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Ed Koch moved to ICU

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
January 31, 2013 2:12:17 PM PST
How-am-I-doin'? That was former New York Mayor Ed Koch's infamously jubilant and often care-free retort during his three wild but historically important terms at the helm of the nation's biggest city.

Tonight, Mr. Koch is doing, not so well.

He was put into intensive care this afternoon, the latest hospital drama for the 88-year-old New Yorker in the past few months. He's been in and out of the hospital with a variety of ailments. This time, he was released only last week and then readmitted Monday it's for trying to reduce water in his lungs and legs, again.

The last time I talked to Koch was last fall, and I had called to ask some back-story details about the City's permit process for using Central Park as the main location for the late 70's movie, "Hair."

"What do you want?" was the way he greeted me on the phone. It wasn't rude. It was just Ed Koch. And he gave me some colorful quotes. In the TV news biz we call Ed Koch a walking sound bite; he is always good for a good story and, from his perch, an honest viewpoint.

Our fingers are crossed for the former Mayor. We'll have the latest on his condition, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, cops in Brooklyn are looking for a killer. The victim: A 21-year-old college student, who was shot overnight apparently trying to break up a fight. Our Jim Dolan is on the story tonight.

We also have an Eyewitness News exclusive. It's a sad story about an angry and confused family who buried an elderly relative. But this was a funeral like none other. For some reason, the medical examiner gave the funeral home the body, without her organs inside. Say what? All they had were two buckets of organs. And how in the world do they know if they are even hers? Our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace has the story.

And one more death-related story, and it comes from NASA, and the deadly re-entry of the shuttle Columbia in 2003. One of the issues was always why Mission Control didn't tell the crew that the re-entry was likely doomed. Now, we learn of the internal debate among NASA officials, through Wayne Hale, who wrote a blog:

"After one of the MMTs (Mission Management Team) when possible damage to the orbiter was discussed, he (Flight Director Jon Harpold) gave me his opinion: 'You know, there is nothing we can do about damage to the TPS (Thermal Protection System). If it has been damaged it's probably better not to know. I think the crew would rather not know. Don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay on orbit, knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?"

Chilling, right? They could have orbited in space until their oxygen ran out. But the mission managers didn't know for sure if the shuttle was damaged. And so the crew was not told about the problem.

They all died instantly upon re-entry.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's chilly AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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