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POSTED September 19, 2013 9:29 p.m.

 

 

HOLDER OF LUCKY POWERBALL TICKET A MYSTERY IN SC: LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — When they learned that a Powerball ticket worth $400 million had been sold at a gas station across the road, workers at Econ-O-Bug Termite and Pest Control said they had a few big, wishful dreams. But they didn't have the prized ticket in their hands, so they came to work as usual Thursday in their yellow bug-battling vans.

"I sure didn't win it," said Jason Vannest, 32, of Lexington. He looked wistfully out the window at the buzz of activity at the Murphy USA gas station. "I'd be on vacation if I had, that's for sure."

Colleague Eddie Terrell chimed in that he had his destination all picked out, even though he wasn't the winner in Wednesday night's drawing of the fourth-largest prize in Powerball history.

The winner didn't attend Thursday's news conference at the gas station, and his or her identity remained a mystery even to lottery officials.

The lucky ticket was one of 356 sold Wednesday afternoon at the gas station, nestled just off 1-20 west of Columbia.

 

PA. TOWN SEEKS TO FIRE POLICE CHIEF IN GUN VIDEOS: GILBERTON, Pa. (AP) — Town officials said Thursday they intend to fire a police chief suspended after he posted online videos of himself shooting automatic weapons and going on profanity-laced tirades about liberals and the Second Amendment.

Gilberton council members made the decision on Thursday concerning Chief Mark Kessler, the only full-time member of the town's police force, who's active in gun rights circles and is organizing an armed, non-government group that critics call a private militia.

Kessler, despite insisting he was simply exercising his constitutional rights in the videos, said the town council's decision was "no surprise."

ALA. COUPLE ARRESTED IN GIRL'S DETERGENT DEATH: MADISON, Ala. (AP) — Court records say the parents of an 18-month-old girl who died after eating dishwashing detergent may not have immediately helped the girl because they were heavily intoxicated.

Investigators have charged 31-year-old Kristopher Joseph Speigner and 29-year-old Joy Lynn Speigner with negligent homicide in the Sept. 30, 2012, death of their daughter, McKenzie.

Affidavits say the girl swallowed a dishwashing detergent pod and her parents didn't seek medical help for her until the next day because they had both used prescription drugs and drank alcohol.

JUDGE: TOO HARSH TO FIRE NY TEACHER WHO HAD HEROIN: NEW YORK (AP) — A high school teacher who was fired earlier this year for showing up for jury duty with 20 glassine envelopes of heroin stashed in a pack of cigarettes could get his job back.

A judge found that Damian Esteban's firing was "unduly harsh" and ordered the Department of Education to impose a lesser punishment. City officials blasted the decision on Thursday, saying they would appeal.

"We cannot fathom how a teacher who took 20 bags of heroin into a courthouse is fit to stand in front of a classroom and teach the city's school children," Michael A. Cardozo, the city's top lawyer, said in a statement.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg added that the ruling "shows a callous indifference to the well-being of our students."

Esteban's case will remain unresolved while the city pursues an appeal. Esteban's troubles began last year when he was returning to a Manhattan courthouse after taking a break as a juror in a murder trial. While passing through security, courthouse officers discovered the heroin packets.

At the time, the 34-year-old Esteban was a teacher at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, making $64,500 a year.

He was kicked off the jury and charged with misdemeanor drug possession. He agreed to attend a treatment program in exchange for having the charge dropped.

After placing Esteban on administrative duty, school officials sought his dismissal at an arbitration hearing earlier this year. The teacher testified at the hearing that he got hooked on heroin after using it to relieve pain from an ankle injury. He also claimed he had kicked the habit, but forgotten that a backpack he took to court held the cigarette pack with the drug stashed.

BIn May, an arbitrator ordered Esteban's immediate dismissal.

BRITISH DRIVERS CAN PAY FOR PARKING WITH CHESTNUTS: LONDON (AP) — It's the next best thing to parking that costs peanuts: parking that costs chestnuts.

A company that runs parking lots in the English cities of Leeds and Manchester is temporarily letting drivers pay with the dark brown seeds that fall from horse chestnut trees each autumn.

Town Centre Car Parks is accepting horse chestnuts for parking time at a rate of 20 pence (32 cents) apiece. So far it has collected about 1,500 of the nuts, known as conkers after the traditional schoolyard game in which children try to smash them.

The weeklong "Bonkers for Conkers" campaign was due to end Sunday, but company spokesman Matthew Williamson said Thursday it may be extended.

The chestnuts are only being accepted at staffed parking lots, not automated ticket machines. "You can't put conkers into coin slots," he noted.

OBESE CANCER PATIENTS OFTEN SHORTED ON CHEMO DOSES: Obese people are less likely to survive cancer, and one reason may be a surprising inequality: The overweight are undertreated.

Doctors often short them on chemotherapy by not basing the dose on size, as they should. They use ideal weight or cap the dose out of fear about how much treatment an obese patient can bear. Yet research shows that bigger people handle chemo better than smaller people do.

Even a little less chemo can mean worse odds of survival, and studies suggest that as many as 40 percent of obese cancer patients have been getting less than 85 percent of the right dose for their size.

Now, the largest organization of doctors who treat cancer, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, aims to change that. The group has adopted guidelines urging full, weight-based doses for the obese.

Don't call it supersizing; it's right-sizing cancer care, said Dr. Gary Lyman, a Duke University oncologist who led the panel that wrote the advice.

 

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