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In brief: Congressman blasts evolution in speech

Athens, Ga. – U.S. Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” meant to convince people that they do not need a savior.

The Republican lawmaker made those comments during a speech Sept. 27 at a sportsmen’s banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga. Broun, a medical doctor who serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, is running for re-election in November unopposed by Democrats.

“God’s word is true,” Broun said, according to a video posted on the church’s website. “I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

Meningitis spreads; seven now dead

Atlanta – An outbreak of a rare form of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated pain medication has continued to spread, with seven deaths and 64 patients sickened, according to health reports released Saturday.

The illness has been reported in nine states, with new cases in Minnesota and Ohio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tennessee has reported the most cases: 29, including three deaths. It is followed by Virginia, where 11 cases and one death were reported.

The deaths and illnesses are linked to steroid injections commonly used to alleviate back pain.

The contaminated medication, methylprednisolone acetate, which was produced at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., has been recalled.

Fungal meningitis is not contagious. Symptoms include worsening headaches, fever, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, weakness or numbness and slurred speech.

Police officer kills naked student

Mobile, Ala. – A police officer at the University of South Alabama has fatally shot a naked student whom authorities said repeatedly charged the officer.

University officials said the confrontation happened early Saturday morning when the officer went outside a police station to investigate a banging noise at a window.

Once outside, the officer was confronted by a naked man acting erratically.

Authorities said the man repeatedly charged the officer, who pulled his gun and retreated several times in an attempt to defuse the situation. When the man made a final charge, the officer shot him once in the chest.

The student has been identified as 18-year-old Gilbert Thomas Collar, of Wetumpka, Ala.

Local prosecutors are investigating the shooting. The officer who fired the shot has been placed on paid administrative leave.