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Hospital Visit Offers Speedy Recovery to Fast Driving

--Judge James Foley doesn’t think a fine of up to $200 makes much of an impression on youthful speeders, so he sentences those guilty of driving 80 m.p.h. or faster to spend a day at a hospital with victims of high-speed crashes. The judge, a former Macon County, Mo., prosecutor, has sent about 30 drivers ages 21 or under to the University of Missouri Health Sciences Center at Columbia, where they talk to doctors, nurses and some of the patients, many of whom can barely move or must be retrained to perform the simplest of everyday tasks. Most of the patients are the same age as the offenders, which has a deep impact, said Kathleen Cain, who coordinates the hospital’s head and spinal injury prevention project. The youths must write an essay about the hospital visit, and failure to go there or write the essay can mean loss of their licenses. A 17-year-old boy guilty of going 94 m.p.h. wrote this about intensive care, where he saw patients connected to tubes and wires: “This scene was more disgusting than watching all of the Friday the 13th movies consecutively.” Another said he had lost his nerve and had given up his motorcycle to “live a long life.” Cain said that, rather than the blood and guts the speeders expect, “the real reality for them is seeing somebody trying to learn to eat or learn to speak. They see people doing things as basic as learning how to comb their hair,” and they share lunch with a quadriplegic, age 21, who is “pretty blunt with telling them what his life is like.”

--Mother Teresa said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that she welcomes Pope John Paul II’s ruling that women cannot become priests. A new papal document says women have equal dignity but only men were chosen as apostles. “Let us thank God for the truly wonderful gift the Pope has given us with this document,” she said. “Men and women have different roles to play in the church but the same dignity before Christ.”

--Sure, he can break the law, but can he cook? The daughter of slain mob boss Sam Giancana says her new book will let readers in on the recipe secrets and food favorites of 35 well-known Chicago gangsters. Antoinette Giancana, who previously wrote “Mafia Princess,” said: “Just like my father, these men didn’t enjoy just Italian food. They wanted the creme de la creme wherever they went and they got it--steak divine, crab imperial.” One source for the book will be Mike Fish, 85, who said he used to eat dinner at the home of Al Capone’s mother, whom he called “a wonderful cook.” Giancana said she plans to include profiles of the mobsters and their reasons for eating the various dishes.


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