November 9, 2008

Anaylsis: More Pregnancy Weight Causes Big Babies

In the story, Risks: Extra Pregnancy Weight Tied to Big Baby, the reporter used numbers to tell the story about how extra pregnancy weight can cause big babies.
The reporter used the numbers to express percentages. For example, "among women who were not diabetic, 19 percent of those who gained more than 40 pounds had large babies."
The numbers were not overwhelming and it helped to support the story. It helped me understand how many women are affected by excessive weight gain.

More Pregnancy Weight Causes Big Babies

Women who gain more than 40 pounds during pregnancy are about twice as likely to give birth to a heavy baby as those who gain less, according to a new study.
Mothers of babies who weigh more than about nine pounds at birth are at greater risk for birth complications, the New York Times reported.
The study shows, heavy babies are more likely to be overweight or obese later in life. Mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to have large babies.
The study used data from 41,540 births from 1995 to 2003. Women who were not diabetic, 19 percent of those who gained more than 40 pounds had large babies, compared with 11 percent of those who gained less.
Nondiabetic women who put on more than 40 pounds were more likely to have a large baby than women treated for diabetes who gained less, according to the study.

Sources: The New York Times

October 29, 2008

Italian Judge Rules American to Stay Jail Pending Trial in a Murder

An Italian judge ruled Wednesday that an American college student and her former Italian boyfriend will remain in jail while awaiting trial in the killing of the woman's British apartment mate, lawyers said.
Judge Paolo Micheli rejected requests by the defense to grant house arrest to both Amanda Knox, a student from Seattle, and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito of Italy, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Micheli indicted the two suspects Tuesday on charges of murder and sexual violence in the killing of Meredith Kercher, 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher. She was found stabbed in the neck last Nov. 2 in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia.
Knox and Sollecito have denied the charges.
Defense lawyers had proposed Knox be held at a community for recovering drug addicts and young offenders run by a Roman Catholic charity near Perugia but persecutors argued she will flee, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"We would take anything to get her out of prison," Knox's father, Curt, told The Associated Press by telephone.
The lawyer for Kercher's family, Francesco Maresca, said the judge turned down a request for bail.
Knox and Sollecito have been in custody for almost a year. Their trial is scheduled to start Dec. 4.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Baby Remains Stolen from Cemetery

The remains of an infant buried 83 years ago were dug up Sunday and taken from a cemetery in Barron County, Wis., the Star Tribune reported.
With Halloween approaching, this could be a prank gone too far, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.
"This time of year you kind of wonder," he said. "It's a different one. I just hope it is the last one," Fitzgerald said.
The Star Tribune reported that the robbers left pieces of the wooden coffin, piles of dirt and the tombstone, which said the year 1925 and the inscription "Baby Locke."
There are no suspects or clues of a motive, Fitzgerald said.
He said he has never seen anything like this in 16 years as an officer, the Star Tribune reported.
The graveyard, Pioneer Rest Cemetery, is still in use and is well-kept. The robbery has area residents concerned "about other people buried here who are from the area," Fitzgerald said.
"I hope it was some sort of childish prank some kids did that got a little out of hand," Fitzgerald said. "It is disturbing. And you add that it was a baby's remains."It affects people."

Source: Star Tribune

October 17, 2008

U.S. Infant Mortality Rate has Not Changed

The U.S. infant mortality rate has barely changed between 2000 and 2005,compared to other developed countries despite spending more on health care, according to a report released Wednesday.
The Star Tribune reported, the rate was 6.86 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005, almost unchanged from 6.89 deaths per 1,000 births in 2000. In 1900, the U.S. infant mortality rate was 100 deaths per 1,000 live births.
In 2004, the United States dropped to 29th in the world in infant mortality. In 1960, it was 12th, the Star Tribune reported.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Premature, birth and low birth weight are by far the biggest causes of infant death.

Source: Star Tribune

October 8, 2008

Gay Couples Rush to the Alter in California

Gay couples are rushing to get married in California before the statewide vote on same-sex marriage in November.
The New York Times reported that a study found that 3, 800 gay couples are marrying each month in California.
Same-sex weddings began in California in mid-June after the court decision became final, the Star Tribune reported.
In the past three months, California had more same-sex marriages than Massschussetts had in four years.
Massachusetts, the first state to allow same-sex marriages, in 2004, has had about 10,300 ceremonies, the Star Tribune reported.
11, 440 couples have married in California since it was legalized according to a study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The rush in marriages is due to the upcoming vote on Proposition 8, which would amend the state constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage, Kate Kendall, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said.
"After Nov. 4, it's possible the door to having that experience of a legally recognized marriage will be closed," Kendall said.

Sources: Star Tribune, New York Times

October 5, 2008

Salmonella Sickens People in 12 States

A health warning issued Friday by the government urges consumers to thoroughly cook frozen chicken dinners after 32 people in 12 states were sickened with salmonella poisoning.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited frozen dishes in which the chicken is raw, but breaded or pre-browned, giving the appearance of being cooked, the Star Tribune reported.
The USDA said many of the people who are sick did not follow the package's cooking instructions and microwaved the chicken dishes even though the instructions did not state that.
Microwaving didn't heat the meals enough to kill the salmonella.
Consumers should cook chicken products to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, the department said.
Minnesota health officials found a link between the chicken dinners with salmonella illnesses reported in Minnesota and 11 other states.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours.
Salmonella can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems like infants and the elderly.

Sources: The Associated Press, Star Tribune

September 24, 2008

Bridge Problems to be fixed by April

Restrictions on the Washington Avenue Bridge is a result of concerns over how much weight the support columns could hold, the Minnesota Daily reported.
Officials are concerned with the strength of the columns that connect the car and pedestrian decks.
Concerns were heightened after a report released by URS Corporation, an engineering firm, on how much weight it could hold with the light rail line that will run across it in the future.
Hennepin County Engineer Jim Grube said likely fixes to the bridge could include bracing the columns to bolster them against the lower deck.
“Officials feared that too many people on one side or the other could add to the stress of the structure,? Grube said.
In response, Hennepin County was urged to restrict people to a 14-foot wide section in the middle of the bridge.
Officials hope to fix the problems on the bridge by April 1.

Source: Minnesota Daily

September 21, 2008

35W Bridge Reopening

A procession of cars lead the ceremony for the openinig of the 35W bridge Thursday.
The ceremony, which began around 5:00 a.m., celebrated the reopening of the bridge only 13 months after the original brigde collapsed, the Minnesota Daily reported.
Hundreds of people waited for the opening so they could be the first to experience the new bridge.
The procession began from the south and the north ends of the 35W bridge, the Star Tribune reported.
Many commuters around the city expressed happiness that the bridge has reopened for traffic.
“It’s nice to close this chapter out and see the bridge open,?Mn/DOT Safety Officer Doug Thies said. “It’s a psychological linking of the north and south together,? the Daily reported.
The Star Tribune reported, Drivers and passengers waved at each other as they cheered and snapped photos in celebration of the grand opening.

Sources: Minnesota Daily, Star Tribune

September 14, 2008

New I-35W Bridge Could Open Tuesday

By Catherine Mayfield

The reconstruction of the new Interstate 35W bridge is expected to open as early as next Tuesday.
Monday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other officials will announce the opening date of the bridge, the Minnesota Daily reported.
"It's unlikely that there will be a ceremony for the opening of the bridge," Kevin Gutknecht, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said.
Construction of the new bridge was a $234 million project by Flatiron Construction. The Minnesota Daily reported, the construction team could be eligible for a $20 million bonus if they finish the bridge by Monday.
Flatiron will get $200,000 for every day the bridge is finished before Dec. 24, up to 100 days. Monday is the 100 day mark.
The bridge has a variety of new features that include a 100-year life span, 10 traffic lanes, and it will be light-rail ready to accommodate future transportation plans, the Minnesota Daily reported.
Jon Chiglo, the design build project manager, said the bridge will also include smart technology to monitor the structural health of the bridge over time.
The Pioneer Press reported, MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel said officials are looking forward to seeing Minnesota motorists use the bridge for the first time.

Sources: Minnesota Daily, Pioneer Press