- - Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Shorter work hours OK’d for rookie doctors

CHICAGO | Rookie doctors will be getting shorter work shifts, along with stricter supervision, but a medical student group said Wednesday that the changes don’t do enough to protect sleep-deprived residents and their patients.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s board of directors approved rules on Tuesday for more than 110,000 doctors being trained at U.S. hospitals. The idea is to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors caused by junior doctors working long hours.

The biggest change affects interns — doctors in their first year of medical residency. Their work shift limit will be cut from 24 hours to 16 hours, and “strategic napping” is strongly recommended. The maximum shift length remains 24 hours for residents in their second year of training and beyond.

Also, medical residents are to tell patients they’re being supervised by more experienced physicians, and the hierarchy should be spelled out to patients, the rules say.


Firefighters get oxygen masks for pets

BOSTON | The Boston Fire Department on Wednesday received a donation of small oxygen masks designed for pets, which will become standard equipment on every firetruck in the city, officials said.

The 60 masks to fit small snouts were a gift from the WellPet pet food company and the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association.

Like oxygen masks for people, the masks are intended to help lungs recover from inhaled smoke.


Gunman killed at hospital

OMAHA | A man who opened fire at an Omaha hospital died and two officers he shot were treated and released, police said.

Officer Jacob Bettin said Jeffrey Layten, 39, of Tekamah, opened fire Wednesday morning at Creighton University Medical Center before police managed to shoot him.

Officer Bettin said Layten led police on a high-speed vehicle chase shortly after midnight in the Omaha suburbs and fled the scene after crashing into a utility pole.


2nd suspect arrested in college shooting

NEWARK | Police have arrested a second suspect in the fatal shooting of a Seton Hall University student at a New Jersey house party last weekend.

East Orange resident Marcus Bascus was taken into custody Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He was charged with murder, conspiracy, attempted murder and weapons offenses.

Police say Mr. Bascus provided a gun to Nicholas Welch after Mr. Welch was refused admittance to a party in East Orange. They say Mr. Welch returned to the privately owned row house and began shooting.

An honors student from Disputanta, Va., was killed. Four people from New Jersey and New York City were injured.

Mr. Welch has pleaded not guilty. Mr. Bascus is in custody.


Suspect in agent’s slaying arrested

CLEVELAND | A suspect in the fatal shooting of an Ohio real estate agent whose body was found in a vacant home he was trying to sell was arrested in North Carolina after a weeklong manhunt.

The body of prominent real estate agent Andrew VonStein was found Sept. 21 with a single gunshot wound, his wallet and cell phone missing. He was one of two agents in northeast Ohio killed in two days, prompting frightened agents in the area to cancel open houses and avoid meeting prospective buyers alone.

Robert Grigelaitis, 59, was arrested Tuesday night at a rest stop in Turkey, N.C., said Pete Elliott, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio. He waived extradition back to Ohio in Duplin County District Court.


School near Updike’s hometown gets papers

ALLENTOWN | Rabbit is running again, this time to a new home at Pennsylvania’s Alvernia University.

The school in Reading announced Wednesday that it will house the scholarly archives of the John Updike Society, an organization that studies the life and work of the acclaimed chronicler of American suburbia whose prodigious output included “Rabbit, Run” and dozens of other novels, short stories, poems and essays.

Alvernia is also hosting the society’s inaugural conference, beginning Friday, which is expected to draw scholars from around the world, three of Updike’s children, his first wife and some of his high school classmates.

Born in Reading and raised in nearby Shillington, Updike won two Pulitzers, for “Rabbit Is Rich” and “Rabbit at Rest,” and two National Book Awards. He died last year at the age of 76.


Not guilty plea in acid hoax case

VANCOUVER | Her face red and blotchy but largely unbandaged, a 28-year-old Vancouver woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges arising from her false claim that a stranger splashed acid in her face.

Bethany Storro has confessed that she made up the story about the facial burns she suffered Aug. 30, saying she put drain cleaner on her face trying to kill herself. The case drew national attention to the recently divorced woman who works for a grocery chain, and brought in nearly $28,000 in donations to help with medical bills.

Ms. Storro faces three theft charges. Court records show spent about $1,500 of the donations on such things as dinners for her parents, clothes for herself and a bill for an August laser facial peel.

The accounts containing the donations have been frozen and her parents have said the money will be returned.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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