USA

Officials along the Texas coast opened emergency operation centers, moved prison inmates inland, and readied hundreds of buses for possible evacuations as hurricane Dean cut across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Yucatan Peninsula Monday. Although the heart of the storm may pass south of Texas in a day or so, its outer bands still could flood already saturated Texas coastal areas.

Family members of six miners caught in an Aug. 6 tunnel collapse accused the owners of Utah's Crandall Canyon Mine of abandoning their loved ones Sunday. The reaction came after a co-owner said it's likely the miners may not be found, this after a fourth penetration of the mine detected insufficient oxygen to support life. Attempts to signal the men have met with silence. Above, Sonny Olsen, a spokesman for the families, conducted a news conference.

Heavy thunderstorms that dumped as much as a foot of rain on parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin Sunday prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to use pumps and generators to avoid levee breaches along the Mississippi and Root rivers. Six storm-related deaths were reported in Minnesota.

Mexican activist Elvira Arellano spoke about US immigration reform at several Los Angeles churches Sunday before being arrested by immigration and customs officials, who said she would be processed for "removal" to Mexico. During the past year, she claimed sanctuary in a Chicago church with her 8-year-old son, who was born in the US. Arellano was first deported in 1997 for using false entry documents.

Seventy-three percent of US school districts have an "immediate, urgent need" for substitute teachers as a new school year begins, according to the Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State University, which estimates that subs daily oversee 5 million children in 274,000 classrooms.

In Macon, Miss., on Monday, volunteers celebrated the opening of a free Internet cafe in a donated downtown building. The cafe will provide community members and students in the small rural town with the equipment and technical assistance to work on school projects and take online courses. Noxubee County has a 45 percent literacy rate.

To improve the air quality in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Texas will offer drivers of older, polluting cars $3,500 to "retire" their vehicles beginning in December, The Dallas Morning News reports. Vouchers, which originally were for $1,000, can be used to buy new vehicles by those whose incomes don't exceed $61,000.

Retail sales of five major painkillers rose 90 percent between 1997 and 2005, according to an Associated Press analysis of statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The total amounts to 300 milligrams of painkillers for every person in the country.

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