- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 29, 2003

Woman trampled over $29 DVD player

ORANGE CITY, Fla. — A mob of shoppers rushing for a sale on DVD players trampled the first woman in line and knocked her unconscious as they scrambled for the shelves at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Patricia VanLester, 41, had her eye on a $29 DVD player, but when the siren blared at 6 a.m. Friday announcing the start to the post-Thanksgiving sale, she was knocked to the ground by the frenzy of shoppers behind her.

Paramedics called to the store found Mrs. VanLester unconscious on top of a DVD player, surrounded by shoppers seemingly oblivious to her, said a paramedic official. She was flown to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where doctors told the family she had had a seizure after she was knocked down.

Mrs. VanLester’s sister said Wal-Mart officials called later Friday to ask about her sister, and the store apologized and offered to put a DVD player on hold for her. Company spokeswoman Karen Burk said she had never heard of a such a melee during a sale.

Wal-Mart sales top $1.52 billion

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said yesterday it hit a single-day company sales record during the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving shopping sprees, taking in more than $1.52 billion nationally.

Last year, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, reported sales of $1.43 billion for the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Murder-suicide leaves 3 dead at care center

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man suffering from dementia shot and killed his wife and another man before putting the gun to his head and pulling the trigger at a care center where they all lived, police said yesterday.

Authorities said there was a history of problems between the man they said was the shooter, Frank Kykendall, 86, and the other man, Joe Bruscia, 80. The three were residents of the memory care unit at the Alpine Court assisted living center in Eugene, and the two victims also suffered from dementia.

Investigators were trying to determine how Mr. Kykendall got a gun. Police discovered Mr. Bruscia near the kitchen with a bullet wound to the abdomen. Mr. Kykendall’s wife, Ruby Kykendall, 86, was in her bedroom, hit in the upper torso. Both died at a hospital.

Frank Kykendall was found dead in his bedroom with a gun in his hand. The Kykendalls had separate rooms but shared a bathroom. Investigators ruled the deaths a double murder and suicide.

Virus sickens dozens of cruise passengers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Dozens of passengers came down with a stomach illness during an eight-day cruise on the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Legend, which returned to port yesterday, the company and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The illness was believed to have been caused by norovirus, a family of highly contagious viruses, Carnival said in a statement.

Noroviruses are among the most common causes of stomach ailments, infecting 23 million people every year, health officials say. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, typically lasting one to three days.

Carnival also had two outbreaks aboard the Holiday in October. Princess Cruises had an outbreak aboard the Regal in August. Last winter and fall, the CDC reported at least 25 outbreaks aboard 21 ships.

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