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AROUND THE NATION AFTER GETTING ARTIFICIAL HEART

Fourth patient doing well after getting artificial heart

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The world's fourth recipient of a self-contained artificial heart was resting comfortably today in the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center with the lightweight plastic and titanium device pumping in his chest, the hospital said.

The patient, described only as a man in his 70s, underwent an 11-hour operation Wednesday to remove his heart and implant the AbioCor replacement.

"The operation went exceptionally well, and the artificial heart is functioning beautifully," said Dr. Hillel Laks, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine.

The first two recipients of AbioCor artificial hearts continue to recover in at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., where the procedures were performed.

The third operation was done Sept. 26 at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston.

Two rescued, three missing after FAA copter crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Two people were rescued Thursday from the chilly waters of Cook Inlet, but three others remained missing after a helicopter carrying Federal Aviation Administration workers crashed during a snowstorm.

An Alaska Air National Guard helicopter plucked two people from the water about three miles from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, but heavy snow and poor visibility forced searchers to return to base after about an hour. The search was to resume when weather permits.

The helicopter went down as it was traveling from Fire Island, about five miles west of the Anchorage airport.

Pilot Bob Larson, 60, of Anchorage, and FAA employees Joyce Tucker, 46, of Anchorage and Ronald Frizzell, 53, of Wasilla, were missing.

Former Falls couple gets son back, home in Alabama

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- A 7-year-old boy who was taken from his parents by child welfare workers after the homeless family spent the night in a downtown park now is back in their care, with a place to call home.

David McCullough and his wife, Michelle, were distraught two weeks ago when their son, Matthew, was taken from them by Department of Human Resources workers over their protests. But after a Mobile Register story about the case, a Baldwin County company gave the father a job and allowed the family to live in a mobile home near Foley.

David McCullough has a $9-an-hour job recycling magnesium for Remag Alabama, the Baldwin County company that also gave him a home. He said the work is "hot and hard, but it's good work."

He also said the family is happy and plans to stay in Baldwin County. When the McCulloughs, with their belongings in duffel bags and sacks, ended up homeless in the park, they had been planning to go to Niagara Falls, N.Y., where they once lived.

After 13 years in prison, man cleared of rape charge

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A man who served 13 years in prison for a rape conviction was acquitted Thursday based on DNA evidence from a dirty washcloth found at the scene.

Prosecutors and Judge Anthony O. Calabrese Jr. apologized to Anthony Michael Green, who turned 36 on Thursday. Calabrese said the case shows the judicial system is imperfect but can fix its mistakes.

Green said he has no malice toward those who convicted him because he is choosing to focus on the future instead of the past.

Green was convicted of raping a nurse being treated for liver cancer at the Cleveland Clinic, where he was a former employee. She died after testifying at Green's trial that he was her attacker, and he was sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison.

Green's stepfather, Robert Mandell, tracked down a dirty washcloth used by the attacker. The washcloth was found at the crime scene and had been stored in a dusty evidence room in the courthouse basement.

Tests done by the defense showed that DNA on the washcloth did not match Green's.

Massive stone head rocks the Smithsonian

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A massive stone head -- a replica of an ancient Mexican sculpture -- goes on display today Friday in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The original head was sculpted by the Olmec people in Mexico between 1200 B.C. and 900 B.C.

It was discovered in 1946 during a joint Smithsonian-National Geographic Society expedition at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan in Mexico's Veracruz state.

The 6-foot-tall copy was sculpted by Ignacio Perez Solano and was donated to the museum by the Veracruz state government.

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