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Edwards plan makes people go to doctor

Edwards speaks Sunday to residents of Tipton, Iowa.Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Edwards speaks Sunday to residents of Tipton, Iowa.Associated Press (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

“It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care,” he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. “If you are going to be in the system, you can’t choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK.”

He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat “the first trace of problem.” Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.

Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

“The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death,” he said.

Edwards said his plan would cost up to $120 billion a year, a cost he proposes covering by ending President Bush’s tax cuts to people who make more than $200,000 per year.


Sextuplets make for day full of labor

It was a Labor Day weekend for the record books at a Florida hospital, where a woman gave birth to the state’s first set of sextuplets.

The five boys and one girl, weighing between 2 and 3 pounds each, were born Saturday night to Karoline Byler, 29, of Wesley Chapel.

Five of the babies, who were born more than two months early, were listed in stable condition Sunday at neighboring All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Dr. Roberto Sosa said at a news conference. He said a medical team was still trying to stabilize one of the boys.

The proud father, Ben Byler, described the birth as “amazing.”

The boys were named Brady Christopher, Eli Benjamin, Ryan Patrick, Jackson Robert and Charlie Craig. The girl is MacKenzie Margaret.

The Bylers said they used fertility drugs after their daughter, Zoe, 4, asked for a sibling.

The expecting parents were showered last week with clothing, diapers, baby wipes and gift cards.

They also received a year’s supply of ready-made meals and baby formula, six months of in-home wellness care and a $7,000 generator for backup electric power in this hurricane-prone state.


Earthquake hits southeast of L.A.

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake shook Riverside County on Sunday, but no injuries or damage were reported, authorities said.

The jolt at 10:29 a.m. was centered near Lake Elsinore, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was felt as far away as San Diego.

“There was a lot of shaking in the shop for a few seconds. All my co-workers looked at each other and said ‘earthquake!’ ” said Myong Kim, an employee at the Latte Express coffee shop in Lake Elsinore. “It was a little scary but no damage.”

The quake struck under the Santa Ana Mountains in a remote area of the Cleveland National Forest along a well-known fault that runs from Mexico to Los Angeles.


Shark dies after scaring hundreds

A 5-foot-long shark scared hundreds of swimmers out of the water, but on Sunday its lifeless body washed ashore.

The thresher shark frightened crowds at Rockaway Beach on Saturday as it splashed along the Long Island shore.

Although it wasn’t believed to be a threat, hundreds of swimmers left the water and authorities closed a 10-block stretch of beach for hours.

The shark even came ashore at one point and several beachgoers pushed it back into the water.

“It was like freaking out. Its tail was flopping everywhere,” 10-year-old McKenzie Pontieri told the Daily News. “It looked sick.”

On Sunday morning, the dead shark washed ashore, and beaches in the area were reopened.

“It is now safe to go back into the water,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

Ashland, Ore.

Coffee pioneer Alfred Peet dies

Alfred Peet, 87, a Dutch tea trader who started the gourmet coffee craze in the United States with his rich, darkly roasted, high-altitude beans, taught the trade to the founders of Starbucks and sold them their first year’s supply, died Aug. 29 at his home in Ashland, Ore.

His company, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, from which he retired in 1983, announced his death. The cause was not reported.

Peet, known as the grandfather of specialty coffee, opened his first store in Berkeley, Calif., in 1966. Appalled by American coffee, he insisted on hand-roasting beans, using techniques he had learned in Europe and Indonesia.

In 1971, when the three founders of Starbucks decided to open a gourmet coffee store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, they sought Peet. He insisted that they go to his store to learn about coffee before he would sell them a single bean. The trio became believers in the dark-roasting method Peet used, and even after they stopped buying beans from him, they followed the technique.

Peet told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001 that he wished for a return to the days when he ran a single shop in Berkeley.

“I’d rather see 1,000 fellows running their own stores than what we have now,” he said. “If I wasn’t so old, I’d open a small store and scour the world for the very best coffee you could find.”

From wire reports