Audit: 5 Ohio VA sites saw most vets within month
Written by LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press   
Monday, 09 June 2014 21:29
CINCINNATI (AP) — Five Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Ohio scheduled most of their patients for appointments within 30 days, but the average wait time for many new enrollees to be seen was more than a month, according to a VA audit released Monday.

The VA says more than 57,000 patients nationwide have been waiting three months or more for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics. The data was released amid a growing scandal over long wait times for veterans.

In Ohio, audit findings show that the medical centers in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chillicothe and Dayton scheduled all but 2 percent of their patient appointments within 30 days, but the average wait time for new enrollees ranged from more than 25 days to nearly 53 days at some of the facilities.

Woman charged in 2004 fatal crash sues GM
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 09 June 2014 21:27
DETROIT (AP) — A Texas woman who pleaded guilty to a criminal charge in a 2004 car crash that killed her fiance is suing General Motors Co.

Candice Anderson is asking a federal judge in Tyler to set aside a $75,000 settlement in the case. The lawsuit also seeks unspecified punitive and exemplary damages.

Anderson was driving a 2004 Saturn Ion in November of 2004 when the car suddenly veered off a road and ran into a tree in Van Zandt County, Texas. Her fiance, Gene Mikale Erikson, who was 25 at the time, was killed. Anderson, then 21, was severely hurt.

Because there were no skid marks, authorities believed Anderson was at fault and charged her with negligent homicide, according to the lawsuit. Believing she was to blame, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years of deferred punishment and 260 hours of community service. She also was required to pay for Erikson's funeral and $3,500 in court costs, according to a spokeswoman for her lawyer, Robert Hilliard.

Michigan municipalities get 7 percent more funding
Written by DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press   
Monday, 09 June 2014 21:21
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Local governments will receive a 7 percent boost in revenue-sharing payments from Michigan next fiscal year, less than what Gov. Rick Snyder had originally proposed, under a budget plan that won preliminary approval Monday in the state Legislature.

Overall shared revenue for cities, counties, townships and villages will go up about $84 million, or 7.4 percent, to roughly $1.2 billion — less than the 9.7 percent increase in the governor's proposal. Lawmakers trimmed the spending increase after revenue estimates were revised downward in May.

The boost was still welcome news for officials whose local governments bore steep cuts during the last decade and a half as sales tax collections lagged and legislators siphoned off money to deal with budget deficits.

Local officials also were pleased with the elimination of strings that have been attached to getting some money in recent years — such as showing efforts to consolidate services and curb the cost of employee retirement plans and health care.

Family dog attacks, kills infant in Michigan
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 09 June 2014 21:24
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A family dog fatally attacked its owners' 2½ month-old son after jumping on the couch and biting the infant as the baby was being held by his uncle, authorities in southeastern Michigan said.

The attack happened late Sunday morning at a home in Springfield Township, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit.

The child's 18-year-old uncle was holding the baby on the couch when the dog, a Catahoula hound, tried to jump onto the couch. The uncle pushed the dog off, but it jumped back on and attacked the boy's head and throat, sheriff Michael Bouchard told WDIV-TV (http://bit.ly/SHSPNl ).

There was no negligence by the adults involved, who had no reason to think the dog would attack the baby unprovoked, Bouchard said.

"It just turned and grabbed the baby," the sheriff said. "Who knows how much of this is instinctual, who knows how much territorial?"

Mosquito-borne Caribbean fever found in NE Indiana
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 09 June 2014 21:19
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A mosquito-borne virus that has quickly spread through the Caribbean has been confirmed in a Fort Wayne-area resident who recently traveled to that region, Indiana health officials said Monday.

The chikungunya virus detected in Allen County doesn't often cause death, but symptoms — including high fever and joint pain — can be severe, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash, the agency said. Most patients feel better within a week, but joint pain can persist for months, it said.

People at risk for more severe symptoms include newborns, adults over age 65 and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, it said.

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