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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2008

High winds damage homes in Hancock, Seneca, Putnam counties

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven blasted into orbit Saturday, carrying a giant Japanese lab addition to the international space station along with something more mundane a toilet pump. Discovery roared into a brilliantly blue sky dotted with a few clouds at 5:02 p.m., right on time. The shuttle's trip to the space station should take two days. Once there, Discovery's crew will unload and install the $1 billion lab and hand-deliver a specially made pump for the outpost's finicky toilet.

Winds that swept through the area just after midnight Saturday morning have caused extensive damage and reports of minor injuries in northwest Ohio, including parts of Hancock, Seneca, and Putnam counties. Officials said the hardest hit areas include Fostoria, Arcadia, and areas near Glandorf in Putnam County. According to the Putnam County office of public safety, one business and eight homes were damaged or destroyed in Putnam County. Those who had to flee their homes have found shelter with family members.

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