NATION IN BRIEF: Officials: Egg company knew of salmonella

Officials: Egg company knew of salmonella

WASHINGTON — The Iowa egg farm at the center of a massive salmonella outbreak received hundreds of positive results for salmonella in the two years before its eggs sickened more than 1,500 people, congressional investigators said Tuesday.

In a letter to the company’s owner, the House Energy and Commerce Committee said its investigators had obtained records showing Wright County Egg received 426 positive results for salmonella between 2008 and 2010. The company recalled 380 million eggs in August after its products were linked to hundreds of illnesses.

The committee said the positive results found over the last two years included 73 samples that were potentially positive for Salmonella Enteritidis, the strain responsible for the recent outbreak.

La. man charged in 4 mobile home killings

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Authorities in Louisiana said a man who shared a mobile home where four people were killed has been charged with first-degree murder in their deaths.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Tuesday that investigators believe 52-year-old Lee Roy Williams Jr. acted alone. The sheriff described the killings as ‘‘brutal murders’’ but he wouldn’t say how they were killed Sept. 3.

Oil ends lower as stocks swing back and forth

NEW YORK — Oil settled below $77 a barrel Tuesday as the stock market swung between losses and gains on mixed economic news.

Benchmark crude for October delivery lost 39 cents to settle at $76.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Stocks rose and fell through the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down almost 18 points. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 were little changed as well.

Doctor gets 6 months in abortion case

BARNSTABLE, Mass. — A Massachusetts doctor has been sentenced six months in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the case of a woman who died after he performed an abortion on her.

Dr. Rapin Osathanondh, was sentenced Tuesday in Barnstable Superior Court. He pleaded guilty Monday, just as his trial in the 2007 death of Laura Hope Smith was to begin.

He will be eligible for parole after three months and must serve nine months of home confinement with electronic monitoring. He had faced a maximum 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged that Osathanondh did not properly monitor the 22-year-old woman from Sandwich while she was under anesthesia and failed to call 911 in a timely manner.

6 injured in explosion at Tenn. flare plant

TOONE, Tenn. — An explosion and flash fire Tuesday at a plant that makes flares for the military injured six people, three of them critically, authorities said.

The explosion at Kilgore Flares Co. was reported just before noon, said Cris Hill, a dispatcher at the Hardeman County sheriff’s office.

A Memphis hospital said three people were brought there in critical condition and a smaller hospital in Bolivar reported three people there in good condition.

Costume, toy machete draws cops to store

JOPLIN, Mo. — A southwest Missouri teenager dressed as a machete-wielding madman to promote a Halloween store was the one who ended up getting a scare.

The Joplin Globe reports a police officer pointed a gun at the costumed teenager and ordered him to the ground Saturday after getting a report that a disturbed person was brandishing a weapon on a city street.

The teen, whose name was not released, wore a mask and swung what later proved to be a plastic machete while waving to cars outside the Spirit of Halloween store.

Other officers arrived and quickly determined the boy posed no threat.

Progress made on Colo. blaze as winds return

LOVELAND, Colo. — Firefighters were trying to gain ground on a wildfire in the northern Colorado foothills Tuesday ahead of strong winds expected to move in, potentially spreading the flames.

The fire has burned nearly 1,000 acres of tinder-dry grass and trees in steep terrain just west of Loveland.

The fire, which has destroyed two homes, was 20 percent contained.