Injured servicemen receive Purple Hearts

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Fifteen servicemen wounded in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan were awarded Purple Hearts on Tuesday.

The 13 Army special forces soldiers and two Air Force Special Operations airmen were hurt in Kandahar or during an uprising by Taliban prisoners at the fortress outside of Mazar-e-Sharif. They received the medals from the Army's chief of staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, in a ceremony at Fort Campbell.

48 test positive for TB at Alabama college

MOBILE, Ala. -- At least 48 people connected to Spring Hill College have tested positive for tuberculosis less than three weeks after an African graduate student died of the disease.

More than 500 students, faculty members and others at the 1,500-student Roman Catholic school were tested Friday, and more positive cases could show up as people get their results, said Belinda Baggett, a spokeswoman for the city Health Department. Testing continues this week.

Investigators suspect people testing positive may have contracted the bacteria from Benedict Lenjo, a 28-year-old student from Kenya who died Dec. 28 in his dormitory room.

Boy, 7, killed during rush-hour rockslide

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. -- Boulders crashed down a mountainside onto a highway crowded with rush hour traffic, killing a 7-year-old boy and injuring several others.

Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs was closed for three hours late Monday while damaged vehicles were towed and rocks were cleared.

The first vehicle hit by the rock slide was a pickup in which Michael Howdle was a passenger, the Colorado State Patrol said.

"The boulder caved in the right side of the vehicle where the young boy was sitting, and caused serious injuries," a patrol statement said. The boy was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The boy's father was treated for a head injury and released.

Teen-ager opens fire in high school hallway

NEW YORK -- A teen-ager opened fire in the hallway at a high school near Lincoln Center on Tuesday, seriously wounding two fellow students in what may have been a gang-related shooting, authorities say.

The gunman was arrested two blocks away, police said.

The shooting on Manhattan's Upper West Side occurred at Martin Luther King Jr. High School on what would have been the 73rd birthday of the apostle of nonviolence. The public school has 3,000 students.

Authorities did not immediately give a motive, but schools Chancellor Harold Levy said the shooting may have been gang-related. He said the suspect was an 18-year-old who had not been attending school.

Low-income seniors offered $15 drugsWASHINGTON -- Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is offering low-income senior citizens some of its most widely used prescriptions for $15 each a month.

Included are drugs for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and treating depression.

The program, which begins March 1, is expected to reach as many as seven million eligible elderly Americans. Seniors enrolled in the program will have access to drugs like Viagra and the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, two of the company's most popular.

To qualify, seniors must be enrolled in Medicare and have an annual gross income below $18,000, or less than $24,000 for couples. Recipients can have no other prescription drug coverage.

There is no enrollment fee and no limit on the number of drugs a patient can receive. Those applying will have to provide proof of their income, such as the first page of a tax return. CVS and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. have agreed to participate in the program.

--From wire reports

Study: Millions have obesity-related syndromeCHICAGO -- At least 47 million American adults -- or more than one in five -- have metabolic syndrome, a disorder that often includes a beer belly, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol readings and high blood sugar, according to a disturbing new study.

Metabolic syndrome has been recognized since at least the 1920s, though it has been called different things over the years. It is not a single disease but a cluster of health problems, and despite its name, does not necessarily mean a person's metabolism is defective.

Though experts say the syndrome may be caused by a combination of genes and lifestyle factors, lifestyle -- including overeating and a lack of exercise -- are probably the most important factors, said Dr. Earl Ford of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who led the study.

Experts suspected the syndrome was common but were uncertain about its prevalence. This study puts a number on the scope of the problem.

--From wire reports

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