- - Sunday, November 21, 2010

ILLINOIS

Cold-drug ban cut children’s ER visits

CHICAGO — Removing cough and cold medicines for very young children from store shelves led to a big decline in emergency room visits for bad reactions to the drugs, government research found.

But the results released online Monday are a mixed bag: Some parents were still giving their infants and toddlers these medicines, and many ER cases still involved youngsters who apparently got hold of the medications themselves.

That suggests parents who stopped using them hadn’t discarded old bottles or kept them out of reach after manufacturers voluntarily withdrew medicines labeled for infants and kids up to age 2 in 2007.

The bottom-line message: “Keep all medicines up and away and out of sight,” said Dr. Daniel Budnitz, the study’s senior author and a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who added that the results also indicate the need for better childproof containers.

The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.

MISSOURI

St. Louis named most-dangerous city

A national study finds St. Louis overtook Camden, N.J., as the nation’s most dangerous city in 2009.

The study released Sunday by CQ Press found St. Louis had 2,070.1 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, compared with a national average of 429.4. That helped St. Louis beat out Camden, which topped last year’s list and was the most dangerous city for 2003 and 2004.

Detroit, Flint, Mich., and Oakland, Calif., rounded out the top five.

For the second straight year, the safest city with more than 75,000 residents was Colonie, N.Y.

The annual rankings are based on population figures and crime data compiled by the FBI. Some criminologists question the findings, saying the methodology is unfair.

NEW YORK

Moscow flight safe after engine woes

NEW YORK — Delta Flight 30 from New York to Moscow arrived safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport after an engine problem led to an emergency landing. No one was injured.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker said the Boeing 767 had taken off from the airport and was en route to Moscow when it reported engine problems and turned back, landing at around 5:45 p.m. Sunday and taxiing to the gate. She said earlier reports of a fire on one of the plane’s wings was incorrect.

Delta didn’t immediately respond to a call requesting comment. An official with the Fire Department of New York said Sunday that members responded to the emergency call

UTAH

Hunt continues for Ranger gunman

MOAB — The search for a gunman accused of critically wounding a Utah park ranger stretched into a second day Sunday as helicopter and boat crews combed a rugged Utah canyon and law officers broadened their pursuit to include a railroad line.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that more than 160 officers from around the state were searching an area near the Colorado River southwest of Moab, an area famous for red rock canyons and natural arch formations.

The search near Dead Horse State Park began after Utah State Parks Ranger Brody Young, 34, of Moab, was shot three times Friday night while patrolling the popular Poison Spider Mesa Trail, authorities said.

The search area Sunday consisted of 15 square miles of rugged terrain that authorities say has likely given the gunman the “upper hand” in avoiding capture, Grand County Sheriff James Nyland said. Three helicopters were included in the search Sunday and authorities were also searching freight cars along an area railroad line.

WISCONSIN

‘Run Bambi Run’ killer dies

MILWAUKEE — The prison escape of former Playboy Club bunny and Milwaukee police officer Laurie “Bambi” Bembenek popularized the phrase “Run Bambi Run” and seemed tailor-made for the TV movie it inspired.

But despite the fame garnered by her flight, Ms. Bembenek died having spent more than two decades insisting on her innocence but never fully clearing her name. Her attorney said Sunday that effort will continue.

The 52-year-old died Saturday of liver failure at a hospice care center in Portland, Ore.

Ms. Bembenek worked briefly as a Playboy Club waitress in Lake Geneva before becoming a police officer in Milwaukee. She was convicted in 1982 of fatally shooting her husband’s ex-wife, Christine Schultz, after reportedly complaining about the alimony he had to pay.

Ms. Bembenek was sentenced to life in prison but maintained her innocence. In 1990, she escaped Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac and fled to Canada. In 1992, a judge said that “significant mistakes” had been made in the probe, and Ms. Bembenek soon struck a deal in which she pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and received 10 years of probation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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