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Measles cases up fivefold in Florida from 2017 to 2018
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Measles cases up fivefold in Florida from 2017 to 2018

Measles cases up fivefold in Florida from 2017 to 2018
Photo Credit: Leo Correa/AP
FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, file photo, a health worker prepares a syringe with a vaccine against measles. An Ohio private school is making vaccines mandatory.

Measles cases up fivefold in Florida from 2017 to 2018

Measles remains a rare illness but despite that, cases are on the rise in Florida.

The illness can cause discomfort and, in some cases, death. 

The viral infection was eliminated in the year 2000 but it’s making a comeback. 

Last year, 15 cases were reported in Florida -- that’s up from just three the year before. 

The Chief of Hospital Pediatrics at Nemours and Wolfson, Dr. Mark Toney, said it can be attributed to parents not vaccinating their kids. 

“A fivefold increase in one calendar year is very concerning,” said Toney. “When people do come into the hospital and we do see vaccine-preventable illnesses, it’s difficult to know that there was something we could’ve done to prevent the illness.” 

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 2018 saw 349 individual cases of measles in 26 states, making it the second-greatest number of annual cases reported since 2000. 

Action News Jax showed you last November how the St. Johns County district had a higher percentage of unvaccinated kids compared to Duval County. 

"I mean, it's every parent's choice. So, I’m just worried about my own children,” said St. Johns County mom Laura Hunsworth. 

Toney said it’s difficult to combat the misinformation regarding vaccines. 

“We do not have a relationship with pharmaceutical companies, so it is of no financial interest for me to recommend a preventive medicine,” said Toney. 

There’s no cure for measles once you get it but the only way to prevent it is by getting the vaccine.


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  • An Alabama man and his ex-wife were arrested Thursday and charged with killing his current, but estranged, wife, a nurse who went missing in January. Samuel Sullivan, 42, and Jennifer Sullivan, 44, both of Wilmer, are charged with capital murder and first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance and presumed death of Terri Sullivan. The pair were arrested by Washington County sheriff’s deputies and special agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation.  “The arrest is a result of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Terri Sullivan on January 20, 2019,” Washington County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a Facebook post. “More arrests and charges are expected in the case.” Authorities offered no further detail into the arrests.  >> Read more trending news NBC15 in Mobile reported that authorities believe the motive for the killing may have been a fight over who got to keep Samuel and Terri Sullivan’s home. The couple were in the process of divorcing, and a judge ordered the couple to have the property appraised and sold a week before Terri Sullivan vanished.  Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer offered his opinion on motive. “My opinion -- this is strictly my opinion at this point -- it was greed,” Stringer told the news station. “The land, the property, the house, all the assets.” According to NamUs, a national clearinghouse of information on missing people and unidentified remains, Terri Sullivan, 45, also of Wilmer, was reported missing after she left her mother’s home in the rural Tibbie community around 4:30 a.m. and failed to show up for work at Springhill Medical Center, located about an hour away in Mobile. Her cellphone, a bracelet and other belongings were found on the dirt road leading to her mother’s house.  AL.com reported that blood was also found on the roadway that morning. Her worried family, which includes two adult children, reported her missing.  Terri Sullivan’s son, Christian Taylor, told Fox10 in Mobile the week after she disappeared that people don’t usually vanish from Tibbie. “This doesn’t even happen in this community. This is a shock to the entire community,” Taylor said. “This is one of those things that you’re like, ‘Oh, that's just on TV,’ you know, but that would never happen here. “Here we are, sitting here, waiting to hear something,” he said, his voice breaking. There was no sign of Terri Sullivan or her rental car, a 2018 Chevy Impala, until the night of March 28, when a resident riding an all-terrain vehicle found the burned-out car in a wooded area of Grand Bay in neighboring Mobile County. Human remains were also found. “There are partial remains inside the vehicle and there are some remains outside the vehicle,” Capt. Paul Burch of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office said. “The remains also appear to have been burned, but they’re scattered.” “It’s clearly been here for some time,” Burch said of the vehicle.  Terri Sullivan’s sister, Tina Parnell, wrote on Facebook that a 15-year-old boy stumbled upon the crime scene. She asked her friends to pray for him, as well as her family and law enforcement officers working her sister’s case. State forensics experts are still working on a positive identification of the remains found with the rental car.  Below: Watch Capt. Paul Burch address the media from the scene where Terri Sullivan’s car was found. Stringer told Mobile’s WKRG in January that foul play was immediately suspected in Terri Sullivan’s disappearance. Stringer told the news station Thursday that the arrests were in the works for a while. “It just finally all come together last week, so we decided to go ahead and make the arrests. We have the evidence,” Stringer said. “They were suspected. We just needed the evidence.” Following the arrests, which took place at Samuel Sullivan’s home, investigators executed a search warrant and found additional evidence, the sheriff said.  “We had some other evidence that we were looking for that we didn’t need it, but it certainly … reinforced the case, and we were able to find that today,” Stringer told the news station.  AL.com reported that each defendant was granted a $60,000 bond on the kidnapping charge, but no bond was granted on the capital murder charge.  Terri Sullivan’s daughter, Shawnee Taylor, told Fox10 in February that her mother would always let her know where she was going. The evidence found at the scene of her apparent abduction left the family heartsick.  “The last time I called her phone to get ahold of her, a deputy answered,” Taylor told another news station, WKRG.  Taylor described her mother as her best friend. She said Terri Sullivan was also a dedicated nurse. “Her work is all she really had. It’s what kept her busy,” Taylor told Fox10. “She loved her patients. All her patients loved her. She made sure she did her job and she did it well.” The grieving daughter told WKRG her mother was too good of a person to have someone do her harm.  “She never did any wrong by anybody,” she said. 
  • An Alabama man sought by police for allegedly punching another man hard enough to make his eyeball pop out of the socket -- and then punching the eyeball -- was arrested early Friday morning, jail records show. Justin Wesley Leverett, 37, of Mobile, is charged with first-degree assault in the attack, which police officials said occurred around 2:20 p.m. Saturday. “During an argument, the suspect punched the victim in the face causing his eye to pop out of its socket,” a post on the Mobile Police Department’s Facebook page said. “The suspect then punched the eyeball, causing it to explode.” The post, which asked for the public’s help locating Leverett, did not give details of what prompted the argument.  >> Read more trending news The attack took place in an area of the city known as “the Bottoms,” according to Fox10 News. Pastor Marvin Lue Jr., who serves at Stewart Memorial CME Church near the scene of the assault, said crime is rampant in the area.  Lue told the news station, however, that the assault on the victim was more gruesome than what typically takes place.  “Just so horrifying, so horrific, so graphic,” Lue said. “It used to be, you get in a fight, you get a black eye, you get hit in the stomach, you go home. Now people are losing limbs, people are losing vital organs.” The circumstances surrounding Leverett’s arrest were not immediately known. He is also charged with driving with a revoked license, driving with a suspended license, failure to show vehicle registration and driving without insurance, jail records show. 
  • With the seventh pick of the 2019 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars have selected linebacker Josh Allen, from the University of Kentucky. The Jags are labeling him as a Defensive End. Team leadership says they didn’t think Allen was going to drop low enough to be available to them, and he was too good to pass up. Allen says he knows he will be that player they expect. Allen says when he got the call tonight from Jacksonville, he was excited. He joked that he had to contain that in the moment, but only because he was holding his 1-year-old son who was watching a movie at the time. Asked about what excites him about the Jags specifically, Allen says it’s clear. “They go after the quarterback. That’s all I need to hear,” he says. He says he loves to sack. During Allen’s four years at Kentucky, he did not miss a game and started 35 of the 51 he played in. During that college career, he totaled 224 tackles, 41 tackles for a loss, 31.5 sacks, and 11 forced fumbles, according to the Jags. In 2018, he was awarded both SEC Defensive Player of the Year and as the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Award, which recognizes the nation’s top defensive player. Allen says he’s ready to work and prove himself to his peers, especially players like Jalen Ramsey who he admired through his college career. He says he thinks he can help make something special in Jacksonville. The team goes in to the draft having already addressed in the off-season what was arguably their biggest need- a quarterback. They acquired Nick Foles as a free agent, signing him to a four-year deal. Just hours before the draft today they continued to boost defense as well, by exercising the fifth-year option on Ramsey. Allen is now another weapon they’re adding to defense. 2019 NFL DRAFT: Where and when to watch The Jags have seven picks in this draft, including two selections in the third round.  Let us know if you like the pick from the Jags, and what else you want to see them do in the draft by downloading the free News 104.5 app and recording yourself in the “Open Mic” feature! Allen’s new teammates have been quick to voice their support:
  • There's a new incentive to turn people in who are committing crimes against children in Northeast Florida. First Coast Crime Stoppers and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office rolled out a plan today that could mean an extra $1,000 reward depending on the crime and how it involves children. That money is on top of the $3,000 reward money for crimes that don't involve children.  'The board will decide how much we give extra based on the severity of the crime,' says Wyllie Hodges, executive director at First Coast Crime Stoppers.  He says the new concept goes into effect today because April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, but the extra reward money will be offered permanently.  Hodges says anyone who calls his organization remains completely anonymous, which is important because many crimes against children are committed by someone in the family or home.  'You could easily tell on something going on in your own household without anyone ever knowing who made the complaint or who made the accusation,' Hodges says.  He says he's personally noticed more crimes committed on children in recent years. The reward money is for anything involving victims up to 17 years old, and it's for crimes of all kinds.  Call 866-845-TIPS (8477) or go to www.FCCrimestoppers.com to report a crime. You can also use the P3 Tips app.
  • Nine explosions hit multiple churches, hotels and other locations in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds more, according to The Associated Press and other media outlets. >> Read more trending news  The victims included at least four Americans, State Department officials said Monday.  Here are the latest updates:  Update  2:55 a.m. EDT April 26: Sri Lanka police said on Twitter that Mohamed Zahran, the leader of local militant group National Towheed, died in one of the nine suicide bombings Easter Sunday, The Associated Press reported. Police said they also arreted the group’s second-in-command. Security measures in Colombo were beefed up Friday as authorities warned of another possible attack, according to the AP. Police asked people of all faiths to pray privately Friday, CNN reported. Update 1:54 a.m. EDT April 26: Authorities in Sri Lanka said Friday the suspected leader of the attacks on Easter Sunday died in the Shangri-La hotel bombing, according to The Associated Press. Update 6 p.m. EDT April 25: Sri Lanka lowered the death toll from the Easter suicide bombings by nearly one-third, to 253, as authorities hunted urgently for a least five more suspects and braced for the possibility of more attacks in the coming days.  In rolling back the number of dead from 359, a top Health Ministry official, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, said in a statement that the blasts had damaged some bodies beyond recognition, making accurate identification difficult. Update 7:20 a.m. EDT April 24: Sri Lanka officials said 60 people have been arrested in connection with Sunday’s bombings, according to The Associated Press. A police spokesman said nine suicide bombers carried out the attacks, apparently contradicting government officials’ previous statement that seven bombers were involved, the AP reported. Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka’s junior defense minister, described the attackers as educated people from upper- and middle-class households,  the AP reported. Although authorities previously said the terror group National Towheed Jamaar was behind the attacks, Wijewardene said Wednesday that the perpetrators had split off from that group and another one called JMI, the AP reported. He did not say what the acronym stands for.  Wijewardene also amended his earlier statement that the bombings were in retaliation for the deadly mass shootings at New Zealand mosques last month, saying Wednesday that the Christchurch attacks may have been a motivation but no evidence has confirmed the link, the AP reported. Read more here. Update 11:30 p.m. EDT April 23: Police said the death toll in the Easter attacks has risen to 359 and more suspects have been arrested. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara also said Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58.  The prime minister warned on Tuesday that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large. Update 1 p.m. EDT April 23: Sunday’s bombings claimed the lives of 45 children, officials with the United Nation’s Children’s Fund said Tuesday in a statement. “Many children have lost one or both parents, and countless children have witnessed shocking and senseless violence,” UNICEF officials said. More than 320 people were killed and 500 injured in the bombings. Update 7:11 a.m. EDT April 23: The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the deadly Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the Guardian and the Washington Post are reporting. The group, which has lost all the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria, has made a series of unsupported claims of responsibility. Update 5:55 a.m. EDT April 23: Sri Lankan officials said the death toll from Sunday’s bombings has risen to 321, the Guardian and the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The news came as Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the attacks were “carried out in retaliation” for the deadly mosque shootings in New Zealand last month, according to The Associated Press. So far, at least 40 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks, authorities said. Meanwhile, the country observed a day of mourning, including a three-minute moment of silence Tuesday morning. Mass burials also were held in Negombo, the Guardian reported. Officials have declared a state of emergency in Sri Lanka, giving military officials “enhanced war-time powers,” the AP reported. Authorities also are facing criticism amid reports that a top police official sent a letter April 11 to four security agencies warning that terror group National Towheed Jamaar was planning suicide bombings at churches, the AP reported. Update 9:45 p.m. EDT April 22: Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, issued a statement in response to the bombings.  “Today as a nation we mourn the senseless loss of innocent lives this past Easter Sunday. I would like to thank the military and police forces, the medical personnel and all those who have worked bravely and tirelessly without concern for their own safety, to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. It is imperative  that we remain unified as Sri Lankans in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.” A three-minute moment of silence for the victims of the explosions will be held at 8:30 a.m. local time, according to BBC reporter Azzam Ameen. Update 8 p.m. EDT April 22: The two Australians who officials said had been killed in the explosions have been identified by a family member. Sudesh Kolonne told Australian Broadcasting Corp. his wife, Manik Suriaaratchi, and their 1-year-old daughter Alexendria were killed in an attack in Negombo, which is north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. Kolonne said he was outside when the explosion happened. “I heard a huge noise and I jumped into the church and I saw that my wife and my daughter were on the floor,” he said. “I just saw my daughter on the floor and I tried to lift her up, (but) she was already dead. And (then) exactly the same… next my wife is there.” Kolonne said he and his family moved from Melbourne to Sri Lanka in 2014 when his wife started a consultancy business.  “I don’t know what to do,” he said. “We used to go to that church every Sunday. We never expected this.” Update 4:50 p.m. EDT April 22: A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed to The AP that the agency is providing assistance with the investigation into the bombings. She would not provide specifics. Update 3:50 p.m. EDT April 22: In an email to parents, officials at Sidwell Friends, a private school in the Washington-area, confirmed one of their students was killed in Sunday’s bombings, The Washington Post reported. School officials identified the student as Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, a fifth-grade boy who had been on leave in Sri Lanka for the last year, according to the Post. “Kieran was passionate about learning, he adored his friends, and he was incredibly excited about returning to Sidwell Friends this coming school year,” school officials said in the letter. “We are beyond sorry not to get the opportunity to welcome Kieran to the Middle School.” State Department officials said earlier Monday that at least four Americans were among the nearly 300 people killed in Sunday’s attacks. Officials with the English education management company Pearson confirmed that one of the company’s Denver-based employees had also been killed in the bombings. Update 3 p.m. EDT April 22: Officials with the U.S. State Department confirmed Monday that at least four Americans were among the nearly 300 people killed in Sunday’s bombings in Sri Lanka. The department said that in addition to those killed, several others were seriously injured. Officials gave no details about the identities of the victims, citing privacy concerns. Earlier Monday, officials with the English education management company Pearson confirmed that one of the company’s Denver-based employees had been killed in the bombings. Pearson CEO John Fallon said Dieter Kowalski died shortly after arriving at his hotel in Sri Lanka for a business trip. Update 2:10 p.m. EDT April 22: President Donald Trump said he spoke Monday to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe after a series of bomb attacks in the country. In a tweet, Trump said he told Wickremesinghe “the United States stands by him and his country in the fight against terrorism.” “(I) also expressed condolences on behalf of myself and the People of the United States,” Trump wrote. Earlier Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed the government would provide “all possible assistance” to help in the investigation. Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 22: Sri Lankan President Maithrpala Sirisena declared April 23 a national day of mourning in a statement obtained Monday by The Associated Press. In the statement, Sirisena said he planned to meet with foreign diplomats to seek international assistance. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier Monday that the U.S. would provide “all possible assistance” to help in the investigation. Officials said nearly 40 foreign tourists from 11 countries were killed in Sunday’s attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.  Update 11:20 a.m. EDT April 22: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday mourned the victims of Sunday’s bomb attacks in Sri Lanka and promised the government would provide “all possible assistance” to Americans and Sri Lankans alike. Related: Sri Lanka attacks: Who are the National Thowheed Jamath? “We urge that any evil-doers be brought to justice expeditiously and America is prepared to support that,” he Pompeo said. “We also stand with the millions of Sri Lankas who support the freedom of their fellow citizens to worship as they please.” Pompeo confirmed that Americans were among those killed in Sunday’s attack, though he didn’t specify the number of American victims. “It’s heartbreaking that a country which has strived so hard for peace in recent years has been targeted by these terrorists,” he said. Related: Sri Lanka attack: Danish billionaire loses three of his four children in bombings Update 9:50 am. EDT April 22: A Denver man has been identified as one of the nearly 300 people killed Sunday in bombings in Sri Lanka, his employer confirmed Monday. Dieter Kowalski worked as senior leader of the operation technical services team for Pearson, an education management company. Though the company is based in England, Kowalski worked in Pearson’s Denver office, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.  “Colleagues who knew Dieter well talk about how much fun he was to be around, how big-hearted and full-spirited he was,” Pearson CEO John Fallon said in a statement shared with company employees and posted Monday on LinkedIn. “They tell of a man to whom we could give our ugliest and most challenging of engineering problems, knowing full well that he would jump straight in and help us figure it out. Dieter, they tell me, was never happier than cheer-leading for our customers and our company and inspiring people in the best way he knew how – by helping them to fix things and doing it with joy, happiness and grace.” Fallon said Kowalski died shortly after arriving at his hotel Sunday for a business trip. Update 7:55 a.m. EDT April 22: Three children of Anders Holch Povlsen, who owns Bestseller clothing, were killed in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting. The 46-year-old Danish billionaire, who is also the largest shareholder in ASOS, and his family were on vacation in Sri Lanka, the AP reported. Authorities said 39 foreigners were among the 290 people killed in Sunday’s attacks.  Meanwhile, a vehicle parked near St. Anthony’s Shrine, one of the churches that was bombed Sunday, exploded Monday as police tried to defuse three bombs inside, according to the AP. At least 87 bomb detonators have been found in Colombo, officials said. Police have detained at least 24 suspects in connection with Sunday’s bombings. Update 5:15 a.m. EDT April 22:  Government officials said the National Thowheed, a Sri Lankan militant group, was responsible for Sunday’s deadly attacks, the Guardian is reporting. However, a government spokesman said an “international network” helped the attackers. Seven suicide bombers caused six of the nine explosions Sunday, a forensic analyst told The Associated Press. Authorities also said a second Chinese citizen and two Australian citizens were among those killed in Sunday’s attacks. So far, the dead include citizens of the United States, India, Britain, China, Australia, Japan and Portugal, the AP reported. Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka military official said crews defused a homemade pipe bomb discovered late Sunday on a road to the airport outside Colombo, the AP reported. Update 12:10 a.m. EDT April 22: The death toll in the bombings has increased to 290 and more than 500 people have been wounded, according to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara. Among those killed are five Indians, who were identified in tweets from India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, The AP reported. China and Portugal also said they lost citizens, and the U.S. said “several” Americans were also killed in the bombings. The AP reported Sri Lankan officials said they would examine reports that intelligence failed to heed or detect warnings of a possible suicide attack.  “Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence,” Telecommunications Minister Harin Fernando said in a tweet, according to The AP. “Therefore there was a delay in action. Serious action needs to be taken as to why this warning was ignored.”  Update 9:50 p.m. EDT April 21: Japan has confirmed at least one citizen death and four injuries from the bombings. The country has issued a safety warning to Japanese people in the country, telling them to avoid mosques, churches and public places like clubs, malls and government offices, The AP reported. Foreign Minister Taro Kono expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka and sent his condolences to victims of the explosions. He also said Japan was committed to “combating terrorism.” Update 5:40 p.m. EDT April 21: The Associated Press reported that, according to internet censorship monitoring group NetBlocks, social media has been blocked across the country after the attacks. Most services, including YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have been temporarily blacked out to curb false information spread, according to Sri Lankan officials. According to NetBlocks, such blackouts are usually ineffective. Related: Sri Lanka explosions: Sri Lanka shuts down social media in wake of Easter attacks “We are aware of the government’s statement regarding the temporary blocking of social media platforms,” Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a statement to The AP. “People rely on our services to communicate with their loved ones and we are committed to maintaining our services and helping the community and the country during this tragic time.” Update 3:28 p.m. EDT April 21: Police have 13 suspects in custody, impounded a vehicle they believed was used by suspects and located a safe house used by the attackers.  Related: Photos: Easter Sunday blasts at Sri Lanka churches, hotels kill dozens No one has claimed responsibility for what Sri Lankan officials have described as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. Update 9:28 a.m. EDT April 21: Police have so far arrested three people in connection to the blasts, The Guardian reported. A motive for the bombings is still unclear, investigators said.  Update 8:46 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 207 people were killed and 450 hurt in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting. Officials said eight blasts targeted three churches, three hotels, a guesthouse and an area near a Dematagoda overpass, the AP reported. Authorities reportedly have arrested seven people in connection with the incidents. Update 8:07 a.m. EDT April 21: Sri Lankan officials say at least 190 people, including at least 27 foreigners and two police officers, were killed in Sunday’s attacks, The Associated Press is reporting. Seven people have been arrested in connection with the eight explosions, which rocked at least three churches and three hotels, as well as a guesthouse, officials said. Update 7:35 a.m. EDT April 21: President Donald Trump tweeted condolences to the Sri Lankan people Sunday morning. “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka,” Trump tweeted. “We stand ready to help!” Update 7:19 a.m. EDT April 21: Hours after explosions at Sri Lankan churches and hotels left dozens dead and hundreds more injured, Pope Francis prayed for the victims during his annual Easter message at the Vatican. Related: Sri Lanka explosions: Pope denounces attacks during Easter blessing “I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community (of Sri Lanka), wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, according to Vatican News. He later added: “I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished, and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event.” Every year after leading Easter Mass, the pope delivers an “Urbi et Orbi” (“to the city and the world”) message, which addresses global issues and conflicts. Update 5:32 a.m. EDT April 21: Two more blasts have been reported in Sri Lanka. A seventh explosion hit a hotel in Dehiwala, and an eighth blast was reported in the capital, Agence France-Presse is reporting. Update 4:20 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 156 people were killed in blasts at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse is reporting. The dead include 35 foreigners, officials said. Update 3:34 a.m. EDT April 21: At least 137 people were killed in blasts at three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, Agence France-Presse is reporting. The dead include 45 people in Colombo, 67 in Negombo and 25 in Batticaloa, officials said. At least nine of the people killed were foreigners, the news agency reported. More than 500 people were hurt in the explosions, according to The Associated Press. Original report:  Explosions hit three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing dozens of people and injuring nearly 300 more, news outlets are reporting. According to The Associated Press, blasts occurred Sunday morning at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and a church in Batticaloa. Explosions also rocked the Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri La hotels in Colombo, the BBC reported. The Agence France-Presse news agency said 52 people died in the blasts. At least 283 people were taken to the hospital, the AP reported. Suicide bombers may have caused at least two of the church blasts, a security official told the AP.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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