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National News June 17

By: AP
By: AP

WESTERN WILDFIRES
DENVER (AP) -- Additional crews have arrived at a wildfire in northern Colorado that has scorched about 85 square miles and destroyed at least 181 homes. It's the most homes destroyed in the state's history.
More than 1,500 personnel are working on the fire about 15 miles west of Fort Collins. The lightning-caused blaze was reported June 9 and was 20 percent contained.
Fire information officer Brett Haberstick says hot and dry weather is expected to continue, but crews have made progress in containing a 200-acre spot fire north of the Cache La Poudre River, a critical line of defense against northward growth.
Firefighters also continue to battle a wildfire in New Mexico that has destroyed 224 homes while racing through 38,000 acres. Officials say the blaze is 51 percent contained.

MORTGAGE FRAUD-VEGAS
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A former Las Vegas businessman has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison for masterminding a mortgage fraud scheme that cost financial institutions more than $24 million.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt on Friday also ordered Brett Depue of Gilbert, Ariz., to pay $1.6 million in restitution.
Depue was accused of conspiring to recruit straw buyers with good credit to buy about 100 homes with mortgage applications containing false information, then renting the properties before selling them at a profit.
Prosecutors say he acknowledged making as much as $13 million off the scheme through investment companies he operated from 2005 to 2007.
The 38-year-old Depue was found guilty by a jury in March of multiple conspiracy and wire fraud charges.

LIMA, Ohio (AP) -- Police are continuing their investigation into what caused a 63-year-old woman to drive her car into a crowded square in Lima (LY'-muh), Ohio last night, striking bystanders and sending some through the air.
Authorities and witnesses say others were pinned under the car until bystanders freed them by lifting the vehicle.
About 30 people were injured. Some suffered serious injuries to their legs, heads and necks -- but none of the injuries were life-threatening. All but four were released from the hospital Friday.
Police say the woman probably drove the car about 50 feet at about 20 mph. One of the first people to dial 911 says the woman had a white dog in the back seat and looked disoriented.

TALKEETNA, Alaska (AP) -- Four members of a Japanese climbing team are presumed dead after an avalanche swept them off a hill on Mount McKinley.
U.S. National Park Service officials say five people were traveling as one rope team early Thursday morning as part of a Miyagi Workers Alpine Federation expedition.
One team member, 69-year-old Hitoshi Ogi, was swept into a crevasse and survived. The other four tumbled into the avalanche debris and haven't been seen since.
The Park Service says in a news release that nearly 400 mountaineers were making rescue attempts Saturday on the Alaska mountain's West Buttress. Snowfall and wind have impeded the search.
The four missing climbers include 64-year-old Yoshiaki Kato, 50-year-old Masako Suda, 56-year-old Michiko Suzuki, and 63-year-old Tamao Suzuki.


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