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  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Retired social worker Jim Gillis was told his $36,000 Rhode Island state pension would increase by $1,100 next year to keep up with inflation. He and other retirees are challenging the pension changes in a court battle that's likely to have national implications as other states follow Rhode Island's lead.

  • *Ohio and Minnesota latest to report cases. The latest two deaths were reported on Saturday in Michigan, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other states with reported cases of people who fell ill after receiving the injections- primarily for back pain- are Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 6- A widening outbreak of fungal meningitis has spread to Minnesota, which reported two cases to become the eighth U.S. state affected, officials said on Saturday.

  • Other states with cases are Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 47 cases of meningitis on Friday, while Michigan reported an additional two cases and North Carolina one not included in the CDC count.

  • Other states with cases are Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana. Tennessee accounts for most of those, and state officials said on Friday the number there had risen to 29 cases, up four from Thursday. Three of the deaths so far have been in Tennessee, where the outbreak began, and one each in Virginia and Maryland.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 5- Tennessee confirmed on Friday four more cases of rare fungal meningitis, as health officials in 23 states scrambled to notify thousands of patients who received steroid injections linked to an outbreak that has killed five people. Three of the dead were in Tennessee, where the outbreak began, and one each in Virginia and Maryland.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Financial oversight at the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority was so poor that the agency would pay bills without first checking to see if it could cover the expenses, a state police officer tapped to overhaul the troubled agency's operations said.

  • The steroid medication suspected in an outbreak of a rare kind of meningitis was shipped to 23 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The specialty pharmacy that made the steroid, New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., recalled three lots of the drug last week and has shut down operations.

  • The outbreak was first reported in Tennessee, where three people have died and 25 of the cases have been reported. "We do know there were over 700 patients in Tennessee who were exposed," said Dr.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 4- A steroid medication linked to the death of at least five people from rare fungal meningitis may have been administered to patients in 23 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said on Thursday, raising fears the rare outbreak could spread.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling might have to sell or give up the famed blood-stained sock he wore on the team's way to the 2004 World Series championship to cover millions of dollars in loans he guaranteed to his failed video game company.

  • --The company plans to issue $290 million of senior unsecured notes to partially finance this acquisition.

  • The commission voted 3-0, with two members absent, to approve a 15- year contract with Rhode Island- based GTECH that is expected to make $1.7 billion in profit over five years _ a $500 million increase over state projections. GTECH already provides and maintains vending machines for the Hoosier Lottery.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- The unemployment rate in New England climbed in August, but it is still below the national average. The New England office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday the jobless rate in the six-state region was 7.3 percent last month, up from 7.1 percent in July. A year ago, the rate in New England was 7.8 percent.

  • MIDDLETOWN, R.I.-- Satellite communications company KVH Industries Inc. said Wednesday that it has appointed Peter Rendall as its new chief financial officer. Rendall worked most recently as consulting chief financial officer at information technology recruiting firm JobSmart Partners.

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- Oracle CEO Larry Ellison envisions his recently acquired Hawaiian island becoming a "little laboratory" for experimenting with more environmentally sound ways to live. Ellison's ambitions include converting sea water into fresh water on the 141- square-mile island of Lanai.

  • LAS VEGAS-- With billions of dollars at stake, the head of the gambling industry's main lobbying group sounded a pessimistic note Tuesday about the prospect of Congress passing Internet regulatory laws this year.

  • WASHINGTON-- The U.S. economy is looking more resilient, thanks in part to encouraging signs for the two most expensive purchases most Americans make: cars and homes. Cheap loans and a bounty of fuel-efficient models enticed people to buy new vehicles at a brisk pace last month.

  • LAS VEGAS-- It doesn't look like Congress will pass Internet gambling regulatory laws this year, the head of the industry's main lobbying group said Tuesday, as he cast online wagering hosted by sites overseas as one of the biggest threats to the casino industry in the United States.