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Nation Briefs: Toxic mushrooms kill third person at Calif. senior care facility

- - Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LOOMIS — A third person has died from eating poisonous mushrooms at a California senior care facility where a caretaker found the fungus in the backyard and used it to make soup, authorities said Wednesday.

The 90-year-old man died Saturday, state Department of Social Services spokesman Oscar Ramirez told The Associated Press. The Placer County Sheriff's Office identified him as Frank Warren Blodgett.

Three other people were sickened when they ate soup made from the toxic mushrooms on Nov. 8, including the caretaker who made it. Their conditions have not been made public.

The other people who died were identified as Barbara Lopes, 86, and Teresa Olesniewicz, 73.

NEW YORK

Police arrest suspect in shopkeepers' deaths

NEW YORK — A low-end clothing salesman was arrested Wednesday in the serial killings of three shopkeepers, police said.

Salvatore Perrone of Staten Island faces murder charges in the fatal shootings in Brooklyn, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Police recovered a bag containing a sawed-off rifle believed to have been used in the killings. They said the balding Mr. Perrone, 63, appeared on surveillance footage carrying the bag moments after the most recent shooting Friday.

The other killings happened in July and August. All three shopkeepers were men alone in stores that had no video cameras.

NORTH DAKOTA

Surgeon acquitted in drugging, rape of wife

FARGO — A jury on Wednesday acquitted a North Dakota surgeon accused of drugging his wife and raping her while she was unconscious.

Dr. Jon Norberg lowered his head and exhaled as the verdict was read in the courtroom. His brother, Doug Norberg, a lawyer who assisted the defense, started crying.

Dr. Norberg, 42, an orthopedic surgeon, could have faced up to life in prison if convicted of gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment. The jury, which could have convicted him on lesser charges, deliberated for about four hours.

REGION

Study: ADHD medicines help curb criminal behavior

Older teens and adults with attention deficit disorder are much less likely to commit a crime while on ADHD medication, a provocative study from Sweden finds.

It also shows that people with ADHD are four to seven times more likely to break the law than others.

The findings suggest that Ritalin, Adderall and other drugs that curb hyperactivity and boost attention remain important beyond the school-age years and that wider use of these medications in older patients might help curb crime.

"There definitely is a perception that it's a disease of childhood," said Dr. William Cooper, a professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. "We're beginning to understand that ADHD is a condition for many people that really lasts throughout their life."

NEW YORK

Grinch pinched trailer loaded with 350 Christmas trees

HAMLIN — Police are looking for the thief who drove off with a trailer full of Christmas trees.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman John Helfer says the heist happened between midnight Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. Wednesday in Hamlin, 18 miles west of Rochester and near the shore of Lake Ontario.

A farmer called police after he discovered the pickup truck he had backed into a driveway was gone and so was the 28-foot trailer behind it. Inside the trailer were 350 Douglas firs worth about $12,000.

OHIO

Judge says jailed Amish cannot attend family wedding

CLEVELAND — Defendants convicted in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish lost a bid Wednesday to leave jail to attend a family wedding.

U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, who presided at the trial of 16 Amish convicted in the attacks, ruled against requests by five of the nine who are locked up awaiting sentencing Feb. 8. Seven others remain free pending sentencing.

The judge agreed with prosecutors that anyone released from jail might become a fugitive or pose a danger to others.

Those asking to attend the Thanksgiving Day wedding in Bergholz in eastern Ohio included two brothers and an uncle of the bride. Prosecutors say the bride and groom are "unindicted co-conspirators" in the case.

From wire dispatches and staff reports