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Smithsonian returns giant 'trove' to tribe

San Francisco Chronicle

The Smithsonian Institution has returned a trove of precious artifacts to the Yurok Indians in California in what is one of the largest repatriations of Native American ceremonial artifacts in U.S. history.

The Yurok, who have lived for centuries along California's Klamath River, received 217 sacred items that had been stored on museum shelves for nearly 100 years. The necklaces, headdresses, arrows, hides and other regalia from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian are believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.

"It's awesome. It's a big thing with our people," said Thomas O'Rourke, chairman of the Yurok. "These are our prayer items. They are not only symbols, but their spirit stays with them. They are alive."

To celebrate the return of the items, the Yurok will hold a Kwom-Shlen-ik, or "Object Coming Back" ceremony today in the town of Klamath.

The returned artifacts were sold to the museum in the 1920s by Grace Nicholson, a renowned collector of Indian art, who owned a curio shop in Pasadena in the early 20th century.

Typhoid outbreak tied to frozen fruit

ATLANTA (AP) — A rare U.S. outbreak of typhoid fever has been linked to a frozen tropical fruit product used to make smoothies, health officials reported Thursday.

Seven cases have been confirmed — three in California and four in Nevada. Two more California cases are being investigated. Five people were hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The CDC said five of the victims drank milkshakes or smoothies made with frozen mamey fruit pulp. Four of them used pulp sold by Goya Foods Inc. of Secaucus, N.J.

The company has recalled packages of the pulp, which were sold in mostly Western states, including Utah.

A sample from one package found in Las Vegas tested positive for the bacterium that causes typhoid, the Food and Drug Administration reported Wednesday.

A phone call to Goya seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday.

Lawsuit says Donald Duck groped woman

ORLANDO, Fla. (MCT) — Walt Disney World is facing a federal lawsuit seeking more than $200,000 in damages after a Pennsylvania woman claimed a person in a Donald Duck costume groped her breast two years ago, court records show.

April Magolon said her family was visiting Epcot in May 2008 when she approached Donald Duck for an autograph, according to the lawsuit.

Instead of an autograph from the person in the iconic fuzzy white costume with a blue and yellow sailor shirt and hat, "Donald Duck proceeded to grab (Magolon's) breast and molest her and then made gestures making a joke indicating he had done something wrong," the lawsuit states.

Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius said Thursday that "we've now seen plaintiff's complaint and will respond appropriately in court."

Federal death penalty sought in mass killing

CLEVELAND (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking a rare federal death penalty against a convicted drug dealer accused of setting an inferno that killed a woman and eight children.

The woman, Medeia Carter, 33, rented her house with the help of a federal Section 8 rent subsidy. The lawyers contend that the subsidy effectively involved the house in interstate commerce, giving them federal jurisdiction that allows a death penalty for fatalities caused by the alleged arson of government property.

Defense attorneys for Antun Lewis, now 26, are fighting the prosecutors' strategy, and Lewis has denied the charges.