- - Monday, April 4, 2011

ALABAMA

Link sought between lab bacteria, deadly outbreak

MONTGOMERY | State health officials are trying to determine whether organisms found at a Birmingham pharmaceutical company match bacteria that’s linked to an infection outbreak in a half-dozen state hospitals.

State health department director Dr. Donald Williamson said investigators hope to have test results back by Tuesday.

Nine people died and 10 others were sickened last month after receiving intravenous feeding bags produced by Meds IV. Officials haven’t linked the deaths and illnesses directly to the infection, and they say they may never know exactly what role the contamination played.

Dr. Williamson said the type of bacteria in the IV bags was found on a sink and in a production area at Meds IV.

CALIFORNIA

Border officer charged with rape

WESTMINSTER | A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with rape in an attack in Southern California that authorities say occurred while he was off-duty.

Prosecutors expect Miguel Lerma Jr., 31, to be arraigned soon on charges of rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation and rape by use of drugs.

Mr. Lerma is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in November after picking her up on a Santa Ana street and driving her to a cul-de-sac.

Garden Grove police say DNA evidence also tied Mr. Lerma to a 2009 sexual assault in Long Beach.

Mr. Lerma was arrested Thursday and has been placed on administrative leave from Customs and Border Protection.

LOUISIANA

Tests performed on well device defended

Story Continues →