• State appeals ruling that city can ban pot outlets

    Yesterday

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The state of Oregon is appealing a Circuit Court ruling that a city in the heart of southern Oregon marijuana country can ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The Grants Pass Daily Courier (http://bit.ly/121b1FZ ) reported Wednesday the appeal was filed last week by the Oregon Department of Justice on behalf of the governor and the Oregon Health Authority. Josephine County Circuit Judge Pat Wolke (WOL-kee) ruled that the dispensary law enacted last year by the Legislature does not stop cities from denying a business license to a medical marijuana dispensary. He relied on past rulings over similar issues, and did not address the constitutional issues raised in the city's original lawsuit.

  • Researchers discover 'pre-cancers' in blood

    Yesterday

    Many older people silently harbor a blood "pre-cancer" — a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age. The discovery was made by two international research teams working independently, decoding the DNA of about 30,000 people. The gene mutations were rare in people under 40, but found in about 10 percent of those over 65 and in nearly 20 percent of folks over 90. Having one of the mutations does not destine someone to develop a blood cancer, but it raises the risk of that more than tenfold

  • Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Reading about Harry Potter's adventures learning to fly his broomstick activates some of the same regions in the brain we use to perceive real people's actions and intentions. In a unique study, scientists who peeked into the brains of people caught up in a good book emerged with maps of what a healthy brain does as it reads. The research reported Wednesday has implications for studying reading disorders or recovery from a stroke. The team from Carnegie Mellon University was pleasantly surprised that the experiment actually worked. Most neuroscientists painstakingly have tracked how the brain processes a single word or sentence, looking for clues to language development or dyslexia by focusing on one

  • US agency threatens to act against air bag maker

    Yesterday

    DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators threatened fines and legal action against Takata Corp. Wednesday unless the company admits that its driver's air bag inflators are defective and agrees to a nationwide recall. In a letter to Takata's Washington office, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Japanese company until Tuesday to file paperwork declaring a defect and expanding the recall from high-humidity states to the full nation. The company's air bags have been blamed for at least five deaths and multiple injuries worldwide. They can inflate with too much force, blowing apart a mental canister and spewing shrapnel. The letter is the first step in a legal process to compel a nationwide recall.

  • Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls

    Yesterday

    CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration will promote health insurance coverage at shopping malls starting on Black Friday and continuing through the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, officials announced Wednesday. They said more than 462,000 people selected a private insurance plan in the first week of 2015 enrollment through the online marketplace HealthCare.gov. The government's enrollment push with Westfield Shopping Centers will involve setting up outreach tables at malls in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Washington state. Separately, the California insurance marketplace, Covered California, will work with Westfield malls in that state.

  • Georgia editorial roundup

    Yesterday

    Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers: Nov. 9 Morning News, Savannah, Georgia, on immigration reform: The long-awaited decision Monday by the grand jury in the summer shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., brought out the best and worst in this country. On the positive side, the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, 28 in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, affirmed that America is governed by the rule of the law, not of men. Twelve citizens — nine whites and three African Americans — had been meeting in secret for months in this closely watched case. The pressure was immense.

  • Twitter now tracks other apps you've installed

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter said it is now tracking what other apps its users have installed on their mobile devices so it can target content and ads to them better. Twitter Inc. said Wednesday that users will receive a notification when the setting is turned on and can opt out using settings on their phones. On iPhones, this setting is called "limit ad tracking." On Android phones, it's "opt out of interest-based ads." San Francisco-based Twitter said it is only collecting the list of apps that users have installed, not any data within the apps. It won't collect the app lists from people who have previously turned off ad targeting on their phones.

  • Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak

    Yesterday

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, which has been surging in recent weeks, may have reached its peak and could be on the verge of slowing down, Sierra Leone's information minister said Wednesday. But in a reminder of how serious the situation is in Sierra Leone, a ninth doctor became infected Wednesday and the World Health Organization said the country accounted for more than half of the new cases in the hardest-hit countries in the past week. By contrast, infections appear to be either stabilizing or declining in Guinea and Liberia, where vigorous campaigning for a Senate election this week suggests the disease might be loosening its grip.

  • US adult smoking rate dips just under 18 percent

    Yesterday

    NEW YORK (AP) — A government report says the smoking rate for U.S. adults dipped below 18 percent for the first time last year. That's still about the same rate found in 2012, and translates to about 42 million smokers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the findings Wednesday. Smoking was more common in certain groups, like the poor, less educated, and gays and bisexuals. The nation's smoking rate had stalled at around 20 to 21 percent, until it started dropping a bit a few years ago. In last year's survey, 17.8 percent of adults described themselves as smokers. Smoking is the nation's leading cause of preventable illness.

  • 2 NC social workers admit $5M in Medicaid fraud

    Yesterday

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Two Charlotte women face prison time after pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government's health insurance program for the poor of more than $5 million. Thirty-five-year-old social worker Aliya Boss pleaded guilty Wednesday for charging Medicaid at least $4.3 million. Federal prosecutors say Boss allowed other mental health companies to use her provider ID number and bill for services that were never provided. The result was that Boss was recorded as providing therapy to more than 200 Medicaid recipients in a single day and billing for more than 64 hours of services over a 24-hour period. Social worker Zaria Davis Humphries pleaded guilty in a separate case to submitting over

  • Turtles recovering at Florida Keys facility

    Yesterday

    MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Staff members at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital are caring for 30 endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles suffering from hypothermia days after they were rescued from a frigid beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Hospital officials said Wednesday that each cold-stunned turtle had a full physical examination, X-rays, a swimming test and was administered intravenous fluids and Vitamin D. Hospital staff is endeavoring to slowly raise the reptiles' body temperatures with the goal of releasing them once they are deemed healthy enough to return to the wild. Some of the turtles have secondary issues including head trauma and pneumonia. The 30 are a portion of 193 flown to Orlando by the U.S.

  • Va. women's prison health care lawsuit settled

    Yesterday

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A proposed settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit that claimed medical care at a Virginia women's prison is so shoddy that it violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. A notice of a "settlement in principle" was filed in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville on Tuesday, and a trial that had been set for next week was canceled. Five inmates at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women filed the lawsuit in July 2012 against several Virginia Department of Corrections officials and the private contractor they hired to provide medical care. The plaintiffs alleged that prisoners suffer prolonged pain and deterioration of their health, and that some have even died becaus

  • Hospital, SD settle over improper Medicaid claims

    Yesterday

    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota hospital and the state's attorney general have reached a settlement over improper Medicaid claims. Attorney General Marty Jackley says Avera Gregory Hospital has paid the state nearly $85,000 under the agreement. He adds that the Medicaid program will be fully reimbursed for the covered claims. The state had contended that the hospital submitted improper claims to Medicaid involving coding errors between January 2005 and April 2014. Avera Gregory Hospital admits no wrongdoing under the settlement, and the state makes no concession that its claims are not well founded. Jackley says the hospital fully cooperated throughout the investigation.

  • State to name medical marijuana producers Monday

    Yesterday

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The state is ready to name two manufacturers for its new medical marijuana program. Twelve companies applied to grow and cultivate marijuana for the state, but Minnesota's law says just two companies can provide it. The Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday it will announce its selections on Monday morning. The applicants had to submit detailed plans on how they'd grow the plant and convert it into pill, oil or vapor form. They also provided stringent security plans and a $20,000, non-refundable check. Each manufacturer will eventually operate four dispensaries across the state — one in each of Minnesota's eight Congressional Districts. Patients are expected to be able to start g

  • Bristol-Myers: FDA blocks hepatitis C drug for now

    Yesterday

    U.S. regulators have declined to approve Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir as part of a combination hepatitis C treatment with another antiviral drug called asunaprevir. The company said Wednesday that data it submitted to the Food and Drug Administration to win approval of daclatasvir focused on that drug's use with asunaprevir. However, the New York-based drugmaker in October withdrew its application for approval of asunaprevir, citing "the rapidly evolving hepatitis C ... treatment landscape in the U.S." The FDA then requested more data on the effects of daclatasvir in combination with other drugs for treating hepatitis C, currently one of the hottest areas in drug research. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

  • See Spot relax: Pet massage gaining popularity

    Yesterday

    PHOENIX (AP) — Spa treatments don't stop with people. You won't see any aromatherapy candles around, but animals get massages, too, and it's become a regular service that many pet owners value as more than just glorified petting. "People call me because their dogs are having problems," said Shelah Barr, a San Francisco dog massage therapist. "The work I do is important for animals so they have a high quality of life." Practitioners say massage can be a preventive measure for younger animals and rehabilitative for older ones by boosting flexibility, circulation and immunity. As its popularity continues to grow, primarily among dog and horse owners, so does the debate about regulation.

  • Guinea, hit by Ebola, reports only 1 cholera case

    Yesterday

    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The health workers rode on canoes and rickety boats to deliver cholera vaccines to remote islands in Guinea. Months later, the country has recorded only one confirmed cholera case this year, down from thousands. The rare success, overshadowed by the Ebola outbreak that has ravaged Guinea and two other West African countries, is being cautiously attributed to the vaccinations and to hand-washing in the campaign against Ebola. Helen Matzger of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said Guinea's experience is encouraging other countries to accept the cholera vaccine and has led the GAVI Alliance — which works to deliver vaccines to the world's poor — to invest in a global stockpile and the U.N.

  • Group: Facility for disabled botched rape report

    Yesterday

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Staff members at a Montana facility for developmentally disabled people didn't follow agency protocol or state law and allowed possible evidence to be destroyed after a resident reported being raped, an advocacy group claimed. Disability Rights Montana said the woman reported being raped on Nov. 3 by a fellow resident at the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder. Facility protocol requires staff to call police and take the accuser to a hospital for an exam. State law requires they call the Department of Justice to investigate. None of those things happened immediately, said Bernadette Franks-Ongoy, executive director of the rights group.

  • 'Guardian angel,' community join to give man home

    Yesterday

    LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — She'd warned Scotty Reynolds to stay away from people like this, but "Mr. I Don't Listen" ignored her, as usual. Now, here he sat, moaning about how someone he'd taken in had trashed his apartment and stolen his computer. Gayle Whitehead had been watching out for the mentally disabled man for 30 years — getting him out of scrapes, picking him up at the police station or hospital, washing his feet when he'd gone without shoes. Theirs was an unusual, special friendship — and, yes, sometimes a prickly one. Now, sick with cancer, she decided it was time for a "come-to-Jesus meeting." "When I die, what are you going to do?" Whitehead asked the man-child before her.

  • 4 new flu hospitalizations reported in Oklahoma

    Yesterday

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports four new hospitalizations due to the flu this season. The department said Wednesday that 24 people have now been hospitalized this season, which began Sept. 28. The department says there have been no deaths due to the flu thus far, after a record 61 people died in the state due to flu last flu season. The previous record of 46 deaths was recorded in the 2009 flu season — the year the state began tracking the statistic. Six of those hospitalized were in Adair County in eastern Oklahoma and six were hospitalized in Oklahoma County. Three hospitalizations were reported in Tulsa County.