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Layoffs will hurt patients: nurses

TORONTO—The Ontario Nurses’ Association is sounding the alarm about layoffs of registered nurses by cash-strapped hospitals—and warns patients will pay the price.

The union, which represents 60,000 registered nurses, says 770 RN positions were cut across Ontario last year, and hospitals in Windsor and Kitchener already have announced more RN layoffs this month.

Trio of Powerball winners

LOS ANGELES—An eye-popping and unprecedented Powerball jackpot, whose rise to $1.6 billion became a national fascination, will be split three ways.

The winners’ identities remain a mystery but they bought their tickets in Florida, Tennessee, and an L.A. suburb where even lottery losers were celebrating yesterday that such heady riches were won in their modest city.

Thief stuffs snake down pants

A snake thief smuggled a two-foot-long python from a Portland pet store by stuffing it down his pants.

Sgt. Greg Stewart said no arrests have been made in Friday’s theft.

But Christin Bjugan, an owner of A to Z pet store, said video surveillance has helped viewers and police detectives identify a suspect, and she expects to have the snake returned soon.

New record for wildfires in parks

Wildfires scorched a record amount of Canada’s national parks last year—the latest in a number of long, hot summers that almost entirely have depleted Parks Canada’s firefighting reserve.

“We had a very busy fire year,” said Jeff Weir, director of fire management.

“We had more wildfires than normal and those fires burned larger areas than normal,” he noted.