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Nation in brief: Prison riot injures 250 inmates

CHINO, Calif. – A California state prison near Los Angeles remained on lockdown Sunday after a riot sent 55 prisoners to hospitals and injured more than 250 inmates in all, prison officials said.

As many as 80 officers responded to the riot Saturday night, which involved some 1,300 inmates in seven dormitory-style barracks at the California Institution for Men in Chino, prison spokesman Lt. Mark Hargrove said.

The riot was likely prompted by tensions between black and Hispanic prisoners, Hargrove said.

Officers used pepper spray, wielded batons and shot foam projectiles to remove inmates who had barricaded themselves inside the medium-security facility during the four-hour uprising. A fire ignited during the chaos caused significant damage to one of the buildings, Hargrove said.

The inmates’ injuries ranged from stab wounds and slashes to head trauma, and some of the injuries were considered life-threatening, Hargrove said.

Hawaii braces for tropical storm

HONOLULU – Hawaii braced for Tropical Storm Felicia on Sunday, taking no chances even though the storm weakened rapidly as it slipped toward the islands.

Felicia was downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts. It’s expected to weaken even more before hitting Hawaii late today or early Tuesday, when it is expected to be either a tropical storm or depression.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said the storm’s center was about 480 miles east of Hilo and 655 miles east of Honolulu as of 2 p.m. HST Sunday.

“Right now, the official track is right through the middle of the state,” said Julie Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

One of Hawaii’s most popular attractions, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, closed most of its roads and campgrounds until “after tropical storm conditions have passed.” Several beach parks on Hawaii’s Big Island were also being closed Sunday afternoon because the storm was expected to increase wave heights. A building swell generated by the storm was expected to hit eastern shores of the eastern Hawaiian islands later Sunday, according to the Hurricane Center. Large surf was expected to spread to eastern shores of all islands Sunday night and today.

Bird strike forces flight to land

RALEIGH, N.C. – A suspected bird strike shortly after takeoff forced a Northwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing Sunday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, officials said. No one was injured.

Flight 1546 took off for Minneapolis just before 9 a.m. but quickly landed after the pilot heard a noise, airport spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said.

Northwest spokeswoman Leslie Parker said a bird apparently struck the left engine and pilots shut it down. Northwest was rebooking passengers on other flights. Parker said the plane had 148 passengers and five crew members.

The type of bird and other details were not immediately released.


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