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The nation in brief

Posted: August 4, 2014 at 3:27 a.m.

Toledo water still

needs more tests

TOLEDO, Ohio -- More tests are needed to ensure that toxins are out of Toledo's water supply, the mayor said Sunday, instructing the 400,000 people in the region to avoid drinking tap water for a second day.

"This is not over yet," said Mayor Michael Collins, adding that new samples showing decreased levels of toxins in the water are a positive sign.

Toledo officials issued the warning early Saturday after tests at one treatment plant showed two sample readings for microcystin above the standard for consumption, possibly because of algae on Lake Erie. The city also said not to boil the water because that would only increase the toxin's concentration.

City and state officials monitoring the water were waiting for a new set of samples to be analyzed Sunday at a federal lab in Cincinnati, Collins said.

Worried residents told not to drink, brush their teeth or wash dishes with the water waited hours for deliveries of bottled water from across Ohio as Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency.

California wildfire

destroys 8 houses

BURNEY, Calif. -- A pair of wildfires burning without restraint about 8 miles apart in northeast California became the focus of state and federal firefighters Sunday as authorities reported that one of the blazes had destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital.

The two fires, among 14 burning in the state, started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest and had expanded into private property and scorched 90 square miles as of Sunday morning, up from 39 square miles a day earlier.

The more destructive of the two was threatening the town of Burney, where officials at Mayer Memorial Hospital decided to evacuate their 49-bed annex for patients with dementia and other conditions requiring skilled nursing. The patients were transferred to a hospital in Redding, about 55 miles away, the hospital reported on its website.

The Shasta County sheriff had Burney on an evacuation watch after ordering residents of three small neighboring communities to leave Saturday night. Sgt. John Greene said the area is sparsely populated and that authorities did not yet know how many residents were affected or if the destroyed homes were vacation houses or permanent dwellings.

Wrong man killed

in 8-hour standoff

PICO RIVERA, Calif. -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy accidentally shot and killed a man during a gunfight with a wanted parolee who invaded the man's house and took his wife hostage, authorities said Saturday.

The deputy mistook Frank Mendoza, 54, for the parolee during an 8-hour standoff that ended with SWAT officers storming his home in the suburb of Pico Rivera to rescue his wife and kill the suspect, said William McSweeney, chief of the sheriff's detective division.

He said the confusion occurred after Cedric Ramirez, 24, traded gunfire with deputies who were trying to arrest him for parole violations about 5 p.m. Friday. Ramirez had broken into Mendoza's home through a rear window.

The deputies fired back and ran for cover in the front yard. Seconds later, a man ran out of the door.

"Believing the man was Ramirez, a deputy fired two shots at the man," McSweeney said.

When an evacuated resident recognized that the fallen man was Mendoza, deputies tried to rescue him but he was dead by the time paramedics reached him.

-- COMPILED BY DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE STAFF FROM WIRE REPORTS

A Section on 08/04/2014

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