• Alabama House passes bill to create long-term care networks

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House on Thursday passed a bill that would establish integrated care networks to allow more Medicaid recipients to stay in their homes instead of nursing homes. Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper, said the legislation could cut Medicaid costs by $1.5 billion from 2018 to 2028 while also allowing more Medicaid recipients to receive home-based care. The House passed the bill 98-0. The Senate unanimously passed the legislation earlier this month. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature. Reed said because Medicaid accounts for 37 percent of the state's general fund budget, it's important to consider both long-term and short-term cost savings. "It's import

  • 10 injured in ammonia gas leak at Panhandle chemical plant

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    BORGER, Texas (AP) — Ten people were taken to hospitals after an ammonia gas leak at a chemical plant in the Texas Panhandle. The incident happened about 4:15 p.m. Thursday at the Agrium Inc. plant in Borger, about 40 miles northeast of Amarillo. Borger police Lt. Brandon Strope says the 10 people, all employees, were taken to Panhandle hospitals by ambulance and helicopter. He also says plant officials say the gas release is contained and poses no danger to the surrounding community. Plant manager Gill Craig says of the 10 taken to nearby Golden Plains Community Hospital, two were transferred to Northwest Texas Healthcare System hospital in Amarillo in stable condition. It was unclear if the other eight workers were

  • Riverton hospital moves to enter EPA tribal boundary dispute

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Riverton Memorial Hospital maintains that a recent medical malpractice case filed against it in tribal court on the Wind River Indian Reservation underscores the problems the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created in its recent decision that the city of Riverton and surrounding lands remain legally Indian Country. Tribal spokesmen, however, say the tribal court has handled claims against the hospital for years and question why it would raise jurisdictional questions now.

  • Judge: No juror misconduct in Ga. peanut trial convictions

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge Thursday refused to throw out criminal convictions in a salmonella outbreak traced to a Georgia peanut plant after the court investigated defense attorneys' claims of jury misconduct. Former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell, his food broker brother, Michael Parnell, and the former quality assurance manager of the company's Georgia plant, Mary Wilkerson, were convicted in September on charges related to a salmonella outbreak in 2008 and 2009 that was blamed for 714 illnesses nationwide.

  • Wisconsin governor: Obama power plant rule 'unworkable'

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican eyeing a presidential run in 2016, says President Barack Obama's plan to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants is "unworkable." Wisconsin will not comply with the president's plan without "significant and meaningful changes," Walker said. Obama's proposal is aimed at curbing the pollution blamed for global warming. In a letter to Obama dated May 21, Walker complained that the proposed rule was "riddled with inaccuracies" and "questionable assumptions" that made it unworkable for his state. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

  • Mother gets 18 years for killing 8-year-old son in NYC hotel

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A self-made health care millionaire who fatally drugged her developmentally disabled child five years ago in a luxury New York City hotel room was sentenced on Thursday to 18 years in prison by a judge who said he disbelieved much of her defense and scolded her for not showing remorse. Gigi Jordan, a nurse-turned-pharmaceutical-entrepreneur, claimed her son Jude Mirra had been sexually abused for years by his biological father and other men in her life. She argued she killed the boy in February 2010 to keep him safe from her ex-husband who was planning to kill her and take her money, leaving Jude defenseless to more sexual torture. She then said she tried to kill herself.

  • 1 more Minnesota turkey farm struck by bird flu

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — One more Minnesota turkey farm has been struck by bird flu, this time in Renville County. The Board of Animal Health announced the new presumptive case Thursday. The size of the flock is still being determined. The new case raises the total of Minnesota farms affected to 98 since the state's first case of H5N2 avian influenza was confirmed in early March. The board says the outbreaks have cost Minnesota turkey and chicken producers nearly 8.3 million birds, not counting some farms where flock sizes remain pending. Minnesota went 10 straight days with no reports of new cases until six new cases were reported Tuesday. Three more cases were reported Wednesday.

  • CDC: 150 possibly had contact with Lassa fever victim

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Federal and state health officials have identified more than 150 people who possibly had contact with a patient who died of Lassa fever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. So far, most of those people face no danger, but six are at a high risk of having been exposed, CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in a statement. Thirty-three are at low risk. All are being monitored, Haynes said. A New Jersey man died Monday after traveling in West Africa and returning to New York City's Kennedy Airport on May 17.

  • Demi Lovato is the face of mental health in new campaign

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Demi Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she was actually relieved. "Growing up, I felt very, very depressed," she said. "Even though I was playing concerts and living out my dream, I couldn't tell you why I was upset." After a family intervention, she sought treatment and learned she has a mental illness. "I remember smiling and thinking great, OK, so there's not anything wrong with me as a person," she said in a recent interview. "It's actually just a condition that I have and I can do something to fix it. I don't have to be like this forever.

  • Bill would require California doctors to check drug database

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California doctors would be required to check a statewide database before prescribing narcotics under a bill moving through the state Legislature. Currently it is voluntary to check the state's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, known as CURES. The database lets doctors make sure patients are not getting narcotics from multiple physicians and aren't taking harmful combinations of drugs. Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens says his SB482 would help reduce addictions to prescription drugs and prevent thousands of overdose deaths. Backers say prescription drugs kill more people than do illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin.

  • Shocking ads ignite debate about abortion ban in Chile

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The video shows a woman climbing a stairwell, her belly visibly pregnant, as she offers suggestions: Make sure there are no security cameras. Be careful not to look down or you might regret it. She tumbles backward as the screen goes black. "When you reach the bottom everything will be OK," she says. The video is one of a series of mock abortion tutorials, part of a public campaign urging Chile to allow women to end pregnancies in cases of rape or medical complications. It would be a radical change for Chile, one of only four countries that prohibit all abortion, according to the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, though a handful of others are so restrictive that they have de facto bans.

  • Bush earned millions in juggling act as corporate adviser

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — During his transition from Florida governor to likely presidential candidate, Jeb Bush served on the boards of or as an adviser to at least 15 companies and nonprofits, a dizzying array of corporate connections that earned him millions of dollars and occasional headaches. Bush returned to corporate America after leaving the governor's mansion in early 2007, and his industry portfolio expanded steadily until he began shedding ties late last year to prepare a run for president. Executives who worked alongside Bush describe him as an engaged adviser with an eye for detail. Yet experts question how anyone could serve so many boards at once effectively.

  • Bush earned millions in juggling act as corporate adviser

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — During his transition from Florida governor to likely presidential candidate, Jeb Bush served on the boards of or as an adviser to at least 15 companies and nonprofits, a dizzying array of corporate connections that earned him millions of dollars and occasional headaches. Bush returned to corporate America after leaving the governor's mansion in early 2007, and his industry portfolio expanded steadily until he began shedding ties late last year to prepare a run for president. Executives who worked alongside Bush describe him as an engaged adviser. There is no formal rule limiting the number of boards on which one person can serve. But after the Enron scandal, common sense dictates a small number, exp

  • Gov. Bobby Jindal says he'd sign medical marijuana bill

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal says he has "no concerns" about a medical marijuana bill nearing final legislative passage and would sign it into law if it reaches his desk. A proposal by Sen. Fred Mills, a Republican from Parks, would allow marijuana use by people suffering from cancer, glaucoma and a severe form of cerebral palsy, through a limited number of heavily-regulated distributors. The Senate has approved the bill, and the House health committee backed the measure this week. It awaits debate in the full House. Jindal said Thursday that Mills' proposal meets his criteria that the marijuana distribution be supervised and for a "legitimate medical purpose." The Republican governor said: "We've got no

  • Administration asks judge to toss House health care suit

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A skeptical federal judge grilled Obama administration lawyers Thursday over the House GOP's health care lawsuit, sounding unlikely to side with the president and dismiss the case. "You don't really think that, do you?" U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer asked Justice Department attorney Joel McElvain in the opening moments of his argument, as he tried to assert that the House hadn't suffered a particular injury from Obama's health care law and therefore lacks a basis for suing. "I have a very hard time taking that statement seriously," Collyer said. At other points she chided McElvain for his responses, saying "You are dodging my question" and "You may disagree with me but I happen to be the judge.

  • Man gets 7½ years in Uganda-based counterfeiting scheme

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge on Thursday sentenced a Pittsburgh man to 7½ years in federal prison for his role in a counterfeit money scheme based in Uganda and several other scams. U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry indicated in court filings before Thursday's sentencing that 29-year-old Joseph Graziano Jr. likely faced at least 11 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. But McVerry cut that by 3½ year after granting an unspecified government request. Prosecutors and defense attorney Martin Dietz wouldn't comment on the request. "Mr. Graziano accepts full responsibility and regrets his actions and looks forward to being a productive member of society upon his release," Dietz said.

  • NC's 72-hour abortion waiting period moves closer to passage

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill that would extend the abortion waiting period to 72 hours in North Carolina moved closer to passage with a favorable vote Thursday on the Senate floor. After a lengthy debate, the full Senate gave tentative approval to the bill, and a final vote in the chamber could come next week. A version of the bill has already passed the state House, but that chamber would need to approve provisions added by Senate Republicans that include several criminal justice measures. Under the waiting-period provision, women would have to talk to a doctor or other qualified professional 72 hours before having an abortion, unless there's a medical emergency. Three other states have 72-hour waiting periods: Missou

  • Governor signs bill ending Vermont vaccine exemption

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a hotly debated bill that ends the state's philosophical exemption for families who don't want to have their children fully vaccinated. House Bill 98 — dealing with a range of health care subjects — was amended in the Senate in April to add the elimination of the exemption. That set off about three weeks of intense debate that ended with the House voting for the change in the final week of the legislative session. Hundreds attended a public hearing on the issue at the Statehouse. Shumlin says he signed the bill because he believes a law passed three years ago to make it slightly more difficult to get the philosophical exemption did not do enough to in

  • Census: No. of Americans on assistance may be leveling off

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The once-increasing number of Americans getting some kind of public assistance from the U.S. government may be slowing down, according to new information from the U.S. Census Bureau. Approximately 52.2 million Americans — or 21.3 percent — participated in one or more of six poverty assistance programs on average each month in 2012, a new Census report released Thursday said. Although higher than the 20.9 percent found in 2011, government officials said the 2012 number is not a statistically significant change from the previous year's. The number of people participating in assistance programs had been on the rise from 18.6 percent in 2009 to 20.2 percent in 2010 to the 20.9 percent in 2011.

  • Bill requires Connecticut labs to conduct hair follicle test

    Yesterday

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A bill that would require clinical laboratories in Connecticut to conduct hair follicle drug tests ordered by medical personnel is moving to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's desk. The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the bill, which previously cleared the Senate. The legislation stems from the 2014 death of 17-year-old Kyle Cruz. His father, Jim Cruz, tried unsuccessfully to secure a hair follicle drug test after the teen began exhibiting sudden, disturbing behavior. Democratic Sen. Carlo Leone said the Stamford father was repeatedly turned away from a testing center despite having a doctor's authorization for the test. Kyle Cruz committed suicide shortly afterward.




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