National

Phoenix hit by fourth huge dust storm

PHOENIX — A cloud of dust has swallowed Phoenix at sundown for the fourth time this summer on the hottest day on record in August.

A strong thunderstorm system late Friday afternoon pushed a brown cloud over most of the city, which hit a record 117-degrees hours earlier.

Phoenix has been hit by the wall of dust, known as a haboob, on July 5, July 18 and Aug. 19.

Friday's haboob didn't appear to be as severe as the previous ones.

Weather experts say such massive dust storms only happen in Arizona, Africa's Sahara desert and parts of the Middle East because of dry conditions and large amounts of sand.

The 117 degrees topped Phoenix's previous high of 114 for August, set 10 years ago.

Phoenix hit 118 degrees on July 2.

Auditors looking into Texas dental spending

DALLAS — Federal auditors are examining Medicaid charges for dental braces for Texas children.

The audit comes after a Dallas television station found the state spent as much on orthodontic services last year as all 49 other U.S. states combined.

According to state records obtained by WFAA-TV, Texas spent $184 million on orthodontic treatment for children under Medicaid last year.

The state says the federal-state program for the elderly, poor and disabled is not supposed to pay for children to get braces for cosmetic reasons.

The state attributes at least some of the difference between what Texas and other states are spending to a 2007 court ruling that found Texas children needed improved access to health care under Medicaid.

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