Pharmacy error cited in 3 deaths

PORTLAND, Ore. - A pharmacy erroneously made a medication 10 times more potent than intended, which killed three people who received it at an Oregon clinic, the state medical examiner says.

ApotheCure Inc., a drug compounding pharmacy company in Texas, said an employee made a weighing error in the creation of the drug colchicine.

The drug was only sent to the Center for Integrative Medicine in Portland, where three people received injections of the defective batch to treat back pain, ApotheCure said.

All three people, two from Portland and one from Yakima, Wash., died between the end of March and beginning of April from the toxic levels of the drug, officials said. - AP

4 die in shootings outside Kan. mall

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man driving a dead woman's car shot a police officer, then opened fire in a parking lot and a mall yesterday, authorities said. By the end of the day, four people, including the gunman, were dead and three were wounded.

Police shot the gunman to death outside a Target store at Ward Parkway Center in south Kansas City, police spokesman Tony Sanders said.

The mall, one of the city's busiest shopping centers, was shut down, and officers were going through each store to see if anyone else might have been involved. The names of the gunman and victims were not immediately released. - AP

Ill. teen held after alleged prom threat

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. - A teenager was in jail yesterday after police said he threatened to shoot people at a high school prom.

Shane S. Bramlett, 18, of Ava, left a message on his ex-girlfriend's cell phone threatening an attack at the Murphysboro High School prom in southern Illinois, Murphysboro police officer Jeremy Kranawetter said. Police said they also listened in on a conversation between the two in which Bramlett made a similar threat.

The school's prom was held without incident Saturday at the Carbondale Convention Center amid extra security. Bramlett was arrested Saturday and charged with making a terrorist threat, intimidation, violating a protection order, and telephone harassment, police said yesterday. - AP

Elsewhere:

Firefighters have managed to contain about 70 percent of the largest wildfire in Georgia history, which had charred 100 square miles of forest and swampland near the Okefenokee Swamp, officials said yesterday.

Workers digging at the future site of a Wal-Mart store in suburban Mesa, Ariz., have unearthed the bones of a prehistoric camel that is estimated to be about 10,000 years old. Officials said the bones would be displayed at nearby Arizona State University.

The government cannot alter standards for tuna sold under the "dolphin-safe" label, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled, saying the Bush administration let politics influence a decision that was supposed to be based on science. The decision keeps intact the virtual ban on U.S. imports of tuna caught by fleets from Mexico and other foreign nations that encircle dolphins with nets to catch the tuna that swim beneath them.

A New York City councilman wants to do something about the unwanted menus and circulars that have a way of appearing on city doorsteps. Simcha Felder has introduced legislation that would make it illegal to distribute menus, circulars and fliers to homes and apartment buildings that display a sign indicating promotional materials are unwanted.