Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on January 31, 2000 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

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Monday, January 31, 2000
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Ukiah Daily 'ournal Seniors Coming of Age • Page 3 Today 62000, MedlaNews Group 10 pages, Volume 141 Number 254 50 cents tax Included In Brief 2 Jumble 8 Classifieds —8 KM Scoop 7 Comics 6 Lottery 10 Crossword ... .7 Obituaries ... .10 Daily Digest . .10 Sports 5 Features 7 TV listings 7 Forum 4 Weather 10 Monday, Jan. 31,2000 Accused molester caught fleeing Bederson detained while trying to board train at Canadian border By DAN McKEE The Daily Journal PORT HURON, Mich. Canadian and U.S. Customs agents detained accused child molester Eric Bederson of Ukiah Thursday as he reportedly was ! 'trying to flee the country. Bederson was attempting to board a Toronto-bound train at ; Port Huron, Mich., near the • Canadian border, according to ! sheriff's Lt. Kurt Smallcomb. Bederson was detained at the Port of Entry Office after customs agents checked his documents and visa and discovered he was facing felony charges here for lewd acts against children. Smallcomb said. Bederson had reportedly purchased a one-way railroad ticket to Toronto. Officers seized Bederson, his bicycle, personal belongings and more than $6,000 in cash and rare coins. The 22-year-old former Mendocino Community College day care center teacher was booked into the Saint Claire, Mich., County Jail for violating a court order. Under terms of his release pending trial, Bederson was required to keep the Mendocino County Probation Department advised of his whereabouts at all times. When he was released, Bederson had told the Probation Department he would be living in either Ukiah or Los Angeles. Friday, Judge Ron Brown issued a no-bail arrest warrant for Bederson, which gave Port Huron police the right to arrest Bederson and hold him until he could be returned to Mendocino County, Smallcomb said. Bederson is accused of molesting at least eight children at the college day care center in May 1999. According to police reports, the alleged molestations involved touching the vaginal areas of young girls between ages 4 and 8. Investigators later reportedly found files on Bederson's home computer containing child pornography. A student teacher majoring in child development, Bederson was well liked by both parents and the children. He was first investigated on suspicion of molesting two girls in April 1998. He was suspended from his job at the day care center during the investigation, but was reinstated after the case was dropped for insufficient evidence. The case was reopened when the parents of two more children came forward in 1999. When the new allegations surfaced, the college fired Bederson, who was classified as a temporary employee. Bederson has worked at the college day care center since 1996 after passing a background check. New law helps seniors pay for prescriptions Herman Migdaleno/The Diily Journal Above, sales clerk Andrew Haydon Ancillary rings up Lena Britten's prescriptions Saturday at Longs Drugs. Many pharmacies already have discounts for senior citizens By GLENDA ANDERSON The Daily Journal Buying prescription drugs becomes less expensive Tuesday for Medicare patients. A new law - effective Feb. 1 - requires that pharmacies charge Medicare recipients the same discounted price on prescriptions that Medi-Cal patients now get. That should be good news to an estimated 1.3 million elderly and disabled Californians who now pay retail cost for necessary medications. "In many cases, seniors are having to choose between food or necessary medications," state Sen. Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata, said of the law, which was authored by state Sen. Jackie Spear, D-Daily City. "I know it's the hardest thing for them to afford," said Ukiah Senior Center business manager Diane Anastasio. Small local pharmacies say the law isn't going to have a substantial impact on them. "We have a discount plan for seniors anyway, and it's very similar," said Keith On, pharmacist at Angell's Mill Oaks Pharmacy. "Following the Medicare rule may mean more for patients." Long Drugs Inc. supported the law when first written, but also has 'its own senior saving program. "We think this is a good thing," said Longs public rela- tions officer Nancy Cockerham. "We have long-term relationships with a lot of our customers and this gives them a means to obtain prescriptions at an affordable price." Cockerham said that the emphasis now needs to be placed on raising awareness of the new law in the senior citizen community. Chesbro said the discount is one of the first steps to correcting what many see as problems in the Medicare system. The Legislature also is working on a number of other health-related issues, his staffers noted. Getting the new discount is not automatic. Individuals must present their Medicare cards to pharmacies that participate in the Medi-Cal program. The discounted cost applies only to prescriptions that are not currently covered by Medicare. It does not extend to over-the-counter drugs or compound drug prescriptions. Medicare recipients will be required to pay a 15-cent fee to cover the provider's cost of sending the pricing inquiry transaction. The cost will be added to the Medi-Cal reimbursement rate. For more information about the program, contact the North Bay Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy program at 707-762-4591 or 800-3034477. Above, staff pharmacist Ike Wilkenfeld prepares prescriptions. Crime lab ballot measure no help locally says official Tri-county lab is 'adequate' By BRUCE SCHUKNECHT Eureka Times-Standard A state proposition for upgrading and renovating crime labs would not directly affect Eureka's crime-solving laboratory, which keeps pace with its workload, said the lab's head criminalist. Bill Casper, supervising criminalist with the Department of Justice's forensic lab in Eureka, said Proposition 15 was written for renovating crime labs that serve various law enforcement agencies statewide. Forensic labs collect, preserve and interpret physical evidence such as blood samples, explosives, ballistics and drugs for court cases. "I suspect it won't affect us to any extent," Casper said. "I think our facilities are adequate for our programs and our staffing size." Supporters say the $220 million bond measure, which will be on the March bal- lot, will provide badly needed infrastructure improvements for crime labs. Some of the labs are run by local police, sheriff's and district attorneys'offices. Casper said Eureka's crime lab is one of 11 DOJ crime labs statewide. The nearest one is in Redding and the next closest one is in Santa Rosa. Criminalists in Eureka's lab serve 45 law enforcement agencies throughout Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino counties, he said. "We're busy, but I think we adequately respond to local needs of law enforce- ment," Casper said. He noted that while Eureka's lab does have a case backlog, it's normal for crime labs. "It was built with enough space that I don't envision adding on or remodeling," he said, noting it's only about 10 years old. He said the full-service lab tests most evidence except for three categories. Some toxicology samples and latent fingerprints get tested at a Sacramento lab, See IAB, Page 10 Salinas woman killed in crash By DAN McKEE The Daily Journal LEGGETT - A 60-year-old Salinas woman was killed and four other people injured in a head-on collision Sunday afternoon on Highway 101 three miles south of Leggett. State traffic officers say the accident occurred at 3:55 p.m. during a hail storm when a 1999 Ford driven by Mary Lou Castro went out of control, crossed the median strip and struck a 1999 Dodge driven by Wilber Mobbs, 69, of Lucerne. Castro was killed and two passengers in her car, Christina Hays, 40, and Alma Remirez, 65, both of Salinas were seriously injured. Mobbs and his 54-year-old wife, Bonnie, were also seripus- ly injured. Hays, Remirez, and Mr. Mobbs were all taken to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits for treatment. Mrs. Mobbs was taken to Sutler Medical Center in Santa Rosa. New ;': project ; inks up hospitals UVMC included in North Coast system By CARLA MARTINEZ Eureka Times-Standard EUREKA - Patients on 'the North Coast will now be abl£ to get the opinion of a medical specialist in San Francisco without taking the six-hour drive. -1 A new telemedicine video conferencing program was introduced Friday at a dedication cer-i emony at St. Joseph Hospital: Officials and doctors in Eureka* Ukiah and San Francisco Were, all linked to introduce the system that will connect doctors and patients who are miles apart: St. Joseph Hospital, Ulciah Valley Medical Center, and the California Pacific Medical Center and University of the Pacific Health Science Library in San Francisco demonstrated the process by cutting the ceremonial red ribbon at all three cities. By having real-time cameras at each location and a large video screen, participants were able to hear and see each other. The technology will be used to improve the chances for people living in rural areas to have access to the latest in health care and doctors with diverse specialties. The program will first be used by the Telemedicine Assessment and Consultation Team (TACT). The team will use it to consult with other doctors about patients. TACT is made up cf medical specialists, including a dentist, psychologist, nutritionist and, a behaviorist. The team will work with local professionals to provide "whole person assessments" of people with developmental disabilities, according to a news release from St. Joseph Hospital. Phil Bonnet, representing the Redwood Coast Regional Center which coordinates the team, said that talk about better access to medical resources came to a quick technical solution. 'That vision started 10 years ago when people started talking about unmet needs," he saitf "This is just a tremendous day for us."

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