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CDC lists top causes of death

The Centers for Disease Control released its annual ranking of what kills Americans, which is grim reading at best, and the No. 1 killer  — again — is heart disease.

Because of the time it takes to compile data from all over the country, it should be noted that heart disease was the No. 1 killer in 2007, so it's possible, although not likely, we're taking better care of our hearts. Cancer was No. 2, and between them, they accounted for about half of all deaths that year, as the did in 2006.

The Top 10 actually didn't change much, although there are some interesting differences between men and women. For example, the No. 3 killer of men was accidents; women apparently are much more careful, because that was No. 6 for them, and only about half as many women died of accidents as men.

Men were also nearly four times more likely to commit suicide as women. Intentional self-harm was the No. 7 killer of men, but No. 15 for women. Alzheimer's disease, and its complications, claimed twice as many women as men; it was No. 5 for women but No. 10 for men.

The full report, which is grim but inciteful, can be found here.

911 call released in Taco Bell death

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Taco Bell employee 911 call

In a 911 call released Thursday, a Taco Bell employee identified only as Shane asks for police to remove a man who had entered the store’s “employee area.” He said the man was not aggressive, violent or threatening.

“He’s just really shaken up, but we’re always supposed to make sure nobody comes back here, and he just kind of talked himself back here,” the employee said. The employee said Thomas was acting “like he just saw something, like somebody’s after him.”

About a minute into the call, the employee said the man had locked himself in the cooler.
As police await toxicology reports in Richard Tyrone Thomas’ bizarre death, his family is questioning how a man just beginning his second term at Spokane Community College could end up dead in a fast-food restaurant storage cooler.

“He wasn’t a crazed, deranged person out on the street,” said his sister, Gayla Wright. “Something happened at that store, and we don’t know what that is.”

Read my full story here.