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GEORGIA

King papers available online

ATLANTA — Scholars and casual researchers can get their hands on important civil rights history — virtually, at least — for the first time as a major portion of Martin Luther King’s papers goes public.

Computer access to the documents, which have been digitized and cataloged, is available at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center.

The papers represent more than 75 percent of a 10,000-item collection bought by a group of civic and business leaders in 2006 from King’s family. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and former Mayor Andrew Young spearheaded the effort to raise $32 million for the purchase.

Morehouse College, King’s alma mater, is custodian of the collection.

The documents include many of King’s speeches and personal writings from 1946 to 1968.

About 7,000 pieces are handwritten by King, including an early draft of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and nearly 100 sermons, some of which never have been published.

MINNESOTA

Salmonella linked to three deaths

MINNEAPOLIS — Health officials have confirmed that three deaths associated with a national salmonella outbreak occurred in Virginia and Minnesota.

Virginia Department of Health spokeswoman Michelle Peregoy said two adults in Virginia had salmonella when they died. Minnesota health officials said an elderly woman in that state had the illness at the time of her death.

However, it’s not clear that salmonella is what killed them.

Health officials are urging nursing homes, hospitals, schools, universities and restaurants to toss out specific containers of peanut butter linked to the 43-state salmonella outbreak. Seventeen salmonella cases have been reported in Virginia.

The recalled peanut butter was distributed by King Nut Cos. of Solon, Ohio, and manufactured by Peanut Corp. of America in Lynchburg, Va.

Peanut Corp. of America President Stewart Parnell said the company is working with federal authorities.

NEW YORK

Survey: 3.4 million are victims of stalking

NEW YORK — An estimated 3.4 million Americans identified themselves as victims of stalking during a one-year span, according to federal crime experts who on Tuesday released the largest-ever survey of the aggravating and often terrifying phenomenon.

About half of the victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week from a stalker, and 11 percent had been stalked for five or more years, according to the report by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. It covered a 12-month period in 2005-06.

The study was described as a groundbreaking effort to analyze the scope and varying forms of stalking, which had not been featured in previous versions of the National Crime Victimization Survey.

The researchers defined stalking as a course of conduct, directed at a specific person on at least two separate occasions, that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. The most commonly reported types of stalking were unwanted phone calls (66 percent), unsolicited letters or e-mail (31 percent), or having rumors spread about the victim (36 percent).

More than one-third of the victims reported being followed or spied upon; some said they were tracked by electronic monitoring, listening devices or video cameras.

Nearly 75 percent of victims knew their stalker in some capacity, most commonly a former spouse or ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

NORTH CAROLINA

Study: VapoRub not for infants

WINSTON-SALEM — A U.S. study suggests the popular cold treatment Vicks VapoRub may create respiratory problems for infants and small children.

The study by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, published in the journal Chest, found the menthol compound may stimulate mucus production and airway inflammation, which can have severe effects on infants or young children because of the small size of their airways.

Current labeling of the Procter & Gamble product indicates that the Vicks product should not be used on children under 2 years of age.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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