Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Hospital continues cell transplant work

A 44-year-old electrician on Tuesday became the second U.S. patient to receive a transplant of millions of leg muscle cells in an experimental treatment to repair his failing heart.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Tom Ivey at Christ Hospital as part of a national clinical trial that will enroll up to 10 patients. If successful, the closely watched study could lead to longer life for millions of Americans who suffer from heart failure, yet have little hope of getting a full heart transplant.

The first patient in the study, Middletown resident Charles Emrick, died June 17 after being treated June 5. An autopsy and related tests determined Emrick died of a heart attack that was not related to the experimental procedure.

Woman, 43, files suit vs. police department

LAWRENCEBURG - A Lawrenceburg woman filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday against this city's police department, claiming a police officer arrested her at her home when she was wearing a bathrobe - then dressed her in her bedroom while her handcuffs were still on.

The lawsuit, filed in Dearborn County Circuit Court, requests a jury trial and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, claiming unreasonable seizure, deliberative indifference and deprivation of personal privacy.

The woman was in her home with her husband June 25, 2001, when officers Rob Jones and Morgan Hedrick served a warrant for her arrest on alcohol-related charges, the legal complaint alleges.

According to the complaint, Hedrick arrested and handcuffed the woman, 43. In the woman's bedroom, Hedrick put her jeans on her. Acting Police Chief Gene Hunefeld did not return messages Tuesday afternoon, and neither did Mayor Paul Tremain, who was named in the suit.

The woman's attorney, Theressa M. Holland of Rising Sun, said, "I think there's no question these circumstances did not warrant any of this treatment. This is showing no respect for the citizens."

Murder suspect to be evaluated this week

LEBANON - Psychologists and psychiatrists are expected in town this week to evaluate Rhonda Ricketts to see if she suffers from battered women's syndrome, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Ricketts, 50, who is charged with aggravated murder in the May 13 fatal shooting of her ex-husband, Steve, remained in the Warren County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail while lawyers in the case met with the judge in a closed pretrial hearing.

"A psychologist can diagnose whether it's present," Dayton defense attorney John H. Rion said of battered women's syndrome, which he anticipates as a possible defense.

He compared the syndrome to post-traumatic stress disorder in which an event can trigger "flashbacks" and irrational thoughts that a person is in danger.

The next hearing in the case is Sept. 10. At that time, Rion said, he will ask to suppress evidence in the case, including Ricketts' statements to police, her diary and files confiscated from a personal computer.

Man gets 13 years for role in slaying

A Detroit man present when a Cincinnati man was killed in late 2001 during a home invasion robbery was sentenced Tuesday to spend 13 years in prison.

Omar Greggs, 33, pleaded guilty in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to a charge of manslaughter and aggravated robbery, and was sentenced to the prison term for his role in the death of Zontae Irby, 33.

Michael Hout, 30, of Columbus, the man who shot Irby to death Nov. 29, 2001, was convicted in October and sentenced to spend 15 years to life in prison.

Substance-abuse help line readied

Come July 1, families or individuals suffering alcohol or drug abuse will have one number in Hamilton County to call for help - 281-RHAC(281-7422).

The Recovery Health Access Center will begin operating July 1. The center will operate 24-hours-a-day.

The Hamilton County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board launched the new center because research indicated many people found it difficult to find information about substance abuse treatment, said Sherry Knapp, chief executive of the ADAS Board.

Western Hills hospital installs MRI device

Mercy Franciscan Hospital Western Hills has expanded its diagnostic services by installing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

The Siemens 1.5 Tesla MRI cost about $1.7 million for the equipment and related construction. It will begin serving patients in mid-July.

The hospital in Westwood already offers CT scanning, ultrasound, cardiac catheterization, angiography, non-invasive vascular ultrasound and echocardiography. But when patients needed MRI scans, they needed to be sent to other hospitals or free-standing services, hospital officials said.




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