September 24, 2008

At a Glance Nation at a Glance

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the most overdue state budget in California history Tuesday, skipping the usual fanfare because he said the Legislature's efforts on the $144.5 billion spending plan were nothing to celebrate.

Nearly a quarter of the way through its fiscal year, the state finally has freed up billions of dollars to pay medical clinics, nursing homes, day care centers and contract vendors. The 85-day impasse stemmed from a partisan legislative standoff over how to close California's $15.2 billion deficit.

The governor signed the budget bills in his office, rather than the Capitol rotunda where budgets are usually signed. He also issued line-item vetoes to trim $510 million.


mom admits helping son get weapons

NORRISTOWN | A woman admitted she helped her troubled, bullied 14- year-old son build a weapons cache by buying a rifle and gunpowder, but investigators still don't know if she was aware her son was planning a school attack.

Michele Cossey, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Montgomery County Court to one count of child endangerment. She admitted that she gave her son access to a rifle with a laser scope and gunpowder, which investigators said he was using to build grenades.

Prosecutors said her son, Dillon, came to idolize the Columbine High School shooters and was planning an attack last year on Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, which some former schoolmates attended. Cossey, bullied over his weight, had left public school in seventh grade and was being home-schooled.


girl, 6, on mend with hand reattached

LOS GATOS | A 6-year-old girl is recovering after surgeons reattached her left hand, severed when it was caught in a loop of jump rope that snagged on the axle of her mother's car.

Erica Rix underwent 10 hours of surgery after the accident in early September .

She was playing with a jump rope in the back seat of her mother's car and let one end of the rope out the window to flutter in the wind.

The rope caught on the car's axle and a loop of the rope tightened around the girl's wrist, slicing off her hand.


study: inhalers may raise cardiac risks

CHICAGO | Inhaler drugs used by millions of people with emphysema and bronchitis may slightly raise the risk for heart attacks and even death, a study suggests.

The results aren't conclusive and inhalers provide significant relief for these patients struggling to breathe. But the study authors urged doctors to closely monitor patients who use the inhalers.

The drugs are tiotropium, sold as Spiriva Handihaler , and ipratropium, sold under the brand name Atrovent.

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