• Indiana governor overrides law to authorize needle exchange

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence overrode state law and his own anti-drug policies Thursday to authorize a short-term needle-exchange program designed to help contain HIV infections in a rural county where more than six dozen cases have been reported, all of them tied to intravenous drug use. Pence issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency in Scott County, an economically depressed area about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, that has seen 79 new infections since December. The county typically sees only about five HIV cases each year, health officials said. All of those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the county, and all of the infections have been linked to needle s

  • Medical marijuana bill moves ahead in Iowa Senate

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A plan to expand access to medical marijuana in Iowa moved forward in the Senate on Thursday, though it's unlikely to find support in the Republican-controlled House. The legislation would make medical marijuana available to people with certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Those approved by a doctor could then purchase marijuana products produced in Iowa at state-run dispensaries. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved a bill on Thursday. Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said he was hopeful the bill could find support in the full Senate. "This legislation is really brought to us by patients.

  • Congressman: Cancel VA bonuses, use them for Denver hospital

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — Congress should cancel all VA employee bonuses and use the money to finish the budget-busting Denver veterans hospital, Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman said Thursday. Coffman and other lawmakers are angry that the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded thousands of dollars in bonuses to its top construction official, Glenn Haggstrom, even though hospitals in Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Orlando, Florida, racked up huge cost overruns and fell far behind schedule. Haggstrom retired Wednesday amid an internal investigation into the problems at the Denver hospital, the VA said. No phone listing for him could be found to seek comment. Coffman and Colorado Sen.

  • New Hampshire public health director stepping down

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Dr. Jose Montero, New Hampshire's director of public health for the past seven years, said Thursday he is stepping down to take a position elsewhere but will remain in the state. Montero announced in a statement Thursday that he will leave the post May 1. He has been with the state's Division of Health Services for 15 years. He said in his written statement that it's time for new leadership to help the division achieve the goal of becoming an accredited agency. Montero said he's proud that the agency has overcome numerous challenges and earned a high level of trust and confidence in its professionalism and achievements.

  • House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill; fate up to Senate

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In uncommon bipartisan harmony, the House approved a $214 billion bill on Thursday permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts, moving Congress closer to resolving a problem that has plagued it for years. The lopsided 392-37 vote shifted pressure onto the Senate, where its prospects have brightened as Democrats have muffled their criticism and President Barack Obama has embraced the bill. But with some conservatives also balking at the legislation, its fate there remained murky. Thursday's House vote came on a package that bore victories for Republicans and Democrats alike and was negotiated by the chamber's two chief antagonists, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

  • Answers to common questions about HIV, needles and drug use

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has authorized a short-term needle-exchange program and other steps to help contain the spread of HIV among intravenous drug users in one county. Some answers to common questions about needles, drug abuse and the virus that causes AIDS: ___ WHAT ROLE DO DIRTY NEEDLES PLAY IN HIV? HIV is a blood-borne infection, spread mostly through sex. Intravenous drug users, who sometimes share dirty syringes, account for 8 percent of new HIV infections and 16 percent of people currently living with HIV in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is there's been progress in curbing infections, largely because of needle-exchange and drug-treatment progr

  • State prison inmate dies in hospital after 'lengthy illness'

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 56-year-old state prison inmate has died in Sioux Falls following a 'lengthy illness.' The South Dakota Department of Corrections says Curtis Dosch passed away Thursday in a local hospital. Dosch was sentenced to a suspended prison term of 28 years in 2007 after being convicted of third-degree burglary, grand theft and multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance. His first chance at parole would have been in February of 2020. Corrections spokesman Michael Winder says further details about Dosch's illness cannot be released because of medical privacy laws.

  • Poetry pulled Texas center McGee-Stafford from depression

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Poetry, Imani McGee-Stafford says, saved her life. She was still in middle school when she began putting the words rumbling through her head down on paper, filling notebook after notebook in search of a voice to break free of the depression that was choking her. After being sexually abused as a child, the promising young basketball player attempted suicide three times by age 17. But she kept writing as part of her daily "dogfight" of emotions. Eventually, that writing pulled her out of depression. She found her voice when she arrived at the University of Texas, at slam poetry competitions where she could stand up and use poetry to tell her story.

  • Police: Mother faked cancer during child abuse investigation

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    BRISTOL, Pa. (AP) — A 26-year-old suburban Philadelphia woman is accused of faking cancer to gain sympathy during a child abuse investigation. Authorities say Ashley Reichard was charged Wednesday with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and perjury. They say she lied during an investigation into alleged child abuse. It all started in July when she brought her 11-month-old daughter to a hospital. The infant had several injuries including two skull fractures and a broken femur. An affidavit says she initially told investigators that the infant was with her father when the injuries occurred, but police ruled him out. Police later found Reichard completely bald with no eyebrows and claiming she had ova

  • House, Senate GOP budgets have differences and similarities

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Republicans controlling the House and Senate are pushing competing budget plans, though both nonbinding blueprints call for steep cuts to social programs like Medicaid and to federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act as the chief means of achieving a small surplus within 10 years. The two plans would boost defense spending by the same level, but they take different approaches on Medicare. The House passed its version of the budget Wednesday while the Senate plan was slated for a vote late Thursday. Highlights of the plans: DEFENSE The House and Senate versions both dedicate an overall $612 billion to defense, the same figure President Barack Obama proposed in his February budget and a 4.5 percent increase ov

  • House, Senate GOP budgets have differences and similarities

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Republicans controlling the House and Senate are pushing competing budget plans, though both nonbinding blueprints call for steep cuts to social programs like Medicaid and to federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act as the chief means of achieving a small surplus within 10 years. The two plans would boost defense spending by the same level, but they take different approaches on Medicare. The House passed its version of the budget Wednesday while the Senate plan was slated for a vote late Thursday. Highlights of the plans: DEFENSE The House and Senate versions both dedicate an overall $612 billion to defense, the same figure President Barack Obama proposed in his February budget and a 4.5 percent increase ov

  • Gulfstream Park Results Thursday March 26th, 2015

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    6th-$22,000, Maiden Claiming, 3-Year-Olds , Seven and One Half Furlongs, On the Turf, Cloudy Off 3:38. Good. clear early, drew off Fractional/Final Time: 23.690, 46.690, 1:10.900, 00.000, 00.000, 1:29.720. Trainer: Wesley Ward Winner: B G, 3, by Bring the Heat-Bell's Dreamboat Scratched: Caballero First, Wildcat Runner. ___ ___ $1 Pick 3 (3-8-8) 3 Correct Paid $119.90. Daily Double (8-8) paid $26.20; Exacta (8-2) paid $17.60; $0.1 Superfecta (8-2-5-7) paid $18.02; $1 Trifecta (8-2-5) paid $22.30; (c) 2015 Equibase Company LLC, all rights reserved.

  • US sees opportunity in Iran's pullback in Iraq

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States persuaded Iraq to sideline Iranian-backed Shiite militias as a condition to American airstrikes in the strategic city of Tikrit, a senior U.S. general said Thursday. The move limits Iran's influence, at least temporarily, and could re-invigorate a ground offensive that U.S. officials said had become stalled under Iranian leadership. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate hearing that he had insisted that Iranian-backed militias pull back before the U.S. began flying intelligence-gathering flights over the weekend and dropping bombs Wednesday in support of a reconfigured Iraqi force of soldiers and federal police.

  • Maker of tainted medical scopes issues new cleaning guide

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of medical scopes that have been linked to two recent "superbug" outbreaks at California hospitals has issued new cleaning instructions for the devices amid scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and medical professionals. Olympus America sent the new guidelines to U.S. hospitals on Thursday, recommending that its customers begin using them as soon as possible. The updated guidelines call for using a smaller cleaning brush and additional flushing steps to remove debris and disinfect the scope's crevices and hinges. Olympus plans to send the new brush to hospital customers by May 8.

  • NHL concussion lawsuit plaintiffs want Bettman to testify

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Plaintiffs in the federal class-action lawsuit brought against the NHL over concussion-related injuries want Commissioner Gary Bettman to testify. After U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson denied the league's motion to dismiss the complaint, attorneys for the former players filed a brief Wednesday that requested Bettman's deposition by July 1 and blamed the NHL for stalling. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday the league is "not taking the position that the Commissioner can never be deposed" but "rather, only that it is too early to depose him that quickly.

  • US, Iran nuke talks enter critical round ahead of deadline

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran entered a critical phase on Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meeting his Iranian counterpart less than a week away from a deadline to secure the outline of a deal. With the clock ticking, Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and their teams huddled Thursday in the Swiss resort town of Lausanne on Lake Geneva trying to overcome still significant gaps after nearly two years of negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. The top diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are expected to join the talks if the U.S. and Iran are close to an agreemen

  • American who contracted Ebola improves, in serious condition

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Doctors say an American health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in a Sierra Leone treatment unit has improved to serious condition at the National Institutes of Health. The agency announced Thursday that the patient's status improved from critical condition. He is being treated at the NIH's hospital near Washington. The patient was flown in isolation from Sierra Leone on a chartered plane and arrived March 13. The NIH said initially that the patient was in serious condition, but announced last week that his status had been downgraded to critical. The patient's name and age have not been released.

  • In-home day care couple facing child abuse, drug charges

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An in-home day care operator and her husband have been indicted on child abuse and drug charges after police say they found methamphetamine at their home. The Argus Leader reports (http://argusne.ws/19nPjQj ) 33-year-old Jennifer Darger and 32-year-old Adam Darger were charged Wednesday in an eight-count indictment. Authorities allege in the indictment that the couple has been selling methamphetamine out of their child care center for the past year. Sioux Falls officials suspended Jennifer Darger's in-home license after the drug was discovered earlier this month. Jennifer Darger's teenage daughter told a counselor that the pair had been selling methamphetamine and that her mother recently rela

  • Senate blasts Medicaid expansion bill to floor for debate

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Senators have voted to blast a Republican lawmaker's Medicaid expansion bill out of committee and to the floor for debate. The motion passed by a 28-22 vote on Thursday. Sen. Ed Buttrey of Great Falls introduced Senate Bill 405 last week, touting it as a compromise bill. The measure would accept money from the federal government for expanding Medicaid eligibility to low-income Montanans, but requires them to pay premiums each month as well as co-payments for certain services. Those who enroll would also be asked to participate in a workplace assessment survey designed to help people obtain higher-paying jobs. Buttrey estimates about 45,000 Montanans would enroll in the program in the n

  • McAuliffe signs state budget with raises for state workers

    Updated: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a new state budget that includes pay increases for state employees, boosts cash benefits for welfare recipients and has more money for the governor to spend on economic development. The Democratic governor signed the budget Thursday at the Capitol while touting his good working relationship with Republican leaders on the state's spending plan. McAuliffe did not try to amend the mid-course correction to the state's roughly $95 billion biennial spending plan that state lawmakers approved last month, as past governors have regularly done.




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