Mild, Dry Winter Predicted

BOSTON--The 208th annual edition of the Old Farmer's Almanac is forecasting a widespread drought next summer after a relatively mild, dry winter for the nation.

"Overall, winter should be milder and a little bit drier than usual with some exceptions. Northern New England and the eastern section of the Great Lakes will have a lot of snow," Susan Peery, managing editor of the almanac, said yesterday.

But come next summer, "we're looking for very hot, dry weather for most of the eastern third of the country, plus Texas and Arizona," Peery said. "We got a taste of it on the East Coast this summer. . . . This one looks to be worse and widespread."

The almanac, which has added some computer-crunching power from Accu-Weather to its secret formula based on sunspot activity, claims 80 percent accuracy.

"We did predict an especially dry April, May, June and August for this year, but we did think that July wouldn't be quite so dry," Peery conceded.

Gunman Kills 2 in California Hospital

ANAHEIM, Calif.--Witnesses said a gunman shouted "You killed my mother!" before opening fire in a crowded hospital, killing three employees before he was subdued by workers, police said.

The man walked into the West Anaheim Medical Center and went immediately to the second floor, where he shot and killed one worker. The man then went to the first floor, where he shot and killed two more employees, police said. He was wrestled to the ground in the lobby by a hospital employee and held until police arrived and took him into custody.

13 Nurses Penalized for Overdose

BOSTON--Five years after Boston Globe health columnist Betsy A. Lehman died from a chemotherapy overdose at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 13 nurses accepted reprimands from the state, even though they were delivering a dosage prescribed by a doctor.

The reprimands force the nurses to undergo retraining or recertification.

Of the 18 nurses investigated by the state, three are fighting the charges and two accepted a year's probation to avoid formal charges and a full-scale hearing.

The physician who wrote the erroneous chemotherapy order, James Foran, was training in oncology at the time and did not reapply for his license to practice medicine in Massachusetts. He now does cancer research in London.

The state pharmacy board also reprimanded three Dana-Farber pharmacists.

2 More Encephalitis Cases in N.Y.

NEW YORK--As the city prepared to complete the first round of aerial and ground spraying to combat mosquito-borne encephalitis, two more cases of the potentially deadly disease were confirmed.

The latest cases--a 15-year-old boy who has been hospitalized and a 38-year-old woman who health officials say appears to have recovered--bring the total number of confirmed cases to 11, including three people who died.