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AROUND THE NATION

Heart attack treatment improves at hospitals

WASHINGTON -- In a spectacular turnabout, hospitals are treating almost all major heart attack patients within the recommended 90 minutes of arrival, a new study finds. Just five years ago, less than half of them got their clogged arteries opened that fast.

The time it took to treat such patients plunged from a median of 96 minutes in 2005 to only 64 minutes last year, researchers found.

"Americans who have heart attacks can now be confident that they're going to be treated rapidly in virtually every hospital of the country," said Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz. He led the study, published online Monday by an American Heart Association journal, Circulation.

What is remarkable about this improvement, Krumholz said, is that it occurred without money incentives or threat of punishment. Instead, the government and a host of private groups led research on how to shorten treatment times and started campaigns to persuade hospitals that this was the right thing to do.

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Scoutmaster is killed leading group on hike

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- As a 76-year-old scoutmaster led two young charges on a nature hike, they stopped to identify a tree -- a pause authorities say put them in the path of a man who emerged from a nearby home with a 12-inch knife and stabbed the group's leader, leaving him to bleed to death on the trail.

The attack Sunday afternoon on the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill, 60 miles north of Indianapolis, killed Arthur Anderson, a scouting volunteer for 50 years who also mentored young computer whizzes at Kokomo High School and held a patent for an electrical device.

Authorities say that after approaching Anderson from behind and stabbing him without provocation, Shane Golitko, 22, returned to the home where he had earlier assaulted his mother, breaking her arm, and stabbed his two dogs, killing one of them. He fled in his mother's Jeep, leading police on an eight-mile chase before he was arrested.

Authorities said it wasn't clear what set Golitko off, and neither drugs nor alcohol were involved. Golitko is charged with murder and two felony counts of battery.

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Somalis get life terms in fatal yacht hijacking

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- Somalis Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf and Ali Abdi Mohamed were sentenced to life in prison on Monday for their roles in the hijacking of a yacht that left all four Americans on board dead. Yusuf argued he had unsuccessfully tried to persuade his fellow pirates that the two women on board should be released.

"I was scared for my life because I was afraid they would kill me," he said. "I was very, very sad about what happened."

The owners of the Quest -- Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif. -- along with friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death in February several days after being taken hostage several hundred miles south of Oman. They were the first Americans to be killed in a wave of piracy that has plagued the region in recent years.