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Nation in brief

Cheney aneurysm surgery a success

By wire services
Published September 25, 2005

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney had successful surgery on Saturday to repair aneurysms on the back of both knees and was alert and comfortable after the six-hour procedure, his spokesman said.

Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was under local anesthesia during the surgery at George Washington University Hospital.

"He will remain in the hospital for up to 48 hours to monitor his recovery. He is expected to resume a regular schedule when he is released to home," said Steve Schmidt, counselor to the vice president.

After the operation, Cheney was "awake, alert, comfortable," Schmidt said.

An aneurysm is a ballooning weak spot in an artery that, as blood pulses through, eventually can burst if left untreated. Cheney's aneurysms, known as popliteal aneurysms, were discovered during his annual physical in July.

Oklahoma girl found dead along with abductor

ADA, Okla. - A teenager who was abducted as she left school last week was found shot to death Saturday along with a man her mother had once dated. Authorities said it appeared to be a murder-suicide.

The bodies of Caitlin Elizabeth Wooten, 16, and Jerry Don Savage, 47, were seen from an Oklahoma Highway Patrol helicopter, said city spokesman Mark Bratcher.

Savage, who had dated the girl's mother, Donna Wooten, reportedly called the girl's grandmother Friday and threatened to harm Caitlin, Bratcher said.

He said Savage was recently arrested on charges of attempting to kidnap Donna Wooten. Wooten obtained a protective order against Savage on Aug. 30, court records show, but he was out of jail on bail when Caitlin disappeared.

Caitlin was last seen Friday getting into a dark green pickup after classes ended at Ada High School. The deaths appear to be murder-suicide, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

Three die when helicopter crashes in Hawaii

HAENA, Hawaii - A tour helicopter crashed into the ocean near Kauai's rugged Na Pali Coast, killing three people and forcing three others to swim to shore.

The three survivors reached a reef near the mouth of a stream, where two waited for water safety officers to rescue them and the third made it to the beach, said Mary Daubert, Kauai County spokeswoman.

Another man and a woman were pulled from the water by Navy helicopters shortly after the crash but were pronounced dead at a hospital. The other victim was found dead inside the helicopter. Their names were not released.

The pilot, who survived, told authorities the helicopter had encountered wind shear just before going down, the state Department of Transportation said.

[Last modified September 25, 2005, 02:15:40]

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