- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Sex offender freed from parole
DENVER — The state Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favor of a convicted sex offender who argued that he was wrongly sentenced to a term of parole that was longer than his prison sentence.
The ruling could force state authorities to release 1,600 sex offenders from prison or parole. At issue are different interpretations of laws passed in 1993 and 1996 that modified parole terms for sex offenders.

N.Y. passes ban on cell-phone use in cars
ALBANY, N.Y. — The state Assembly gave final approval yesterday to a measure that would make New York the first state to ban drivers from using hand-held cellular phones.
Gov. George Pataki will sign the bill into law this week, said spokesman Michael McKeon.
"The benefit is quite large in the number of deaths that we will avoid," said Assemblyman Steve Levy.
The ban would begin Nov. 1, but drivers caught using hand-held cell phones would only be issued warnings during the first month. Until the end of February, violators can have their tickets dismissed if they present the judge with a receipt showing they bought a hands-free cell-phone system. Thereafter, violators face fines of up to $100.

Fen-phen doctor guilty of illegal dosing
BALTIMORE — Pietr Hitzig, the self-described "father of fen-phen," was convicted yesterday of illegally prescribing the drug over the Internet to patients he never saw.
Hitzig, 58, was found guilty of all 34 charges in distributing medicine to 12 patients, two of whom were undercover agents. He faces a prison term of up to 104 years at sentencing.
Prosecutors said hundreds of patients around the world obtained drugs from Hitzig after visiting his Web site and sending him requests by e-mail. Doctors in Maryland are required to examine patients before prescribing medication.
Prosecutors described Hitzig as a doctor seeking fame without regard for his patients. They said Hitzig prescribed fen-phen "for every illness known to mankind," saying he could treat Gulf war syndrome, chronic fatigue, alcohol and drug addictions, as well as cure AIDS and cancer.

Texas mother in 'psychotic state'
A Texas mother said to be suffering from postpartum depression and who confessed to drowning her five children in a bathtub is in a "deep psychotic state" and on 24-hour suicide watch in jail, her attorney said yesterday.
George Parnham, attorney for 36-year-old Andrea Yates, said he had seen his client over the weekend at the Harris County jail, where she has been held since the murders last Wednesday.

Three to testify against mayor
YORK, Pa. — Three of nine men charged in the death of a black woman during a 1969 race riot, including a man who claims Mayor Charlie Robertson told whites to kill blacks, agreed yesterday to testify for the prosecution.
Rick Knouse, Clarence Lutzinger and Gregory Neff all waived their rights to a hearing as Common Pleas Judge Emanuel A. Cassimatis prepared to hold preliminary hearings for the defendants. The hearings for the remaining six defendants continued.
Mr. Robertson, who was a police officer at the time of the shooting, is accused of providing bullets to white gang members who prosecutors say shot 27-year-old Lillie Belle Allen of Aiken, S.C., on July 21, 1969.

Emergency room visits top 100 million
ATLANTA — Americans logged 103 million visits to hospital emergency rooms in 1999, a 14 percent jump from the start of the decade, the government said yesterday.
The increase meant hospitals took on 35,000 more patients a day in the 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The country's aging population and overall growth explained the added burden, the agency said.

Ashcroft supports Cuban spy verdict
MIAMI — The recent conviction of Cuban agents in Miami for spying and conspiring to shoot down two Cuban exile planes was a victory for the rights of U.S. citizens, Attorney General John Ashcroft said yesterday.
"We are very serious about defending the rights of the United States of America against espionage and the rights of American citizens against being shot down, our right to remain free from conspiracies that are carried out to murder us," Mr. Ashcroft told a news conference in Miami.
He was scheduled to meet in Miami today with Cuban exiles who want the United States to indict Cuban President Fidel Castro in connection with the February 1996 downing of the civilian planes by Cuban MiG fighters, which killed four Cuban exiles.

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