- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 28, 2005

CALIFORNIA

Hospital halts liver transplants

LOS ANGELES — One of the state’s largest organ transplant centers has suspended its liver program after determining that doctors improperly arranged a liver transplant for a man not among the highest-priority patients, officials said.

Staff at St. Vincent Medical Center then falsified documents to cover up the purported wrongdoing, hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Gus Valdespino told the Los Angeles Times in yesterday’s editions.

The case involves a Saudi national who was 52nd on a transplant list that covers much of Southern California and is based on who is sickest. St. Vincent officials said the liver should have gone to a higher priority patient.

The transplant was performed in 2003, and the Saudi Embassy paid $339,000 for the operation — up to 30 percent more than what the hospital normally would receive from insurance companies, Mr. Valdespino said.

FLORIDA

3 arrested in hit on businessman

FORT LAUDERDALE — Three men were arrested and charged with the Mafia-style killing of the founder of the Miami Subs sandwich chain, unsolved for more than four years, officials said yesterday.

Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis was ambushed after he left his office in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 6, 2001. Mr. Boulis, who was involved in a business dispute with prominent Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, was fatally shot after two cars stopped him.

Anthony Ferrari was arrested at his North Miami Beach home Monday evening, Fort Lauderdale police said yesterday. Fort Lauderdale homicide detectives arrested Anthony Moscatiello, 67, at his Howard Beach home in New York late Monday, police said. A third man, James Fiorillo, 28, was arrested yesterday in Palm Coast.

Mr. Boulis, 51, also founded SunCruz Casinos, a gambling fleet whose sale led to charges last month against Mr. Abramoff.

GEORGIA

‘Unlikely angel’ gave meth to gunman

ATLANTA — The woman who says she gained the trust of suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols by talking about her faith in God discloses in a new book that she gave him methamphetamine during the hostage ordeal.

Ashley Smith did not share that detail with authorities after she talked her way out of captivity.

In her book, “Unlikely Angel,” released yesterday, Miss Smith says Mr. Nichols had her bound on her bed with masking tape and an extension cord. She says he asked for marijuana, but she did not have any, and dug into her crystal methamphetamine stash instead.

Miss Smith, who has been in a mental hospital and has flunked out of drug rehabilitation programs, says the seven-hour hostage ordeal led her to stop using drugs.

ILLINOIS

Vegetables linked to lung protection

CHICAGO — A diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to provide protection against lung cancer, according to research published yesterday.

The agents thought responsible are plant-derived compounds known as phytoestrogens found in soy products, grains, carrots, spinach, broccoli and other fruits and vegetables, said the report from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The compounds have been shown to have a protective effect against some solid tumors, but little research has focused on dietary intake and lung cancer, the study added.

IOWA

New U.S. citizen wins lottery jackpot

DES MOINES — A man who migrated from Kenya to the United States found prosperity beyond his expectations the day he became a U.S. citizen.

Shortly after Moses Bittok took the oath of citizenship Friday, he discovered he had the $1.89 million winning ticket from the Iowa Lottery’s Hot Lotto game.

“It’s almost like you adopted a country and then they netted you $1.8 million,” Mr. Bittok said Monday as he cashed in his ticket. “It doesn’t happen anywhere — I guess only in America.”

Mr. Bittok, 40, an officer at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville, said he doesn’t know exactly what he will do with his winnings, but a college fund for his 4-year-old daughter, Mindy, is top priority.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Resignation urged after aide’s arrest

CONCORD — A member of the powerful state Executive Council is facing calls to resign for hiring a campaign aide he knew was a convicted child sex offender, but he said yesterday he has no intention of stepping down.

“I don’t plan to resign. There’s too much work yet to be done,” Raymond Burton told the Associated Press.

The aide, Mark Seidensticker, 45, was arrested last month and accused of inappropriate contact with teenage boys.

Based on that arrest, Mr. Burton said he no longer will employ Mr. Seidensticker, who is being held on $50,000 bail at the Merrimack County Jail.

NEW YORK

Remains found near Twin Towers

NEW YORK — Construction workers have found bone fragments on the roof of a skyscraper damaged on September 11, a city official said yesterday.

They may be remains of people who died in the World Trade Center attacks.

The fragments were turned over to the office of the city’s chief medical examiner, who will establish whether they are human and try to identify them. They were found during work to dismantle the Deutsche Bank building.

The 41-story building was struck by falling debris when the Twin Towers collapsed and has been vacant ever since.

OHIO

Killer executed, said he deserved to die

LUCASVILLE — Ohio yesterday executed Herman Ashworth for a 1996 murder, and his last words were “A life for a life, let it be done and justice will be served.”

The 32-year-old convicted killer had waived most of his appeals and said he deserved to die. He received a lethal injection of chemicals at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

In 1997, Ashworth pleaded guilty to beating to death 40-year-old Daniel Baker after the men became acquainted while drinking at a bar. Ashworth claimed Mr. Baker made unwelcome sexual advances and refused to stop when rebuffed, which triggered the beating in an alleyway with fists and a board.

After the beating, Ashworth took $40 from Mr. Baker’s wallet and returned to the bar.

Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said Ashworth stayed awake all night, trying to reach his adoptive parents in Louisiana who had planned to fly to Ohio for the execution but were unable to because of the hurricane.

TEXAS

Judge says Cuban can’t be deported

EL PASO — A Cuban militant accused of plotting a 1976 jetliner bombing that killed 73 persons cannot be deported to Venezuela, an immigration judge has ruled.

Luis Posada Carriles, who has denied that he planned the bombing, claims he would be tortured if sent to Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen and once served as a CIA operative.

Judge William L. Abbott cited conventions against extradition to a country where a person is likely to face torture.

Mr. Posada is accused of illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico in March. He was arrested in Miami in May and is being held in a federal detention center in El Paso.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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