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IN BRIEF.

Byline: NEW MEXICAN WIRE SERVICES

Officials: Second teen dumped at Nebraska hospital

OMAHA, Neb. -- A Michigan mother drove roughly 12 hours to Omaha, so she could abandon her 13-year-old son at a hospital under the state's unique safe-haven law, Nebraska officials said Monday. The boy from the Detroit area is the second teenager from outside Nebraska and 18th child overall abandoned in the state since the law took effect in July.

"I certainly recognize and can commiserate and empathize with families across our state and across the country who are obviously struggling with parenting issues, but this is not the appropriate way of dealing with them, whether you're in Nebraska or whether you're in another state," said Todd Landry, who heads the state's Department of Health and Human Services' division of children and family services.

There was no sign the boy was in immediate danger before he was abandoned, but an investigation into the boy's situation was still continuing, Landry said. The boy has been placed in an emergency shelter.

Efforts made to overhaul kidney transplants

WASHINGTON -- Nearly one in three patients who need a kidney transplant may never get one because their bodies are abnormally primed to attack a donated organ.

Now doctors are trying new ways to outwit the immune system and save more of those so-called "highly sensitized" patients -- often with kidneys donated by living donors, considered the optimal kind. "I feel very lucky. Our son saved my life," said Cynthia Preloh of Arlington, Va., after an unusual combination of blood cleansing and a cancer drug allowed her to receive a kidney from her son that her body otherwise would have destroyed.

It's promising work that comes as the nation's kidney distribution system is beginning a major overhaul. Together, the two efforts aim to make a long-needed dent in the years of waiting it can take to get a kidney transplant.

More than 77,000 people are on the national waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. Yet fewer than 17,000 transplants a year are performed, about 10,500 of them from deceased donors and just over 6,000 from living donors, relatives or friends who offer to help a specific patient. The wait can stretch four to five years, and more than 4,000 patients die on the waiting list each year.

Palin teen's beau

speaks on marriage

WASILLA, Alaska -- Levi Johnston, who's having a baby with Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, can't believe all the things he's hearing. No, he wasn't held against his will on the campaign trail. No, he's not being forced into a shotgun wedding with 17-year-old Bristol Palin.

"None of that's true," Johnston, 18, said in a rare interview with The Associated Press. "We both love each other. We both want to marry each other. And that's what we are going to do."

'Marcia Brady' tells all

about sordid past

NEW YORK -- As Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, Maureen McCormick projected an image of the wholesome girl next door. But off camera, she spiraled downward into drug addiction and depression. Now 52, McCormick writes about her struggles in a new memoir, Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, hitting stores today. She discusses her romance with TV sibling Barry Williams, her dates with Michael Jackson and Steve Martin, cocaine binges and parties at the Playboy Mansion and the home of Sammy Davis Jr., an unwanted pregnancy and trading sex for drugs.

McCormick was 14 when The Brady Bunch debuted on ABC, running from 1969 to 1974.

New Mexican wire services

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Publication:The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM)
Date:Oct 14, 2008
Words:609
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