• Gov. Baker signs bill barring teens from tanning salons

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts law now bans anyone under 18 from using tanning beds. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill on Friday, saying it will help reduce the risk of skin cancer among minors. Supporters, including dermatologists, say there's a sharp rise in the number of young people diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Doctors believe the rise is linked to the increased use of sunbeds, which became popular in the 1970s. Salon owners say tanning beds are safe if used responsibly. Massachusetts law previously allowed teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 to visit tanning salons with consent from a parent or legal guardian. Children under 14 had been able to use a tanning bed if acc

  • Iowa APME contest winners

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa APME Newswriting and Photo Contest Winners: Newswriting Sweepstakes Brianne Pffannenstiel, The Des Moines Register, "Booze Bureaucracy". Photo Sweepstakes Michael Zamora, The Des Moines Register, "Rodeo Wait". First Amendment Award The Hawk Eye Newsroom, The Hawk Eye, "Autumn Steele Shooting". Bill Wundram Award for Column Writing Kyle Munson, The Des Moines Register, "Davis City Resident Helps Family Scrape By" and "Medical Mystery". Mark Twain Award The Hawk Eye Newsroom, The Hawk Eye. News Writing Division III (circulation 35,000 and above): Business: 1, Jim Offner, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, "Deere layoffs causing ripple e

  • Alabama governor authorizes tuberculosis response funding

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced the authorization of more than $200,000 in emergency funding to help public health officials continue responding to a tuberculosis outbreak in Perry County. Bentley's office authorized $235,000 to help the Alabama Department of Public Health continue testing and treatment programs in Marion, where public health officials say an outbreak of the airborne bacterial infection has killed three people since 2011. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs and is marked by a persistent cough, night sweats, weight loss and other symptoms. Public health officials have said the infection typically spreads through extended exposure in close quarters to someone who has the

  • Former Gov. Culver convenes Medicaid privatization meetings

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, often rumored a possible Congressional candidate, has scheduled town meetings next week to talk to Iowans affected by the state's plan to hire three private companies to run the Medicaid program. The public meetings will highlight the impact of the proposal on Iowa's 560,000 people who rely on Medicaid for their health care needs. Culver, a Democrat, says Iowa's swift move toward privatization is putting peoples' health at risk. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who defeated Culver in 2010 proposed the privatization more than a year ago. The implementation has been delayed by the federal government until March 1 after officials concluded the state wasn't prepared to

  • EPA: Traces of contaminant found in 3 Colorado water systems

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    DENVER (AP) — Traces of widely used and potentially harmful chemicals have shown up in three drinking water systems in Colorado, prompting officials to shut down three wells and start looking for the source. Two compounds once used in nonstick cookware coatings, firefighting foam and other materials were detected in utilities serving about 69,000 people in the city of Fountain and an unincorporated community called Security-Widefield, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said. The communities sit side-by-side on the southern edge of Colorado Springs. State officials say no health problems in Colorado have been linked to the compounds, called PFOS and PFOA.

  • In Obama's final year, Senate is slow to act on his nominees

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    WASHINGTON (AP) — If you wear combat fatigues to work, then your nomination is almost sure to sail through the Senate. If not, you're likely in for a long wait. In just a week, senators confirmed Army Lt. Gen. John W. "Mick" Nicholson Jr. to be the next top American commander in Afghanistan. By contrast, President Barack Obama's choices for several other government positions are being held up, including his picks for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, high-level positions at the State and Treasury departments, ambassadors in 10 countries and myriad other posts. Delaying the president's nominees gives the candidates who are running to replace him or for re-election in the Senate a chance to score political poi

  • Montana State student dies while backcountry skiing

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Montana State University student from Anchorage, Alaska was found dead after failing to return from a back-country ski trip in the Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman. The Gallatin County sheriff's office says the girlfriend of 20-year-old Nathaniel "Alex" Wright reported him missing at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday. Searchers found his body at about 6:30 a.m. Friday. Sheriff Brian Gootkin said it appeared Wright had an equipment malfunction that led to a series of events that ended with his death. He had been skiing alone. An autopsy was planned to determine his cause of death.

  • New Mexico Senate passes version of a 'Kendra's law'

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A year after a similar bill died amid partisan bickering, the New Mexico Senate passed a proposal Friday that would require some New Mexico residents with severe mental illness to receive court-ordered outpatient treatment. The Democratic-led Senate voted 29-9 to approve a bill that orders some patients to participate in assisted outpatient treatment if the court finds that the patients are a danger to themselves and others. Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, who is co-sponsoring the bill, said the measure was "like a modified version" of the New York's Kendra's law. Papen said the bill was tailored to the needs of New Mexico and took civil liberties into consideration.

  • Florida readies for a fight with Zika virus

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    MIAMI (AP) — Florida's history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus. In 2014, chikungunya, a virus spread by the same species of mosquito as Zika, infected a million people in the Caribbean. While 452 travel-related cases were documented in Florida that year, just 11 people contracted the virus in the state. Last year, no locally acquired cases of chikungunya were reported, though 73 people picked up the virus while traveling.

  • Bottled water urged for kids, pregnant women amid lead scare

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    SEBRING, Ohio (AP) — New advisories being sent to Ohio communities previously found to have high lead levels in tap water suggest children and pregnant women in those areas should instead drink bottled or filtered water. The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/20M8bOP ) reports the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency advisories differ from earlier ones saying residents didn't need to use bottled water. The head of the agency's drinking water division says he has asked each community water system with lead problems to provide bottled or filtered water and lead testing on request.

  • For Brazil's Carnival fans, even Zika can't stop the party

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian Carnival could be called a hungry mosquito's dream — five days of non-stop street parties that bring together millions of revelers in an inviting mass of bare ankles, uncovered legs and denuded torsos. So the mosquito-borne Zika virus might be expected to dampen this year's debauchery. But despite warnings to cover up and slather on repellent, many insist the show will go on as it always has, in just a sprinkling of sequins and a few puffs of feather. Pants, long-sleeve shirts and bug spray, they say, are antithetical to the hedonistic, out-of-control spirit of Carnival. "We need joy," said Angela Pessanha, a self-described "Carnival nut" and owner of a home furnishings store.

  • The Latest: 2 more cases of Zika reported in Florida

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on the Zika virus in Florida (all times local): 4 p.m. Two more cases of the Zika virus have been found in two additional Florida counties. State health officials said Friday that a case of the Zika virus was found in Osceola County, outside Orlando, and one in St. Johns County, near Jacksonville. The new cases bring Florida's total count to 14 in seven counties. The Zika virus has also been found in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa counties. All the cases have been travel related. No cases of transmittal have been reported in Florida. The virus causes fever, rash and achy joints. It is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes.

  • Officials say no confirmed cases of Zika virus in Kansas

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Health officials say Kansas has not had any confirmed cases of the Zika virus. The Zika virus, which is generally so mild that it only causes symptoms in about one out of five cases, raised concerns recently when doctors in Brazil started to notice a possible link between the virus — spread by a particular mosquito — and the birth defect microcephaly. Symptoms of the virus include rash and fever. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday in a release that it recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. So far, the only recent case transmitted in the U.S. is believed to have occurred in Texas through sex.

  • Manziel’s father: If son doesn’t get help, QB ‘won’t live to see his 24th birthday’

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    Johnny Manziel’s family is concerned for his well-being as his NFL career and personal life falter, but the quarterback has twice declined to be admitted to area rehabilitation facilities in the last week, according to his father, Paul Manziel. “I truly believe if they can’t get him help, he won’t live to see his 24th birthday,” Paul Manziel told The Dallas Morning News. On Friday, Manziel’s agent Erik Burkhardt also voiced concern for Manziel, 23, and announced that he is terminating their professional relationship. Paul Manziel first tried Saturday afternoon to get Manziel, whose birthday is in December, to agree to go to the Enterhealth Ranch addiction facility in Van Alstyne, but he would not stay.

  • Maryland lawmaker moves to decriminalize drugs like heroin

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland lawmaker on Friday proposed decriminalizing possession of small amounts of all illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. Del. Dan Morhaim, a physician who has treated patients in emergency rooms, outlined four measures he believes could alleviate the ravages of drug addiction. He said it's important to recognize that the "so-called war on drugs is not working." "After 50-plus years of trying, we are worse off than when we started, and the toll is immense," Morhaim said at a news conference. In 2013, Maryland decriminalized possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. Civil penalties include $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense.

  • Goodell vows to help Oakland, San Diego teams get new venues

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pledged Friday "to do everything possible" to help teams in Oakland and San Diego work to get new stadiums in their current markets. "The league supports both of these teams, but we are working very hard with not only the teams but the communities to try to find a solution that works for everybody," Goodell said at his annual Super Bowl week news conference. "This has to work for the communities, and it has to work for the teams long-term." The Rams have moved to Los Angeles from St. Louis starting in the 2016 season. The Chargers will play in San Diego in 2016, but chairman Dean Spanos has an option to join the Rams at a new stadium being built in Inglewood if the city an

  • Review: Errors led to parole of man who later killed officer

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A series of communication breakdowns led a parole board to release a man to a drug treatment center where he later escaped and killed a police officer working overtime to pay for cancer treatments, the Utah Department of Corrections said Friday following an internal review. The department vowed to take steps to ensure the problem doesn't happen again — including requiring that probation and parole supervisors immediately log all details about arrests into an electronic system. Officials haven't decided if they will discipline those involved. The internal investigation details missteps that led the state parole board to believe Cory Lee Henderson had been arrested in October only on a parole violation

  • The Latest: Puerto Rico declares Zika emergency

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Latest on efforts to battle the Zika virus (all times local): 6:00 p.m. Puerto Rico's governor has declared a health emergency as more Zika-related cases emerge across the U.S. territory. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Friday that federal authorities are helping develop an education campaign and prevention strategies. He said the territorial government also has frozen prices on condoms after two known cases of sexual transmission of the virus in Texas. Puerto Rico this week reported its first case of a pregnant woman with Zika and its first case of a man diagnosed with Zika who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis. Puerto Rico has 22 confirmed Zika

  • NY medical marijuana program: 551 patients certified so far

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Some 551 New Yorkers have been certified to obtain medical marijuana, nearly one month after the state's program began. More than 330 physicians, meanwhile, have registered with the state, a requirement for doctors who want to be able to authorize the drug for patients. The figures come from the state's Department of Health in response to questions posed Friday by The Associated Press. To receive marijuana, patients with certain qualifying conditions must get a certification from a physician registered with the state's program. The patient must then apply for a state registry card. The medication is available only in non-smokable form and can be obtained from a state-regulated dispensary.

  • CDC: Men who were in Zika areas should use condoms

    Updated: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials issued guidelines Friday to prevent the sexual transmission of the Zika virus, telling men who have been to outbreak areas to use condoms during sex with pregnant women. The guidance also suggests the men might consider abstaining or using condoms even with a partner who isn't pregnant. It doesn't recommend that men without symptoms be tested for the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that the Zika (ZEE'-kuh) virus is still mainly spread by mosquito bites. In most people, it causes mild or no symptoms. But in Brazil, health officials are investigating a possible connection between the virus and babies born with brain defects and abnormally small heads.




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