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TEXAS: 3 kids die in day care fire

A kitchen fire filled a home day care center with smoke Thursday, killing three children and injuring four others. Firefighters ran with babies and small children in their arms to nearby ambulances on the crowded street, a fire official said. All seven children in Jackie's Child Care, ranging in age from 18 months to 3 years old, were taken to hospitals, said Lt. Rick Flanagan of the Houston Fire Department. The four injured "are apparently still clinging to life . . . I don't think they're out of the darkness yet," he said.

ALASKA: One way to avoid a pat-down

Determined to avoid a pat-down search to board her flight home, a state lawmaker took an unusual route: a roundabout four-day detour via rental car, a small plane, taxicab and a ferry. Rep. Sharon Cissna's journey ended Thursday when the ferry arrived in Auke Bay, outside Juneau, where she was met by a small group of well-wishers and a bouquet of yellow flowers. She said travelers are "accidentally being abused by government," and she vowed to fight for changes in how the Transportation Security Administration deals with screening passengers, especially those with special health issues. Cissna (D-Anchorage) is a cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy. She underwent the full-body scan at Seattle's airport but was singled out for a further pat-down search, her second, she said, within three months. She took the rental car across the border, where she caught a small airplane from a Vancouver airport to Prince Rupert, B.C.; from there, she had a two-day ferry ride to Juneau, the capital city accessible only by air or water.

HAWAII: Quake rattles Honolulu

A small earthquake struck Thursday, with a jolt felt across Honolulu. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-3.6 temblor struck at 2:12 p.m., about 12 miles deep in the Kaiwi Channel, between the islands of Oahu and Molokai. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The quake, lasting several seconds, shook homes and people throughout Oahu, from high-rise buildings in downtown Honolulu to the tourist district of Waikiki. People about 160 miles away on Maui reported feeling the quake, the USGS said.

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