The woman who was shot dead by police after trying to breach a barrier outside the White House and lead a car chase near the U.S. Capitol believed President Barack Obama was electronically monitoring her, ABC News reported Friday.
Anonymous sources told ABC News that suspect Miriam Carey, 34, thought the president was electronically monitoring her Stamford, Conn. home to broadcast her life on television. Carey also believed she was the "prophet of Stamford" with the ability to communicate with Obama, the sources said.
Today, Disability Rights Center of Arkansas, Inc. (DRC) issued a demand letter to the Arkansas Department of Human Services addressing the Pea Ridge School District’s recent ultimatum that three students undergo HIV testing before returning to school. The demand letter also urges that the results of the test not be given to the Pea Ridge School District. The release of HIV testing records to school districts by the state is a violation of federal law. Additionally, the Pea Ridge School District’s demand that the student’s test results be received prior to returning to school is a violation of federal law.I've sought a comment from DHS.
“Over the weekend, I was hopeful that the Superintendent and School Board would do the right thing and correct their previous communication to the foster family on requiring HIV test results,” said Tom Masseau, DRC Executive Director. “However, the Superintendent and School Board have continued to demonstrate ignorance of the law by discriminating against children with disabilities. Does the Pea Ridge School District plan to test all students for HIV and collect the results due to certain actions or behaviors that may place the students, teachers, and staff at risk or will the school just require testing the students the school believes might have the virus?”
The demand letter calls upon the Arkansas Department of Human Services, through their Chief Legal Counsel, Mr. Mark White, not to release the results of the test to the school. Action taken by the state to release the test results to Pea Ridge School District will result in a lawsuit filed against the state and school district for federal law violations.
According to the Pea Ridge School District’s website, the school district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.
“DRC finds it ironic that the school has the policy in place, but does not appear to adhere to it” said Masseau.
DRC will continue to pursue all available remedies to ensure that these children are not kept from receiving the education they deserve due to ignorance, fear, and prejudice. ...
Living near a hog farm or a field fertilized with pig manure significantly increases the risk of being infected with a dangerous superbug, new research finds.
Two new studies published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine focus on a bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, which caused more than 80,000 invasive infections in the USA in 2011.
...In 2011, for the first time since officials began tracking invasive MRSA infections, more Americans were infected with MRSA in the community than in the hospital, one of the studies shows.
In the second study, researchers found that exposure to hog manure is related to 11% of MRSA infections, even among people who don't work on farms.
The controversy centers on the inevitable byproduct of the farm: pig crap. Based on C&H's nutrient management plan (NMP), the facility will generate more than 2 million gallons of manure and wastewater per year. The waste is first collected in 2-foot-deep concrete pits below the animals. Once the shallow pits, diluted with water, are filled, the waste drains into two large man-made storage ponds. Eventually, as the ponds fill, C&H will remove liquid waste and, in an agreement with local landowners, apply it as fertilizer on more than 600 acres of surrounding fields.
Gov. Mike Beebe announced today that the state Department of Health, working with UAMS, will provide health assessments for Mayflower residents who believe they're suffering conditions related to the March 29 oil spill.
This decision comes three weeks after the Times published a cover story on Mayflower residents who live outside of the mandatory evacuation zone in the Northwoods subdivision, who believe that the aerosolized chemicals in the heavy Canadian crude that spilled have made them sick. They said that ExxonMobil and government officials had ignored their concerns.
These health screenings will likely be seen by residents as welcome news, but what's really needed is a long term health study on the effects of exposure. As Lisa Song explained in an article for our partner news outfit InsideClimate News, there's no scientific understanding of what breathing in chemicals means for long term health.
UPDATE: We reached Ann Jarrell, the Mayflower resident from the cover above, who has been persistently sick since the spill and whose daughter and grandson, who were living with her at the time, have also been sick. She said U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin called her just moments earlier, to let her know he'd followed through on the promise he made to her and other residents earlier in the week, to press the governor's office to offer better medical care to people affected by the spill. "It’s a step in the right direction anyway," Jarrell said. "He gave us what we asked for, even if we have to drive to Conway to get it. I feel good. This shows they know there’s a problem and they’re trying to help us."
She said she hopes word will reach people in Mayflower who might not otherwise know what's available to them. "It’ll be in the paper, so people in Mayflower will actually see it," she said. "There are a lot of people in Mayflower who don’t get out of the neighborhood."
The full release, including details of how to set up a screening, are on the jump.
Griffin promised to call the governor after meeting with constituents in the parking lot of Stroud's Country Diner in Mayflower earlier in the day. There, several residents who have complained of persistent health problems since spill urged the Republican congressman to help them get better assessment and treatment.
"We have all been sick," said Linda Lynch, whose home is some 300 yards from the rupture site. "I feel like we're all like dogs chasing our tails around here. And we are sick of it. ... We need help."
Griffin told her he'd call the governor and convey their wishes. "I'll do whatever," Griffin says. "I know [the governor] cares. And he has some resources with the department of health that my office does not have."
Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample confirmed later in the afternoon that Griffin called and spoke with the governor's chief of staff, Morril Harriman, about exploring a further response from the health department. DeCample said the governor's office would be discussing the matter with the health department.
Residents' suggestions to Griffin included a mobile clinic where they could see a specialist in chemical exposure-related illnesses, and an independent community health assessment to determine how widely people in Mayflower were affected by the spill, in which 210,000 gallons of heavy crude burst out of ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline.
People from 22 houses in the path of the running oil were under mandatory evacuation after the spill. Meanwhile dozens and perhaps hundreds of other residents were likely exposed to known carcinogens that aerosolized and circulated in the air around the spill.
The Unified Command of local, state, federal and ExxonMobil representatives determined that the levels of those chemicals were too low to warrant further evacuations. But residents have complained that they suffered immediate symptoms — such as headaches, blurred vision, diarrhea, nausea and dizziness — that for some have persisted during the clean-up.
"There's no way to clearly identify the total effect on the community without assessing that community, and that has not been done," Emily Harris, a volunteer with the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group, told Griffin.
She posted a detailed proposal on just how to do that on the Facebook event page for the meeting Monday morning, which was one of Griffin's "Sweet Tea with Tim" confabs with constituents. About 50 people showed up, mostly to grill Griffin on Obamacare, immigration reform and defense spending. Under a small canopy in the brutally hot parking lot, staffers served sweet and unsweet tea in plastic cups.
Among those in attendance was Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson, the head of Unified Command. Asked how he thought the response to the spill might have improved upon, he was at a loss. "I'm not sure that if we had to do it again that we could do it as well," he said.
Griffin did mix it up a bit with Hendrix College Young Democrat Robert Taylor, who tried to challenge the Congressman on a House vote that affected oil sands taxes. "If you want to get in an argument," Griffin said, "just set up a meeting in my office." Taylor and two fellow Hendrix Young Democrats walked away and returned with protest posters — "Tim Griffin Brought To You By ExxonMobil" — and, standing a respectful distance from the scrum, held signs and sipped their tea under the midday sun.
The park is off Arch Street Pike in the Landmark Community south of Little Rock.
Channel 11 says the closure was voluntary, after a meeting with Health Department officials. Tests of water found the parasite in a sample taken there.
UPDATE: Dr. Gary Wheeler of the Health Department clarifies that the parasite found was from a 2010 meningitis case. Current water samples are still undergoing testing. But the current sick patient and the 2010 patient both had swum at Willow Springs. Given that coincidence, and biological considerations including the warmer water temperature at Willow Springs, he said officials had decided it would be "prudent" to close the facility for a time and the operator did so voluntarily. He noted that there's a small probability of developing the disease — only six cases in Arkansas in 40 years — though the parasite is often found in water. He said the incubation period is about six days. Anyone with exposure to the water beyond that time has "zero" chance of developing an illness. Anyone who experiences fever or headaches who has been in the water in the last six days should consider seeing a doctor, he said.
Also, the owner of Willow Springs tells David Goins at Fox 16 that the park, a fixture for decades, isn't likely to reopen.
The National Transportation Safety Board has voted to urge the states drop the blood alcohol level necessary for a driving while intoxicated violation from .08 to .05. This means two to three drinks in an hour for a 180-pound man, versus about four.
The change would save lives, the NTSB believes.
It will be hard to persuade the states to adopt the change.
You might find this list of worldwide BACs interesting. A few countries have zero tolerance
A federal judge has overturned an Obama administration rule against over-the-counter sale of morning-after-sex contraceptive pills to women younger than 17.
Surely Jason Rapert and Co. can hurryup a state override of getting pills to young women to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Plan B is currently available to younger women only through prescription.
The Washington Post's Wonkblog posted the map above illustrating by-county changes in female mortality rates. Red is bad. It means the rate is rising.
Education and poverty cited as factors. (Sex education anyone? Thinking of yesterday's installment of the War on Women at the Arkansas legislature.)
An arbitration panel has signed off on a settlement of a dispute between tobacco companies and 17 states, including Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that will bring $22.7 million to Arkansas in 2013.
Tobacco companies had alleged that Arkansas and the other states had violated terms of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement that has paid $60 million to Arkansas every year and which supports the state's anti-smoking and other health-related programs.
The settlement allows Arkansas to receive 54 cents on the dollar of the disputed amount. A release from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office about the settlement is on the jump. R.J. Reynolds' release is here.
If schools reinstated physical education classes, a lot of fat children would lose weight. And they might never have gotten fat in the first place if their mothers had just breast fed them when they were babies. But be warned: obese people should definitely steer clear of crash diets. And they can lose more than 50 pounds in five years simply by walking a mile a day.
Those are among the myths and unproven assumptions about obesity and weight loss that have been repeated so often and with such conviction that even scientists like David B. Allison, who directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have fallen for some of them.
Now, he is trying to set the record straight. In an article published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and his colleagues lay out seven myths and six unsubstantiated presumptions about obesity. They also list nine facts that, unfortunately, promise little in the way of quick fixes for the weight-obsessed. Example: “Trying to go on a diet or recommending that someone go on a diet does not generally work well in the long term.”
Having lost (and regained) at least 500 pounds over a lifetime of yo-yoing, I concluded a long time ago that genetics were destiny. Doesn't mean I quit trying. Several have asked about my latest 90-pound drop and so here's my secret plan, which I've employed successfully several times over the years:
About 11 months ago I stopped empty alcohol calories, swore off desserts and began eating reasonable amounts three times a day — long on vegetables and fruit. I also upped my activity to about an hour a day of walking, plus weight lifting three times a week. It works, or it does for me. A permanent life change? I wish. But my record isn't promising. The body cries out for a frosted mug of draft beer, a rack of ribs slathered with sweet and mustardy sauce and a slab of carrot cake, with a cream cheese icing about two inches thick.
The New England Journal's summary of the myths:
We identified seven obesity-related myths concerning the effects of small sustained increases in energy intake or expenditure, establishment of realistic goals for weight loss, rapid weight loss, weight-loss readiness, physical-education classes, breast-feeding, and energy expended during sexual activity. We also identified six presumptions about the purported effects of regularly eating breakfast, early childhood experiences, eating fruits and vegetables, weight cycling, snacking, and the built (i.e., human-made) environment.
He's attorney for two Arkansans suing Philip Morris in a class action for selling "light" cigarettes as a safer, healtheir and less addictive alternative to quitting smoking.
Thrash says Philip Morris has asked for a protective order to seal from public view documents about the toxic nature of additives to the cigarettes, manipulation of nicotine in them and levels of nicotine necessary for addiction.
Circuit Judge Tim Fox will hear arguments on the confidentiality request Dec. 18. It is a rare day when a public court's business should be shielded from the public. I'm not inclined to sympathize with the argument that this is one of them. The public should have access to all information available about dangers of a consumer product.
After Philip Morris lost a federal case over dangers of the "light" cigarettes and representations in the marketing, Congress passed a law to prohibit Philip Morris from selling "light," "low tar" and "low nicotine" cigarettes. But, Thrash argues, the tobacco company has told Marlboro Light buyers to ask for "Marlboro in the gold pack" because the cigarette wasn't changing.
Argument for confidentiality here. The tobacco company says it's routinely granted to protect trade secrets from competitors.
Response to that argument here. Thrash argues that there's immense public health interest at issue.
The UAMS release, which is on the jump, points at some highlights:
* Benton County ranks first in health outcomes, and Phillips County is 75th out of 75 counties
* Heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic low respiratory disease and unintentional injury are the five leading causes of death among Arkansans aged 1-85.
* Hypertension (high-blood pressure) increased from 25.1 percent of the state population in 1995 to 31.6 percent in 2011.
* Of the 19 counties with the highest proportion of fast-food restaurants, 10 are in or near the Delta region and six are in the southwest corner of Arkansas.
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In memory of the loss 33 years ago today:
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