- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2006

FLORIDA

Kin fear woman on cruise is dead

NAPLES — The family of a woman who disappeared from a cruise ship sailing along the coast of Italy thinks she is dead, but foul play was not suspected, her half brother said.

The family of Elizabeth Kay Galeana, 22, of Naples, Fla., did not elaborate on how they knew Miss Galeana was dead.

“Obviously our entire family is devastated by the loss of Elizabeth,” Brian Evans said. “While we are awaiting the completion of the investigation into this tragedy, from what we know at this time, we do not believe Elizabeth’s death was a result of any foul play.”

Carol Michalik, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Tampa office, said yesterday that Italian authorities found a body in the water near Ponza, an island off the Italian coast between Rome and Naples. She said Italian authorities were trying to determine whether it was Miss Galeana.

Miss Galeana was reported missing last Tuesday from Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas. Michael Sheehan, a spokesman for the cruise line, said Miss Galeana likely fell off the ship.

GEORGIA

Building evacuated because of package

ATLANTA — Authorities evacuated a midtown Atlanta office building for a several hours yesterday and closed roads to traffic for several blocks after a suspicious package was found inside the building.

The package, found about 10 a.m., turned out to be a prop to be used in an advertisement, not a live explosive, said fire department Capt. Byron Kennedy. Workers were allowed to return to the building about 1 p.m., he said.

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington said a maintenance worker found what appeared to be an explosive device in a vacant office on the 22nd floor. He said the building next door also was evacuated.

Capt. Kennedy said it is the same building where a minor fire broke out last week.

Fire Chief Dennis Rubin told WSB-TV that the fire also was on the 22nd floor, but said investigators determined that it was an electrical fire started by bare wires on top of a speaker.

The Proscenium, built in 2001, has 24 stories and 528,000 square feet of office space. Chief Pennington said law offices are among the businesses located inside.

IDAHO

Activists angered by logjam blast

BOISE — Some wilderness activists say the U.S. Forest Service shouldn’t have blasted a logjam in the Salmon River last week and should have let nature take its course.

The logjam created by a rainstorm forced 250 white-water rafters to camp for three days. Outfitters say removal was a common-sense decision, and the agency said it considered other options, including waiting for spring floods or conducting evacuations.

ILLINOIS

Chicago cardinal free of cancer

MAYWOOD — Doctors for Cardinal Francis George said yesterday that tests on his bladder and other tissue show that they succeeded in removing all the cancer and he will not need radiation or chemotherapy.

“There is no evidence for any cancer remaining within the body,” said Dr. Myles Sheehan, Cardinal George’s personal physician and a fellow priest.

The 69-year-old spiritual leader of the Chicago area’s 2.4 million Roman Catholics had his cancerous bladder removed last week, along with his prostate and a section of his ureter.

Cardinal George started consuming clear liquids and walked 50 feet with a walker yesterday.

He should be able to return to his regular schedule close to Labor Day, Dr. Sheehan said.

MASSACHUSETTS

Man charged in liposuction death

FRAMINGHAM — A man was arrested on charges of practicing medicine without a license after a woman died during a liposuction procedure performed in the basement of a home, authorities said yesterday.

Luis Carlos Rebeiro, a native of Brazil, appeared in district court yesterday after the death of a 23-year-old woman Sunday.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office would not release the identity of the woman who died. An autopsy was scheduled.

Police also charged Mr. Rebeiro with drug possession. A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said she did not know what type of drugs.

NEW YORK

14 charged in insurance fraud

ALBANY — A doctor and 13 other persons were indicted yesterday in a multimillion-dollar auto-insurance scam involving staged crashes in New York City, authorities said.

Three corporations also have been indicted in the 20-month investigation by authorities in New York, which has some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation.

“The cases are paradigms of what’s wrong with the no-fault [insurance] system,” Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said. “False claims, false diagnosis, overdiagnosis, tests that are paid for not done, tests that are done unnecessarily. It is a veritable pipeline of waste and fraud and money.”

The defendants are charged with scheming to defraud, money laundering, grand larceny, insurance fraud, falsifying business records and offering false instruments for filing. Mr. Spitzer also is seeking to recover $3.9 million from them.

RHODE ISLAND

Tick-borne illness thrives in wet weather

PROVIDENCE — Health authorities are counting more cases this year of an illness caused by a tick-borne parasite, babesiosis. The disease is transmitted by the same deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, and authorities say the wet weather has increased the number of ticks.

So far this year, the Department of Health has documented 46 cases of babesiosis, compared with 43 last year. Most people don’t become seriously ill, but those who do experience fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and can develop anemia.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Voters lean against abortion ban

SIOUX FALLS — South Dakota voters are leaning against the state’s tough new ban on abortions, a poll released yesterday shows.

The statewide survey of 800 registered voters found 47 percent opposed the strict ban, while 39 percent favored it. The remaining 14 percent were undecided. The poll had a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.

The Legislature voted overwhelmingly earlier this year to make abortion illegal in all cases — including rape and incest — unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman’s life. It was to become law on July 1, but opponents gathered enough signatures to delay it and to let voters decide in November whether the ban should take effect.

If voters reject the abortion ban at the ballot box, they would effectively repeal it.

The poll released yesterday also asked voters who said they would reject the ban or were undecided how they would vote if the legislation allowed abortions in cases of rape or incest: 59 percent said they would support it, 29 percent said they would still reject a ban and 12 percent were undecided.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research conducted the telephone survey July 24 to 26.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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