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Patrick says Mass. crime labs improving


Patrick says Mass. crime labs improving

Gov. Deval Patrick says the State Police Crime Lab and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are both improving after some high-profile problems.

Speaking last Thursday to a meeting of state prosecutors, the governor said 18,000 DNA samples in cold storage have been sifted through and prioritized.

He also said DNA processing time has been cut in about half and the lab has entered more than 35,574 DNA profiles into the national offender database during the past year.

Patrick said the Medical Examiner’s office has also improved, with the number of bodies in storage down to 25 from a high of 112 in a space that was designed for 75.

Medical examiner Dr. Mark Flomenbaum was fired and the office came under renewed scrutiny last year after the wrongful release and burial of a misidentified body.

 Hub teacher loses long deportation fight

A popular high school teacher in Boston who waged a long battle to stay in the United States has been deported to Ivory Coast.

Obain Attouoman, a math teacher at Fenway High School, was deported last Wednesday.

Attouoman had fled Ivory Coast to escape political persecution in 1992 and later applied for asylum in the United States. But he missed a hearing with an immigration judge in 2001 and was ordered deported.

His fight against deportation gained support from his students and from top political leaders in the state, including U.S. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry.

The senators filed legislation that would have made him a resident. But the bill expired last year because Congress never acted on it.

 Dorchester community hospital gets new lease on life

Caritas Christi Health Care said last week that Carney Hospital in Dorchester will remain open as an acute care hospital.

Carney has been struggling financially and lost more than $2 million last year.

Caritas Christi chief executive officer Ralph de la Torre said $30 million in investments will be needed over the next five years.

The health care system will seek both public and private support.

In addition to capital improvements, Caritas Christi will add more doctors and revitalize a nursing school attached to the hospital.

Earlier this month, the Boston Archdiocese agreed to give up day-to-day management of its financially struggling chain of six eastern Massachusetts hospitals.

The church will retain authority over moral and ethical issues and an independent board of governors will run the health care system.

(Associated Press)