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The Latest: Renzi names official to rebuild quake-hit area

Associated Press Associated Press 31/08/2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi pat Leo, the black Labrador retriever who helped pull out 4-year-old Giorgia Rinaldo from under the rubble of the town of Pescara del Tronto following an earthquake that ravaged central Italy on Wednesday Aug. 24, 2016, in Maranello, Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Merkel has greeted rescue crews from Italy's earthquake, and even one of the dogs who helped locate a little girl in the rubble. Merkel was in Maranello, Italy on Wednesday for a meeting with Premier Matteo Renzi at the headquarters of sports car manufacturer Ferrari. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) © The Associated Press German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi pat Leo, the black Labrador retriever who helped pull out 4-year-old Giorgia Rinaldo from under the rubble of the town of Pescara del Tronto following an earthquake that ravaged central Italy on Wednesday Aug. 24, 2016, in Maranello, Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Merkel has greeted rescue crews from Italy's earthquake, and even one of the dogs who helped locate a little girl in the rubble. Merkel was in Maranello, Italy on Wednesday for a meeting with Premier Matteo Renzi at the headquarters of sports car manufacturer Ferrari. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

AMATRICE, Italy — The Latest on the aftermath of the Italy earthquake (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

Premier Matteo Renzi has designated a reconstruction czar to rebuild quake-hit central Italy, tapping the man who did the same job four years ago when two quakes struck northern Italy, killing more than two dozen people.

Renzi announced that he would formally nominate Vasco Errani for the job on Thursday. Errani had been president of the Emilio Romagna region when two quakes — nine days apart — collapsed factories, homes and buildings in one of Italy's most productive regions.

At a press conference Wednesday with the German chancellor, Renzi said Emilio Romagna is now standing thanks to the reconstruction effort and that "we're choosing the same team" to rebuild quake-devastated Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata and their surrounding hamlets.

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7:30 p.m.

Germany says it will pay for the construction of a new school in quake-hit central Italy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the donation at a press conference Wednesday with Premier Matteo Renzi in Maranello, the headquarters of sports car maker Ferrari.

Merkel said no decision had been made about where the school would be. She said such a decision would be taken in consultation with the government and local officials.

The elementary school of the medieval hilltop town of Amatrice was destroyed in the Aug. 24 quake — despite having received funds for anti-seismic improvements.

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6:30 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has greeted rescue crews from Italy's earthquake — and even one of the dogs who helped locate a little girl in the rubble.

Merkel was in Maranello, Italy, for a meeting with Premier Matteo Renzi at the headquarters of sports car manufacturer Ferrari.

As they headed into the meeting, Merkel stopped to chat with members of the emergency crews who responded to the Aug. 24 quake in central Italy that killed nearly 300 people. She bent down and shook the paw of Leo, the black Labrador retriever that helped locate 4-year-old Giorgia Rinaldo in the rubble of a home in Pescara Del Tronto.

Giorgia was found in the embrace of her older sister Giulia. Giorgia survived and is in the hospital; Giulia was killed.

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6:05 p.m.

Firefighters have conducted a preliminary search of Amatrice's crumbled elementary school and financial police have begun gathering documentation about contracts for renovations of quake-destroyed public buildings as the investigation into the devastation kicked into higher gear a week after the temblor struck central Italy.

Another body was extracted from the rubble early Wednesday and a 23-year-old student who was injured in the hard-hit medieval town of Amatrice died at a hospital in Pescara, bringing the death toll from the Aug. 24 temblor to 294, with a handful of people still missing, the ANSA news agency reported.

A 3.8-magnitude aftershock hit the quake zone on Wednesday, reportedly damaging a building in Norcia. It was one of more than 3,000 post-quake aftershocks that have rattled residents, some 4,000 of whom remain homeless.

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