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American Scene

- - Thursday, January 6, 2011

ARKANSAS

Don Tyson, who led Tyson Foods, dies

LITTLE ROCK | Former Tyson Foods Inc. Chief Executive Donald J. Tyson, who led the poultry company to dominance in the industry, died Thursday. He was 80.

Company spokesman Gary Mickelson said Mr. Tyson died from complications from cancer, and passed away at home with his family.

In 1952, Mr. Tyson joined the business his father founded about two decades earlier and became its president in 1966. He built up the company by acquiring other poultry producers in the 1970s and '80s, and Tyson Foods became the world's largest poultry producer when it bought Holly Farms in 1989.

MASSACHUSETTS

Former governor has Lou Gehrig's disease

BOSTON | Former Massachusetts governor and U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci has Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 62-year-old Republican told the Associated Press on Thursday he has a relatively slow case of the illness, formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The disease progressively attacks the brain and spine and leads to complete paralysis. It is incurable and fatal. New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig died of it in 1941 at age 37.

Mr. Cellucci said he's experiencing some weakness but otherwise feeling well. He's maintaining a full work schedule as an attorney in Boston.

Mr. Cellucci became governor in 1997 when William Weld resigned. He was elected in 1998. He resigned in 2001 after President George W. Bush named him ambassador to Canada, where he served until 2005.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Dental company that shut down reopens, for now

NASHUA | A national dental chain that unexpectedly shut down operations this week and left patients in several states in the lurch reopened some New Hampshire offices temporarily Thursday under government pressure, while at least one care provider stepped in to fill a void in Ohio.

About two dozen people were crowded into a small waiting room in Nashua 15 minutes after the office opened, and a steady stream of patients came and went throughout the morning. Most of their frustration was muted, though tempers occasionally flared.

Citing cash-flow problems, New York-based Allcare Dental and Dentures closed offices in at least eight states this week, including New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Tennessee and West Virginia. After being contacted by the New Hampshire attorney general, the company opened its two locations there for one day Thursday so patients could retrieve records.

Allcare executives have not returned repeated calls seeking comment.

VIRGINIA

Four Loko, other drinks turned into ethanol in state

RICHMOND | Truckloads of Four Loko and other alcohol-laced energy drinks are being recycled into ethanol and other products after federal authorities told manufacturers the beverages were dangerous and caused users to become "wide-awake drunk."

Wholesalers from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and other East Coast states started sending cases of the high-alcohol, caffeinated malt beverages to MXI Environmental Services in Virginia after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a crackdown on the sale of such beverages in November.

Brian Potter, vice president of operations at MXI's facility in Abingdon, Va., said about a couple of hundred truckloads of the drinks would be coming to the plant. Each truck holds 2,000 cases of the 23.5-ounce cans.

MXI Enterprises is one of three facilities in the U.S. that recycle ethanol, according to the American Coalition for Ethanol, an industry group. Mr. Potter said Thursday that his competitors also are taking shipments of the drinks.

From wire dispatches and staff reports