- - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ARIZONA

Police say gunman attacked at random

PHOENIX | A man accused of opening fire in a Phoenix strip club, killing two people and injuring three others, told police that he had planned the crime and chose the victims at random, according to a court document released Tuesday.

Gavin Macfarlane, 28, of Scottsdale, is accused of shooting four people with a .38-caliber revolver and physically attacking a fifth person at the Great Alaskan Bush Company shortly before midnight Sunday. Patrons tackled and beat him after he ran out of ammunition.

Mr. Macfarlane’s mug shot shows him with a torn shirt; a bloody nose, chin and forehead; and the beginning of two black eyes. He remained held in the Maricopa County jail’s psychiatric unit on a $2 million cash bond, and it was unclear whether he has an attorney.

A jail spokesman declined to say why Mr. Macfarlane was in the psychiatric unit. Phoenix police said that some of his wounds were self-inflicted, but declined to elaborate.

FLORIDA

Passenger arrested in bullet explosion

MIAMI | A 37-year-old man is facing a federal charge after bullet primers ignited in his bag as it was being unloaded at Miami International Airport from a flight that had just arrived.

FBI spokesman Mike Leverock says there is no connection to terrorism. The man is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was traveling Tuesday on an American Airlines flight from Boston to Miami and on to Jamaica. His name was not immediately released.

Mr. Leverock says several hundred bullet primers were discovered inside the bag after some ignited. No one was injured, although a few small shards struck the shoe of a baggage handler. The man was being held on a charge of traveling in interstate commerce without a license to carry ammunition.

GEORGIA

Sprouts blamed in salmonella cases

ATLANTA | An outbreak of salmonella that was tied to tainted alfalfa sprouts has grown to at least 94 cases in 16 states.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday said the case count had risen from 89 cases in 15 states in the past week, with California joining the list.

More than half the cases have been in Illinois. There have been no deaths.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised the public not to eat alfalfa sprouts produced by the Tiny Greens Organic Farm in Urbana, Ill., because of possible salmonella contamination. The warning issued Monday evening also includes a mix called spicy sprouts, which contains radish and clover sprouts.

LOUISIANA

Eight homeless killed in warehouse fire

NEW ORLEANS | A blaze in a small, abandoned warehouse in New Orleans killed eight homeless people who were burning wood in a barrel to stay warm, the fire department said Tuesday.

A man who lives nearby said the homeless often seek refuge from the cold in the neighborhood’s many boarded-up buildings. Temperatures were unusually low — just below freezing — when the fire was reported around 2 a.m.

The building was fully ablaze when the first firetruck arrived, said New Orleans Fire Department spokesman Greg Davis. Firefighters could not tell the ages or genders of the bodies pulled from the rubble. The fire also killed two dogs.

Two survivors told firefighters that at least some of the people inside were unconscious when the building went up in flames. Mr. Davis said they might have been knocked out by carbon monoxide. “When you burn something in a closed area, you’re going to build up carbon monoxide,” he said.

The average low for New Orleans in late December is around 44 degrees, but freezing temperatures aren’t unheard of, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Destri.

OHIO

NFL’s Bengals sued over drunken fans

CINCINNATI | A woman says two intoxicated fans at a Cincinnati Bengals game fell on her, breaking her nose and finger and causing other injuries.

Rebecca Dunn and husband Curtis Dunn of Owensboro, Ky., are suing the Bengals, the beer vendor and the county-owned football stadium for negligence, alleging they continued to serve alcohol to “noticeably intoxicated” fans at a 2009 NFL game.

Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Tuesday the team wouldn’t comment on pending litigation. Neither would the stadium vendor, Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., company spokeswoman said. Hamilton County officials didn’t immediately return an after-hours phone call Tuesday seeking comment.

The Dunns say the two men sitting behind them were served several drinks at Paul Brown Stadium before they fell on her, breaking and gashing her nose, breaking her finger, and causing bruises, sprains and other injuries. Their lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for past and future pain and suffering and medical treatment that they say has cost $20,000 so far.

The couple also are suing the fans, identified only as John Doe and John Doe II. The lawsuit accuses them of battery.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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