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Monday, April 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Nation Digest

Man in house dies in sink hole

A large sink hole opened in the middle of a house, killing a 27-year-old man who plummeted 10 feet and was covered by the rubble, officials said Sunday.

The two-story home, built in the 1980s, might have been sitting atop a decades-old underground mine, authorities said. Recent rain possibly softened the ground under the home, in an isolated area near Lake Alta, northeast of Sacramento.

"It's unbelievable," Placer County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. "From the front of the house, it's absolutely normal. Then, in the middle of the house is this enormous hole."

The victim was on the ground floor about 9:30 p.m. Friday when the concrete foundation near the kitchen gave way, Erwin said. The man's wife also was in the house at the time and called 911. She was uninjured, Erwin said.

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Workers to get free diabetes medicines

Trying to slow the growing health-care costs of diabetes, the University of Michigan said Monday it will provide most diabetes medicines free to insured employees and their families who need the drugs.

The program, a two-year experiment, will cover about 2,000 people and is an effort to fend off the worst complications of a disease that is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Type 2 diabetes is a growing national problem linked to obesity and now affecting roughly 18 million Americans. Insured diabetics can spend hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket each month on copayments for their required drugs. But when people skip their medications, the results can be disastrous. Failure to control blood sugar and blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, which often requires a transplant or dialysis. Other complications can include heart, kidney and nerve disease, eye damage and limb amputation.

"Diabetes is an area where we know that good control can have a huge, huge benefit down the line for individuals," said university President Mary Sue Coleman. "We also believe that this will help contain long-term health-care costs and help people to manage better."

Austin, Texas

Hacker gains access to university records

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Nearly 200,000 electronic records at the University of Texas at Austin's business school have been illegally accessed, the school said Sunday.

It's the school's second major breach in three years.

The university said it learned late Friday that some Social Security numbers and possibly biographical material of students, alumni, faculty and staff might have been accessed. The university notified the state attorney general's office and established a call center and Web site for those whose records might have been breached.

Last year, a former UT student received five years probation and was ordered to pay $170,000 in restitution for hacking into the school's computer system in 2003 and accessing almost 40,000 Social Security numbers.

Also

President Bush paid a visit Sunday to the ailing former President Ford at his home in the resort town of Rancho Mirage, Calif., where Bush was spending the weekend. The nearly hourlong visit was conducted out of public view and kept under wraps until the last minute. Ford, 92, was hospitalized with pneumonia for 12 days in January.

Compiled from The Associated Press

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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