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New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE - Residents near a privately owned New Mexico ghost town were ordered Saturday to leave their homes as a blaze in the Gila National Forest continued to burn erratically. Fire officials said Saturday that the Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire has shrunk slightly to 82,000 acres but is still burning out of control because of weather conditions. In Colorado, fire crews began fighting a new fire along the Utah state line. (AP)


Hostage taker dies after long standoff

VALPARAISO - A Texas man who took hostages in a northwestern Indiana realty office and held police at bay for several hours suffered three gunshot wounds before dying, likely from two different weapons, a coroner said Saturday. Roy L. Ferguson, 48, of Fulshear, Texas, died at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Coroner Chuck Harris said. That was two hours after the end of the nearly seven-hour standoff at Prudential Executive Group Real Estate office in Valparaiso. (AP)



Postal Service offers buyouts to cut costs

NEW YORK - The US Postal Service said late Friday that it was offering buyouts to about 45,000 mail handlers, part of the financially troubled agency’s efforts to cut its staff and reduce its operating costs. The mail handlers, who work in processing centers, will be offered $15,000 each. The Postal Service has said it will begin closing 48 of the centers starting this summer, reducing the need for staff. (New York Times)