Man killed in gunfight

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationA suspected drug peddler was killed in what the law enforcement called gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Harinafulia in Barishal on early Thursday.The deceased, Malek Fakir, 35, from KDC area in the city, was wanted in several drugs-related cases, according to the law enforcement.Tipped off, a team of RAB conducted a drive in the area early in the morning, said Nurul Islam, officer-in-charge of Kotwali model police station. As soon as the elite force reached the area, the criminals opened fire, triggering a skirmish.Malek was caught in the line of fire and died on the spot but others managed to flee, police said.According to the human rights organisation, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfires or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in 2018.In the first four months of 2019, the number of such killing was at least 115, the rights body said on its website.last_img read more

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Dengue outbreak Quader asks people to cooperate with govt

first_imgObaidul Quader. File PhotoRoad, transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday urged people to cooperate with the government instead of criticising it unnecessarily to tackle the dengue prevalence, reports UNB.He said this while speaking at a programme organised by AL relief and social welfare sub-committee at Dhanmondi 32 in the city, marking the birthday of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib.Referring to the prime minister’s directives to intensify the cleanliness drive, Quader, also the AL general secretary, said, “Now the only work is to check the life-threatening dengue.”Urging all to keep their own homes and workplaces clean, Quader said the two city corporations of Dhaka and other organisations concerned are working in a coordinated manner to eliminate dengue.Regarding BNP’s claim of the government’s failure in controlling dengue, Quader said, “BNP itself has failed to play its due role as a responsible opposition party.”He suggested BNP to recognise its own failure first before talking about the government’s failure.last_img read more

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In NC a religious coalition welcomes the formerly incarcerated home

first_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts News • Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) — In the three years since Charles Horry was released from prison, he has come to realize that being out doesn’t mean doing things on your own.“You can’t do it alone,” he said. “You have to have God on your side.”And maybe a little help from your friends.On Thursday (April 25), Horry stood before about 150 people gathered in the sanctuary of a Presbyterian church at a celebration thrown for former prison inmates called a Reentry Homecoming. Talking about how he had reached his three-year milestone, Horry credited, in addition to a county agency that provides peer counseling, substance abuse treatment and job training, his “faith team.”“They showed me so much love,” Horry said.This week, a Bureau of Justice Statistics report showed that the number of people held in American prisons declined again in 2017, continuing a trend that began in 2009.Charles Horry tells his life story at a ‘Reentry Homecoming’ celebration at Durham, N.C.’s First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, April 25, 2019. RNS photo by Yonat ShimronBut as inmates are being released from prison — 22,000 inmates are released from North Carolina’s state prison system each year alone — states, cities and municipalities are recognizing the need to provide services to help people reenter society if they are to remain out of prison.In Durham County, whose core is this city of some 267,000 people, the need is being answered in part by the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, which works with the county’s Criminal Justice Resource Center to match former inmates with a five-member faith team like Horry’s. The team offers them support and friendship beyond the usual social services, as well as an opportunity to develop that most critical of social skills for former prisoners: relationships.The coalition currently fields 20 faith teams, each of which has signed one-year covenants with a former inmate to meet twice a month for one year. The teams — organized through the city’s churches and synagogues — don’t offer financial support. They’re there to give advice and encouragement on how to navigate life’s challenges outside prison walls.The Durham coalition has so far paired 100 former inmates with volunteer faith teams since the project began in 2003. A total of 28 of the region’s houses of worship, including Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians and Quakers, in addition to Catholic and Jewish congregations, have organized such teams.“The idea behind the faith teams is to create a sense of community and to create a place where returning citizens are loved, because everyone deserves love, compassion and belonging,” said Drew Doll, reentry coordinator for the coalition.The 20 faith teams took on only a minuscule fraction of the 743 “returning citizens” Durham absorbed last year, but their mission is not to reach them all. Faith teams are paired only with those who have been incarcerated for a long time and have few or no family members and no real social support.They are people like Horry, 67, who had spent most of his adult life in prison. At Thursday’s celebration, he recounted how “this is as long as I’ve ever been out of prison,” and he beamed with pride describing his job as manager for a franchise of Buffalo Wild Wings.Sitting in the front pew at Thursday’s homecoming at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Durham was Wilbert Pipkin, also 67, who was released two years ago after serving a total of 36 years.A former heroin addict, he now lives in a recovery house and spends much of his time preaching the good news of the city’s reentry efforts.Wilbert Pipkin spent 36 years behind bars. After getting out, he received help from a faith team. RNS photo by Yonat ShimronThat first year after he was released, Pipkin said, faith team members called him every day to check on him, drove him to doctor appointments and lifted him up one night after he relapsed.“Normally, when I get high one time, that’s it; it’s over,” he said. “But through them encouraging me and showing me so much love I was able to get (back) on the path.”The effort is based on the so-called Circles of Support and Accountability model, or CoSA, which is used around the country and in Canada to help reintegrate formerly homeless families as well as sex offenders.The idea is that such circles can help reduce a person’s likelihood of reoffending, a theory that in the coalition’s 16-year history has been shown to be true. Whereas North Carolina’s three-year recidivism rate is about 40 percent (though the re-conviction rate is lower), coalition Director Ben Haas said only 15 percent of former inmates who completed the one-year faith-team commitment were re-arrested or jailed.The faith teams are not intended to proselytize, and the coalition ensures former inmates are matched according to belief or nonbelief. Some teams spend their time together cooking; some play the dice game Yahtzee; others read and discuss books, said Doll.Most meet for a meal.Dale Herman, a retired volunteer on his second faith team, said the benefits run both ways.“It’s an education for all of us to learn what it’s like coming out of prison and broaden our perspectives about what life is like for a lot of people in society,” said Herman, 76, a resident of Durham. “It’s good for us to understand what the systems are doing to our society.”Besides helping former inmates individually, the coalition and many of its volunteers have advocated for the “ban the box” campaign, a national initiative aimed at removing the check box on job applications that asks if applicants have a criminal record. (The city of Durham has banned the box for city employees, but most private companies in the city have not.)Others support bond reform and an end to money bail, which forces people who have been arrested to pay money to secure release before trial.Mark-Anthony Middleton, a city council member who attended the homecoming celebration, said he was glad to support city conservation initiatives, such as planting trees and buying electric buses. But helping integrate former inmates, he said, was just as important.“If we’re not conserving opportunities,” he said, “our conservation is for naught.” As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Catholicism Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 By: Yonat Shimron YonatShimron TagsBan the Box criminal justice faith groups homepage featured mass incarceration reentry Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham,You may also like By: Yonat Shimron YonatShimron Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Yonat Shimron YonatShimron Share This! Franklin Graham challenges Pete Buttigieg, but voters unlikely to care center_img Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! By: Yonat Shimron YonatShimron Share This! News Yonat Shimron Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Share This! Share This! 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Hesburgh captures the simple faith and outsized influence of Fath …

first_img Lutheran pastor says Easter sermon about ‘violent Muslim purge’ was misunderst … Share This! Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Heather Adams Tagscivil rights homepage featured Notre Dame University Theodore Hesburgh,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Widower of Emanuel 9 victim, formerly detained pastor call for unity on prayer day By: Heather Adams News By: Heather Adams Opinion Heather Adams,Add Comment Click here to post a commentcenter_img Anti-extremism program won’t stop white hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its … August 30, 2019 Share This! Pete Buttigieg: Religious left is ‘stirring’ August 29, 2019 News Heather Adams By their tweets you will know them: The Democrats’ continuing God gap August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Kathleen Cummings, who is the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, walked into her last class of the 2019 school year with a sense of sadness about her seniors.Theirs is the first Notre Dame class in more than 65 years to graduate without having the chance to know the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president of the school from 1952 to 1987, who died the year they entered as freshmen in 2015.“They have no living experience of him,” Cummings said. “And this is just the beginning.”A new documentary titled simply “Hesburgh,” which opens nationwide today (May 3), may be the closest Cummings’ seniors will get to understanding this legendary but sometimes overlooked figure.“Hesburgh” is only the most recent vehicle aimed at keeping Hesburgh’s memory alive.In 2016, Robert Schmuhl wrote “Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record,” which was re-released in 2018 with new information. In March 2019, the Rev. Wilson Miscamble released a more measured portrait, “American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame’s Father Ted Hesburgh.”A poster for the new film “Hesburgh.” Courtesy of OCP MediaBut putting Hesburgh on the screen will expose more people to the disarming combination of humility and authority that made the man known as “Father Ted” a force in a troubled time for the United States.“The number one thing I wanted to find out was, what was it about him that made him such a highly sought-after advisor and leader?” said Patrick Creadon, the director of “Hesburgh.” “That was really the fundamental question.”Ordained into Notre Dames’ founding order, the Congregation of Holy Cross, in 1943, Hesburgh began teaching in South Bend two years later. It took him just nine years to become president, at the age of 35. His outspoken intelligence, his activism and the unassailable position of his school in the 1950s and ’60s made him a resource for Presidents Eisenhower through Nixon, who together drafted him to serve on 16 presidential committees. Under Eisenhower, he began serving on the Civil Rights Commission; under Nixon, he became chair.Along the way, he picked up 150 honorary degrees — more, according to Guinness World Records, than any other person in history. He was featured on the cover of Time magazine, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and received the Congressional Gold Medal.“He did enough, one would almost expect it to be done by 10 people,” said Schmuhl, who also appears in the film.The documentary examines Hesburgh’s dedication to furthering Catholic higher education. He worked hard to pull Notre Dame out of the stereotype of a football powerhouse, making it an intellectual bastion as well. In this he had to balance the loyalty he owed the Vatican and his responsibility to the university, two things that sometimes conflicted.But the focus of the film is Hesburgh’s life off campus, particularly his political dealings, the majority of which had to do with civil rights.He was no pawn of power. Nixon praised Hesburgh in naming him to head the Civil Rights Commission, but the two men soon fell out, as Hesburgh began to criticize the administration for its policies on both civil rights and the Vietnam War.Schmuhl credits Hesburgh for putting his morality at the center of everything he did. “He was just a person who would look at the world and the problems in the world and would do what he could to try to ameliorate them,” Schmuhl said. “We don’t see that as much today.” (Then again, Schmuhl, points out, he never had to worry about reelection.)Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, left, president of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, is featured in the new documentary “Hesburgh.” Photo courtesy of OCP MediaHesburgh’s political involvements are almost too complex for a film that runs in under two hours. As it intently covers Hesburgh’s involvement in the civil rights, context is sometimes lost. It’s not always obvious how Hesburgh fit into the movement, and his biographer, Miscamble, believes the film’s focus on Hesburgh exaggerates his role.”Father Ted fits in (as) what I would call a second-level figure,” said Miscamble, who was troubled that the film seemed to put Hesburgh on a par with Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders. He said he hoped the film would prompt viewers to read further to get a better perspective on the events of the time.Hesburgh, to be fair, is never caught in the film seeking any higher profile. Creadon sees Hesburgh as a person of simplicity. “He had a very strong faith. He liked to smoke cigars. He had an occasional Manhattan,” he said. “And he worked really, really hard. And worked hard in maintaining friendships.”Creadon, who began the film shortly after Hesburgh’s death, said he didn’t find anyone who didn’t admire the priest for his kindness and decency. “He was a giant in our society for almost 50 years,” said the director, “and yet his most fierce adversaries respected him profoundly.”He credits those friendships with how he came to have the influence he did.“I never saw him down,” said the Rev. Austin Collins, religious superior of Holy Cross Priests and Brothers at Notre Dame. “He was always a man of faith. He always persevered.”Creadon realized his movie could be a hard sell with the public. “We are making a film in 2019 about a Catholic priest who did some of his best work 50 years ago,” he said. “That’s a long way from “Avengers” and other box office smash hits that are out right now.”However, he now thinks it’s one of the timeliest films he has made.“It’s hard to find people like Father Ted, who try to find common ground, bring people together, build a consensus and move forward,” he said. “We’re just a long way away from that right now.”Today, Creadon fears Hesburgh would be “deeply saddened at where we are right now in this country and the lack of decency in our political atmosphere.”“I hope people come see our film “Hesburgh” and walk away with a very deep understanding that there’s another way to lead, there’s another way to be in the public arena and that there’s a place for kindness in our political world,” he said.last_img read more

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Houstons Major Power Company Wants Electric Market Reforms

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /01:05 Listen Florian MartinNRG’s W.A. Parish coal power plant in Fort Bend CountyHouston’s major power company is pushing for electric market reforms.The Texas Public Utility Commission is considering changes to the way electricity is priced in Texas. NRG is worried about how policies like subsidies for renewables are affecting that system.Commissioner Kenneth Anderson laid out the issue at a public “workshop” this month.“We’re not talking about a broken system here,” he said. “We’re talking about improvements, enhancements and increased efficiency.”The PUC is looking at an independent study, funded by NRG, that suggests a number of reforms to fix issues that some say could hurt prices in the market over the long-term. That includes subsidies for wind and solar power.“The suggestions in the report are to examine the impact that those subsidies and resources have on energy price, and whether we need to make changes to make sure there’s an appropriate balance in how those energy prices are calculated,” says Bill Barnes, NRG’s Director of Regulatory Affairs. Barnes says other concerns include the way transmission costs are figured into pricing, and how the state grid operator has the power to pull in electricity from outside the Texas market if it feels it needs to.The PUC is hoping to hold another workshop on the recommendations in October. Sharelast_img read more

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Fallen Soldiers Mother Says Trump Disrespected Her Son And Family

first_imgPool/Getty ImagesPresident Trump participates in a series of radio interviews in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. Among the topics he discussed was his and past presidents’ policies on reaching out to families of service members who have dieUpdated on Oct. 18 a 1:15 p.m. ETThe pushback — and the outrage — began immediately.Trump was asked on Monday why he had not yet commented on the deaths of four U.S. soldiers who were ambushed during a mission in Niger on Oct. 4. In his answer, Trump turned attention to the policies of past presidents and their contact with families of service members who have died.On Tuesday, he followed his initial comments with more assertions, offering a specific example. That prompted further rebuttal from staff of previous administrations.Meanwhile, a congresswoman said Trump told the widow of one of the soldiers killed in Niger that he “must have known what he signed up for.”Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., tells NBC6 that she overheard the call to Myeshia Johnson on Tuesday on a car speakerphone, as the two women were heading to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson.In a tweet Wednesday morning, Trump denied he said that, calling Wilson’s account “fabricated,” and adding, “I have proof.” He did not say what proof he has.But by mid-day Wednesday, the soldier’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, on backed up Wilson’s account. She said she was also in the car listening to the call and told The Washington Post, “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” Jones-Johnson said.At a Rose Garden news conference on Monday, a reporter had asked Trump: “Why haven’t we heard anything from you so far about the soldiers that were killed in Niger? And what do you have to say about that?”The president responded, “I’ve written them personal letters.”But as he continued, his response got less clear.“They’ve been sent, or they’re going out tonight, but they were written during the weekend,” Trump said.Then came a promise of more.“I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families — because I have done that, traditionally,” he added. He spoke of how making such phone calls are a “difficult thing.”Then came the moment that is vintage Trump. He turned it into an attack on his predecessors in office.“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” he said. “A lot of them didn’t make calls.”The facts simply don’t support such a statement.Trump’s words prompted measured responses from the offices of the past two presidents.A former Obama White House official told NPR on Monday, “President Trump’s claim is wrong. President Obama engaged families of the fallen and wounded warriors throughout his presidency through calls, letters, visits to Section 60 at Arlington, visits to Walter Reed, visits to Dover, and regular meetings with Gold Star families at the White House and across the country.”On Tuesday, George W. Bush’s spokesman wrote in an email, “I don’t have a statement from President Bush; I can only confirm that of course he wrote, called, and visited privately with hundreds if not thousands of families of the fallen.”Twitter was also full of reaction from former Bush and Obama White House staffers, including photographs and emotional stories of meetings with soldiers’ families at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and of the former commanders in chief being present for the arrival of the remains of soldiers at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.Many also used social media to share former George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino’s past recollections of visiting troops and their families in the hospital — some were gravely wounded; some wouldn’t survive their injuries. In April 2015, Perino shared that scene with NPR’s Morning Edition:“Most every family was just delighted that the president was there and so honored that the commander in chief would stop by. I wasn’t sure what it would be like, and on my first trip there, I witnessed that for about the first 25 people he visited. And then we went in to this room, and the mom and dad were there and the mother was distraught.“Her son was on life support, and from what I gathered and could tell, that his prognosis — that it was unlikely he would survive. And the mother was very distraught and she’s crying and the husband was trying to calm her, and the president was there and he also tried to calm her. And then she yelled: ‘Why are your children OK, but my son is here?’ And the president stopped trying to comfort her because she was inconsolable.“But he didn’t leave. He stood there, almost as if he needed to absorb it and to understand it. Commanders in chief make really tough decisions, and we went on to the next rooms, and I remember those being experiences where the families were very happy to see him. But when we got on Marine One to fly back to the White House, the president was looking out the window, and then he looked at me and he said, ‘That mama sure was mad at me.’ And then he looked out the window and he said, ‘And I don’t blame her a bit.’ And a tear rolled down his cheek, but he didn’t wipe it away, and then we flew back to the White House.”On Tuesday, the White House remained on the attack on this issue, defending Trump’s initial comments, but also including a specific example.Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, now Trump’s chief of staff, lost his son in Afghanistan in November 2010. Second Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was killed when he stepped on a land mine while on patrol with his platoon of Marines. He was posthumously promoted to first lieutenant.In an interview with Fox News Radio on Tuesday morning, Trump implied that former President Barack Obama never called Kelly after his son’s death.“I said it very loud and clear yesterday. The hardest thing for me to do is [make those calls],” Trump said. “Now, as far as other representatives, I don’t know. I mean, you could ask Gen. Kelly did he get a call from Obama.”He added, “I’m not speaking for other people. I don’t know what Bush did; I don’t know what Obama did. You could find out easily what President Obama did. All you have to do is ask the military people, but I believe his policy was somewhat different than my policy. I can tell you my policy is I’ve called every one of them.”After the interview, a current White House official told NPR that Obama did not call Kelly after his son was killed in action.In May 2011, the Obama White House did host a breakfast for Gold Star families, families who lost a loved one serving in the military. A source familiar with that breakfast confirms not only that Kelly attended but that he and his wife were listed as being seated at a table with the first lady at that event.Tuesday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump had spoken to the four families of the soldiers killed in Niger.“He offered condolences on behalf of a grateful nation and assured them their family’s extraordinary sacrifice to the country will never be forgotten,” the statement said.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

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Bringing Columbia Home Lessons Learned 15 Year After Shuttle Disaster

first_img Share NASASpace shuttle Columbia launches on it’s final mission, STS-107, on Jan. 16, 2003.Mike Leinbach is the former NASA space shuttle launch director and oversaw the launch of Columbia on its final mission in 2003, which ended in tragedy upon re-entry.Tomorrow (Feb. 1) is the 15th anniversary of the disaster, and Leinbach is in Houston along with space historian Jonathan Ward to talk about their new book Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew.They talk about the lessons learned from Columbia how Texas played a key role in search-and-recovery efforts.last_img

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Cannabis Treatment Raises Hope For Parents Of Epileptic Children But Costs Side

first_imgPhoto: Shena PearsonIn the summer of 2017, Trysten Pearson, 16 years-old, underwent a surgical procedure at Houston’s Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital that entailed placing intracranial electrodes in his brain to localize his seizure focus area. Trysten and his mother, Shena Pearson, want to try the low-THC cannabis treatment that is now legal in Texas. However, the lengthy process involving, for instance, the registration of the three cannabis dispensaries approved by the state resulted in the first order being delivered only on February 1st this year, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. Also, the law, which refers to the treatment as “low-THC cannabis,” establishes several requirements.For example, the treatment is legal only for intractable epilepsy, which the law defines as a disorder in which the patient’s seizures have been treated by at least two “antiepileptic drugs that have failed to control the seizures.” That makes it a requirement to have the patient diagnosed with that kind of epilepsy. According to estimates from the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and South Texas based on data from 2014, there are approximately 160,000 Texans who suffer from intractable epilepsy.The patient’s doctor must determine if the treatment is reasonable and only permanent residents of Texas can benefit from it. Long chain of requirementsBesides those requirements, the patient needs to get approval from two physicians registered in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). The physicians registered in the CURT are the only ones authorized to prescribe the treatment in the state. As of the publication of this story, there were 21 physicians registered with the CURT.According to the law, a physician who wants to register in the CURT must be certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in either epilepsy or neurology, or neurology with special qualification in child neurology and is otherwise qualified for the examination for certification in epilepsy.Additionally, the physician must dedicate “a significant portion of clinical practice to the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy.”Another option is that the physician is certified in neurophysiology by the ABPN or by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology (ABCN).The law doesn’t establish age limitations for the patients.For Shena Pearson and Trysten, who live in Texas City,  the law’s multiple requirements are worth it.Persistence“We will jump through the hoops and we will do what we have to do to get it done,” says Pearson, who assures parents of children who have epilepsy are typically used to being persistent.As an example, she explains it is difficult for her to obtain a medication called Midazolam, which Trysten needs to regain his breath when he is having a seizure and that Pearson and her son call their “emergency rescue medication.”Photo: Shena PearsonThis photo shows bruises Trysten Pearson, 16, sustained on his forehead and left eye because of a recent seizure.In 2014, Trysten co-founded a support group for epilepsy patients living  in Galveston County. Pearson has been hearing about the low-THC cannabis treatment for about three years, in part because of her relationship with one of the Texas affiliates of the Epilepsy Foundation.Currently, the pediatric neurologist who treats Trysten, and who is also a specialist in epilepsy, is applying with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to be registered in the CURT.“We know that she’s doing everything that she can do to get her approval,” says Pearson about the doctor. She says some of the medications Trysten has used have been “very harsh on his body.” For example, they made him vomit.“We are desperate to find something that’s gonna work for him and we have heard the stories and seen the news reports of children with epilepsy that it’s impacted their lives in a very great, amazing way,” Pearson says, referring to the low-THC cannabis treatment.“That is our hope for Trysten,” she adds, “that we can, you know, after all these failed medications and failed surgeries, that we can move him in this direction.”But Pearson also has concerns.For instance, she wonders whether or not the treatment could cause negative side effects or problematic reactions because of the epilepsy medications that Trysten currently uses.  The cost of the treatment also worries her, since medical insurance carriers do not cover it. In addition to that, Pearson thinks about the possibility that her son might fail drug tests when he looks for a job.Sugar Land resident Piper Lindeen also has a son who suffers from epilepsy. His name is Zachary, he is nine years-old and has had seizures since he was approximately four.Zachary has already tried about seven medications.Charlotte’s WebLindeen first learned about the treatment approximately four years ago through news reports about Charlotte Figi, a girl from Colorado who has been successfully treated for Dravet Syndrome –a rare and severe form of intractable epilepsy— with a low-THC cannabis treatment. Figi gave name to the oil known and marketed as Charlotte’s Web.“We’ve exhausted a lot of… a lot of our pharmaceutical avenues,” Lindeen acknowledges. “My son’s physician doesn’t feel like he has good odds of success of achieving seizure freedom from medication.”Zachary’s doctors, she explains, have told her they don’t think surgery would help alleviate his condition either.Out of the 21 doctors registered in the CURT, seven work in the greater Houston area  and Lindeen’s son is being treated by one of them: Doctor Michael Newmark, a neurologist and epilepsy specialist at Houston’s Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.Photo: Kelsey-Seybold ClinicDr. Michael Newmark, who works at Houston’s Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, is one of the 21 physicians that have so far been approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety to prescribe low-THC cannabis treatments for intractable epilepsy.“Patients are interested and excited,” says Newmark, although he adds there are still unanswered questions. “They don’t know about dosing which, actually, the physicians really don’t know much about it either. They don’t know about cost, nor do they know about side effects or benefits, but they’re intrigued.” Potential costAccording to the website texascompassionateaccess.org, which is managed by the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and South Texas, the cost of the treatment varies according to the severity of the epilepsy, as well as the patient’s weight, but the majority of patients will pay between $180 and $240 per month.For doctor Newmark, this first year of legal sales of low-THC cannabis treatments in Texas will be, in a certain way, a year of testing because “we are all learning about this and we are gonna be learning from our patients.”Also, the physician acknowledges some of his colleagues are, at least initially, “uncomfortable” with the possibility of using cannabis to treat epilepsy.Doctor Joshua Rotenberg, of Houston Specialty Clinic, agrees with Newmark.Photo provided by Dr. Joshua RotenbergDr. Joshua Rotenberg, who works at Houston Specialty Clinic, is one of the 21 physicians that have so far been approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety to prescribe low-THC cannabis treatments for intractable epilepsy.Rotenberg, who is also registered in the CURT, notes he senses “a lot of hesitation” and “fear” among physicians regarding the low-THC cannabis treatment in Texas, partly because of doubts about the legal aspects surrounding it, and partly because of what is still a lack of knowledge about the treatment itself by those not specialized in epilepsy or not familiar with the research yet.Rotenberg says the discussion about low-THC cannabis treatments for epilepsy has increased over the last five years and adds that “this medicine is helping a group of people that are really suffering and are really impaired from their epilepsy.” There are over 20 other states in the country where cannabis has been legalized for medical purposes. An impactful illnessRotenberg underlines an illness as impactful as epilepsy typically affects more than just the patient. “It’s not just them, it’s their whole families,” he explains, “these are kids that are having many, many dozens of seizures a day and they have no life, or they have very little quality of life and, so, most of the parents that I see are running towards it as an option to help their children.”Rotenberg also notes several parents of children with epilepsy have gone to other states to buy low-THC cannabis treatments.Buying the treatment in other states up until now is something Donna Stahlhut, CEO of the Houston office for the Epilepsy Foundation in Texas, is familiar with.“I know families who have gone to Colorado to get the product and some have been successful and some have not but, if it is successful, it’s… it’s remarkable,” says Stahlhut. Sharecenter_img Trysten Pearson, 16, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013. Since then, he has gone through two surgical procedures, one of which entailed an implant on his chest to shorten the seizures, and another one that involved placing intracranial electrodes in his brain. But after all these procedures and several medications, his seizures are still uncontrolled and he is currently at risk of what is known as Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).Trysten’s mother, Shena Pearson, is among the parents with epileptic children in the greater Houston area that are excited about the possibilities of the cannabis-based treatment that started being sold in Texas in February. But, along with hope, some concerns arise as well. The Texas Legislature legalized the treatment after passing the Texas Compassionate Use Act in 2015. The law legalized oils containing low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol –the psychoactive element in cannabis, known as THC– and high levels of CBD or cannabidiol, a non-euphoric component of marijuana known to treat epilepsy and other chronic medical conditions. Patients ingest the oil which, according to some medical research, can help reduce or shorten their seizures. The state will regulate and distribute the oils to patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication. last_img read more

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Dog Dies In Overhead Bin On United Flight Airline Apologizes

first_img Share Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesA dog died aboard a United Airlines flight from Houston to New York’s LaGuardia airport, prompting questions and outrage.A family that flew on United Airlines Monday night is mourning their dog, after the pet died in an overhead bin — an arrangement that a flight attendant had reportedly insisted upon. United says it was “a tragic accident” and that it is investigating.The incident prompted shock, outrage and sadness, particularly after it emerged that a flight attendant had required the dog, a 10-month-old French bulldog, to be placed into the overhead bin, despite the family having followed all the rules about flying with a pet in an airliner’s cabin — including using a TSA-approved pet carrier.“Why would the flight attendant force the woman to put her dog there?” wrote passenger Maggie Gremminger, in a tweet. Gremminger, who had been seated near the family, added, “I could have done something. I’m so upset.”The dog had been traveling with a woman who also had her young baby and her older daughter on the flight with her. The animal died during the more than three-hour trip. Since then, the airline has agreed that the situation never should have unfolded the way it did.In a statement, United said:“This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”The family was on United Flight 1284, from Houston to New York’s LaGuardia airport. Their flight Monday night lasted 3 hours and 25 minutes, according to an online tracking site. And while passengers said they had heard barking during the trip, the dog’s owners realized the dog had died after retrieving the travel carrier from the bin.“I just flew into LGA and witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a passenger to put her dog bag in the overhead bin. It was clearly a dog and while the customer was adamant about leaving it under the seat, the attendant pushed her to do so,” Gremminger wrote on Twitter.“Myself and a fellow passenger felt like that was NOT a thing. I am not a flight attendant tho. Maybe they have air ventilation in there that I didn’t know about. I tried googling rules about pets on board but didn’t have ample time before [takeoff].”“At the end of the flight, the woman found her dog, deceased. She sat in the airplane aisle on the floor crying, and all of surrounding passengers were utterly stunned.”“I am disgusted and traumatized,” Gremminger said via Twitter. “Pets are family. How could a trained flight attendant instruct a passenger to place her dog in that bin. It was her job to understand the plane and it’s rules/limitations.”The plane landed a little before 11 p.m. — but Gremminger said the experience left her unable to sleep. She began sharing the story on Twitter, including a photo of the family who lost their dog. From there, both interest and disbelief snowballed online, along with anger. Gremminger says it all became a blur, as she fielded questions and spread the story.Gremminger spoke to numerous media outlets on Tuesday, from NBC and CBS to People magazine and Fox News.It’s the latest black eye for United, which has endured a string of recent public relations nightmares, from passengers being dragged off flights to another case of a dog dying after a United domestic flight one year ago — in that case, the large animal had flown in a crate in a plane’s hold, and was under the care of United’s PetSafe program.United says its policies allow for dogs, cats and some types of pet birds (no cockatoos are allowed) to travel in its planes’ cabins. If a passenger brings a pet carrier in addition to a carry-on bag, they must pay an extra $125.“A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel,” United’s policy on animals reads. “The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.”The airline adds that soft-sided kennels, like the type used by the family on Monday night’s flight, can be slightly larger because they’re able to be compressed without becoming an obstruction.Gremminger issued a final tweet on Tuesday, saying “the past 24 hours have been insane.”“My hope was to gain some media attention so that we can collectively raise our awareness about pet safety + travel.”Thanking those who have helped to spread and amplify the story, Gremminger said she hoped that a “day of shouting to media outlets” will help prevent similar tragedies from happening.“Everyone loves dogs,” she wrote. “Everyone wanted to hug that family who lost their dog last night. Everyone cares.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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