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On The Light Side

November 4, 1988

EASTON, Md. (AP) _ Justin Russum entered the world Halloween night as a 6-pound, 12-ounce coincidence: sharing the same birthdate as his mother, father and obstetrician despite 17.7 billion-to-1 odds that he wouldn’t

Justin, the Russums’ first child, had been due Oct. 25, but was delivered at 6:53 p.m. Monday at Memorial Hospital in Easton. His father, John Russum, was born Oct. 31, 1954 , and his mother, Tina Russum, was born Oct. 31, 1963.

The longshot odds of the baby being born by pure chance the same day as his parents and doctor were estimated by Robert Blodgett, an assistant math professor at Salisbury State University.

″Everybody told me it would be a ‘pumpkin’ baby, but I never expected anything like this,″ said Russum, a Queen Anne’s County deputy sheriff. ″It’s amazing, it really is.″

Dr. L. Bradley Baker, the obstetrician who also shares an Oct. 31 birthday, agreed that the incident was ″very, very unusual.″ He is one of seven obstetricians who could have been on duty at the hospital Halloween night.

″At least we know no one will forget about birthdays around here,″ Mrs. Russum said.

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - It’s 10 p.m. - do you know where your inmates are?

That’s how Allegheny County officials discovered there’s a slight loophole in their house arrest system, which uses electronic bracelets to monitor inmates. No one is keeping tabs on prisoners after 10 p.m.

As a result, probation authorities said, they didn’t know that inmate Donald E. Knudson Jr. left his suburban Bethel Park home without permission at 11:56 p.m. Friday, leading police on a two-hour car chase.

The special electronic bracelet Knudson was wearing properly notified authorities that he had left his home, but no one was watching the monitoring equipment, said John Kolesar, director of the Allegheny County Adult Probation Office.

″I have six staff, and we don’t have enough people to have someone in the office after 10 p.m.,″ he said.

Inmates assigned to house arrest wear bracelets on their ankles or wrists that send signals through a special telephone receiver in their homes. If they leave the range of the receiver, a signal notifies a computer in the county probation office.

Kolesar said he needs two more staff members, at a cost of about $50,000, to monitor house-arrest prisoners 24 hours a day.

But he said the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will not approve additional staff members under its grant to start the program and the county has refused to hire them.

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