• Connecticut officials announce Zika virus response plan

    Updated: 13 min ago

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials have prepared a plan to respond to the Zika virus that includes in-state testing for the virus, monitoring mosquitoes and public education on how to avoid infection. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the measures Thursday. No cases of Zika virus have been identified among Connecticut residents and the state doesn't have mosquitoes that carry the virus. Most people don't get sick from the virus, which is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes. Health officials are investigating whether there is a link between Zika infections in pregnant women and a rare birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.

  • Governor reviewing probation, parole system after errors

    Updated: 15 min ago

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's governor announced Thursday that his office is reviewing the state's probation and parole system after two men walked away from a state-run treatment center and later had violent encounters with police, including an officer's fatal shooting. Gov. Gary Herbert said during his monthly news conference Thursday on KUED-TV that the mistakes in the system are inexcusable and if the review finds that employees were neglected their duty, they may be fired. "We know that errors have occurred. We need to find out what's caused those. Whether it's been ignorance or intentional," he said.

  • Bleisure: Zika casts a pall on some company getaways

    Updated: 25 min ago

    It seemed like such a great idea: A company planned a business trip this winter to a warm place that would bring the entire staff together. But now, concerns about Zika are keeping 10 of the company's 50 employees home. The company, Parse.ly, an analytics company that helps digital media sites understand their content trends, has employees working from different locations across the U.S., Canada and Europe. A trip to a resort in the Dominican Republic was intended "to get everybody in the same location" for team-building, R&R and casual facetime, said Parse.ly CEO Sachin Kamdar. In the past, Parse.

  • Medical pot advocates oppose proposed Rhode Island plant tax

    Updated: 28 min ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Medical marijuana advocates are opposing an annual $350-per-plant fee that Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to impose on some growers as part of her budget plan. Some state lawmakers on Thursday introduced an alternative: Legalize and tax recreational marijuana instead of making patients pay more for the drug they use as medicine. Raimondo said she supports Rhode Island's decade-old medical marijuana program but said her proposal to tax each state-approved marijuana plant would improve it. "It is meant to bring order to the system that we currently have, which is fairly unregulated and disorderly and inconsistent," she said.

  • CDC ships Zika test for pregnant women; Puerto Rico at risk

    Updated: 35 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is shipping Zika virus tests for pregnant women to health departments around the country, but warning there could be temporary shortages, as travelers try to tell if they returned with an infection that could put a developing baby at risk. Health officials don't expect widespread transmission of the mosquito-borne virus in the continental United States, but said Thursday that Puerto Rico is especially vulnerable. They asked for emergency funding from Congress to battle an outbreak that is quickly spreading through Latin America. "We may see rapid spread through the island and we need to respond urgently," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a Sen

  • Dems seek drug abuse funds as election-year issue sharpens

    Updated: 36 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats on Thursday called for hundreds of millions in emergency spending to fight drug abuse but ran into Republican resistance as another health issue began spiraling into an election-year showdown between the parties. The Senate Judiciary Committee, by a voice vote, approved a bipartisan bill bolstering education, prevention, treatment and law enforcement efforts against prescription opioid and heroin addiction. The measure would set up new grant programs, but it provided no additional money for them. Minutes later, Democratic senators held a news conference to call for extra money to battle illicit drug use, which killed 47,000 people in 2014.

  • NY Gov: Let teens get HIV treatment without parental OK

    Updated: 37 min ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Teens in New York don't need their parent's consent before seeking treatment for most sexually transmitted diseases. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it's time to change the law so that HIV infections are treated the same way. The Democratic governor said Thursday that he's calling on the Legislature to authorize teens to seek treatment for HIV infections without a parent's OK. The governor says requiring parental consent is a barrier to treatment. The state already allows teens to seek medical treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases. Cuomo says updating the list to include HIV is another step toward the state's goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2020.

  • Insurer Centene ends search for missing hard drives

    Updated: 38 min ago

    Medicaid coverage provider Centene has ended a search for six hard drives that contained the personal information of roughly 950,000 customers more than a month after the equipment turned up missing. The St. Louis-based company said that an employee admitted to placing the six hard drives "in a locked receptacle for secure destruction," according to a brief statement filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The statement did not say whether the hard drives had been recovered or destroyed. A company representative did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment. Centene reported the missing hard drives on Jan. 25.

  • Several states seek to block 2nd trimester abortion method

    Updated: 49 min ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Abortion opponents in Mississippi, West Virginia and several other states are filing bills to ban an abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester that opponents describe as dismembering a fetus. Courts have already blocked similar laws that Kansas and Oklahoma enacted in 2015. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers in legal fights, says banning the dilation and evacuation method of abortion — commonly called "D&E" — is unconstitutional because it interferes with private medical decisions.

  • The Latest: Ohio party chairmen debate 2016 primary strategy

    Updated: 55 min ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest from a forum for journalists organized by The Associated Press (all times local): 2:30 p.m. The chairmen of Ohio's Republican and Democratic parties are discussing their parties' moves to endorse or stay neutral in the state's March 15 presidential primary. Ohio's GOP has formally endorsed Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) bid for the White House. Republican Chairman Matt Borges said Thursday at a forum sponsored by The Associated Press that it was the best way for the state's party to go forward. Cleveland is hosting the national GOP convention in July. The Ohio Democratic Party is remaining neutral as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is competes against U.S. Sen. Be

  • In terror case, judge rejects inmate's mistreatment claims

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has rejected the medical malpractice claims of a New York City-born man serving a 15-year prison sentence for supporting al-Qaida. Wesam El-Hanafi had asked Manhattan federal Judge Gregory Woods to find the U.S. government liable for failing to quickly diagnose a medical condition that can lead to blood clots. Woods ruled Thursday after a trial last week. He found El-Hanafi's testimony credible, saying it was consistent with the testimony and records of those who treated him. But he said El-Hanafi failed to prove breach of duty by doctors who treated him after he reported pain following a 16-hour flight to the U.S. from Dubai in 2010 to face trial. He sued the U.S. government in 2013 for $7 mil

  • Report: Number of uninsured children falling in New Jersey

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A new report says that the number of uninsured children in New Jersey was cut by nearly 20 percent in the first year of the Affordable Care Act. Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the state had around 102,000 uninsured children in 2014. That's down from 127,000 in 2013. The report finds that about 5 percent of children in the state remained without insurance in 2014. The state accepted Medicaid expansion in 2014. Researchers also point to outreach for health care enrollment since the new law went into effect. The research was based on answers given to the annual U.S. Census Bureau survey.

  • AP-TN--Tennessee News Digest, TN

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Tennessee. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Nashville bureau at (615) 373-9988 or apnashville@ap.org. News editor Scott Stroud can be reached at sstroud@ap.org; administrative correspondent Claire Galofaro can be reached at cgalofaro@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. All times are Central. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. TOP STORIES: SCHOOL VOUCHERS NASHVILLE, Tenn.

  • Iowa Senate OKs bill to dismantle Medicaid privatization

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Plans to switch Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program into private management would be on indefinite hold under legislation passed Thursday in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but the bill is not expected to advance in the GOP-run House. The chamber voted 29-19 for the bill, which would terminate the state's contracts with three private companies hired to take over the program. The one-page bill would essentially direct the Iowa Department of Human Services to give 30 days' written notice to terminate the contracts and pursue "other initiatives to realign the health care delivery system." Senate President Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, said the new system that is scheduled to take effect March 1 has been con

  • Buddhist monk faces March trial in embezzlement case

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A Buddhist monk faces trial in March on charges he embezzled more than $200,000 from his Lafayette temple to feed a casino gambling habit. Khang Nguyen Le was scheduled to plead guilty on Wednesday to wire fraud charges. But The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1TTMGKc ) that the plea agreement fell apart when Le told a federal judge that he couldn't understand how the charges applied to his case. "I can't accept that," Le said through a translator. Le defended his actions during the hearing and denied he intended to take cash from the bank accounts for the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Southeast Louisiana Inc. "My intent was never to steal money from the temple," Le told U.S. Magistrat

  • Ohio leaders say medical marijuana issue isn't going away

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Legislative leaders and statewide officers weighed in Thursday on how Ohio should address the issue of medical marijuana, with most agreeing that the matter is not going away. State lawmakers have been examining how to address medical marijuana since Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative in November that sought to legalize pot for medical and recreational use. The measure, Issue 3, would have established 10 sites with exclusive authority to grow marijuana, and with profits going to the issue's deep-pocketed investors. While the initiative tanked, polls surrounding the ballot issue suggested Ohioans support medical marijuana.

  • Study: Neanderthal DNA may influence modern depression risk

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A new study says a person's risk of becoming depressed or hooked on smoking may be influenced by DNA inherited from Neanderthals. Researchers found evidence that one bit of Neanderthal DNA can boost the risk of tobacco addiction, while others can slightly raise or lower the risk of being diagnosed with depression. It's the latest in a series of studies of the Neanderthal genetic heritage in modern people. Past studies have suggested it raises risk of allergies, for example. Neanderthals and modern people split off from each other on the evolutionary tree hundreds of thousands of years ago. But ancestors of modern people interbred with Neanderthals about 50,000 years ago after leaving Africa.

  • Zika virus has phones ringing at pest control, travel firms

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Some small U.S. companies are getting an influx in calls — and in some cases, unexpected business— due to fears about the Zika virus. The virus often produces either no symptoms or mild ones like fever in adults, but an outbreak in Brazil has been linked to a rare birth defect that causes a newborn's heads to be smaller and brain development issues. Outbreaks also have been reported in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Americas. Pest control companies in Texas are getting a surge in business because of concerns that mosquitoes bearing the Zika virus will arrive from neighboring Mexico. The companies are already spraying homes, schools and other properties; usually they don't s

  • Today’s political stories from Tribune News Service

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Here are some of the political news stories and commentary pieces from Tribune News Service today. More is available on our website, tribunenewsservice.com. For assistance, call our newsroom at 312-222-4131. POLITICAL STORIES Sanders still introducing himself in South Carolina, where black vote is key SANDERS-SCAROLINA:BLO—If South Carolina is Hillary Clinton’s political firewall against a surging populist challenger, then Kingstree is at least one of her bricks. “We know Hillary,” said Charles E. Shaw, a retired auto body repair worker who lives in rural Kingstree. “I ain’t never heard of Bernie Sanders. I’m not going to vote for someone I don’t know.

  • Western NY-based company to expand, add 1,400 jobs upstate

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A Buffalo-based pharmaceutical company that makes cancer drugs plans to expand its headquarters and open a new manufacturing facility in western New York, creating an estimated 1,400 jobs over 10 years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined Athenex executives Thursday in Dunkirk, N.Y., the future site of the manufacturing plant, to announce the $1.6 billion expansion. The state plans to invest $225 million in the project. Athenex, which also has offices in China, was founded at the University of Buffalo and focuses on drugs used to treat cancer. Cuomo, a Democrat, says the expansion is a "game-changer" for Dunkirk, on Lake Erie 35 miles southwest of Buffalo. He says the move shows the economy in western New Yor