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NATION IN BRIEF: Man honored for helping rescue abducted girl, 8

Man honored for helping rescue abducted girl, 8

FRESNO, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday honored the Good Samaritan who authorities say chased down a kidnapper and helped free an 8-year-old Fresno girl.

Schwarzenegger called Fresno resident Victor Perez a hero and made a pitch for local businesses to hire the unemployed construction worker.

Perez, a legal resident who was born in Ensenada, Mexico, came to the United States as a small child and attended school in Fresno. He recently returned to live with a cousin after a stint in San Diego and has been picking grapes to make ends meet, he said.

Perez appeared moved by the ceremony honoring him at Fresno City Hall, offering his thanks to God.

‘‘I just want ... to give thanks to that family, that the baby is back together with the mom,’’ he said as cameras flashed. ‘‘That’s the real hero to me, the daughter and the mom being back together. Thank you.’’

Police: Man attacks Mass. officer, kills self

LYNN, Mass. — A man in eastern Massachusetts attacked a police officer, then grabbed the officer’s gun and fatally shot himself in front of the city hall, police said.

Police spokesman Lt. William Sharpe said that at about 10 a.m., the young man, whose identity was not released, approached the Lynn police officer from behind while he was on a work detail and attacked him unprovoked.

‘‘We don’t believe he made any statements to the officer prior to the attack,’’ Sharpe said.

A nearby utility worker intervened and while the three struggled, the suspect got hold of the officer’s gun and shot himself, Sharpe said.

LA-area freeway jammed by burning yam truck

GLENDALE, Calif. — A burning big-rig loaded with yams has caused a hot potato of a traffic problem on a Los Angeles-area freeway.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs says a tractor-trailer hauling 50,000 pounds of the sweet potatoes caught fire on the southbound Interstate 5 in Glendale at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

No injuries were reported, but two of the four southbound lanes were closed for about 71⁄2 hours, slowing traffic until the yams could be loaded into another truck. The lanes reopened shortly after 10 a.m.

Woman uses glue instead of eye drops

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman accidentally glued an eye shut when she mistook super glue for her eye drops.

KSAZ-TV said Irmgard Holm of Glendale had cataract surgery a year ago. She was reaching for what she thought was one of her half-dozen eye drop medications. The burning sensation told her immediately something was seriously wrong.

Holm said the eye drops and the super glue bottles are nearly identical.

After putting super glue in her eye, Holm said she tried washing it out. But the quick-drying substance did what it was supposed to and sealed her eye shut.

Holm got to the hospital and staff cut off the hardened glue covering her eye. Once the eye was opened, doctors washed it out to prevent major damage.

NJ senator calls for anti-bully law after suicide

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Colleges should adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying and harassment in the wake of the suicide of a Rutgers University student whose gay sexual encounter in his dorm room was streamed online, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said at a town meeting on campus.

Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the crowd gathered Wednesday night in memory of 18-year-old freshman Tyler Clementi that he would introduce such legislation. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on Sept. 22 after the intimate images of him with another man were broadcast. His body was identified days later.

NY wants sugary drinks banned from stamp buys

NEW YORK — Using food stamps to buy sodas, teas, sports drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages would not be allowed in New York City under a new government effort to battle obesity.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson announced Thursday that they are seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the nation’s food stamp program, to add sugary drinks to the list of prohibited goods for city residents receiving assistance.