- The Washington Times - Friday, September 10, 2004

Ex-President Clinton released from hospital

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — Former President Bill Clinton left hospital and returned home yesterday, four days after undergoing heart bypass surgery, his office said. The 58-year-old former commander in chief arrived home here early last night, Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy said.

Mr. Clinton was taken off his respirator and placed in an intensive care unit on Monday after doctors performed a four-hour quadruple bypass operation that found the former president’s heart disease was extensive, with blockages in some arteries well over 90 percent.

He went to the hospital late last week after complaining of prolonged chest pain and shortness of breath, but doctors said Monday that he’d had these symptoms for several months. They said he had blamed them on lapses in his exercise routine and acid reflux.

New Yorkers say convention too costly

A 65 percent-to-29 percent majority of New York City residents believe the cost of hosting the Republican National Convention outweighed the benefits to the city, according to a poll by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

“There was a general sense that the convention, to some degree, was oversold once people saw it,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., institute.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, has estimated the event resulted in $255 million in net economic activity for the city and rejected a preconvention analysis by Comptroller William Thompson, a Democrat, that the city would lose about $300 million.

Prisoners probed over suspicious letters

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Federal and state investigators questioned Nevada prison inmates yesterday about suspicious letters — rigged with a match to flare when the envelope was opened — that were sent from the prison to several governors.

At least 11 state leaders and Nevada’s corrections director received such letters Thursday or yesterday. In three letters, the match flared, but no one was hurt.

Some of the letters were intercepted during screening or because of an alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The letters apparently did not contain writings, but each bore a return address from Nevada’s maximum-security Ely State Prison.

One of two Ely inmates was listed as the sender, but authorities aren’t sure if either inmate was involved, said Glen Whorton, assistant director for the Nevada Corrections Department.

Mr. Whorton would not identify the inmates being questioned or details of their crimes. The investigation is focusing on Ely as the origin of the letters, though they are not excluding other places, he said.

FEC asks court to reject Bush suit

The Federal Election Commission has asked a court to throw out a lawsuit by President Bush’s campaign that seeks to force quick action on complaints against anti-Bush groups spending big donations in the presidential race.

In a court filing made public yesterday, the commission told U.S. District Judge James Robertson the Bush campaign won’t suffer irreparable harm if its March complaints to the FEC about “soft money” groups aren’t resolved before the November election.

The campaign finance laws aren’t meant to help candidates avoid “competitive harm,” FEC lawyers wrote.

The Bush campaign sued the FEC in federal court in Washington last week, asking the judge to order the commission to rule on the campaign’s complaints against soft money groups within a month. If the campaign disagreed with the FEC’s action, it could then ask the judge to block the groups’ activities.

Explosion destroys Ukrainian church

COLCHESTER, Conn. — A powerful blast leveled a decades-old Ukrainian church early yesterday, shaking nearby buildings and tossing debris hundreds of feet. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the 7 a.m. explosion at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church was not immediately clear. The brick building had an indoor propane tank for cooking, state police Sgt. J. Paul Vance said.

The area was cordoned off and the nearby highway was shut down, Sgt. Vance said.

The pastor and his family were safely evacuated from their adjacent home, said the Rev. Michael Dubovici, of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford, the seat of the church’s diocese.

The church, built in 1955, serves 55 families. Members had been preparing for a Ukrainian festival in Stamford this weekend.

From staff reports and wires dispatches

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