving a 30 year sentence was mistakenly released from Cook County Jail after charges were dropped against him in a seperate case, said the Chicago Tribune.

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