American Scene

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Phil Astin, 54, pleaded guilty to a 175-count federal indictment charging him with illegally distributing prescription drugs and conspiring to distribute prescription drugs.

Astin also admitted that prescriptions he issued resulted in the overdose death of a female patient in 2007, though attorneys did not specifically name any patient or link the physician to World Wrestling Entertainment’s Chris Benoit.

More than 50 of the counts carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The others carry a lesser sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, said Patrick Crosby, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney David Nahmias.

HAWAII

Council passes text-and-drive ban

HONOLULU | The Honolulu City Council has passed a bill banning Oahu motorists from text-messaging on their cell phones and playing video games while driving.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann said he had not decided whether to sign the bill and was concerned that the measure may be difficult for police to enforce.

Council member Charles Djou introduced the bill after a city bus driver was suspended for playing a video game while driving a bus.

The council passed the bill by a 7-1 vote Wednesday.

MASSACHUSETTS

Police cleared in fan’s death

BOSTON | A prosecutor said he won’t file criminal charges against police in the case of a man who died 11 days after he stopped breathing while in police custody.

The state medical examiner ruled in December that David Woodman’s death was brought on by heart arrhythmia and that he died of “natural causes.”

Mr. Woodman, 22, was arrested June 18 during the Boston Celtics championship celebrations on a charge of public drinking.

MICHIGAN

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