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NATIONAL BRIEFS


WYOMING: Swollen creek kills 4 in family

Four members of a Colorado Springs family died after their vehicle drove into a washed-out section of a mountain highway and was swept downstream by a raging creek as they fled torrential rains at a national forest campground. The scene was about 20 miles from Saratoga in the southern part of the state. A mother and her three young daughters were killed; only the husband and father managed to escape. Minutes later, a local emergency management official responding to the accident hit the same washout and plunged into the creek. He was rescued after about two hours. The bodies of Laurel Constantinides, 29, and the couple's three daughters -- Hanna, 8, Zoey, 5, and Lucia, 2, were recovered. Officials said it appeared they had drowned. The father and husband, Alex Constantinides, 39, was treated at a hospital and released.


OREGON: Wife and 4 kids found slain

A man suspected of killing his wife and four children and setting fire to their house had been convicted of molesting children in California 21 years ago, court records show. Jordan Adam Criado, 51, remained hospitalized Tuesday in Medford, where police planned to arrest him as soon as he had recovered enough to leave. His wife and four children had stab wounds when they were pulled from their burning home on Monday, police said. Criado had reported his wife, Tabasha Paige-Criado, 30, missing Monday morning. The children were identified as Elijah, 7; Isaac, 6; Andrew, 5, and Aurora, 2.


FLORIDA: Atlantis homeward bound

The last space shuttle is headed home. Atlantis left the International Space Station on Tuesday and slipped away after a partial lap around the station. Ten pairs of eyes pressed against the windows, four in the shuttle and six in the station. Touchdown for NASA's final shuttle voyage is targeted for pre-dawn Thursday back home at Cape Canaveral. Its return ends the 30-year run of a vessel that kept U.S. astronauts flying to and from orbit longer than any other rocketship. "Get her home safely and enjoy the last couple days in space shuttle Atlantis," the station's Mission Control told commander Christopher Ferguson and his crew. Replied Ferguson: "It's been an incredible ride."

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