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Girl used as shield killed by officer

Thu., July 14, 2005, midnight

Los Angeles A toddler whose father held her as a shield during a gunbattle with police died of a single gunshot fired from a police officer’s rifle, authorities said Wednesday.

Los Angeles County coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey released the autopsy reports of 19-month-old Suzie Pena and her father Jose Pena, 34, who were both killed Sunday in the hours-long shootout at Pena’s auto repair business.

The girl died from a single gunshot wound to the head, and her father died of multiple gunshot wounds, the reports said.

A toxicological examination to determine whether Pena had drugs or alcohol in his system will take several weeks, Harvey said.

Police Chief William Bratton said earlier that Pena was to blame for the child’s death, calling him “an individual who held his own daughter out as a human shield.”

Disaster workers split Powerball jackpot

Charleston, W.Va. A group of federal disaster workers, used to helping others facing misfortune, basked in their own good fortune Wednesday as they claimed a $10 million Powerball jackpot.

Gov. Joe Manchin presented individual checks to 14 of the 15 Federal Emergency Management Agency workers after one, Debbie Bucher of Winchester, Va., claimed the prize for all. Three workers are from West Virginia, while the rest are from Virginia.

Paul Whittemore of Winchester, Va., bought the winning ticket for the June 29 drawing at a Sheetz convenience store in Charles Town in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

Whittemore chose to stay at work Wednesday to help with relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Dennis.

“Paul is our man,” Bucher said. “Believe it or not, Paul and I had a hell of a birthday.”

Both were born on July 4.

Bovine TB discovered in Minnesota herd

St. Paul, Minn. Bovine tuberculosis has been discovered in a cattle herd on the border with Canada – the first finding in Minnesota since 1971 – and will lead to the destruction of about 900 animals, state officials said Wednesday.

A federal inspector monitoring the slaughter of a 5-year-old cow in February spotted suspicious internal lesions. Laboratory tests later confirmed the cow had TB, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

The animal was traced back to a herd in Roseau County in northern Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture bought a sample of the herd for further testing, had the animals slaughtered and found 18 cases of the disease.

Bovine TB is a highly contagious lung bacteria, spread by infected cattle coughing, bellowing and snorting in the confines of a feedlot or pasture. It is rarely passed to humans.

Teenage shark attack victim on the mend

Nashville, Tenn. A teenager who lost a leg because of a shark attack in Florida is recovering at home after 16 days in the hospital, his family said Wednesday.

Craig Hutto, 17, of Lebanon, Tenn., was attacked June 27 while fishing in the surf off Cape San Blas, Fla. The shark’s bite nearly severed his right leg, and it had to be amputated.

Hutto is using a walker and later will be fitted with an artificial leg, according to a spokesman for Monroe Carrell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. The teenager was transferred there last week from a Florida hospital.

The shark attack on Hutto was one of three during a seven-day period along Florida’s Gulf Coast.


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