WASHINGTON

New guidelines offer choices for cervical cancer screening

Many major medical groups have long said that a Pap test every three years is the best way to screen for cervical cancer in most women, starting at age 21 and ending at 65.

But starting at age 30, you could choose to be tested for the cancer-causing HPV virus along with your Pap – and get checked every five years instead, say separate guidelines issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the American Cancer Society and some other organizations.

If the results of the combined tests are negative, the guidelines conclude it’s safe to wait a bit longer than previously recommended for the next cervical check. That’s because certain strains of HPV, the human papillomavirus, cause most cervical cancer, but the infection has to persist for a number of years to do its damage.

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va.

Jury: Virginia Tech could have done more to warn campus

A jury found Virginia Tech negligent on Wednesday for waiting to warn students about a gunman during a 2007 campus massacre that left 33 dead.

Jurors deliberated for 3 hours before siding with the parents of two students who were killed on April 16, 2007, in the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The jury awarded $4 million each to the families of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde, but the state immediately filed a motion to reduce the award.

The families’ wrongful death civil lawsuit argued that lives could have been spared if school officials had moved more quickly to alert the campus after the first two victims were shot in a dorm. The massacre ended later in the morning with the deaths 31 more people, including the gunman, at a classroom building.

TACOMA, Wash.

Three-year-old finds gun in car, fatally shoots himself

A 3-year-old scrambled out of his child seat after his parents stopped for gas early Wednesday, found a gun police say was left in the car by his father and fatally shot himself in the head.

The accidental shooting in Tacoma marks the third in three weeks in Washington involving young children, and the second fatality. The spate of gun violence is raising questions about the effectiveness of the state’s gun laws and community awareness of firearm safety.

NEW ORLEANS

Environmentalists sue EPA in battle to stop ‘dead zone’

Environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to force the federal government to curb an overdose of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous that end up in the nation’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters, causing toxic algae blooms and the massive low-oxygen “dead zone” that crops up every summer in the Gulf of Mexico.

ELIZABETH, N.J.

Co-workers should share in lottery winnings, jury decides

A lawyer for five construction workers says they have been awarded $4 million each by a New Jersey jury that concluded a co-worker cheated them out of their share of a lottery jackpot.

The jury rejected the claims of Americo Lopes that he won a $38.5 million jackpot in 2009 on a personal ticket rather than with a ticket he bought for a lottery pool.

– From news service reports