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Big Iowa baby delivered without drugs

Big baby delivered without drugs

An Iowa woman gave birth to a boy weighing 13 pounds and 13 ounces without any pain relief. Asher Stewardson was born Thursday at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, measuring 23½ inches, the Des Moines Register reported over the weekend. Fifteen months ago, his brother, Judah, arrived weighing 12 pounds and an ounce. Mercy officials said only a tenth of 1 percent of all newborns weigh more than 11 pounds at birth. The boys' mother, Kendall Stewardson, endured six hours of labor without an epidural injection. She said she and her husband, Joshua, wanted to avoid caesarean delivery because that wouldn't have been good for her or Asher.

Church clerk accused of $1M theft

A clerk for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York with a record of theft was charged Monday with manipulating the church's accounts payable system to steal more than $1 million in education money. Anita Collins, 67, had been convicted of grand larceny in one case and had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in another case, but the archdiocese said it did not know of those legal troubles when she was hired, because she did not undergo a background check. She worked for the church for more than eight years.

Traffickers feel Mexico drought

The drought in northern Mexico is so bad that it has hurt even illicit drug growers and their normally well-tended crops of marijuana and opium poppies, an army commander said Monday. One effect of the lack of rains is that drug planting has "declined considerably," said Gen. Pedro Gurrola, commander of forces in the state of Sinaloa, home of a drug cartel by the same name. An army spokesman, Gen. Ricardo Trevilla, said cartels have been increasingly turning to the production of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, which are easier to produce and are more profitable.

Times wires