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Former Sen. Burns hospitalized after stroke


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Fo rme r Montana Sen. Conrad Burns has been hospitalized in Washington, D.C., after suffering a stroke, his family said Thursday. U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg released a statement from Burns' son, Garrett, who said his father was hospitalized in intensive care. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” Rehberg said. “When I saw Conrad this weekend, he looked as strong as ever, and if I know anything about old Marines like him, they're fighters.” Burns' wife found him disoriented Wednesday night at their home in Arlington, Va., and he was taken to Virginia Hospital Center. He was later transferred to a Washington, D.C., hospital. Doctors told the family that Burns, 74, suffered an atrial fibrillation, or abnormal heart rhythm, and had a stroke, the statement said. “The encouragement and support we've received are a tremendous comfort to my dad and the rest of the family,” Garrett Burns said in a statement. “Right now, we're focused on getting Dad healthy.” Taylor Brown, a Montana broadcaster and longtime friend of Burns, said it was unclear how serious the stroke had been. He said Burns' son told him the former senator was havIng trouble swallowing and with the left side of his body. There did not appear to be any warning signs leading up to the stroke, Brown said. Burns, a Republican, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Montana in November 1988 and served through January 2007. He was ousted by only about 3,000 votes following a 2006 reelection campaign in which he drew heat over his close ties to di sgraced l obbyi s t Jack Abramoff. U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, who defeated Burns in the 2006 election, released statements saying they were keeping the Burns family in their thoughts and prayers. Burns, a former radio broadcaster and resident of Billings, for years held one of the most i n f l u e n t i a l p o s i t i o n s i n Washington with a seat on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Hi s out spokennes s and folksy manner have earned him a strong following among many Montanans but also landed Havre Daily News/ Nikki Carlson A family portrait of the Abeita family 3-week-old Krystian, Ramona, 9-year-old Trystan and William Thursday afternoon. Care unit. Eventually, she was flown by medical hel icopter to Benefis. There, her doctor told her her lungs were shutting down. Abeita has been through a lot in her life. “I'm a two-time cancer survivor,” she said. “But other than that, I am in good health.” Even so, this experience was tough. “It was scary,” she said. “They were afraid I wasn't going to make it.” Her doctors put her on antibiotics. She said that is the best and only treatment for H1N1. Once she was on the road to recovery, things moved along very well. At first, her doctors feared she might be in the Great Falls facility for a month, but seven days after being admitted, she was released and headed back home. Then on Nov. 17, her son was born, weighing nine pounds. He's doing fine, Abeita said, and she's now back to work at Northern Montana Care Center. The experience has turned Abeita into an advocate for immunizat ions against the H1N1 virus. A lot of people tend to dismiss swine flu, she said. “People should get their shots,” she said. “And if they feel the least bit sick, they should call their doctor.” She doesn't want to see other people go through the same thing. “When I had cancer, I wasn't really scared,” she said. “I knew I could beat it. But this was scary.” National Park and Glacier National Park as a world heritage site. This fall, UNESCO sent a team to the area to determine if it should be labeled a world heritage site in danger. No determination has been made. Max Resource plans to continue sampling in 2010, Wendt said. The Crowsnest includes 15 claims over about 7,760 acres south of Fernie, British Columbia. “There are many other areas at Crowsnest where significant gold values were reported by prior operators that have never been followed up,” he said. “We've received the largest recovery of money for environmental cleanup in U.S. history,” said Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli. “This was certainly a result that no one expected when Asarco went into bankruptcy.” Asarco operated copper, lead and other heavy metal mines and smelters across the West for the past century, but most are closed and require extensive remediation. The company sought bankruptcy protection in 2005 after being overwhelmed by the cleanup costs. Asarco still operates three copper mines in Arizona and a refinery in Amarillo, Texas. Cleanup and restoration at the site in Cherokee County in southeast Kansas will be paid for with $25.1 million from the settlement. The other states with sites that will be cleaned up are Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Washington. The federal government wi l l use $ 7 7 6 mi l l ion i t received to remediate more than 35 different sites, including an abandoned lead smelter in Omaha, Neb. Of the remaining money, $436 million will go to the Coeur d'Alene Work Trust to clean up a mine on the Idaho- Washington border. Three trusts that will oversee remediation at 24 sites in 13 states received $261 million, and about $321 million went to 14 states to fund environmental settlement obligations at more than 36 sites. All the settlements were negotiated between Asarco and state and federal governments during the bankruptcy process and had been previously announced. The closing of the bankruptcy deal Wednesday ended a years-long battle waged by Groupo Mexico to reacquire the firm it first bought in 1999. Grupo Mexico lost control of Asarco in the bankruptcy proceedings but won a court auction for the company last month by offering $2.2 billion to creditors together with an estimated $1.4 billion in cash held by Asarco. Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson Havre Daily News publisher Val Murri works on employees' timecards in his office Thursday afternoon. Him trouble. Over the years, Burns has apologized for remarks offensive to blacks, Arabs and firefighters. In 2006, during his failed bid for a fourth term, he was hammered by Tester and other Democrats over his links to Abramoff. The Justice Department looked into his connections with the lobbyist, but Burns maintained his innocence and federal officials eventually dropped their probe. Since 2007, Burns has worked as a senior adviser at Gage Business Consulting, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm run by his former chief of staff, Leo Giacometto.


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