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Minimum wage boosts affecting 10 million workers in 22 states with varying outcomes

10 June 2024 at 22:05

There are employees, and there are employers so, what exactly happens when wages go up?

Kim Tan opened the first Crab Hut in 2007. She did it with her husband and her sister as a way to help her parents.

"In the beginning, it wasn't as hard for us because things were still very affordable back then," Tan said.

Then came a second location. The businesses weathered the pandemic, but now the owners say the latest minimum wage hikes in California might be too much to overcome.

"Every time minimum wage increases it's like that domino effect to all of us. And, you know, we have to raise our prices," Tan said, "Our margin is already so thin that if we don't raise our price, we have to close."

Tan says customers have been patient, but some have disappeared. The restaurant now closes for lunch because she says they can't afford to pay overtime. So far, they haven't had to let anyone go.

"There's a lot of people on our team that's depending on us, so we have to do everything we can," she adds.

Tan takes a pay cut herself so that she can pay her staff. Many of her employees say they're benefiting from the increase.

Employees like Kevin Kean, who says, "I have like five credit cards and I'm down to two. Yeah, I also have car payments, which is about $500 a month. No matter if it's like just a dollar or a couple of cents more, they always help in the long run, which I mean, I appreciate it."

Professor Barton Hamilton with the Olin Business School at Washington University says there's always winners and losers when it comes to raising the minimum wage.

"You know, not surprisingly, when the cost of labor goes up, we kind of expect employers to hire fewer people. Their ability to handle or to accommodate a minimum wage increase also depends on how much they can pass on their labor cost increases to consumers.," Hamilton said.

For Tan, she says the future is filled with uncertainty, "We're gonna try our best to ride this, but closure is actually in the talks. We hope that it doesn't get there, but it is something that is lurking around that might happen to us."

DTE breaks ground on energy storage site in Trenton

10 June 2024 at 21:40

DTE Energy and the city of Trenton broke ground on a new project on Monday, marking the start of a new era Downriver.

Earlier this year, the Trenton Channel Power Plant's century-old smokestacks came down. The coal power plant was retired in 2022.

VIDEO: Trenton power plant smokestacks demolished after 100 years VIDEO: Full demolition of Trenton Power Plant smokestacks

Now DTE has detailed plans to redevelop the site.

DTE says the Trenton Channel Energy Center will be a big component of the company's clean energy strategy and bring cleaner, Michigan-made renewable energy to the grid.

DTE says the facility will store energy when demand is low and use it when demand is high. The storage alone will be able to power 40,000 homes.

Watch our previous report about Michigan's clean energy investment: Governor Gretchen Whitmer sets 100% clean energy standard by 2040 for Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was on hand for the groundbreaking. She says with help from the project, Michigan is on its way to becoming a national model for a clean economy.

"DTE's new center here in Trenton will help us meet 10% of the statewide storage goal all by itself," Whitmer said. "That's a big deal. Reaching this standard will help us store enough energy to strengthen our grid and increase reliability during peak demand."

Whitmer has set a goal for Michigan to run on 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2040.

DTE says work on the Trenton site is expected to be completed in 2026.

Kia urges thousands of Telluride owners to 'park outside' due to fire risk

10 June 2024 at 21:39

Kia is urging thousands of owners of its Telluride model to park outside and away from other vehicles because the SUVs can catch fire due to an issue with the front seats.

According to documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car company has issued a recall for 472,869 Telluride vehicles made between 2020 and 2024.

The power seat motors in the front of the car can overheat because of the slide knob getting stuck, which could potentially cause them to catch on fire, the automaker said. The issue can happen while parked or while driving.

Owners of the recalled models can get the issue fixed at a dealership, free of charge.

Kia said owners can expect to be notified by mail about the recall starting July 30, or they can contact Kias customer service at (800) 333-4542 and reference recall SC316.

Telluride owners can also visit NHTSA.gov/recalls or call the NHTSAs Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 and enter their license plate number or 17-digit vehicle identification number to see if their vehicle is listed under the recall.

Just a few months ago, Kia recalled more than 427,000 of its Telluride SUVs due to a defect that may cause the cars to roll away while they're parked.

Extremely rare white bison calf spotted in Yellowstone National Park

10 June 2024 at 21:23

An extremely rare white bison calf was captured on camera in Yellowstone National Park last week by a photographer who happened to be visiting the park with her family right after it was born.

The white bison calf said to be 1 in 10 million was spotted in the Lamar Valley area of the park, located in its northwestern corner.

Erin Braaten, a photographer from Kalispell, Montana, snapped the photos while visiting the park with her family on Tuesday. The pics were taken just moments after the calf was born.

Braaten said she visits Yellowstone two or three times a year but has never stumbled upon anything like this.

"I couldnt believe what I was seeing," she said. "It was so surreal. I just knew it was something special and one of the coolest things Ive ever photographed."

Braaten said she initially thought the calf was a coyote because of its rare color.

White bison are seen as sacred by several Native American tribes, and are often referred to as "spirit bison" or "ghost bison." However, some believe they are a symbol of evil, according to Ozark Valley Bison Farm in Arkansas.

The rare color could be a result of albinism, a genetic condition in which an animal lacks pigmentation, or it could be from leucism, in which an animal has some pigmentation but is still white.

This story was originally published by Keagan Harsha at

Scripps News Billings

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Husband of owner of fentanyl-ridden NYC day care pleads guilty to charges related to baby's death

10 June 2024 at 21:15

The husband of the owner of a Bronx day care where four children were poisoned by fentanyl, leading to a 1-year-old's death, pleaded guilty to federal charges Monday.

Felix Herrera Garcia was the fourth person arrested in the case that began Sept. 16, 2023, when three kids  1-year-old Nicholas Dominici, a 2-year-old boy and an 8-month-old girl wouldn't wake up from nap time at Divino Nio day care, operated by Herrera-Garcia's wife, Grei Mendez.

Dominici died, and the two others along with another 2-year-old boy were hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl at the center, which was housed in a Bronx apartment. Authorities later found drug-packing materials as well as fentanyl and other narcotics amounting to more than 10 kilograms under a trapdoor in the floor and underneath mats where children played and slept.

Surveillance footage captured Herrera-Garcia carrying two full shopping bags out of the apartment's back alley minutes before responders arrived to help the children. He was on the run from authorities for more than a week after, eventually being taken into custody in Sinaloa, Mexico.

On Monday the day the 35-year-old was set to begin trial Herrera Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics resulting in death and serious bodily injury, one count of possession with intent to distribute narcotics resulting in death and one count of possession with intent to distribute narcotics resulting in serious bodily injury. All three counts carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, the Justice Department said.

Cases are still pending against Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito, who rented a room from Mendez in the apartment and is Herrera Garcia's cousin. Both face murder and drug charges.

Two weeks ago, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute narcotics and "stipulated that his conduct caused death and serious bodily injury" in connection to the poisonings, the DOJ said. Officials said he played an "instrumental role" in selling the large quantities of fentanyl from the apartment, where he was making daily trips in the weeks leading up to the incident.

Opening statements expected Tuesday afternoon in trial of man accused of killing Samantha Woll

10 June 2024 at 21:13

Day 1 of jury selection for the trial of the Detroit man accused of murdering Samantha Woll began with journalists being told they would not be allowed to sit in the courtroom, or even be in the courthouse - an unusual start to the trial for a case that has been unusual from the start.

I mean this is a first that youre not allowed in the courthouse itself, wow, said legal expert and attorney Todd Flood.

He said, A judge can not allow cameras in, but a judge, its my understanding that its the publics court, theyre allowed to have reporters there to report on the case.

If Flood had to pick a reason why the public was being told they could not be in the courtroom he said its most likely being kept closed for the privacy of the jurors as the case is one that has already garnered national attention.

It all started on Saturday, October 21 2023 when beloved community Jewish leader Samantha Woll was found dead, stabbed eight times outside of her Detroit apartment.

RELATED STORY: Detroit synagogue president found dead outside home; police to provide update Sunday Detroit synagogue president found dead outside home; police to provide update Sunday

Police believe 40-year-old Woll was attacked inside her home and stumbled outside sometime after midnight after arriving home from a wedding.

There were no signs of forced entry at her home.

Weeks later Michael Jackson-Bolanos, a Detroit man in his late 20s was arrested and charged with Wolls murder.

RELATED STORY: Man charged with murder in killing of Samantha Woll, Detroit synagogue leader Man charged with murder in killing of Samantha Woll, Detroit synagogue leader

Police say they dont think the two knew each other, which is odd to those who study crime.

Oftentimes you will find that there is a connection in rage type multiple stabbings, strangulations, said Flood.

Jackson-Bolanos is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, first-degree home invasion, and lying to police in connection with Wolls death.

RELATED STORY: Prosecutors detail evidence that led to arrest of suspect in Samantha Woll's murder Prosecutors detail evidence that led to arrest of suspect in Samantha Woll's murder

The prosecution has shown video evidence that they say links Jackson-Bolanos to Wolls neighborhood the night of her death.

Investigators say they found a black North Face jacket in Jackson-Bolanos apartment that had stains on it.

The stains were tested and investigators say they are close to certain that the blood on the jacket belongs to Woll.

Jackson-Bolanos attorney has said his client is denying all allegations against him and his client is likely a victim of circumstance.

Theyre going to try to cut holes, theres no footage, theres no camera, theres no ability to connect me to that scene, except for the government is going to rebut that with obviously DNA, said Flood.

The court expects opening statements in this trial to begin Tuesday at 1 p.m.

7 News Detroit will be there.

New Alzheimer’s treatment drug gets support from FDA advisory panel

10 June 2024 at 21:05

A new drug to treat Alzheimers disease got the thumbs up from an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If approved by the FDA, it would become the second Alzheimers drug on the market.

Alzheimers is an incurable disease that affects nearly 7 million Americans today. So, any treatment that can slow down its progression is exciting news.

An outside panel of advisors to the FDA met on Monday to talk about the safety and effectiveness of Eli Lillys experimental Alzheimers drug called Donanemab. They heard presentations from company representatives as well as FDA members.

The panel agreed that the data shows the drug is effective and its benefits outweigh the risks. The antibody treatment involves an intravenous infusion once a month. It removes toxic plaques from the brain of patients with early Alzheimers disease. Experts believe the buildup of these starchlike proteins plays a key role in developing Alzheimers.

During Eli Lillys clinical trial, the drug slowed the progression of Alzheimers by 29% compared to a placebo. However, there was a risk of some potentially serious side effects including brain swelling and bleeding. Three people in the trial died from complications linked to the treatment.

The FDA had originally planned to rule on the drug earlier this year but decided to let the independent advisory panel weigh in first. The agency does not have to follow the recommendations of the advisory group, but in most cases it does.

The FDA went through a similar process before giving the go-ahead to the first fully authorized Alzheimers drug last year, called Leqembi.

There are still a lot of questions about where we go from here. We dont know yet when the FDA will make its final decision on Donanemab. And if the drug is approved, we dont know how long it will take Eli Lilly to roll it out.

However, it is likely the FDA will require strong warnings on the box about the potentially dangerous risks associated with this class of drug. The agency could also recommend that users get regular MRI scans to check their brain health.

Its unclear what causes Alzheimers disease. The National Institute on Aging says it likely results from age-related changes in the brain combined with genetic, environmental or lifestyle factors. This leads to a decline in cognition, memory and language.

Its important to note that these new antibody treatments wont cure Alzheimers, but it can give people in the early stages more time to be independent and take part in activities they enjoy.

UN Security Council adopts a cease-fire resolution aimed at ending Israel-Hamas war in Gaza

10 June 2024 at 20:58

The U.N. Security Council on Monday approved its first resolution endorsing a cease-fire plan aimed at ending the eight-month war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The U.S.-sponsored resolution welcomes a cease-fire proposal announced by President Joe Biden that the United States says Israel has accepted. It calls on the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which initially said it viewed the proposal positively, to accept the three-phase plan.

It urges Israel and Hamas to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition.

The resolution which was approved overwhelmingly with 14 of the 15 Security Council members voting in favor and Russia abstaining also calls on Israel and Hamas to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition.

U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood told reporters earlier on Monday that the United States wanted all 15 Security Council members to support what he described as the best, most realistic opportunity to bring at least a temporary halt to this war.

Whether Israel and Hamas agree to the three-phase cease-fire plan remains in question, but the resolutions strong support in the U.N.s most powerful body puts added pressure on both parties to approve the proposal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that President Biden presented only parts of the proposal and insisted that any talk of a permanent cease-fire before dismantling Hamas military and governing capabilities is a nonstarter.

The leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad met in Qatar on Monday to discuss the proposed cease-fire deal and said in a statement afterward that any deal must lead to a permanent cease-fire, a full Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza, reconstruction and a serious exchange deal between hostages in Gaza and Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

The war was sparked by Hamas surprise Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mainly Israeli civilians, and saw about 250 others taken hostage. About 120 hostages remain, with 43 pronounced dead.

Israels military offensive has killed more than 36,700 Palestinians and wounded in excess of 83,000 others, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. It has also destroyed about 80% of Gazas buildings, according to the U.N.

The Security Council adopted a resolution on March 25 demanding a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which ended April 9, with the U.S. abstaining. But there was no halt to the war.

The resolution adopted on Monday underscores the importance of the ongoing diplomatic efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United States aimed at reaching a comprehensive cease-fire deal, consisting of three phases. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on his eighth trip to the Middle East since Oct. 7 pursuing that goal.

President Bidens May 31 announcement of the new cease-fire proposal said it would begin with an initial six-month cease-fire with the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza and the return of Palestinian civilians to all areas in the territory.

Phase one also requires the safe distribution of humanitarian assistance at scale throughout the Gaza Strip, which Biden said would lead to 600 trucks with aid entering Gaza every day.

In phase two, the resolution says that with the agreement of Israel and Hamas, a permanent end to hostilities, in exchange for the release of all other hostages still in Gaza, and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza will take place.

Phase three would launch a major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza and the return of the remains of any deceased hostages still in Gaza to their families.

The final draft of the resolution underlines that the proposal says if negotiations take longer than six weeks for the first phase, the cease-fire will still continue as long as negotiations continue. It welcomes the readiness of the United States, Egypt and Qatar to work to ensure negotiations keep going until all the agreements are reached and phase two is able to begin.

The resolution rejects any attempt to change Gazas territory or demography, or reduce its size, but drops wording that specifically mentioned the reduction by officially or unofficially establishing so-called buffer zones.

It reiterates the Security Councils "unwavering commitment to achieving the vision of a negotiated two-state solution where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders."

And it stresses the importance of unifying the Gaza Strip with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority. This is something Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus right-wing government has not agreed to.

Detroit Evening Report: Biden’s approval rating continues to drop among Arab American voters, survey says

10 June 2024 at 20:50

A recent survey conducted by political advocacy group the Arab American Institute found that President Joe Biden’s disapproval rating has increased among Arab American voters.

According to the poll published in May, less than 20% of Arab American voters support President Biden. That percentage is significantly less than the 60% of Arab American voters who chose Biden in 2020.

Subscribe to the Detroit Evening Report on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, says the war in Gaza plays a huge role in those numbers — but some Arab American voters would reconsider their support if Biden changed course on his stance in the Israel-Hamas war.

“When we offer them the option of an immediate ceasefire and unimpeded humanitarian aid demanding a ceasefire, his numbers go to about 60%,” Zogby said.

Related: Biden connects with Black voters at NAACP dinner in Detroit, warns that Trump is ‘unhinged’

The AAI report also revealed 80% of Arab Americans rated the crisis in Gaza as very or somewhat important in determining who they’ll vote for come November.

About half of the voters said they would vote for a third-party candidate or are still determining who they will support in the upcoming presidential election.

AAI predicts that if the trend continues, Biden could see the loss of 177,000 Arab American votes throughout four key states — Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Michigan alone could make up 91,000 of those potential loss in votes. Dearborn became the first Arab-majority city in the nation in 2023.

More headlines for June 10, 2024

  • Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey feels prepared for upcoming elections
  • Michigan ranks in bottom half of U.S. states for child well-being
  • Michigan students can eat free this summer
  • Detroit People’s Food Co-op offering free yoga classes on Mondays

Do you have a community story we should tell? Let us know in an email at detroiteveningreport@wdet.org.

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Airlines are preparing for another busy summer. Are they ready for it?

10 June 2024 at 20:49

Alexandra Skores | (TNS) The Dallas Morning News

Carson Shofner and his husband were heading to Costa Rica for a relaxing trip on American Airlines on the morning of May 28.

But their plane didn’t leave Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport until May 29 at 7 a.m. It’s a situation many passengers dealt with after weeks of steady thunderstorms cascaded through North Texas, delaying hundreds of flights just as summer travel was about to take off.

“We were never offered to change flights or any sort of reimbursement,” Shofner wrote in an email from Costa Rica. “And flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, are relatively sparse, so any attempt to change would’ve been thousands of dollars.”

He’s one of many summer travelers who were hoping for a smooth trip this travel season.

Airlines, airports and partners like the Transportation Security Administration are expecting a record number of travelers. At DFW Airport, home to American Airlines, that’s nearly 25 million passengers between May and July. At Dallas Love Field, home to Southwest Airlines, nearly 190,000 travelers were expected to pass through the airport on Memorial Day weekend alone.

Airlines for America, which represents major U.S. airlines, predicts a 6.3% increase in passengers from this summer to last. From June 1 to August 31, that’s over 271 million people who will fly on a major U.S. airline. Last year, that figure was 255 million people.

Shofner and his husband live in Dallas and he posts frequently on his social media and has 67,000 followers on TikTok and 21,300 followers on Instagram. He posted a video to TikTok to talk about his experience of waiting for his flight to take off, from crew changes to communication challenges and delays that took up what could have been an entire day at a beach.

That video has almost 1 million views as of June 4.

And summer has barely even started.

Where to and how much?

Airfares might cool down for some travelers this year.

In its 2024 summer outlook, travel booking app Hopper reported domestic airfare for June, July and August averaging $305 per ticket, down 6% from this time last year. Of course, those numbers fluctuate the longer a traveler waits to book their seat on the plane.

This will be the first year that prices have dropped year over year since 2020.

Airfare prices, tied with fun events this summer, will help bring in many people to North Texas and allow local businesses to benefit from the uptick in visitors this summer.

One of the hot spots to check out, especially as travelers try to stay cool in the Texas heat, is the Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine. The attraction has everything from Lego-themed rides, 4-D cinema experiences and even a “mini land” of D-FW made of a million and a half Lego bricks. Travelers can also see DFW Airport made out of Legos.

“There’s a lot of daytrippers…some overnighters definitely in the summer,” said Jordan Thacker, marketing coordinator at Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine.

During the summer, the Legoland Discovery Center can see 1,500 to 2,000 guests daily.

There are also new options for lodging all over North Texas. Chase Chasteen, general manager of Le Méridien Fort Worth Downtown is looking at a late June or July opening. The hotel, even though it hasn’t opened yet, is seeing “strong demand” around the major sports entertainment happening this summer.

“Travelers are really looking more now than ever to stay in a hotel that really authentically honors its locale,” Chasteen said, noting the 188 rooms, rooftop bar and pool, at the hotel.

Those sporting events will keep Dallas-Fort Worth busy as summer heats up.

This month, the Dallas Mavericks will play the Boston Celtics for an NBA championship. Later in the month, the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 soccer games will play at AT&T Stadium, with games on June 21, 23 and July 5.

From July 12 to July 16, the MLB All-Star Game and its associated events like the Home Run Derby will be in town. On July 17, No. 1 WNBA draft pick Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever will play against the Dallas Wings in Arlington.

Add that into all the summer concerts taking place in Arlington, American Airlines Center, Toyota Music Factory and surrounding venues, D-FW will have quite a bit to offer when it comes to attractions.

What does it take?

Despite inflationary pressures, the intent to travel and spend on flights and lodging remains high, according to Deloitte’s annual summer travel survey.

“The intent to travel is pretty, pretty steady,” said Matt Soderberg, U.S. airline practice leader at Deloitte.

One in five people, he said, plan to spend more this year than they did last year on travel. Deloitte’s survey also found that 43% of air travelers are willing to pay for more comfortable flight experiences, up from last year.

Airlines and airports may be at the forefront of everyone’s mind regarding disruptions this summer travel season.

Still, it is a team effort, according to Keith Jeffries, former TSA Federal Security Director at Los Angeles International Airport. It’s all hands on deck when you have record numbers of travelers passing through.

Between May 17 and Sept. 3, American expects more than 72 million passengers. The Fort Worth-based carrier is flying more seats than any other summer, with 10% more departures than last summer. American is also flying to eight destinations in summer 2024 that the airline had not served in summer 2023, including Albany, N.Y.; Appleton, Wisc.; Manhattan, Kan.; Redmond, Ore.; St. George, Utah; Tulum and Veracruz, Mexico; and Barcelona.

This year, DFW’s top five busiest days to travel will be July 8, July 25, July 29, Aug. 1 and July 7, based on the number of flights and the number of seats available, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.

“DFW and North Texas, travelers that should have confidence flying through DFW (Airport),” said David Seymour, chief operating officer at American in an interview with The Dallas Morning News last month. “… It’s our largest operation and provides so much connectivity for our customers to be able to connect and go in just about anywhere they want.”

Southwest projects almost 57 million travelers to fly between May 24 and Sept. 2. The Dallas-based airline is flying an average of 4,112 flights a day, with July 7 as the peak travel day for the airline with 4,452 scheduled flights and over 641,000 passengers.

But industry analysts have a different take on who’s truly performing well heading into the summer.

Analysts at Melius Research unveiled guidance this week that while the airline industry remains in a “flux,” competitors to the North Texas airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, come out on top. The researchers point to strong indicators like American cutting its sales outlook for the second quarter, Southwest adding itself to Google flights and budget air carriers refining their products.

“We remain dug in on our view that Delta and United are the best way to play the capacity-constrained environment as they play the strengths of the market — premium, loyalty, international and corporate travel,” the June 3 report read. “At the same time, the remainder of the industry is forced to make difficult choices and needs to walk the low end of the fare bucket up, further benefiting Delta and United.”

Delivery delays, Boeing

One uncertainty that looms over the entire travel industry is Boeing.

The manufacturer has faced constant problems since January when an Alaska Airlines door plug blowout left a gaping hole in the side of a Boeing 737 Max 9 fuselage with passengers onboard. The incident went viral and leaders at both Southwest and American have called out Boeing to get it together.

Since this incident, and years of safety concerns like the 2019 grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 after two crashes killed all passengers on board each plane, Boeing has been in the public eye.

American said the delivery delays ultimately forced the airline to reduce three long-haul routes from DFW Airport this year. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivery delays made the carrier adjust routes for the second half of the year and first quarter of 2025.

American now expects to receive three 787 Dreamliners this year, down from six, cutting down on the number of planes available for long-haul flights.

Southwest also lowered its expectations for aircraft deliveries from plane maker Boeing Co. as well. Where it now expects 20 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft deliveries in 2024, it previously anticipated 46.

Most union contracts are in the rearview

One stressor that travelers and airlines don’t have to think too much about is the ratification of labor agreements among workers.

Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing American’s pilots, said the airline is more prepared this year than in previous summers to handle its massive summer schedule.

The Allied Pilots Association locked in a contract last summer. Southwest’s pilots, represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, also ratified a contract a few months later. Both contracts, and their competitors, make the average pay for a senior captain flying on an airline’s largest aircraft $348,252, according to aviation consultant Kit Darby.

In April, Southwest’s flight attendants, represented by Transport Workers Union Local 556, voted in favor of a new contract.

However, one major airline workgroup in North Texas remains without a contract. Flight attendants at American, represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, as well as United Airlines, are without collective bargaining deals after years of negotiations.

In a memo to flight attendants on May 31, the union wrote that after two weeks of negotiations with the National Mediation Board, the union’s members should prepare to strike.

“Flight attendants are always there for our passengers,” said Julie Hedrick, Association of Professional Flight Attendants president. “We will make sure our passengers get to where they need to be. We do our job professionally. The flight attendants, they are very frustrated, but they, of course, are going to do the job they need to do until this is done. When I say until this is done, (I mean) until we either have an agreement or until we go on strike.”

Hedrick said strike booklets for flight attendants will be in the mail very soon and the union’s website will be updated with more information. Although, many steps would need to be taken before a strike could take place at a U.S. airline. The last one occurred in 2010 with Spirit Airlines pilots after disputes over pay.

“Summertime — we’ve talked about you know what clouds are hanging over the summer season,” Tajer said. “It’s not the clouds we’re worried about. We can see those. We can maneuver around those. It’s the bright sunlight because you don’t realize you’re burned until it’s too late.”

©2024 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Beckham Sharp, 2, comes out the slide on June 1, 2024, at LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Grapevine, Texas. (Shafkat Anowar/The Dallas Morning News/TNS)

Ramps closing on I-96 as flex lane project progresses

10 June 2024 at 20:42

Several ramps will close, beginning Tuesday, June 11, as part of the I-96 flex lane project in western Oakland County.

– The westbound I-96 ramp to Beck Road will close from 5 a.m. Tuesday until late July.

– The northbound and southbound Beck Road ramps to westbound I-96 will close for the same period.

Also, westbound I-96 will have only one lane open from Novi Road to Milford Road from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The project will create a flex route on I-96 from Kent Lake Road to I-275/I-696/M-5. A flex route uses a highway’s shoulder as a traveling lane during heavy traffic periods in the morning and afternoon.

The project also includes:

– Rebuilding lanes in both directions from Kent Lake Road to just east of the I-275 interchange

– Rebuilding several ramps and performing pavement repairs at other ramps

– Improving 11 bridges.

The eastbound side of I-96 was done last year.

For more information, visit drivingoakland.com.

I-96 in western Oakland County. Stephen Frye/MediaNews Group.

Oakland County students among list of National Merit Scholars

10 June 2024 at 20:32

National Merit Scholars from schools throughout Oakland County were announced in three different categories for 2024.

Students were chosen for scholarships by college sponsors, corporate sponsors and national merit scholarships.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition among high school students for recognition and college scholarships that began in 1955. The program is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a non-profit organization operating without government assistance.

College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship

On June 4 over 2,900 winners of scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities were announced.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

This year’s students are a part of a group of more than 6,870 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth nearly $26 million.

Oakland County winners:

Leo F. Das

High School: Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills.

Probable career field: Medicine

Sponsor: Michigan State University

Finlay M. Sparby

High School: Birmingham Seaholm High School, Birmingham.

Probable career field: Chemistry

Sponsor: Vanderbilt University

Katherine E. Meyer

High School: Clarkston High School, Clarkston.

Probable career field: Medicine

Sponsor: University of Tulsa

Kyle A. Nord

High School: Clarkston High School, Clarkston.

Probable career field: Aerospace Engineering

Sponsor: University of Alabama

Henry J. Majewski

High School: Brandon High School, Ortonville.

Probable career field: Law

Sponsor: University of South Alabama

Griffin E. Moore

High School: Rochester Adams High School, Rochester

Probable career field: Computer Science

Sponsor: Lehigh University

Kevin A. Hartwell

High School: Troy Athens High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Computer Science

Sponsor: Wayne State University

Brandon G. Mendoza

High School: Troy Athens High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Music

Sponsor: Wayne State University

Eric V. Wong

High School: Troy Athens High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Engineering

Sponsor: Wayne State University

Jack Henry Svoboda

High School: Troy High School, Troy

Probable career field: Aerospace Engineering

Sponsor: Michigan State University

Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship

Approximately 770 high school seniors won corporate-sponsored awards financed by 94 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.

Corporate sponsors provide scholarships for students who are children of employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of the awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year.

Oakland County winners:

Drew A. Dollins

High School: Clarkston High School, Clarkston.

Probable career field: Mechanical Engineering

Sponsor: Schneider Electric North America

Edwynn Wang

High School: Northville High School, Northville.

Probable career field: Biochemical Engineering

Sponsor: Ascension Healthcare

Trinity Hanna

High School: Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills.

Probable career field: Biomedical Engineering

Sponsor: Adient Foundation

Peter A. Santia

High School: Rochester High School, Rochester.

Probable career field: Engineering

Sponsor: General Dynamics

Kush V. Parikh

High School: Troy High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Medicine

Sponsor: Nvidia

National Merit $2500 Scholarship 

The 2,500 National Merit Scholar designees were chosen from more than 15,000 finalists. Winnersm who receive $2,500, are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

The students were selected by a committee of admissions officers and high school counselors, who assessed academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the student; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

Oakland County winners:

Sreetarapriya Andra

High School: Birmingham Groves High School, Beverly Hills.

Probable career field: Neuroscience

Bailey Mingus

High School: Birmingham Groves High School, Beverly Hills.

Probable career field: Undecided

Anna Fischer

High School: International Academy, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Electrical Engineering

Jaeha Jang

High School: Cranbrook Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills

Probable career field: Law

Sophie E. Mays

High School: International Academy, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Architecture

Nisha A. Singhi

High School: International Academy, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Political Science

Supratik D. Kuchibhatla

High School: International Academy, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Meteorology

Patricio J. Ezdebski

High School: Detroit Catholic Central, Novi.

Probable career field: Computer Science

Johnathan D. Dinneweth

High School: Roeper School, Birmingham.

Probable career field: Industrial Engineering

Kyle Henry Brown

High School: Northville High School, Northville.

Probable career field: Mechanical Engineering

Rishi Narendra Kumar

High School: Northville High School, Northville.

Probable career field: Economics

Sophia L. Alexander

High School: Northville High School, Northville.

Probable career field: Banking

Abhinav Gunturi

High School: Novi High School, Novi.

Probable career field: Computer Science

Abhay Kakarla

High School: Novi High School, Novi

Probable career field: Healthcare

Jaanvi Reddy Muchanthla

High School: Novi High School, Novi

Probable career field: Psychiatry

Srikar Nelakuditi

High School: Novi High School, Novi.

Probable career field: Undecided

Ruichen Pan

High School: Novi High School, Novi

Probable career field: Biology

Sanjith Udupa

High School: Novi High School, Novi.

Probable career field: Computer Science

Sean Wilson from Oxford High School was among 2,500 Merit Scholar designees chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 students in the 2024 National MeritScholarship Program. Oakland Press file photo
Sean Wilson from Oxford High School was among 2,500 Merit Scholar designees chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 students in the 2024 National MeritScholarship Program.Oakland Press file photo

Sean J. Wilson

High School: Oxford High School, Oxford

Probable career field: Physics

Claire Bokyung Bahk

High School: Stoney Creek High School, Rochester Hills.

Probable career field: Biomedical Engineering

Shifan Saeed

High School: Rochester Adams High School, Rochester.

Probable career field: Neurosurgery

Selena Marie Cooper

High School: Rochester Adams High School, Rochester.

Probable career field: Information Scienc

Isabella Q. Guthrie

High School: Rochester Adams High School, Rochester

Probable career field: Environmental Science

Natalie J. Forsyth

High School: Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak.

Probable career field: Aerospace Engineering

Agalya Ramkumar

High School: International Academy, Bloomfield Hills

Probable career field: Biochemistry

Vansh J. Baxi

High School: Troy Athens High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Aerospace Engineering

Lauren J. Kim

High School: Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills.

Probable career field: Finance

Ishani G. Modi

High School: Cranbrook Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Medicine

Ismail Ahmer Qamar

High School: Troy Athens High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Computer Science

Ishanya Saini

High School: Troy High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Healthcare

Karan Sharma

High School: International Academy, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Business

Ananya Sri Raja Kalidindi

High School: Troy Athens High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Applied Mathematics

Viraj Nautiyalfrom Birmingham Seaholm High School has chosen Public Policy as his possible career field when using his scholarship award at the university of his choice. Oakland Press file photo
Viraj Nautiyalfrom Birmingham Seaholm High School has chosen Public Policy as his possible career field when using his scholarship award at the university of his choice.Oakland Press file photo

Claire J. Wu

High School: Troy High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Engineering

Julia Wu

High School: Troy High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Computer Science

Daniel L. Xiao

High School: Troy High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Business Management

Alan X. Zhang

High School: Troy High School, Troy.

Probable career field: Engineering

Naasih M. Delvi

High School: Cranbrook Kingswood School, Bloomfield Hills.

Probable career field: Mechanical Engineering

Viraj Nautiyal

High School: Birmingham Seaholm High School, Birmingham.

Probable career field: Public Policy

 

 

 

Natalie Forsythe was among 38 Oakland County students to win a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. By the conclusion of the 2024 program, more than 6,870 students will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $26 million in college scholarships. Oakland Press file photo

Real or not real? New ‘Hunger Games’ book, movie prequel will tell Haymitch’s story

10 June 2024 at 20:31

Angie Orellana Hernandez | (TNS) Los Angeles Times

Let the games begin: Suzanne Collins announced Thursday that a new “Hunger Games” book is on its way, to be followed by a new movie.

The new book, “Sunrise on the Reaping,” will be the fifth installment in the popular dystopian series. Scholastic is set to publish the novel on March 18, 2025.

Collins said she meditated on the writings of David Hume, an 18th-century Scottish philosopher known for his skepticism, as she wrote the book.

“With ‘Sunrise on the Reaping,’ I was inspired by David Hume’s idea of implicit submission and, in his words, ‘the easiness with which the many are governed by the few,’” she said in a statement. “The story also lent itself to a deeper dive into the use of propaganda and the power of those who control the narrative. The question ‘Real or not real?’ seems more pressing to me every day.”

Propaganda themes are not uncommon in the “Hunger Games” franchise, which originally followed teenage Katniss Everdeen as she reluctantly led a revolution against the tyrannical Panem government and its president, Coriolanus Snow.

“Sunrise on the Reaping” will take place 24 years before the original series, starting on the morning of the 50th Hunger Games — infamously known as the Second Quarter Quell, which had double the number of tributes and brought Haymitch Abernathy, who would later be Katniss’ mentor, into the spotlight.

Hours after the book announcement, Lionsgate — the studio behind the franchise — said the “Sunrise on the Reaping” adaptation will be released Nov. 20, 2026.

No casting announcements have been shared; director Francis Lawrence is in talks to return to the franchise, according to Lionsgate.

In 2020, Collins released the prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which takes place 64 years before the original series. A movie adaptation starring Rachel Zegler as protagonist Lucy Gray Baird and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow was released last November and made more than $300 million globally.

Fans — including Zegler herself, who once tweeted “girls don’t want boys. girls want suzanne collins to release a haymitch abernathy origin trilogy” — have been clamoring for a Haymitch-centric prequel.

On Thursday, the actor quipped: “you’re welcome guys.”

The five-installment “Hungers Games” movie franchise has collectively grossed more than $3.3 billion, Lionsgate said. The first four films starred Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch.

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Rachel Zegler stars in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.” (Murray Close/Lionsgate/TNS)

Gretchen’s table: Coffee-rubbed steaks for just two are worth celebrating

10 June 2024 at 20:27

Gretchen McKay | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (TNS)

When my five kids were growing up, we only ate steak on grilling holidays and special occasions such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July or Father’s Day, because filet, rib-eye or strip steak was just too expensive for our family as an everyday meal.

That’s no longer the case now that my husband and I are empty nesters, especially when we want to raise a toast to a happy event.

Actually, we had two reasons to celebrate this past month. First, my youngest son and his wife bought a house just around the corner from the house he grew up in and we still call home.

Second, after living with us for a month while we helped them paint and strip wallpaper and offered advice on countless other necessary repairs, they moved out.

I was quite sad to see them go, of course, especially since they took my 4-month-old grandson, Theo, with them. It was their dog (a very energetic beagle) and cat’s departure (my husband is severely allergic) that had us high-fiving each other as they rounded the corner in their SUV.

This foolproof steak recipe — perfectly sized for two — was one of the first dinners we enjoyed once things were quietly back to normal. Made in the oven instead of on a grill, it gets its exceptional taste from a bold and flavorful rub made with finely ground coffee, chili powder and brown sugar.

Thick wedges of sweet potatoes, shallot and sliced apple are roasted alongside the steak in the pan, making for an easy and complete meal. Depending on appetites, leftovers can be used to top a salad or stuff into a taco. It’s also pretty tasty cold the next morning with coffee.

Coffee-rubbed steak is roasted in the oven with sweet potatoes, shallots and apples for an easy meal for two. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Coffee-rubbed steak is roasted in the oven with sweet potatoes, shallots and apples for an easy meal for two. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)

One-Pan Coffee-Rubbed Steak

PG tested

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
  • 4 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 large apple, cored, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground coffee
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 1 12- to 16-ounce boneless strip steak (about 1 inch thick), trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss potatoes and shallots with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Arrange potatoes skin side down on half of rimmed baking sheet and arrange shallots in single layer next to potatoes. Roast until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.

Toss apple with 1 teaspoon oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt in now-empty bowl. Combine sugar, coffee, chili powder and remaining salt and pepper in small bowl. Pat steak dry with paper towels and rub with spice mixture.

Place steaks on empty portion of baking sheet. Arrange apple slices on top of shallots. Roast until potatoes, shallots and apples are fully tender and meat registers 120-125 degrees (for rare), or 130-135 degrees for medium-rare, 10-15 minutes.

Transfer steak, bottom side up, to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Combine parsley, vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large bowl. Add potatoes, shallots and apples and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice steak against grain and sprinkle with extra parsley. Serve steak with potato mixture.

Serves 2.

— adapted from “The Complete Cook for Two Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen

©2024 PG Publishing Co. Visit at post-gazette.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Coffee-rubbed steak is roasted in the oven with sweet potatoes, shallots and apples for an easy meal for two. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)

Music therapy helps stroke survivors regain lost speech by singing

10 June 2024 at 20:13

Ray Hart’s vocabulary consisted of just one word after his August 2022 stroke.

“Yep” was all he could say, said Pamela Jenkins, his caregiver and partner of 24 years.

Like many survivors, Hart, 62, can understand what’s said to him almost as well as he could before the stroke, but it’s still hard for him to form complete sentences.

Now, though, a year after adding music therapy to his rehabilitation schedule, he can sing them.

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day,” he sang during a recent session at Sentara Fort Norfolk Plaza, relief and pride glowing on his face as the pent-up words escaped. “What can make me feel this way? My girl!”

Jenkins urged medical professionals to consider including music therapy in their rehabilitation recommendations as a panelist in Friday’s Stroke Symposium hosted by Sentara in Williamsburg.

“That therapy, we have found, has helped him more than anything else,” she said.

Hart sees Tracy Bowdish, the only music therapist Sentara employs. Bowdish had worked with a task force to help pass music therapy licensure legislation in Virginia in 2020.

Despite its effectiveness for stroke survivors, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients and others with various types of cognitive deficit, music therapy is generally not covered by insurance, Bowdish said.

To make it accessible, Sentara takes a loss on the program and charges patients a $40 fee for each session. That amount hasn’t increased in Bowdish’s 12 years with the hospital system.

“I’m inherently skeptical by nature, so I know people look at music therapy and think it looks all fluffy,” Bowdish said.

But neurologic music therapy engages various parts of the brain, involving emotion, rhythm, memory and language, she said. When functional magnetic resonance imaging emerged, she added, practitioners thought they’d be able to find where music lives in the brain. It turned out, though, that unlike speech, which is controlled from the brain’s left hemisphere, music shows up all over the place.

“We use more of our brain when we sing than we do when we speak,” she said.

Music therapist Tracy Bowdish works with stroke survivor Ray Hart, 62, and his partner Pamela Jenkins during a session at Sentara Fort Norfolk Plaza in Norfolk on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Kendall Warner / The Virginian-Pilot)
Music therapist Tracy Bowdish works with stroke survivor Ray Hart, 62, and his partner Pamela Jenkins during a session at Sentara Fort Norfolk Plaza in Norfolk on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Kendall Warner / The Virginian-Pilot)

Dr. Alexander Grunsfeld, Sentara’s medical director for neuroscience and the director of Friday’s conference, said the power of music has always fascinated him.

“Everything else that moves you as a human being, you can correlate that with some value for survival,” Grunsfeld said. From love to fear, there’s a clear relationship, he said, but music doesn’t seem to have the same obvious correlation.

“I’ve always been really curious about that,” he said. “Why is music so powerful?”

The neurologic reasons music therapy helps after a stroke are a bit easier to understand, he said. A stroke is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain, usually triggered by a blood clot. Those clots, in turn, are often caused by damaged blood vessels, Grunsfeld said, adding that significant increases in stroke rates over the past several decades are associated with metabolic syndrome in a Western diet and sedentary lifestyles.

“It’s very difficult to change lifestyle,” he said. “But for people who really don’t want to have a stroke, the best option for them is to eat healthy and to engage in physical activity.”

Since clots usually occur in a limited area, they also cut off blood flow to the brain in a limited area.

“The brain is unlike any other organ in that it cannot last for more than a few minutes without oxygen,” Grunsfeld said. “If the blood was interrupted long enough, the neuron cells will die, and then that part of the brain will no longer be able to function normally.”

Recovery or improvement after a stroke typically depends on other neurons growing new connections to take over the functions of the brain cells that died, he said, but overall understanding of recovery has changed dramatically over the past decade — especially the assumption that recovery is only possible for the first six months after a stroke.

“What we found out is that is not true, and it was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Grunsfeld said. “People should know that if anyone tells them that ‘you’re just never going to get better than this,’ that isn’t accurate.”

“The more you use your brain, even as you get older and even after a stroke, your brain has the ability to adapt and to improve,” he said. “And so I would say that recovery or improvement is possible at any stage. You just have to do the hard work.”

Music therapist Tracy Bowdish works with stroke survivor Ray Hart, 62, and his partner Pamela Jenkins during a session at Sentara Fort Norfolk Plaza in Norfolk on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Kendall Warner / The Virginian-Pilot)
Music therapist Tracy Bowdish works with stroke survivor Ray Hart, 62, and his partner Pamela Jenkins during a session at Sentara Fort Norfolk Plaza in Norfolk on May 16. (Kendall Warner / The Virginian-Pilot)

Music therapy can make that work a little less hard, Grunsfeld and Bowdish both said, simply because it’s fun.

“Obviously, we know what we should do,” Bowdish said. “We know we should exercise more. We know we should put down the cigarettes. We know we should do things, but that doesn’t mean we do them.”

The same is true for therapy, she said, which requires both efficacy, meaning the therapy really works, and compliance, meaning the patient actually completes it. It’s hard for someone to keep a frown on their face and sing along glumly with their favorite songs, she said.

Bowdish, who has been completely blind since birth, said the occasional patronizing attitudes she encounters have affected how she treats her patients.

“I don’t ever want to be condescending or have low expectations for people,” she said. “Just because somebody had a stroke, that doesn’t automatically define who they are now.”

“Yeah!” Hart interjected emphatically, paying close attention to Bowdish’s passionate comments.

“Yeah, say it!” Bowdish responded, laughing. “That’s just one day that one thing happened. It definitely changes the rest of your life, but it’s not necessarily a major part of somebody’s identity unless they choose for it to be.”

The signs and symptoms of a stroke, from the Virginia Department of Health.
Courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health
The signs and symptoms of a stroke, from the Virginia Department of Health.

Have a health care or science story, question or concern? Contact Katrina Dix, 757-222-5155, katrina.dix@virginiamedia.com.

Ray Hart, a 62-year-old stroke survivor, works on singing songs to help recall words and language during a music therapy session at Sentara Fort Norfolk Plaza in Norfolk on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Kendall Warner / The Virginian-Pilot)

Rodeo bull named 'Party Bus' hops fence at Oregon arena, injuring 3 spectators

10 June 2024 at 20:02

A rodeo bull hopped a fence surrounding an Oregon arena and ran through a concession area into a parking lot, injuring at least three people before wranglers caught up with it, officials said.

The crowd at the 84th Sisters Rodeo in the city of Sisters was singing along with Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." on Saturday night, most with their cellphone flashlights on, as the bull ran around the arena before what was to be the final bull ride of the night, when the bull hopped the fence, according to a video shot by a fan.

Other videos posted online showed the bull running through a concession area, knocking over a garbage can and sending people scrambling. The bull lifted one person off the ground, spun them end over end, and bounced them off its horns before the person hit the ground.

The Sisters Rodeo Association issued a statement Sunday saying three people were injured "as a direct result of the bull, two of whom were transported to a local hospital," KTVZ-TV reported. Rodeo livestock professionals secured the bull next to livestock holding pens and placed it in a pen, the association said.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Sergeant Joshua Spano said several ambulances were called to the scene. Deputies transported one patient with non-life-threatening injuries to a hospital, and a deputy also sustained minor injuries when responding to the bull's escape, Lt. Jayson Janes told KTVZ on Sunday.

Danielle Smithers was among the rodeo fans with her cellphone flashlight on as the bull named Party Bus was moving around the ring with two riders on horseback as the crowd sang and swayed to the music.

"And about 30 seconds into it I stopped and I looked at it and I thought to myself, 'this is just too beautiful not to have a video,'" Smithers said. She shut off her flashlight and "started recording the bull, just following him, making his loop and as he started coming around his second loop in my video, he goes right over" the fence, she said.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association said Saturday's incident is a reminder that "while rodeo is a highly-entertaining sport, on very rare occasions it can also pose some risk."

"PRCA sends our thoughts and well wishes to those who were injured or otherwise impacted by this frightening and very rare incident," the association said.

Officials with the Sisters Rodeo couldn't be reached to ask if an investigation is planned.

The rodeo's final performance on Sunday went on as scheduled.

Sisters is about 23 miles northwest of Bend, Oregon.

One dead, another injured in small plane crash in Bridgewater Township

10 June 2024 at 20:01

One person has died and another has been life-flighted to the hospital after a plane crash in Bridgewater Township, south of Ann Arbor.

Michigan State Police, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the small plane crash in rural Washtenaw County.

MSP says the single-engine plane crashed around 1:10 p.m. Monday south of US-12 and west of Lima Center Road in Bridgewater Township.

Information from online flight trackers shows the plane, a Piper PA-28 registered to Silvered Wings LLC out of Howell, took off from Ann Arbor Municipal Airport.

MSP says two people, a flight instructor and a student, were on board for a training flight at the time of the crash. Their names have not yet been released.

10 questions and answers about drinking and alcohol use in older adults

10 June 2024 at 20:00

Q. I have a concern about my 75-year-old mother. Since my father died two years ago, my mother is drinking a lot more wine than usual. It begins early afternoon with a few glasses, then a few more glasses at dinner and then the final glass of wine she takes to bed with her, indicating it helps her sleep. She keeps a plastic container of white wine in the refrigerator and pours it like orange juice. I know she misses my father daily. Any suggestions what to do? D.H.

The concern you raised reflects a growing trend among older adults. Let’s begin by taking the following quiz to get a sense of what we know about alcohol use and the older population. You will not be graded!

1. Alcohol disorder among older adults has slightly increased over the years. 

False. It has dramatically increased among those age 65 and older. One epidemiologic survey found that between 2001 and 2013 the rate of alcohol disorder has increased 107 percent.

2. Binge drinking rarely occurs among older adults.

False. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicate that approximately 20 percent of adults aged 60-64 and around 10 percent over age 65 report current binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion. 

3. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition.

True. It is defined as the “impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational or health consequences.” Considered a brain disorder, AUD can be mild, moderate, or severe.

4. The recommended amount of alcohol recommended to promote health and prevent disease is two drinks a day or less for men and one drink a day or less for women.

True. These are the guidelines developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They have determined what the average American should eat and drink to promote health and help prevent chronic disease.  

5. It’s easy to define one drink: it’s just one drink.

False. The definition is rather specific depending on what you drink.  One drink is equivalent to the following: 

  • 12 ounces of regular beer (5 percent alcohol)
  • 8 or 9 ounces of malt liquor (12 percent alcohol)
  • 5 ounces table wine (12 percent alcohol) 
  • 1.5-ounce of distilled spirits of gin, rum, tequila, voka, whiskey, etc.; (40 percent alcohol)

6. Genetics increases the risk of alcohol use disorder.

True. Genetics accounts for approximately 60% of the overuse of alcohol. The risk is influenced by the interaction of a person’s genes and their environment.

7. People who drink daily have an alcohol use disorder. 

False. “People who drink daily do not necessarily have alcohol use disorder. And not all who have an alcohol use disorder drink every day. But heavy drinking, even occasionally, can have harmful effects.”

8. For strong and fit adults, an alcohol disorder has minor consequences.

False. Drinking too much for anyone over a long period of time can lead to some types of cancer, liver and brain damage. It makes osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and mood disorders worse.

9. AUD causes about 20 percent of fatal falls in the U.S.

False. It causes far more – 65 percent – of fatal falls. For older adults, in particular, too much alcohol can lead to poor balance and falling. Since older adults have thinner bones than younger adults, falls can result in hip and arm fractures.

10. Older adults are more sensitive to alcohol than younger adults.

True. Older adults typically metabolize alcohol more slowly. We know that lean body mass declines with age which means there is less muscle to absorb the alcohol. Older adults feel the effects of alcohol more quickly, even consuming lower amounts of alcohol than when they were younger.  

Now, what to do? Consider having a conversation with your mother about her sadness and grief in missing your father and recommend a support group or meeting with a counselor. You might express your concern about the health implications of her drinking and suggest she see her doctor for a checkup.  

There are some websites that might be helpful.

Thank you D.H. for your question. Your mother is fortunate to have a caring daughter. Stay well and know kindness is everything.

Some thoughts on older adults and drinking. (Getty Images)
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