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Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Nation Briefs

July 12, 2001

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Pittsburgh: Drunken driver ordered to place roses at graves

A man who pleaded guilty to killing a pregnant woman in a drunken driving accident has been ordered to place roses on her grave for the next 4 1/2 years.

Alfred Cantolina, 21, of Howard, also was sentenced to up to 4 1/2 years in prison.

At the request of the victim's family, Judge David E. Grine on Monday ordered Cantolina to place a rose on Britt Barndt's grave and the grave of her unborn son on the 18th of each month to commemorate their deaths in the Nov. 18, 2000 accident.

Cantolina pleaded guilty in May to vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and making an illegal left turn. He may be escorted from prison to deliver the flowers, Grine said. Otherwise, he must arrange for someone else to deliver them.

Florida: Right-to-die case placed on hold

A woman whose husband and parents are battling over whether to let her die must be kept alive at least temporarily, a Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Michael Schiavo is seeking to disconnect his comatose wife, Terri, 37, from life support, while her parents want to keep her alive.

The appeals court returned the case to the Pinellas County judge who originally allowed Schiavo to disconnect his wife's feeding tube. It ordered the judge to keep Schiavo on life support until at least July 23 and decide specifically when it should be discontinued.

Terri Schiavo's feedings were stopped earlier this year after a court battle that ended with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy declining to accept the case.

Days later, her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, filed a new lawsuit accusing Michael Schiavo of lying about his wife's dying wishes because he wanted to collect her inheritance and marry another woman. The feeding tube was reconnected pending the outcome of the suit an action at the heart of the latest appeal.

Oregon: Drug companies sued over vaccine mercury

Four Oregon families who say their children were harmed by mercury contained in vaccines filed a lawsuit Wednesday against 12 companies that make drugs or distribute them.

The suit contends that four children one from each of the families developed neurological problems as a result of thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury used in multidose vials since the 1930s.

The families claim that a shortened immunization schedule in the 1990s gave their children toxic levels of mercury.

The complaint, filed in Multnomah County Court, contends 6 million children throughout the United States received potentially toxic levels of mercury.

California: Pest-control officials battle Asian mosquitoes

A type of mosquito known to carry disease in Asia has been found at a San Bernardino plant nursery, state pest-control officials said.

A small colony of Asian tiger mosquitoes arrived at the nursery last week in a shipment of the popular plant "lucky bamboo," officials said Wednesday.

The West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District destroyed the mosquitoes Friday and set up traps this week in the neighborhood surrounding the nursery to ensure none of the mosquitoes escaped the greenhouse, officials said.

The incident is the latest report of the mosquitoes being found on the West Coast. Last month, authorities reported finding the mosquitoes in a shipment of the bamboo at Los Angeles harbor.

Although no documented cases of disease transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquitoes have been reported, the viruses carried by the insects have caused serious infections in Asia.

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