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Sea star disease strikes Washington marine centers
PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — The disease wreaking havoc on wild sea star populations on the West Coast has struck captive collections on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

The Peninsula Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1zmgUJP ) Monday that sea stars at Port Townsend's Marine Life Center and Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles have died of the disease, known as sea star wasting.

In Port Townsend, 12 ochre stars have died, while the illness eliminated a species from the tanks in Port Angeles. Both centers pipe in ocean water for their tanks. Experts believe the disease is infectious and might be caused by bacteria or a virus.

Caretakers at the Olympic Peninsula's marine science centers don't intend to replace sea stars until they feel more confident they can keep them alive. They also want to avoid taking breeding adults that might be needed to replenish wild colonies.

___
Information from: Peninsula Daily News

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

Oregon wildfires wind down, more lighting coming
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Most of the large wildfires burning east of the Cascades in Oregon for the past two weeks are at or near containment. But a new round of intense lighting storms is forecast this week, particularly across central Oregon.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland reported Monday that six of the 11 large wildfires are at 80 percent to fully contained.

The largest is the Buzzard Complex, which is 98 percent contained after burning 618 square miles of rangeland about 45 miles southeast of Burns.
Isolated lightning is forecast starting Monday and Tuesday in southern Oregon, particularly east of the Cascades. Wednesday through Sunday lightning storms are expected to become more intense from Central Oregon to the Idaho border, with moderate to heavy potential for starting large fires.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

Ethiopian athletes reported missing Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A University of Oregon spokeswoman says four members of the Ethiopian track team have been missing since Saturday from the World Junior Championships.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports the four athletes are three women and a 17-year-old boy.

University spokeswoman Julie Brown says it's possible the athletes are staying with friends and family elsewhere in the state, but the university has not been able to confirm that.

Brown says that despite speculation, it also has not been confirmed if the athletes are seeking asylum.

Brown says the UO Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from Eugene police, Portland police and the FBI.

The 30-member Ethiopian team consists of 17 females and 13 males, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations website.

___

Information from: The Register-Guard

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Record coal exports in recent years are helping the U.S. appear to be making more progress on global warming than it is. But they may not be helping the planet.

As America gets greener, and produces more energy, it has sent more dirty fuels abroad, saddling other countries with cleaning up the exported pollution.

This fossil fuel trade threatens to undermine President Barack Obama's plans to curb global warming. But the administration doesn't want to figure out how much coal exports are contributing to global warming. It says the impact is small.

U.S. coal consumption declined by 195 million tons from 2008 to 2013. About 20 percent of that coal was exported.

Exports are expected to grow as global demand grows and the U.S. further cleans up its power sector.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Man arrested after alleged assault with machete
ASHLAND, Ore. -- A man was allegedly assaulted with a machete after an argument over living arrangements on an Ashland hillside, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. 

Isaac Lindsey, 28, reported Jon Coldwate, 45, confronted him and three other people who were living in the wooded area adjacent to Highway 99 while allegedly swinging a machete, yelling he was going to kill them. 

Police say Coldwate sliced Lindsey's hand with the machete, resulting in an extremely deep cut to the palm of his hand that required numerous stitches. He then fled the scene. 

A K-9 team searched the area, but was unable to locate to the man.

 Coldwate was arrested Sunday evening after deputies received a tip about his whereabouts. 

Coldwate was transferred to the Jackson County Jail and charged with first-degree Assault and Menacing. His bail has been set at $1,004,000. 

After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care
WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators have finally agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records.

The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees are holding a news conference Monday to unveil a plan expected to authorize billions in emergency spending to lease 27 new clinics, hire more doctors and nurses and make it easier for veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care.

An agreement reached Sunday by Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont comes nearly seven weeks after the House and Senate approved separate bills on veterans health care.

The deal still must be approved by the full House and Senate.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice
CHICAGO (AP) — A drugmaker is clashing with pediatricians over new recommendations to limit use of a costly medicine for preventing serious lung problems in preemies and other high-risk children.

The dispute involves new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines that say medical evidence shows the drug has limited benefits. The influential group says the drug is best suited for only very young preemies.The drug is sold by MedImmune under the brand name Synagis (SIN'-uh-jis).

 MedImmune is fighting back with full-page newspaper ads that say the updated policy threatens the most vulnerable babies.The drug is used to prevent problems linked with a common germ called RSV or respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH'-uhl) virus. Most kids get it but only mild cases with cold-like symptoms.

The new policy was published online Monday in Pediatrics.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Business News

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June, as the real estate market appears to have cooled off this summer.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
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 reputation. ...

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BOX OFFICE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It was a gal named "Lucy" versus a guy named "Hercules" at your local multiplex this weekend.

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IN THE NEWS: PRO DRONES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirty university and college professors say government restrictions on the use of small drones are likely to stifle academic research.

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