Archive for Saturday, October 7, 2000

Nation Briefs

October 7, 2000



Distraught man jumps 65 floors to his death

A Canadian man plunged 65 floors to his death from atop the Empire State Building after allegedly telling a security guard, "I don't want to live any more." The 19-year-old, identified as Sylvain Laverriere of Montreal, had recently broken up with his girlfriend, police said Friday.

Laverriere managed to climb over the tall barriers on the 86th floor observation deck of the landmark building about 9:15 p.m. Thursday. He fell 65 stories to an outcropping on the 21st floor. The observation deck closes at 11 p.m.

Police said there were a few people there. Some apparently saw him climb the barriers but it happened too quickly for them to stop him.


Infant car seat recall issued

Four million infant car seats made by an Ohio company have defective handles that can cause serious injuries to babies, federal safety regulators warned Friday.

Century Products Co., a division of Graco Children's Products Inc. based in Macedonia, Ohio, has received more than 2,700 reports of handle-related problems, including handles breaking, cracking, or possibly not being locked while the seat is used as a carrier. The problem involves all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers manufactured from January 1991 through July 1997.

Consumers can call Century toll-free at (800) 865-1419 for more information.


Police officer arrested for drugs, perjury

The FBI is investigating a police officer accused of making up drug possession charges against a burglary suspect, and prosecutors say the case could dismantle up to 20 other pending drug cases.

Officer Brian Sewell, 31, was arrested Wednesday and charged with perjury and misconduct. He was placed on administrative duty pending his court case. Sewell is accused of picking up cocaine that detectives had planted in a park as part of a police corruption sting. Authorities said Sewell later claimed that he had seen an 18-year-old burglary suspect, Frederick McCoy, put the drug in the park and run away.


Koch Industries pleads innocent

Attorneys for Koch Industries Inc. entered innocent pleas Friday on behalf of the oil pipeline company, which has been indicted by a federal grand jury for alleged air pollution crimes.

Three employees of Koch one of the nation's biggest oil pipeline companies and one former employee also pleaded innocent to charges of violating federal environmental regulations.

U.S. District Judge Janis Jack set trial for April 9.

The indictment charges Wichita, Kan.-based Koch, its subsidiary Koch Petroleum Group and the four employees with 97 felonies for problems with the cancer-linked pollutant benzene at a Corpus Christi plant.


Students injured by roof collapse

The roof of a high school gym collapsed Friday, slightly injuring three students on a running track one floor below. A teacher said the gm had been closed days earlier because of a cracked beam.

Three East High School students, ages 14 and 15, had "fairly minor" injuries, according to school district spokesman Bill Wendling. In addition, one adult needed treatment for shortness of breath and another for a diabetic reaction, Wendling said.

Joe Marshall, 36, a physical education teacher, said the gym had been put off-limits last week because of a cracked ceiling beam.

Students running on a track one level below the gym floor heard a loud sound that began cascading from one end of the building to the other.

"The sound of the beams getting broken kept getting closer," Marshall said. "It was a like a movie. The kids were running around away from the sound."


Medical equipment uses weapons technology

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are using nuclear weapons technology to help doctors do a better job of targeting cancer with radiation treatment.

The system, approved by federal regulators last month, was formally announced Friday by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.

The treatment, known as Peregrine, is a computer-based system for calculating in three dimensions where radiation goes in the body and how much of it is striking tissue, bone or cavities.

It is tailored to individuals, using information gathered from CAT scans.

That means doctors can get right at the tumor, allowing them to beam higher doses of radiation at cancerous tissue without increasing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

The Peregrine program stems from weapons research on how radiation interacts with various material, a field known as radiation transport.

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