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In brief: Facilities linked to salmonella outbreak can remain open, Agriculture Department says

Washington – The Agriculture Department said three California poultry processing facilities linked to a salmonella outbreak in raw chicken can stay open, for now.

In a statement Thursday, the USDA said Foster Farms, which owns the facilities, has made “immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations.”

The department threatened earlier this week to shut down the plants if Foster Farms did not prove that it had made enough changes. Sampling by the USDA in September showed that raw chicken processed by those facilities included strains of salmonella that were linked to the outbreak that has sickened 278 people in 17 states.

The USDA said government inspectors will monitor the company’s improvements and “continue intensified sampling” of Foster Farms meat for the next three months.

Oil spill discovered in North Dakota field

Bismarck, N.D. – More than 20,000 barrels of crude oil have spewed out of a Tesoro Corp. oil pipeline in a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota, the state Health Department said Thursday.

State environmental geologist Kris Roberts said the 20,600-barrel spill, among the largest recorded in the state, was discovered on Sept. 29 by a farmer harvesting wheat about nine miles north of Tioga.

Steve Jensen, the farmer, said he’d smelled crude several days before the tires on his combines were coated with it. At the apparent break in the underground pipeline, the oil was “spewing and bubbling six inches high,” Jensen said.

The release of oil has been stopped, Roberts said. Tesoro said no water sources were contaminated, no wildlife was hurt and there weren’t any injuries.

Former Detroit mayor sent to prison

Detroit – A former Detroit mayor was sent to federal prison for nearly three decades Thursday, after offering little remorse for the widespread corruption under his watch.

Prosecutors argued that Kwame Kilpatrick’s “corrupt administration exacerbated the crisis” that Detroit now finds itself in. A judge agreed with the government’s recommendation that 28 years in prison was appropriate for rigging contracts, taking bribes and putting his own price on public business.

Kilpatrick, 43, said he was sorry if he let down his hometown but denied ever stealing from the citizens of Detroit.


 

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