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Still, the results underline another reason for women to maintain a healthy weight, Miss Waller said.

The findings, released yesterday in the August edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, suggest that about 4 percent of women who are obese before pregnancy will have babies with major birth defects, versus 3 percent for healthy-weight women, Miss Waller said. Obese women faced double the risk of having babies with spina bifida than women of healthy weight.

IOWA

Treatment calls spike after casino opens

WATERLOO — A gambling treatment program here says it had a jump in calls from people seeking help since the Isle of Capri casino opened June 30.

Allen Hospital’s Gambling Treatment Program received 18 crisis calls last month, up from five in June. The program also reported the number of people seeking treatment for the first time increased from four in June to 11 last month.

LOUISIANA

State official injured in traffic accident

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne was hospitalized yesterday after an interstate traffic accident.

Mr. Dardenne was being treated at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for rib fractures, chest bruises and pelvic and spinal injuries. The secretary of state didn’t suffer any neurological damage from the accident, said his press secretary, Jacques Berry.

Mr. Dardenne will undergo surgery for his injuries next week, the press secretary said.

The accident on Interstate 12 occurred as Mr. Dardenne was headed to his Baton Rouge office yesterday morning. Driving in the center lane, Mr. Dardenne moved to the right lane and struck another car, said Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Kelly. The collision between the two cars wasn’t severe, but Mr. Dardenne tried to overcorrect, lost control of his car and careened into a ditch, Sgt. Kelly said.

The driver of the car Mr. Dardenne hit, 19-year-old Mikki Leland, of Bueche, was not injured and had relatively minor damage to her car, Sgt. Kelly said. The cause of the crash was under investigation, and no citations had been issued, Sgt. Kelly said.

MAINE

1 dead, 12 hurt after van overturns

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