Recently in National News Category

New Execution Method Debuts in Ohio

by Matt Carlson

On Tuesday, Ohio prison officials executed a man with a single drug instead of the three that have been used for lethal injection since the 1970s, according to The Riverfront Times.

The inmate, 51-year-old Kenneth Biros, was executed with a five gram quantity of sodium pentathol and was pronounced dead at 11:47 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the RFT.

The new drug has been previously used euthanize animals and is said to be painless, according to the New York Times.

Proper testing has not yet been completed though, and some opponents argue the execution of Biros ranged into human experimentation, according to the Times.

Biros was found guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering Tami Engstrom, 22, in 1991 in Northeastern Ohio, according to the Times article.

H1N1 Vaccine is Safe

by Matt Carlson

It appears that after two months of widespread availability, the H1N1 vaccine is about as safe as the seasonal flu vaccine, according to comments made in the New York Times by Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Severe reactions to the H1N1 vaccine are said to be rare and not unlike those of the season flu vaccine, according to a CDC report issued Friday and reported on WebMD.

The data was gathered from two monitoring systems, the Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System and the Vaccine Safety Datalink.

The new report said, "no substantial differences between H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccines were noted in the proportion or types of serious adverse events reported" according to the New York Times.

Only 204 adverse events had been reported as of November 24th, according to the New York Times, of which only 13 resulted in death.  It is also worth mentioning that out of hundreds of thousands of immunizations, some deaths will result out of coincidence.

Dr. Claudia Vellozzi, deputy director of the immunization safety office at the disease centers, said that no patterns have emerged, reinforcing the safety of the H1N1 vaccine.

Tennessee Titans Owner Fined $250,000

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by Matt Carlson

The owner of NFL franchise Tennessee Titans Bud Adams was fined $250,000 for obscene hand gestures on Monday.

Adams was celebrating a 41-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills when he made the gestures from his luxury suite according to The New York Times.  The gestures were filmed and aired on television news channels nationwide. 

Adams display his middle fingers to the Bills sideline late in Sunday's contest.

On Monday the 86-year-old Adams apologized for the gestures and said, "I do realize that those types of things shouldn't happen," Adams said in the statement. "I need to specifically apologize to the Bills, their fans, our fans and the N.F.L."  Adams also claimed to have gotten caught up in the game's excitement according to comments in the Seattle Post.

Chicago's Olympic hopes dashed

by Matt Carlson

The International Olympic Committee dropped Chicago from its list of 2016 contenders on Friday while the public looked on in shock.

Many locals could not believe that Chicago was shunned so soon in the first round of eliminations.  Chicago's hopes were bolstered by President Obama's visit to Copenhagen, headquarters of the IOC, to rally for Chicago's selection.  Michelle Obama spent much of the week there as well, personally lobbying to IOC members, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Michael Jordan told CNN, "I'm totally stunned. I thought we had a great opportunity."  The Chicago sports legend said that Chicago would have been "perfect for the world to explore."

However, many Chicago residents were pleased to hear the games weren't coming to their city, given the stress the games puts on its host city.

While the games will only last 17 days, a local bar manager, Brian Fadden said "who knows what we would have had to deal with after that? I mean, taxpayers are probably going to end up paying for this."  David Hoffmann, CEO of Arts and Artisans gallery on Chicago's North Michigan Avenue said that one month's worth of increased sales was not worth the other sacrifices the would have to endure, according to CNN.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Chicago's push for the 2016 bid cost $48 million.

The eventual winner of the IOC's decision to host the 2016 summer games was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This will be the first time the Olympics will be held in South America.

20 years for worker in hepatitis C case

  by Matt Carlson

After infecting 16 patients with hepatitis C, former surgery technician pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in Denver on Friday and has been sentenced 20 years in prison.

The 26-year-old woman, Kristen Diane Parker pleaded guilty to five counts of tampering with a consumer product and five counts of obtaining a controlled substance by deceit or subterfuge.  The prosecutors dropped the more serious charges, in exchange for a plea agreement, according to the Associated Press.

Parker stole hospital syringes to feed a drug habit and replaced them with those filled with saline at Denver's Rose Medical Center and Colorado Springs' Audubon Surgery Center.  She has tested positive for hepatitis C.

Gregory Graf, Parker's attorney has said her client wishes to take responsibility for her actions and was "devastated" when notified that some of the patients had tested positive for hepatitis C.

The two articles reported Parker was quiet and terse in court, answering only yes and no in response to the judge's questions.  However, her sentence would have been up to life if not for her cooperation with authorities during the summer, according the New York Times.  Investigations have been opened in two other hospitals in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and in Houston where Parker has worked in the past.

Hepatitis C is an incurable disease that causes liver problems with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, pain and jaundice, according to the AP.

Fast food spoon cause of man's mystery illness

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by Matt Carlson
Man has plastic spoon removed from chest which plagued him for two years with respiratory discomfort.

Over the past two years John Manley of Wilmington North Carolina had been experiencing unexplained coughing, vomiting and pain, according to CNN.  Upon a doctor's visit, he discovered that a fragment of a Wendy's plastic spoon had been lodged in his lung.

Manley says that he can recall no specific instance of eating such an item as the fast food giant, a one-inch long plastic shard.  However, Manley also admits that he is used to "wolfing down" his food, ABC News reports.

Last week the object was removed from Manley's chest and he is now expected to make a full recovery.  Wendy's has yet to contact him.

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