Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on September 24, 1995 · Page 10
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 10

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Reno, Nevada
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Sunday, September 24, 1995
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Page 10
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1 0A Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, September 24, 1 995 Taxpayer-ftmded lawyers defend FBI agents in Ruby Ridge case f i 1 ' ' f ' " ' V k'.' " " v adult males carrying weapons outside the cabin "can and should" be shot without warning didn't really mean that at all. They were just drawn up to provide a "heightened threat assessment" for snipers men already so aware of danger they made every move as if they were in Vietnam,, not northern Idaho. "I would be asked by the FBI to , believe this was almost a model of conduct," said Sen. Herb Kohl, D- Wis., in complaining about the stonewalling. "The conclusion is drawn, from what we've heard so far from all the people we've heard, that no one did anything wrong of significance or consequence. You all defend your actions. It leaves us all frustrated." These rules of engagement now are orphans. No one wants to admit approving them. And scant FBI paper seems to exist. Barbara Berman, former counsel for the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, testified about her task force review of Ruby Ridge and its findings: that the rules were unconstitutional and the killing of Weaver's wife unwarranted. Berman acknowledged she was perplexed over the seeming evaporation of FBI documents: "My experience with the FBI is they are very meticulous note-takers, and very thorough keepers of records. We could not explain why there were no records for us to look at about what the rules of engagement were and who approved them." By John Hanchette GANNETT NEWS SERVICE The five FBI agents who asserted their Fifth Amendment rights during the Ruby Ridge hearings have taxpayer-funded private lawyers at $90 an hour. So do almost all the other federal lawmen who have testified. Increasingly angry senators who feel they are being lied to have taken to waving fingers, and salting usually polite comments with excoriating lectures that draw parallels with Nixonian strategies of letting subordinates twist in the wind. "This may very well be my first exposure to the syndrome of Plausible Deniability," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told former Justice deputy director George Terwilliger, whose memory seemed gone after only three years. "These things are really set up to separate those in command from those who really should be in command." Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., was even more specific in accusing two high FBI officials of letting field agents take the blame: "When a problem arises, it's not a question of a mistake, but a question of everyone not acknowledging their responsibility ... and pushing it down to the lowest common denominator letting the agents in the field take the brunt of the consequences. That's really what all this is about." The contentious hearings before the Senate subcommittee on Terrorism will continue into a fourth week. At their core is the II -day siege on a remote Idaho mountain of white separatist Randy Weaver's cabin, and the shooting deaths of his son Sammy, 14; and his wife Vicki, 43, who died from a sniper bullet behind her cabin door while cradling her baby. Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan, 42, also died in the shootout. The federal marshals were scouting Weaver's place to serve a fugitive warrant on a fairly minor illegal weapons beef. They began by jumping up out of the bushes in jungle camouflage and shooting Sammy's friendly yellow Lab in front of him. When he cussed and fired back, an Idaho jury ruled, they killed him. Even this became a matter of revisionist history when the marshals testified. Randy Weaver, said Marshal Larry Cooper in promoting an entirely new theory after three years of argument, most likely shot his own kid in the back. This despite the fact Weaver rapidly was retreating up the mountain leaving his son to fend on his own below and could not possibly have fired a bullet that entered Sammy on an upward angle, forensic experts found. Randy Weaver's lawyer Garry Gilman called Cooper's theory "self-serving lies," and called for a perjury investigation. Senators also are asked to believe that the incredibly Draconian rules of engagement that Wal-Mart apologizes for pulling T-shirts SEARCH: Air Force rescue personnel work at the site of the crash of an AWACS plane Friday on Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska. The plane, carrying a military crew of 24, crashed and burned on takeoff, killing everyone aboard. f: . ' f t t Associated Press toileted, given range of motion, and released from the restraints every two hours." "On Aug. 22, the nurse failed to cover a resident's breast during the procedure, also the window blind was open allowing for further exposure of the resident to the individuals walking past the window." "Resident was observed to be confined on all days of the survey. The resident was never dressed or out of bed, except when she received a shower. The record lacked evidence that the resident's condition required her to be confined to bed." "On Aug. 22 at 4:50 p.m., the resident was in her room restrained to her wheelchair'. She stated, 'I have no one to talk to. I'm going crazy.' The resident had been in her room alone." "During a group interview, residents stated during their showers they were not always given personal privacy. They stated the later this year. For example, Horizon's property in Carson City, Sierra Convalescent Hospital, was brought up to state standards on March 2, state health records showed. It still has to be examined under the tougher federal standards. Another facility under Horizon ownership, Washoe Care Center in Reno, was inspected May 8-10, two months before the federal regulations became mandatory. HS3EJ 1 CENTER BAR WIN It m AAA on sequential $ 15.000 SPfde Royal ,VVV 5 coin Max Bet i State inspectors fault facility in Sparks Last of 24 crewmen identified in plane crash ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AP) The metal chips that once were a giant AWACS plane glinted Saturday in the charred birch wood where it went down, while relatives of the 24 crew members learned of their loss. The board of officers that will investigate Friday's crash began arriving at Elmendorf, 2 miles north of downtown Anchorage, as other investigators picked through the rubble for clues. The last two crewmen were identified and all the families were notified Friday and Saturday, Air Force spokeswoman Kathy Faw-cett said. The crew's hometowns have not yet been released. The Air Force set up a telephone number staffed by chaplains and other counselors for relatives in need of comfort. It was the first crash of an Airborne Warning and Control System plane since the Air Force began using them in 1977. Brig. Gen. Hugh Cameron, who saw the plane go down, said he didn't expect the Air Force to ground its 33 remaining AWACS. The remains of a dozen Canada geese were found at the end of the runway, and a source who spoke the condition of anonymity said birds sucked into an engine may have crippled the plane. The Air Force would not speculate on a cause. The E-3B AWACS plane, a $ 1 80 million modified Boeing 707 laden with radar and other electronic surveillance gear, set out just after daybreak Friday on a training mission with 22 Americans and two Canadians aboard. As the plane roared down the runway, one of its four engines caught fire. Under fire From page 1 A homes fail to fix their problems, they face stiff penalties, including fines up to $10,000 a day. Meanwhile, on Wall Street, Horizon is receiving glowing reports. The company's net earnings have jumped 181 percent since last year, making it the top recommended buy in long-term health care, New York stock-market analysts say. "It's my No. 1 buy," said analyst Anthony Vendetti of Ladenburg Thalmann, a stock brokerage firm that tracks Horizon in New York City. "They're going forward in an area where there's going to be an increase in demand. They provide a cost-effective approach to the traditional hospital care," Vendetti said. Horizon's stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed Friday at $23.25, down lA from Thursday and down $6.50 from its 52-week high of $30. Repeated attempts since Wednesday to reach Horizon officials or local nursing home administrators have been unsuccessful. The centers' problems were not considered life-threatening to patients, Ezell said. But senior-citizen advocates consider the findings troubling. "It's terrible. It's the residents who are the ones who have to pay," said Mary Lou Layman, a volunteer for the American Association of Retired Persons in Reno. State reports showed that in several cases that residents' dignity, hygiene and personal-property rights were ignored. And the instances cited occurred in front of government inspectors. Excessive use of restraints often was cited. Staff members strap patients to wheelchairs or in their beds so they don't have to watch them closely or interact with them. Residents have the right to be free of physical or chemical restraints, Ezell said. Quality of life was considered low. Few activities were offered to pique patients' interests. In one case, ACUPUNCTURE AND HERBAL MEDICINE LUKE CAO, O.M.D. w Allergy Hypertension Arthritis Impotence Asthma Knee, Foot, Leg Polio Auto Injury Pain Sciatica Back Pain Low Energy Sinus Depression Neck, Shoulder, Stop Smoking Face Lifting Arm Pain Swelling Headache Numbness Tinnitus 465 California Ave. Reno 329-6663 Try my Cornish Pasty Try all my 6 tasty pasties! UX Express Lunch Any Pasty with coleslaw or potato salad & soda len, vice president of corporate affairs, said from the discount chain's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. "In this case, we overreacted." Wal-Mart pulled the shirts Aug. 21 from the only store where they and homelike environment," the state report said. HorizonCMS Healthcare Corp. also ranked as the second worst company nationwide in an August story in Consumer Reports magazine that analyzed the quality of nursing-home care. Of 43 companies rated on a scale where 100 was top, Horizon scored a 1 7. Consumer Reports developed the rating system by looking at the last four inspection reports for all nursing homes in a chain. The reports document how a center meets about 300 national standards, and the magazine considered 69 of those standards critical because they contribute directly to patient well-beine. Local leaders concerned with senior citizen health issues and nursing care expressed dismay about companies that put corporate gains above patient care. "I have horror stories, too, but I have seen the reasons behind them," said Mary Williams, 48, of Reno. She has multiple sclerosis and has been living at Horizon's Washoe Care Center in Reno since 1 992. "No one ever puts the blame where it belongs: the big corporations." She said aides at her center made as much when she arrived as her then-17-year-old son who was working at a fast-food chain. And in those three years, the aides' pay has not increased substantially. "There is always a concern whenever you have a monopoly or control of an industry. With nursing homes, there is a reason to be concerned," said Suzanne Ernst of the Division MIAMI (AP) Wal-Mart apologized Saturday for pulling T-shirts proclaiming "Someday a woman will be president" from one of its stores, and offered to put them back on the shelves. "We made a mistake," Jay Al shower room had curtains but the curtains were not always drawn and exposed residents." "Aug. 24, 10:45 a.m., a (nurse) was observed by the surveyor from the hallway changing the incontinent resident's diaper. The privacy curtain was not drawn and the resident was exposed from waist down for anyone passing." "On Aug. 22 at 8:30 a.m., a resident was observed crying in Room 8. Interview of the resident revealed that she had not slept all night due to the strong odor in the room. (Resident in the same room had odorous drainage from a wound.)" "In physical therapy, the resident is not restrained because the therapist stated 'We keep her busy here and she is supervised so she doesn't need the restraint.' However, except for the three sessions per week of physical therapy the resident is restrained at all times." "During all days of the survey there was a pervasive malodorous scent." The state report on Washoe Care Center cited shortcomings in six areas: B Staff shortages. Infection control. Resident restraints. Housekeeping. Meals, delivered cold to patients. And quality of life. "Based on facility tour, it was determined that the facility failed to maintain a safe, clean, comfortable WIN $20 Bonus! on naiurai 101a nina WIN $5 Bonus! on Full Houses It Flushes 11501 S. Virginia St. Just South ofToothill Rd. WW. were sold after a couple of customers complained they were offensive. "They found the T-shirts to be of a political nature that they didn't agree with," Allen said, declining to elaborate. I To notify the state of problems with a Nevada nursing home, write Candice Rutledge, compliance investigator, Nevada Department of Human Resources, 340 N. 1 1th St., Suite 203, Las Vegas 89101 ; call (702) 486-3545; or fax (702) 486-3572. for Aging Services in Las Vegas. "The biggest problem is there is no one to advocate for the client." A few steps are being taken to provide further protection for nursing-home residents. Tim Terry of the state Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Unit said attempts are being made to form a task force to examine the quality of nursing-home care in Nevada. But others say the attempts are not happening fast enough. Orland Outland, Reno AARP chairman, said nursing homes with repeated failures should face severe punishment and fines. Outland, who also is the president of the local chapter of the National Council of Senior Citizens, urged the state to publish annual inspection reports and ratings on nursing-home conditions. "This is a disgrace," Outland said. "There have to be penalities strengthened to protect our people lying in their own urine and festering sores." General-assignment reporter Sevil Omer works Tuesday to Saturday. Call her at 788-6320. Reno, NV 702-786-6534 800-748-6950 Tahoe Diesel South Lake Tahoe, CA 916-544-8100 Truckee Trucks Truckee, CA 916-582-8464 '. ; By Sevil Omer GAZETTE-JOURNAL Physicians' Hospital for Extended Care in Sparks was one of 1 0 Nevada nursi ng homes three in northern Nevada that failed to pass recent federal standards and was deemed substandard in care. Inspectors from the state's Health Division's bureau of licensure and certification conducted its survey of the Sparks facility Aug. 21 to 24. Their report cited shortcomings in two areas use of restraints and quality of life. The following are excerpts of inspectors' observations from state's report on Physicians' Hospital: "Observation of resident on Aug. 21, Aug. 22, Aug. 23, and Aug. 24. Resident spent most of the day at the nurse's station restrained with a waist restraint in his wheelchair. "Throughout the survey it was observed the resident was not Ezell said a resident was left alone in her room over the four days that state inspectors surveyed Physicians Hospital in Sparks. At Hearthstone in Sparks, incontinent residents were left in their own filth for 30 minutes to an hour after meals even after the patients themselves requested assistance. Other grooming problems also were cited. Accidents involving residents and thefts of their belongings went unreported. The report on Fallon Convalescent Center showed the facility did not use the least-restrictive methods to restrain residents and didn't notify the family of one deceased patient about trust-fund money that legally belonged to the patients' descendants. 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