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New York couple charged after toddler calls 911 15 times
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 12:34

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities have charged a northern New York woman and her boyfriend because the woman's 2-year-old daughter used their cellphones to dial 911 a total of 15 times last month.

Village of Lowville Police Officer Matthew Martin says the 23-year-old mother and her 33-year-old boyfriend told him they tried to keep their phones away from the persistent toddler, but the girl kept getting them and dialing 911.

Martin spoke to the couple Wednesday after Lewis County 911 dispatchers reported that a child had called 14 times in January. Martin says the child called 911 a 15th time later that night.

He charged the couple the next day with obstructing governmental administration.

Martin says the girl called 911 three more times Friday but hasn't made an emergency call since then.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
FDA launching anti-smoking campaign aimed at youth
Written by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Tobacco Writer   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 10:51

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is using ads that depict yellow teeth and wrinkled skin to show the nation's at-risk youth the costs associated with cigarette smoking.

The federal agency said Tuesday it is launching a $115 million multimedia education campaign called "The Real Cost" that's aimed at stopping teenagers from smoking and encouraging them to quit.

Advertisements will run in more than 200 markets throughout the U.S. for at least one year beginning Feb. 11. The campaign will include ads on TV stations such as MTV and print spots in magazines like Teen Vogue. It also will use social media.

"Our kids are the replacement customers for the addicted adult smokers who die or quit each day," said Mitch Zeller, the director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. "And that's why we think it's so important to reach out to them — not to lecture them, not to throw statistics at them — but to reach them in a way that will get them to rethink their relationship with tobacco use."

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Cabin fever sets in amid relentless cold, snow
Written by JIM SALTER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 07:09

ST. LOUIS (AP) — T.J. Rutherford loves to golf, even in the winter. Just not this winter.

With single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills becoming the norm from the Midwest to the East Coast, often combined with snow or ice, the 59-year-old and his Illinois golfing buddies are no longer just bundling up. They're staying inside.

"I'm on my third 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle," said Rutherford, who lives in Carterville, about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis. "I haven't done that in a long time."

Cabin fever is setting in for countless Americans as bitter cold, heavy snowfall and paralyzing ice storms keep pounding a large swath of the country. School districts across two-thirds of the U.S. are reporting higher than normal numbers of snow days, while social service agencies are trying to work around the forecasts to get to people in need.

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Arts advocate, ex-second lady Joan Mondale dies
Written by BRIAN BAKST, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 07:12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Joan Mondale was given a grand platform when her husband was elected Jimmy Carter's vice president in 1976. And she used it.

The avid arts advocate lobbied Congress and the states for more spending on arts programs, and she traveled frequently to museums, theaters and artists' studios on the administration's behalf. She was so passionate that she earned the nickname "Joan of Art" and, in the process of pushing her cause, transformed the role of the second lady.

As Carter's No. 2, Walter Mondale was seen as a trusted adviser and credited with making the office of the vice president more relevant. It was natural that his wife would do the same for her role. Vice presidential aide Al Eisele once said of his boss: "It was important to him that Joan not just be the vice president's wife, but his partner."

Joan Mondale, herself an avid potter, died Monday afternoon with her husband, sons Ted and William, and other family members by her side, the family said in a statement. She was 83.

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Hoffman among thousands of addiction victims
Written by SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 07:08

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Philip Seymour Hoffman suffered from a chronic medical condition that required ongoing treatment. An admitted drug addict who first sought professional help more than two decades ago, Hoffman apparently succumbed to his illness with an overdose despite a return to rehab last March.

A father of three with a thriving career, the Oscar winner died Sunday with a needle in his arm and baggies of what appeared to be heroin nearby. New York City medical examiners were conducting an autopsy on Hoffman's body Monday as investigators scrutinize evidence found in his apartment, including at least four dozen plastic packets, some confirmed to have contained heroin.

His death, which came after a long period of sobriety that ended last year, "epitomizes the tragedy of drug addiction in our society," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"Here you have an extraordinarily talented actor who had the resources, who had been in treatment, who obviously realized the problem of drugs and had been able to stay clean," she said, adding that Hoffman's case shows how devastating addiction can be.

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