West Nile cases spike

West Nile virus cases are up 40 percent since last week and may rival the record years of 2002 and 2003, federal health officials said Wednesday. So far this year, 1,590 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 66 deaths. About half of the cases are serious illnesses, and the CDC considers those the best indicator of West Nile activity because many mild cases do not get reported and their symptoms may not even be recognized. Typical symptoms are fever, headache and body aches, and most people get better on their own in a few days.


Teachers ready to strike

The Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday gave a 10-day strike notice, saying members are willing to walk off the job for the first time in 25 years. Union President Karen Lewis said contract talks are faltering, with unresolved issues that include pay increases and job security. The notice means the soonest teachers could strike is Sept. 10. But it doesn’t mean a strike will definitely happen. Lewis said no strike date has been set, and the union would continue negotiating until there is a contract, even if there is a strike.


Driver injures 11 people

A 100-year-old man backed his car on to a sidewalk and hit 11 people, including nine children, across from an elementary school in South Los Angeles just after classes had ended Wednesday, authorities said. Four of the children were in critical condition when firefighters arrived but they were stabilized and were in serious condition at a hospital, city fire Capt. Jaime Moore said. Everyone was expected to survive, he said.


House explosion kills man

A man trying to help a friend repair a propane leak was killed when the house exploded, leaving only a chimney standing, police said. The Danbury News-Times reported that the homeowner was injured in the blast Wednesday evening. Police spokesman Lt. Larry Ashe said the man and a child suffered lacerations and burns. They were taken to hospitals. Rescuers found no one else at the home.

Compiled from wire reports.