- The Washington Times - Monday, September 10, 2001

Hoffa friend denies role in disappearance
BOCA RATON, Fla. A close friend of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa said he understands the Hoffa family's grief, but not their belief that he somehow is responsible for Mr. Hoffa's 1975 disappearance.
"This disappearance has me hurting, too," Charles "Chuckie" O'Brien told the Palm Beach Post. "I loved this man more than anything. My thought has always been that this could be solved, and I agree with Jimmy [Hoffa's son and current Teamsters president] that they deserve closure."
Mr. O'Brien was speaking publicly for the first time since the Detroit News reported on Friday that the FBI had found a hair from Mr. Hoffa in a car Mr. O'Brien was driving on July 30, 1975, the day of the disappearance. Mr. O'Brien had denied Mr. Hoffa was in the car.

Study finds risk in birth control pills
CHICAGO Dutch research links birth control pills and menopause hormone supplements with small amounts of protein in the urine that may signal an increased risk of kidney and heart disease.
Women who used either of the estrogen-based pills faced about double the risk of developing the urine protein condition, called microalbuminuria, compared with nonusers.
Women who used hormone supplements for more than five years faced the greatest risk, about 2-1/2 times that of nonusers, according to the study.

Snared shark gets revenge, bites man
MIAMI A shark took revenge on its captor, biting a fisherman who had caught it off the Florida Everglades but then falling into the water, the Miami Herald reported yesterday.
The 44-year-old fisherman was airlifted to Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital Saturday night, where he was treated for a bite to his left leg and several fingers of his left hand. He was in good condition and the wounds were "very superficial," a hospital spokesman said.

Ex-guard kills four in Sacramento
SACRAMENTO A suspended security guard shot and killed three former co-workers and a fourth man Saturday night, then handcuffed another guard and fled in her car, police said.
Joseph Ferguson, 20, of Sacramento, remained at large yesterday and was believed to be heavily armed and perhaps wearing body armor, said Sacramento Police spokesman Sgt. Daniel Hahn.
Mr. Ferguson was believed to be driving a green car stolen from a former co-worker he left handcuffed to a tree at the Sacramento Zoo. Mr. Ferguson was suspended last week from his job with Burns Security, Sgt. Hahn said.

Governments raise spending
Spending by state and local governments climbed to $1.6 trillion in 1999, with schools, welfare and transportation the priorities, the Census Bureau said.
Spending rose 6 percent from 1998, while revenues for state and local governments increased 4 percent to $1.8 trillion, according to the report being released today. State and local governments spent most on education ($483 billion) and welfare programs ($215 billion).
California, the nation's most populous state, was the biggest spender, with outlays of $218 billion and revenue of more than $242 billion in 1999.
The data were the latest available from the Census Bureau.

Company plans 15 heart implants
LOUISVILLE, Ky. The company that developed a self-contained artificial heart hopes to have 15 implanted by the middle of next year, a spokesman said.
"Quite frankly, if things continue to go as well as they've gone for the first patient, those time frames are going to be very easy to achieve. If everything goes super well, we'll beat them," Ed Berger, a spokesman for Abiomed Inc., told the Courier-Journal of Louisville.
Robert Tools became the first recipient of a plastic and titanium Abiocor heart in a July 2 operation in Louisville. Mr. Tools was removed from the intensive care unit last week.


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