- - Sunday, September 11, 2011


HPV vaccine works with only two doses

A study has shown that taking two doses of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protected young women as well as three doses.

The finding is important because many women do not get the full three-dose regimen of Cervarix. If only two doses are needed, more women may get vaccinated, and the incidence of cervical cancer may be reduced, said Aimee R. Kreimer, lead author of the four-year study, which involved more than 7,000 young women in Costa Rica.

The study, which appeared online Friday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, focused on Cervarix, one of two U.S.-approved vaccines against HPV. The other approved vaccine, Gardasil, also takes three doses, but it has a unique formulation and was not part of the Costa Rica study, researchers said.


Power back on for most near border

SAN DIEGO — Utility crews brought electricity back to much of California, Arizona and Mexico on Friday, a day after a power outage left millions in the dark, paralyzed freeways and halted flights at San Diego’s airport.

Officials, however, warned that the electrical grid was still too fragile after the outage and asked residents and businesses to go easy on - or even put off using - major appliances, such as air conditioners.

A decade after California faced rolling blackouts that shut down everything from ATMs to traffic signals, Thursday’s outage raised anew questions about the condition of the nation’s electricity grid.

Authorities were focused Friday on trying to figure out how a mistake by a single Arizona Public Service Co. worker making a routine repair in Yuma, Ariz., could cascade across the Southwest.


Ex-speaker sentenced to prison for fraud

BOSTON — Former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for using his clout to steer two state contracts to a software firm in exchange for kickbacks.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf on Friday also sentenced co-defendant Richard McDonough, a prominent Statehouse lobbyist, to seven years for his role in the scheme.

Prosecutors had asked for a 12 1/2-year sentence for DiMasi, convicted in June on charges of conspiracy, extortion and honest services fraud.

Defense attorneys asked for three years, citing DiMasi’s public service and strong family ties.


Restaurant sues over ‘Carcass Removal’ listing

HELENA — A restaurant listed in the phone book under “Animal Carcass Removal” wound up as the butt of a Jay Leno joke earlier this year.

But it’s no laughing matter to the owner of Bar 3 Bar-B-Q in Bozeman and Belgrade.

Hunter Lacey is suing Dex Media Inc., saying business has dropped off and his restaurant’s reputation has suffered.

The listing first appeared in Dex’s 2009 telephone book. It has been reprinted in several other directories, and Mr. Leno joked about the listing on the “Headlines” segment of “The Tonight Show” in January.

Mr. Lacey’s lawsuit says a Dex employee deliberately published the listing after Mr. Lacey declined to buy an advertisement.

Dex says the restaurant assumed the risk of errors in the directory listing when it bought local telephone service.


Judge: Lawyers must get ID of man in Clementi case

NEW BRUNSWICK — A New Jersey judge ruled Friday that prosecutors must give defense lawyers the name of the man who was allegedly seen in a webcam video having an intimate encounter with Rutgers student Tyler Clementi.

Superior Court Judge Glenn Berman also ruled that no part of a 15-count indictment of Mr. Clementi’s former roommate, Dharun Ravi, will be dismissed. In doing so, he denied Mr. Ravi’s lawyer’s contention that prosecutors did not offer a grand jury earlier this year enough evidence about the alleged crimes.

Mr. Ravi is accused of the hate crime of bias intimidation, using a webcam to invade the privacy of the two men and trying to cover up it up afterward.

Days after the alleged spying in September 2010, Mr. Clementi, 18, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. His story set off a national conversation about bullying of young gays.


House where 11 bodies found condemned

CLEVELAND — The city has condemned the killing ground dubbed the “House of Horrors,” a home where 11 women were murdered by a man who dumped their remains around his house and property.

The owner has until Oct. 2 to make repairs or face having the house demolished, mayoral press secretary Andrea Taylor wrote Friday in an email to the Associated Press.

The three-story frame house in an impoverished Cleveland neighborhood was the home of Anthony Sowell, who was convicted and sentenced to death last month for killing the 11 women, many of whom were living on the street and dealing with addiction problems.

Sowell, 52, is appealing his conviction.


Tally of homes lost by fire expected to rise

BASTROP — Authorities say they expect the number of homes destroyed by a massive Texas wildfire to increase from the nearly 1,400 they’ve already tallied.

Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald said Saturday that crews haven’t had an opportunity to go in and count homes in some areas because of smoldering hot spots.

Authorities have said that nearly 1,400 homes have been destroyed by the wildfire that has been raging for a week in and around Bastrop, a city near Austin.

A spokesman for the team of federal, state and local agencies responding to the fire said the number was expected to rise.

Spokesman Bruce Prud’homme also said the wildfire is now 50 percent contained, up from the 40 percent figure announced earlier Saturday.


Ex-Mormon bishop pleads guilty to child sex abuse

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Mormon bishop and co-founder of a nonprofit group that helps women and children in Third World villages faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced in November for sexually abusing children.

The 69-year-old man from Heber City, Utah, pleaded guilty this week to three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Each count involves a different victim, and carries a sentence of five years to life.

The victims were among six children adopted from Ethiopia, where the man and his wife helped establish an orphanage.

The Associated Press isn’t naming the man to protect the identity of the victims.

The couple’s nonprofit organization provided services to destitute villages in Mexico, Central America, Africa and the Caribbean.

The man was initially charged with 43 counts stemming from abuse that began in 1995, around the time the defendant was bishop of his LDS ward and one year after he and his wife started the nonprofit agency.

The remaining charges were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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