ILLINOIS

Chicago blaze kills 8, including 6 children

Eight people, including six children, were killed when a fire broke out before dawn Sunday at a Chicago apartment. It was one of the deadliest fires in the city in years, officials said.

Two other people were hospitalized in critical condition, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said. One of the children who died was an infant, according to Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago.

“We have not had this in many, many, many years — this amount of fatalities and injuries in one location,” he said.

The fire was put out by just after 5 a.m., fire department officials said. At least one firefighter was injured and was hospitalized in good condition.

Merritt said investigators have not found working smoke detectors in the apartment.

— Associated Press

NEW YORK

Bishop refuses to quit after abuse report

The Roman Catholic bishop of Buffalo on Sunday rejected calls to resign over his handling of sexual abuse allegations against priests, saying that the “shepherd does not desert the flock” in difficult times.

Bishop Richard Malone said he is appointing a task force of clergy, laypeople and “an elected official or two” to review how sexual abuse claims from adults are handled.

The diocese released a list in March of 42 priests facing sex abuse allegations. A Buffalo TV station reported last week that Malone allowed one accused priest to remain in his parish and gave multiple chances to another who had been suspended by the previous bishop.

“I’m profoundly sorry for the pain this has caused you,” Malone said at a Sunday news conference. “While nothing I can say to you can heal the hurt of this tragic breach of trust, as bishop, I must extend my heartfelt apologies.”

Malone said the diocese will create an office of professional responsibility and cooperate with the state attorney general’s office and local prosecutors in any potential investigation.

— Associated Press

Maine governor taken to hospital: Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) was in stable condition and under observation at a Bangor hospital Sunday after experiencing discomfort while visiting family in Canada on Saturday, spokesman Peter Steele said in a statement. Steele said LePage was doing well Sunday but added that the hospital was keeping him overnight for observation. He did not provide details about the nature of LePage’s discomfort but said the governor is expected to make a full recovery.

S.C. police kill woman who aimed gun at them, coroner says: Police officers fatally shot a South Carolina woman after she pointed a gun with a laser targeting system at one of them, a coroner said. Stephanie Owens, 41, called 911 from her Blacksburg home early Sunday asking for help, Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said. He said that when county sheriff’s deputies arrived, Owens had a gun and threatened to shoot them. The coroner said in a statement that deputies tried several times to get Owens to drop the gun. But he said that about 55 minutes after she called 911, Owens pointed the targeting laser at a deputy, and four of the five officers at the scene fired on her. She died two hours later, Owens said.

— From news services

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