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In the Nation

Missouri breach is flooding Iowa

Six hundred residents in southwest Iowa were ordered Sunday to evacuate their homes after the Missouri River breached a levee across the border in Missouri.

The evacuation covers nearly half of the town of Hamburg, said a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported a levee was breached Sunday morning south of Hamburg in Missouri's Atchison County.

Iowa sent a Blackhawk helicopter Sunday to drop 1,000-pound sandbags on the levee, an official said, because it was too dangerous for ground crews. - AP

A birthday party minus Josh Fattal

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - Dozens of friends and colleagues of Josh Fattal gathered Saturday in Oregon to celebrate his 29th birthday - and mark his second one in prison in Iran.

Fattal, who grew up in Elkins Park, Pa., is one of two young American hikers the Iranian government has been holding since July 2009 on espionage charges.

Before he went hiking near the Iraq-Iran border, he worked three years on sustainable farming practices at the Aprovecho Research Center here, south of Eugene.

Fattal's brother Alex said about 40 friends and colleagues gathered in Cottage Grove, at one point exchanging gifts that had relevance to Josh. - AP

Penny payment prompts penalty

VERNAL, Utah - A Utah man has been cited on a disorderly conduct charge after paying for a disputed medical bill with 2,500 pennies.

Jason West, 38, went to Basin Clinic here May 27 prepared to dispute an outstanding $25 bill, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported.

Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell said that after asking staff members whether they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies on the counter and demanded that they be counted.

Campbell said it upset staff because pennies were strewn about the counter and floor, and West's action served "no legitimate purpose."

Police later issued West a citation for disorderly conduct. It carries a fine of as much as $140.

Or 14,000 pennies. - AP

More evacuations in Arizona fires

TUCSON, Ariz. - Crews used controlled backfires early Sunday to blunt the advance of a major wildfire near mountain communities in eastern Arizona that has already burned through 225 square miles of forest and brush.

Fire officials still have zero containment of the Wallow Fire near the New Mexico-Arizona state line, which has forced an unknown number of people to evacuate from several small towns.

The 144,000-acre fire, the third-largest in state history, has sent smoke well into New Mexico and parts of southern Colorado.

Fire managers said early Sunday that 160 firefighters were working through the night; 1,300 firefighters are on the scene. - AP