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NATIONAL BRIEFS


ARIZONA: Saluting the 19 fallen

Hundreds of firefighters battling a blaze outside the mountain town of Yarnell came off the line Wednesday to salute a highway procession of fire vehicles that had been left by 19 elite Hotshot crew members killed last weekend. Fire crews across the nation paused to remember the Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots, said Jim Whittington of the multiagency Southwest Incident Command Team. Gov. Jan Brewer said she would fly Arizona flags at half-staff for 19 days for each firefighter lost. "We will remember this one," Whittington said, his voice shaking. "It's tough."


IOWA: Complaint over speeding guv

A senior state criminal investigator was placed on leave in May, days after he filed a complaint about seeing the governor's official Chevy Tahoe racing past highway traffic at about 90 mph, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Special Agent Larry Hedlund, a 25-year veteran of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, wrote in his April 29 complaint to Commissioner Brian London that Gov. Terry Branstad shouldn't be "above the laws of the State of Iowa" and that his SUV had put the public at risk. The next day, Hedlund found himself under scrutiny, facing questions about why he was driving a state vehicle on a vacation day, April 26, on which he witnessed the speeding. Hedlund said he would pursue an investigation to ensure "appropriate actions are taken."


CALIFORNIA: Falling oak kills worker

A worker was killed when a large oak tree fell at a summer camp near Yosemite National Park, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley reported. The federation, which provides scholarships for children to attend Camp Tawonga, identified the worker on Wednesday as Annais Rittenberg, 21. Four injured adults were treated at area hospitals after the tree fell, taking down power lines. No children were harmed.


Progress in BART talks

Negotiations resumed Wednesday between Bay Area Rapid Transit and its striking rail workers after both sides indicated progress after a nearly nine-hour overnight session. The three-day strike has slowed commuting across the San Francisco Bay Area. Key issues include salaries, pensions, health care and safety.

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