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Caution advised with free antibiotics offer

Supermarket pharmacies throughout Pennsylvania are offering free antibiotics for those with prescriptions in an effort to ease the economic crisis for customers. However, some health care providers fear the free meds may do more harm than good, according to ABC Action News 6 in Philadelphia. The latest supermarket to jump on the free antibiotics bandwagon is Genuardi’s in Montgomery County, and the public is all ears. The supermarket says it is giving away the nine antibiotics that are most common and frequently prescribed during the winter months. To get the free drugs at Genuardi’s, customers just need a prescription and ... Read More

Spill’s long term effects a concern for wildlife

The coal ash spill last month that dumped more than a billion gallons of toxic material onto 300 acres of rural east Tennessee may threaten wildlife for years to come, according to National Geographic. The ash contains dangerous toxins such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and thallium that can lead to health problems in humans such as cancer, liver damage and neurological complications. Wildlife can suffer serious consequences as well. The first blow to animals in the area came when the spill occurred. Animals that were caught in the spill’s wake died from strangulation or from being buried in the sludge ... Read More

Iowa’s 6,200 leaking underground storage tanks

Leaking fuel and oil from underground storage tanks threatens drinking water wells, lakes, streams, and basements all over the state. Leaks can spread a little or a lot and they can contain a variety of chemicals. This map shows all sites listed with a leak by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as of May 2008. What’s leaking? Most underground storage tanks leak gasoline, and the main chemicals of concern are benzene, toluene, and ethylbenzene. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has established levels of these chemicals “where it is known that there is no risk to the health to ... Read More

Iowa pollution perils lurk among buried fuel tanks

Leaking underground fuel tanks threaten to contaminate drinking water, lakes, streams and homes across Iowa as environmental officials change rules to speed up detection and cleanup. There are about 6,200 leaking underground storage tanks in the state — and more than 1,500 are considered ongoing contamination risks. Some of the leaking tanks have been problems for more than 15 years. Almost 820 are labeled high-risk. State officials say they are trying to devise new rules so that the most hazardous sites, which often take years to clean up because of bureaucratic red tape and legal wrangling, can be addressed faster. ... Read More

Teenager shares story of serious reaction to medication

Fifteen-year-old Hannah remembers last March like it was yesterday. She was staying with a friend while her mother was out of town, and she began to come down with what she calls flu-like symptoms. “But I started to get even more sick then I already was,” she said. Rashes were forming on her skin and blisters in her mouth. Her friend’s mother was alarmed and took her to the hospital. Hannah was transferred to a room and underwent tests. “I was scared because first I couldn’t talk (because of the blisters in her mouth) and now I was in the ... Read More

Woman jailed for embezzling from grandparents

Connie Gay Cole was her grandparents’ favorite granddaughter. They took care of her most of her life, as she slipped in and out of employment. In return, Cole repaid them by squandering their life savings, according to The Oregonian. Connie’s grandparents, James and Anne Morgan, had saved nearly $500,000 for their care as they aged. The two moved into a retirement community in 2005 and had turned over power of attorney to their granddaughter. Anne suffered from dementia, and James, who had received a brain injury a few years earlier, was kept heavily medicated by his granddaughter. Connie charged her ... Read More

Roof crush activist named as consumer advocate of the year

Paula Lawlor, founder of the nonprofit organization People Safe in Rollovers, is being honored by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego as Consumer Advocate of the Year. Lawlor is a resident of Del Mar, California in San Diego County. She has worked as a consumer safety advocate for 10 years, pressuring government and automobile manufacturers to improve the strength of automobile roofs. Lobbying Washington and petitioning car manufacturers for better roof crush standards have led Lawlor, a former legal assistant, to become one of the highly regarded and widely consulted experts on the subject of roof crush standards. She serves ... Read More

Owner of nursing homes faces larceny, conspiracy charges

The larceny and conspiracy trial of a man whose family once owned one of the largest nursing homes in Dedham, Massachusetts, began this week, according to the Patriot Ledger. Gregory Logan served as the administrator of Logan Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Braintree, one of the family’s five nursing homes. Logan and his uncles Joel K. Logan and Todd Logan were all accused of raiding patient accounts for personal use between January 2001 to June 2003. The assistant attorney general accused the men of taking more than $600,000 of the $34 million in Medicare funds during that time while also failing to provide ... Read More

Early TVA memo indicates effort to minimize coal ash disaster

A memo that apparently passed through the hands of several folks at the TVA drafting “talking points” about the Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill of Dec. 22 appears to attempt to minimize the significance of the disaster, according to a report today from the Associated Press. The memo was apparently sent to the AP by accident, according to their report. They say the memo shows additions and deletions that change more alarming language to tone down the sense of urgency and threat resulting from the coal ash spill. An example cited by the AP story says the word “catastrophic” ... Read More

Regions selling off RMK Select Funds

Today the Birmingham Business Journal reported that Regions Financial Corp., which is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is selling off its 11 Regions Morgan Keegan (RMK) Select Funds. These funds are currently managed by Regions’ investment arm, Morgan Keegan & Co., based in Memphis. The funds will be sold to Pioneer Investment Managment, Inc., the Journal reports. The deal is pending approval by Regions shareholders, but if approved will remove the financial company from the mutual funds business entirely, according to the Journal. This news follows on the heels of other efforts by Regions to divest itself of investment funds following ... Read More