- - Thursday, October 4, 2012

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials ramped up warnings Thursday about a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy linked to a widening outbreak of a rare kind of meningitis, urging doctors and hospitals not to use any products from the company.

Investigators this week found contamination in a sealed vial of a steroid at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., according to Food and Drug Administration officials.

Tests are under way to determine if it is the same fungus blamed in the outbreak that has sickened 35 people in six states. Five of them have died. All received steroid shots for back pain.

The company recalled the steroid medication last week and has shut down operations. The recalled steroid had been shipped to facilities in 23 states since July.

NEW JERSEY

Teachers accused of sex contact with students

CAMDEN — Three teachers and two administrators at a New Jersey high school have been arrested on charges stemming from allegations the teachers had sexual relationships with students.

Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said Thursday the principal and vice principal at Triton High School in Runnemede were charged with official misconduct for allegedly failing to report the relationships when they learned about them.

Mr. Faulk said the school had a culture that allowed the relationships even though school policies clearly barred them.

Authorities said the consensual relationships — between three male teachers and three female students ages 17 or 18 — occurred between November 2011 and June. They said explicit text messages also were sent during school hours.

The Black Horse Regional School District superintendent said the district is cooperating with authorities.

CALIFORNIA

Manson family member gets parole recommendation

LOS ANGELES — A former follower of Charles Manson imprisoned for 40 years in a double murder engineered by Manson won a recommendation of parole Thursday in his 27th appearance before a parole board panel.

Bruce Davis was convicted with Manson and fellow “Manson family” member Steve Grogan in the killings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea. He was not involved in the infamous Sharon Tate murders in 1969.

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