Good ol' no-nonsense Texas advice lands Phil fan in the clink

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at 10:57 p.m.
Ronald Schueller, convicted of attempting to hire someone to knock his estranged wife unconscious and kidnap her, said (according to prosecutors) that he was just trying to reconcile with her, based on an idea from a "Dr. Phil" TV segment in which the host said that sometimes people need a good scare to realize their delusions (Port Washington, Wis., August).
  • In July, Jeanette Passalaqua, 32, filed a lawsuit in San Bernardino, Calif., against the Kaiser Permanente medical organization for the death of her husband in June 2004, when he passed out from watching his wife receive an epidural anesthetic, fell over and fatally hit his head. According to the lawsuit, hospital personnel had asked the husband to hold and comfort his wife while the needle was being inserted and therefore were at fault.
  • In court papers filed in 1994 but which only recently drew public attention, lawyers for the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., challenged a child-support claim against a priest by pointing out the culpability of the mother herself for failing to use birth control (which the church regards a grave sin). The 1994 document came to light when the woman went back to court in July 2005 for an increase in child support, but the court turned her down in deference to Father Arturo Uribe's vow of poverty, although Uribe's ordaining order subsequently volunteered more support. (The man who was archbishop of Portland during the 1994 case recently assumed Pope Benedict's previous job as the Vatican's chief doctrinist.)
  • In July, a team of South Korean scientists made history by cloning an Afghan hound, but many experts view the team's revelation two months earlier as even more important, when they derived 11 stem cell lines from clones of patients with specific diseases. The leader of the team, Hwang Woo-suk, told the journal Nature Medicine then that Koreans have an advantage over westerners in delicate laboratory work because of "Oriental hands. We can pick up very slippery corn or rice with the steel chopsticks."
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  • Jessica Stakelbeck, 22, charged with neglect when two of her diaper-clad toddlers were found on the side of a highway, blamed her lapse not on being high from her admitted methamphetamine habit but on sleepiness from missing her meth for several days (Franklin, Ind, August).
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