• 2 W.Va. churches organize garden to help drug addicts

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Two churches are working together to provide free and healthy produce while helping participants battle drug problems. Bill Hess, a member of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, donated the ground for a garden to be cultivated by participants through the Day Report Center in Parkersburg. Produce from the garden will be taken to two Healthy Spot Farm Stands at Mt. Pleasant and at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Parkersburg, said Pastor Scot Clark of Mt. Pleasant. "This is an opportunity where I am connecting some dots," Clark said. Those fighting an addiction will work in the garden, which is about 50-feet square with additional ground available, Hess said.

  • Rising access to substance abuse treatment faces shortage of counselors

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — Changes to health care law in the past year gave millions of Americans access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, but did nothing to address a shortage of professionals who can provide that care. Experts say the shortage of providers has reached “crisis” levels, and there is little indication that their numbers will increase to keep pace with the demand. “We have a shortage all across the country. I can’t point to a state where it’s not a problem,” said Becky Vaughn, vice president of addictions at the National Council for Behavioral Health.

  • Jesus House holds annual block party to kick off volunteer efforts

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    As she took a break from playing games with children and handing out ice pops Saturday afternoon, Chrystal Johns said she was pleased to be able to give something back to her adopted neighborhood. The kids seemed to be enjoying the day, but Johns said she thought she might be getting more out of it than they were. “It’s been a blast,” she said. Johns is a resident at Jesus House, an Oklahoma City homeless shelter for people struggling with addiction or mental illnesses. On Saturday, Johns volunteered at Jesus House’s annual block party. When people are in recovery for an addiction, it’s easy to feel like they don’t have anything to offer and couldn’t possibly do anything good for anyone, Johns said.

  • Browns pick league-high 12 players, but no quarterback

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    The Browns vowed to leave no stone unturned this offseason during their seemingly everlasting quest for a quarterback of the future. But the NFL Draft wrapped up Saturday without the franchise finding any potential solutions to its persistent problems at the game’s most important position. They drafted 12 players — the most in the NFL this year and the most for Cleveland since it picked 13 in 2000 — but zero quarterbacks three months after signing veteran journeyman Josh McCown and a year after gambling on Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall pick. “We go 11 against 11.

  • Guest comes from long distance for Oxford House open house

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    Oxford House Promise, 2402 N. Halstead, had more than 100 guests for an open house Saturday to introduce people to the home for recovering drug and alcohol addicts. Likely none made a longer trip to the open house than Trudy Stucky of Texas. Her son, Chuck, was released from prison Monday and was approved to move into Oxford House on Tuesday. "We're quite excited that he got voted in," she said. Stucky said it's important for recovering addicts to have social support systems like Oxford House in place, especially because many of them are alienated from their families. For many families, distancing themselves from an addict is a defense mechanism after repeated heartbreak over the addiction, she said.

  • W.Va. governor's substance abuse panels to meet Monday


    ROMNEY, W.Va. (AP) — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's task forces on substance abuse are slated to meet in Romney and Morgantown. On Monday at 12:30 p.m., one of the Governor's Regional Substance Abuse Task Forces will gather at the South Branch Inn in Romney. State officials are asking residents in Pendleton, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Hampshire, Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley counties to participate. Another meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown. Residents in Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Doddridge, Harrison, Taylor, Barbour, Tucker, Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph and Braxton are asked to join. The meetings will focus on treatments and best practices for the opioid epidemic in West Virgin

  • Cassandra Wilson taping "Austin City Limits" delivers unexpected


    Tuesday night’s “Austin City Limits” taping was a bit of a departure from the show’s standard fare, executive producer Terry Lickona acknowledged at the top of the show. Instead, it was a testament to the definitive Austin production’s continued efforts to use a wide angle lens to capture the greatest music of the day by featuring internationally acclaimed jazz star Cassandra Wilson playing songs from her new Billie Holiday tribute album, “Coming Forth by Day.” The record was released earlier this year, timed to coincide with the pioneering jazz singer’s 100th birthday. Like Holiday, Wilson is blessed with a distinctive voice, low, dark and rich with character.

  • Rage to relief in Baltimore as 6 officers charged in death

    Updated: Fri, May 1, 2015

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Rage turned to relief in Baltimore on Friday when the city's top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Gray's arrest was illegal and unjustified, and that his neck was broken because he was handcuffed, shackled and placed head-first into a police van, where his pleas for medical attention were repeatedly ignored as he bounced around inside the small metal box. The swiftness of her announcement, less than a day after receiving the police department's criminal investigation and official autopsy results, took the city by surprise.

  • With graduation, Concordia student overcomes tragedy, addiction

    Updated: Fri, May 1, 2015

    Katie McGovern was a girl growing up on Long Island in New York. She played sports and had lots of friends. She had a good life with her older brother and two great parents — a mom who worked at a bank but had a substantial commute and a dad who was around more because of his firefighter job’s 24-hours-on, 48-hours-off rotation. Her dad, William, was her coach, her teacher, her cajoler. But at the start of sixth grade, her first week of middle school, the Sept. 11 attacks happened. McGovern’s father worked out of the station house in Manhattan closest to the World Trade Center. She remembers going to the station and a priest telling her and her family that her father was dead. Days later, they got a call saying th

  • EDITORIAL: Work that hard at a real job ...

    Updated: Fri, May 1, 2015

    If someone were to give you a stainless steel grab bar and tell you that your job was to scrape a hole — 311/2 inches by 12 inches deep — through 11/2 inches of mesh-reinforced concrete in a ceiling, you’d laugh and walk away. However, hacking such a hole in the concrete ceiling at the Saline County Jail is just what one inmate did in an attempt to gain freedom. As Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski explained Tuesday, the inmate yanked the grab bar from a block wall and used it to scrape a hole in the ceiling. To disguise the hole, the unnamed inmate covered it with a combination of toilet tissue and toothpaste. Photos show that the improvised cover blended in well with the rest of the room.

  • New jail may include mental health, substance abuse facility

    Updated: Fri, May 1, 2015

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Whatcom County Council members are considering a task force to work on incorporating alcohol and drug treatment programs with a new jail proposal that's been years in the making. The Bellingham Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1AoZc7M) the cost of replacing the current jail is at more than $122 million and lawmakers want to reduce that cost and the growing jail population by providing effective mental health and substance abuse treatment. Voters could be asked to pass a bond in November to fund the project, and lawmakers say some kind of diversion program would help gain public approval. Council members are meeting May 5 to discuss creating the Criminal Justice Diversion Task Force.

  • Baltimore’s tipping point

    Updated: Fri, May 1, 2015

    The following editorial appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Friday, May 1: ——— Looking back over the protests of the last week, both peaceful and violent, it is clear Baltimore has reached a crossroads. The unrest here has been the focus of intense media scrutiny, and what happens next may well determine whether the world comes to view Baltimore as a city that is succeeding in its effort to renew itself or one doomed to perpetual strife and social dysfunction. We have had a few days of relative calm, but with more protests scheduled for Friday and over the weekend, this is a volatile moment in which things could still go either way.

  • 3rd person sentenced in Ore. woman's heroin overdose death

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man prosecutors called a lieutenant in a multi-state heroin organization has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for helping supply the drug that killed a young Keizer, Oregon, woman. The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/fZ2DiG ) that 35-year-old Sergio Quezada Lopez apologized through a Spanish translator to the family of Laurin Putnam for her 2012 overdose death. He also apologized Wednesday to his children and their mother in Mexico for not being able to provide for them. He's the third of seven people convicted on federal charges to be sentenced in Putnam's death.

  • Private option enrollment high among Arkansas parolees

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — About 70 percent of the state's more than 52,000 parolees and probationers have signed up for Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion, prison and parole officials told a legislative task force Thursday. Republican state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson said providing medical insurance helps parolees and probationers seek mental health or substance abuse treatment and ultimately will help address the state's problem with prison overcrowding. Under the Arkansas program, the patient cost for those services is capped at about $8 per visit, said Sheila Sharp, director of the state's community correction department.

  • AP-NY--New York Digest,ADVISORY, 6 pm Update, NY

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Good afternoon! Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today in New York. Questions about today's coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to Jake Pearson at 212-621-1670 in New York City or in Albany to Mary Esch at 518-458-7821. A reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

  • Ohio sees record high number of heroin overdose deaths

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A record number of Ohio residents died from heroin-related overdoses in 2013, the state Department of Health said Thursday as it released the newest available figures for a problem that's been called an epidemic and a public health crisis. The state said 983 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2013, up from 697 deaths in 2012. The heroin increase also drove up the overall number of fatal drug overdoses to 2,110 deaths in 2013, compared to 1,914 the previous year. Fatal drug overdoses remain the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, above car crashes, a trend that began in 2007. The state said deaths related to prescription painkillers also rose, to 726 in 2013 from 680 the previous ye

  • Man gets 40 years prison for assault of teen who fled group home

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    A man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl who ran away from a North Austin group home nearly two years ago. Donald Ray Lewis, 50, was convicted Wednesday of one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child by contact after jurors deliberated less than 45 minutes. Due to his criminal record, he faced between 25 years to life in prison. Travis County jurors deliberated about an hour Thursday before doling him a 40-year prison sentence on the first charge and a punishment of 25 years incarceration on the latter. Retired Judge Wilford Flowers, sitting in for Judge Cliff Brown, accepted their recommendation and ordered that Lewis serve the time concurrently.

  • The Oklahoman editor rappels down SandRidge tower

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman, rappelled the 30-story, 393 foot-tall SandRidge Energy building Wednesday afternoon as part of The Shatterproof Challenge. The rappelling challenge is being held in 28 cities this year to help build awareness and funding for Shatterproof, an organization dedicated to ending the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction while raising funds to improve public education and treatment options. To learn more about Shatterproof, go to Shatterproof.org. It's getting real for the boss @kelfry#shatterproof#ShatterTheStigmapic.twitter.com/Z7tJKeXhVF — Dave Morris (@_davemorris) April 29, 2015 too much fun! #weareshatterproofhttps://t.

  • The Oklahoman editor rappels down SandRidge tower

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman, rappelled the 30-story, 393 foot-tall SandRidge Energy building Wednesday afternoon as part of The Shatterproof Challenge. The rappelling challenge is being held in 28 cities this year to help build awareness and funding for Shatterproof, an organization dedicated to ending the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction while raising funds to improve public education and treatment options.

  • NY lawmakers to examine state's heroin problem

    Updated: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state lawmakers are taking a look at what can be done to address the state's heroin and opioid addiction crisis. A bipartisan Senate task force is set to hold the first of several statewide hearings Thursday in Yorktown in Westchester County. Additional hearings are planned for Rochester, Lewiston and Albany. The meetings are intended to allow lawmakers to hear from local leaders, residents and experts as they develop proposals to fight the addiction epidemic. According to state figures, there were 91,000 medical admissions for heroin and prescription opiate abuse in New York state in 2013. That's up from 76,000 five years ago.