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AROUND THE NATION

> WASHINGTON STATE

Shooting spree kills 3 in cafe, carjack victim

SEATTLE (AP) -- A gunman killed four people Wednesday -- three at a cafe and another in a carjacking -- before he apparently shot himself as officers closed in following a citywide manhunt, authorities said.

He was hospitalized in critical condition.

Police searching for the suspect in the first shooting at the Cafe Racer near the University of Washington -- where two men and a woman died -- also had to respond to another fatal attack near the city's downtown. They say a man killed a woman in an apparent carjacking and fled in a black sport utility vehicle. Authorities said late Wednesday they believe that one man was responsible for both attacks.

"At this time, we feel pretty confident that we have the suspect," said Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz.

The latest spasm of deadly gun violence to hit the city worried Seattle's leaders and prompted police to consider increasing patrols in high-crime areas. The four deaths bring the number of homicides so far this year to 20, compared with 21 in all of last year.

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> GEORGIA

Salmonella reported from mail-order chicks

ATLANTA (Bloomberg News) -- The urban chicken movement has unleashed salmonella poisoning.

Baby chickens from a mail-order hatchery that supplies backyard flocks sickened 316 people in 43 states over eight years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The chicks were contaminated with salmonella, the most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States, according to a report Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Poultry are a common carrier of the bacteria, and health authorities are increasingly concerned as the mail-order hatching industry reported record sales "due to increased interest in raising backyard flocks and urban chickens" in the first half of 2009, the report said.

The outbreak lasted from 2004 through 2011, and cases were probably higher than the laboratory-confirmed number published, the report said.

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> NEW MEXICO

Fire in national forest is state's largest ever

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- A massive wildfire that has burned more than 265 square miles in the Gila National Forest has become the largest fire in New Mexico history, fire officials confirmed Wednesday.

The blaze grew overnight to more than 170,000 acres, surpassing a fire last year that burned 156,593 acres in Los Conchas and threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nation's premier nuclear facility.

The Gila forest fire also is the largest burning in the country. It formed last week when two lightning-sparked blazes merged in an isolated mountainous area in southwestern New Mexico, where it has destroyed about a dozen homes and prompted evacuations of nearby towns and health alerts for the state's largest cities.

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> NORTH CAROLINA

Jurors in Edwards trial end 8th day; no verdict

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- The federal judge overseeing the campaign corruption trial of former Sen. John Edwards sent the jury home Wednesday after eight days of deliberations without a verdict and released the four alternate jurors, who have garnered attention for their matching shirts but have not participated in deliberations.

Judge Catherine C. Eagles cautioned the alternates not to discuss or read media reports about the trial in case they need to be recalled. She gave no indication whether she believed that the 12 jurors are close to deciding the fate of the two-time Democratic presidential candidate.

Edwards faces six felony charges in a case involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy political donors to help hide the Democrat's pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.