- The Washington Times - Friday, September 16, 2005

Cheney to undergo elective surgery

Vice President Dick Cheney will undergo elective surgery next weekend to treat an aneurysm in an artery behind his right knee.

The condition, discovered earlier this year during a routine checkup, needs to be treated “as to not become a problem over time,” Steve Schmidt, counselor to the vice president, said yesterday .

“The procedure will be performed under local anesthetic,” Mr. Schmidt said. “It will take place next weekend. It will involve a short hospital stay. The vice president will return to work shortly thereafter.”

Mr. Schmidt said more details will be announced next week.

Mr. Cheney, 64, has had four heart attacks, though none since he became vice president in 2001. That year, he had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator inserted in his chest. The pacemaker starts automatically if needed to regulate his heartbeat.

An aneurysm is a ballooning weak spot in an artery that, as blood pounds through, eventually can burst if left untreated.

Those in the knee, popliteal aneurysms, act a little differently. They’re less likely to burst than are aneurysms in other parts of the body. But blood clots can form in the weakened artery that can break off and cause a stroke, or block circulation in the leg.

Jury convicts hunter in shootings

HAYWARD, Wis. — A jury yesterday convicted an immigrant truck driver of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of six deer hunters during a confrontation over trespassing, rejecting his claims that he fired in self-defense after one hunter used racial slurs and another shot at him.

Chai Soua Vang, 36, faces mandatory life in prison. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty.

The two survivors of the shooting had testified the hunters never shot at Vang before he opened fire after they confronted him on Nov. 21 about trespassing in a tree stand on private property.

The jury deliberated about three hours before convicting Vang on six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted homicide.

Vang, dressed in a business suit with family members seated behind him, showed no visible emotion as the judge read the verdict.

Schwarzenegger seeking re-election

SAN DIEGO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed an open secret yesterday, telling supporters he’s running for re-election next year.

“I’m going to follow through with this here. I’m not in there for three years. I originally got into this … to finish the job. I’m in there for seven years,” he told a crowd of about 200 invited guests. “Yes, I will run for governor.”

A nonpartisan Field Poll released last week found that just 36 percent of California voters are inclined to re-elect Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican.

Doctors deliver baby before mom dies

OAKLAND, Calif. — A pregnant woman crushed by her own car gave birth before dying. Her baby was in fair condition yesterday.

Adriana Cruz, 32, was getting into her car in a parking lot Thursday when she released her parking brake and the car rolled forward, pinning her against a wall, said police Lt. Maverick Grier.

Rescue crews freed Miss Cruz and rushed her to Highland Hospital for emergency surgery. Before she died two hours later, doctors were able to deliver her baby by emergency Caesarean section.

Ophelia causes less damage than feared

HATTERAS, N.C. — Ophelia finally took leave of North Carolina yesterday, downgraded to a tropical storm but picking up speed for a possible run-in with the southeastern New England coast.

The storm left behind plenty of damage along North Carolina’s southern coast, including beach erosion and ravaged homes and businesses, but overall the region was spared the devastating blow that some feared when Ophelia first brushed the coast Tuesday.

One risk modeling company estimated yesterday that losses would top out at $800 million.

“There wasn’t much to it,” said lifelong Hatteras resident Allen Fagley, 54. “We were really blessed. … We had a potential to be neck-deep where we’re standing.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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