In the Nation

Former President George H.W. Bush , 88, is out of intensive care in Houston. MICHAEL LOCCISANO / Getty for HBO
Former President George H.W. Bush , 88, is out of intensive care in Houston. MICHAEL LOCCISANO / Getty for HBO
Posted: December 30, 2012

Ex-president is on the mend

Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved out of intensive care at a Houston hospital after his condition improved, a family spokesman said Saturday.

Bush, the oldest surviving president at 88, is now in a regular patient room at Methodist Hospital, where he will continue his recovery, the spokesman said. "The Bushes thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes," family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

Bush was admitted to the hospital Nov. 23 with a bronchial cough. McGrath said last week that a series of setbacks, including a persistent fever, caused doctors to move Bush into the intensive care unit last Sunday. On Friday, McGrath said Bush's doctors and his family were "cautiously optimistic that the current course of treatment will be effective."

McGrath said Bush was in good spirits and even engaged in singing with his doctors and nurses.

- Los Angeles Times

Six die as SUV falls into creek

JACKSON, Miss. - Five children and one adult died after a sport-utility vehicle plunged into a rain-swollen creek in eastern Mississippi early Saturday.

Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell said the victims appear to have drowned after a Dodge Durango went off a county road 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia, Miss., just after midnight.

Five siblings died. They have been identified as 9-year-old Dasyanna John, 8-year-old Duane John, 7-year-old Bobby John, 4-year-old Quinton John, and 18-month-old Kekaimeas John. Family friend Diane Chickaway also died. The sheriff said all were members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

The father of the children, Dewayne John, escaped and remains hospitalized. Their mother, Deanna Jim, and Chickaway's husband, Dale Chickaway, also survived.

- AP

Vultures strip visitors' cars

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Visitors to parts of Everglades National Park are getting tarps and bungee cords to make their vehicles less delectable to vultures.

Migrating vultures have developed a habit of ripping off windshield wipers, sunroof seals, and other rubber and vinyl vehicle parts. Visitors to the park's Homestead and Flamingo entrances are loaned "anti-vulture kits" to protect their vehicles.

Park wildlife biologist Skip Snow said that the vultures are migrating as normal. Park employees have tried to scare away the vultures, but nothing has worked. - AP

Elsewhere:

A man and boy fishing near the Golden Gate Bridge died Friday after being swept into the ocean by large waves, authorities said. A third fisherman managed to make it back to shore and flag down passersby.

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