• Nebraska officials report year's 1st West Nile virus case

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska health authorities have reported the state's first human case of West Nile virus for 2015. The Nebraska Health and Human Services Department said in a news release Thursday that someone who lives in the Central District Health Department area tested positive for West Nile virus but was not hospitalized. The district covers Hall, Hamilton and Merrick counties. Dr. Tom Safranek is the state epidemiologist, and he says West Nile virus "can be a mild illness for some and serious for others." The state reported 142 confirmed human cases last year and eight deaths. Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild flu-like symptoms.

  • Cabell County to have state's 1st syringe exchange program

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Cabell County will be the site of West Virginia's first syringe exchange program, which officials say will help reduce infectious diseases within the county's population of intravenous drug-users. "When the use of intravenous drugs increases, we also see increases in communicable diseases," Dr. Rahul Gupta, state health officer and commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, said Thursday at a news conference held in Huntington to announce the program. West Virginia's rate of hepatitis B cases is 10.6 per 100,000 people, compared to the national rate of 0.9 percent. The hepatitis C rate is 3.1 cases per 100,000 people, while the national rate is 0.6, Gupta said.

  • Kentucky awards Medicaid contracts to 5 companies

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky has awarded contracts to five companies to provide health insurance to people on Medicaid. Anthem, Coventry Cares, Humana, Passport and Wellcare each have one-year contracts that began Wednesday with four, one-year renewal options. Medicaid is a joint state and federal program to provide health insurance to the poor and disabled. Kentucky's program has grown significantly since Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear decided to expand the eligibility requirements under the federal Affordable Care Act. Now more than 1.1 million people, or about a quarter of Kentucky's population, are on Medicaid.

  • Ohio Medicaid plan would require enrollees to share in cost

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — About 1 million low-income Ohio residents could be required to pay a new monthly cost for Medicaid health coverage or potentially lose it under a Republican provision in the state budget, officials estimate. The idea, which will require federal approval, was part of the $71.2 billion, two-year spending blueprint that Republican Gov. John Kasich signed Tuesday. Under the plan, Kasich's administration must seek a waiver of federal Medicaid rules so that the state can require certain adults on the program to pay into a health savings account regardless of their income. Beneficiaries, except pregnant women, could be cut from the program if they don't annually contribute 2 percent of their family income or

  • US Sen. Heitkamp to have hip replacement surgery next month

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is scheduled for hip replacement surgery next month. Staff for the North Dakota Democrat say she will undergo a right hip replacement on Aug. 17 in Bismarck. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases says the average hospital stay for a hip replacement surgery is 3-5 days. Full recovery takes 3-6 months. The 59-year-old Heitkamp survived breast cancer in the early 2000s.

  • Vermont gets federal funding to combat bat disease

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont has received a $35,000 federal grant to combat white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has wiped out some bat populations throughout much of the eastern United States. Vermont's grant is one of 35 totaling nearly $1 million that will be used to fight the disease. Sen. Patrick Leahy said Wednesday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife funding will be used to support research, monitor bat populations and create best practices for land management agencies to reduce the spread of the disease. In Vermont, the funding will help with national research and the recovery of the state's five threatened and endangered bat species, including the northern long-eared bat.

  • Doctor allegedly prescribed drugs after examining dog X-ray

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County authorities have arrested a doctor they say wrote prescriptions for painkillers and other drugs to an undercover agent who showed him an X-ray of a dog. The district attorney's office says Dr. Richard Seongjun Kim of Rancho Palos Verdes was taken into custody Wednesday. He could face 21 counts of illegally prescribing drugs with no legitimate medical need to undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The 42-year-old Kim allegedly wrote prescriptions for Norco, Xanax, Soma and Adderall without performing physical exams, taking vital signs or filling out medical charts. Prosecutors say Kim requested patients bring prior medical charts and X-rays to his one-man clinic.

  • Q&A: South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard on justice reform

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, even as crime rates continue to drop. Of the 2.2 million inmates incarcerated in the U.S., 57 percent are in state prisons and 33 percent are in local jails, costing states billions of dollars. Between 1986 and 2012, state spending on correctional facilities, probation and parole increased 427 percent, from $9.9 billion to $52.4 billion, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. In response, states increasingly are scrutinizing all aspects of their criminal justice systems to reduce and manage prison populations, cut the cost of corrections and reduce recidivism.

  • Treatment Court: Judicial recourse for addicts

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA — Angela Kaye’s trip to drug addiction started when she used marijuana and alcohol as a teen. It escalated to prescription drug abuse, led to heroin use, petty crime and jail time, and ended in a Delaware County courtroom. “Treatment Court saved my life,” said Kaye, 31, of Upper Chichester. She is now a counselor for a company that specializes in peer support for mental health and substance abuse disorders. Kaye was given the choice of prison or drug treatment court. Kaye chose the court — and graduated. “She is what our program is about,” said Linda Barbera, Treatment Court coordinator.

  • Carli Lloyd maintains focus amid star turn

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    For years, intense meditation has been part of Carli Lloyd’s soccer game, as important as all of her emphasis on fitness. Getting alone in a room, finding the moment, the big moment in a game, conjuring up scenarios that include the ball on her foot. On Tuesday night when she was about to take a penalty kick in the 69th minute, a Women’s World Cup semifinal hinging on the moment, Lloyd had been there before. “I basically zoned out the entire world except for the net, the ball and myself,” Lloyd said Wednesday afternoon over the phone. After her perfect kick against Germany, the 32-year-old also set up a second American goal in the 84th minute with a nifty run and pass. Nothing new about that. In the 2008 Olympic

  • French court: No compensation over faulty breast implants

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    PARIS (AP) — A French appeals court ruled Thursday that a German product-testing company does not have to compensate more than 3,000 women with leak-prone breast implants — and now women who sued may have to pay back 5.8 million euros ($6.4 million) in collective damages they received in a lower-court ruling. Tens of thousands of women worldwide received implants made by French company PIP, or Poly Implant Prothese. The implants were found to contain industrial-grade silicone instead of medical silicone and were prone to leakage. PIP's owner was sentenced to prison for fraud, but his bankrupt company couldn't pay damages. So the women's lawyers sought compensation from German testing company TUV Rheinland and its French s

  • Amy Winehouse documentary wins raves but angers family

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — In "Amy," performers as diverse as Yasiin Bey and Tony Bennett sing the praises of the late Amy Winehouse, and the documentary helps reclaim the talented, troubled singer as a musician, rather than a mess. Critics love it — but it has left her family hurt and angry. The singer's father, Mitch Winehouse, has branded the film inaccurate and misleading. He claims director Asif Kapadia depicts the family as doing too little to help the singer overcome addiction. "They have selectively edited what I said to suggest that me and my family were against her getting any kind of treatment," Mitch Winehouse told The Associated Press. "We took her dozens of times to detox and rehab over the years.

  • Health dept. confirms staph caused sickness at day care

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Public Health has confirmed staph in several types of food served at a Montgomery day care was what sent nearly 90 children to the emergency room last week and required 30 to be hospitalized. Multiple media outlets report that a health department report released Wednesday says the Staphylococcus aureus toxin-producing bacteria found in food products served at the Sunnyside Child Care Center matches the bacteria from samples taken from children who fell ill after eating the food at the center. The state health department says public health environmentalists have worked with the day care employees on the kitchen and food handling to avoid any reoccurrence and prevent future fo

  • 5 Things to Know in Florida for July 2

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today. SOUTHWEST FLORIDA OFFICIALS PROBE SLAYING OF DOCTOR Authorities are still investigating the slaying of a popular, 46-year-old southwest Florida doctor. Dr. Teresa Sievers was found dead in her home on Monday. The Lee County Sheriff's Office didn't answer questions about the crime including whether the public was at risk or whether a suspect had been identified. They provided no new information Wednesday as to motive or cause of death. Sievers was known for her holistic approach to health and her work with transgender patients.

  • Jury awards $4.2M to man in medical malpractice suit

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man has been awarded $4.2 million as compensation for a surgery he says caused him to lose the use of his shoulder. A New Haven jury on Wednesday decided that 58-year-old Gregory Leigh, of Wallingford, should be awarded that amount after a nearly three-week trial. Leigh in 2011 sued his doctor, Daniel Schwartz, and MidState Medical Group in Meriden after undergoing a surgical procedure in 2008 to remove a mass in his neck. The lawsuit says the 58-year-old suffered permanent nerve damage that causes pain in his left shoulder. It says he has not been able to work or use his left arm for physical activity. It was determined that the mass could have been treated by antibiotics.

  • U of Illinois vet students will help care for fair animals

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Agriculture says students from the University of Illinois' College of Veterinary Medicine will help care for animals at the state fair. A release form the department on Wednesday calls the fair a good chance for students to work with large animals. Agriculture director Philip Nelson said the number of people practicing large-animal medicine is in decline. State Veterinarian Mark Ernst is a graduate of the University of Illinois and said he's excited to work with students form his alma mater. Veterinarians from the department and the university will work with the students at the fair. More than 2,100 animals were exhibited at the 2014 Illinois State Fair. This year's

  • Man bitten by shark on NC Outer Banks is 7th this summer

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A shark bit a 68-year-old man several times Wednesday in waist-deep water off North Carolina's Outer Banks, officials said, the seventh in a record-breaking year of shark attacks for the state's coastal waters. A spokeswoman at the Greenville, North Carolina, hospital where he was taken said Wednesday night that the man, Andrew Costello, was in fair condition. He suffered wounds to his ribcage, lower leg, hip and both hands as he tried to fight off the animal, said Justin Gibbs, the director of emergency services in Hyde County. The attack happened around noon on a beach on Ocracoke Island, right in front of a lifeguard tower, he said. "He was pulled under by the shark," said Gibbs, who said witne

  • WWE seeking to block concussion-related lawsuits

    Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is asking a federal judge to block lawsuits by former wrestlers who claim they have suffered long-term health problems from concussions they received in the ring. The Stamford-based company, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on Monday, argues the wrestlers' claims are fraudulent and should be barred because of a three-year statute of limitations on such claims in Connecticut. The company, which already is facing several lawsuits across the nation, is also asking that all such litigation be moved to federal court in Connecticut. WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt said the company is being targeted by a lawyer who is improperly shopping lawsuits t

  • 1st investigations wrapping up on over-budget VA hospital

    Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    AURORA, Colo. (AP) — The first inquiries into what went wrong with a vastly over-budget veterans medical center outside Denver could be done soon, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said Wednesday. An Army Corps of Engineers review of the troubled project should wrap up in the next few weeks, Gibson said during a visit to the construction site in suburban Aurora. An internal Veterans Affairs Department investigation into possible employee misconduct might already be finished, but the results won't be made public until after any disciplinary action is taken, Gibson said. He hinted that some members of Congress who are calling for firings might be disappointed.

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    Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

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