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Lead in water closes schools in Sebring
Classes at Sebring Local Schools were canceled today after tests found lead levels in the water at seven homes in the village. The schools were closed out of a precaution, officials say, and lead was not indicated in the district’s buildings. Children and pregnant women are advised not to drink water in the village. It is safe to use for other purposes.

Serious birth defect on the rise, scientists concerned
An increasing number of babies are being born with a serious birth defect, gastroschisis. The condition causes the intestines, and sometimes organs such as the liver and stomach, to poke through a newborn’s abdomen near the belly button. It needs to be repaired through surgery. The number of cases nearly doubled from 1995 to 2005. The cause of the defect is unclear.

Mayor says blizzard hitting East Coast has ‘life and death implications’
Roughly a quarter of the U.S. population is in the path of a monster storm — and about 30 million are under blizzard watches or warnings. Tennessee and North Carolina got hit first early Friday. Communities to the northeast should get hit even harder. The bulls-eye is Washington D.C., where the mayor described the storm as having “life and death implications.”

Browns hire defensive coordinator, other positions filled
The Cleveland Browns have hired Ray Horton as their new defensive coordinator. The Browns also hired Pep Hamilton as associate head coach-offense, Al Saunders as senior offensive assistant/wide receivers coach, Kirby Wilson as running backs/run game coordinator, Hal Hunter offensive line coach, Mark Hudson assistant offensive line coach, Greg Seamon tight ends coach and Bob Saunders as offensive quality control.

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