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Published: Sunday, July 30, 2017 @ 2:40 AM
Updated: Sunday, July 30, 2017 @ 7:04 AM
SEATTLE — Last week, the supporters behind Initiative 27 to ban "safe injection" sites for drug users in King County, Washington, turned in more than enough signatures to have the measure put on the ballot. They’re pushing for the King County Council to put it on the November ballot so voters can weigh in before two approved safe injection sites open.
The King County Board of Health unanimously approved the recommendations of an Opioid Task Force to open two sites in King County where users can take any drugs. The locations haven’t been determined, but the plan is to open them by the end of the year.
“This petition is not about shaming the user,” said Joshua Freed of IMPACtion, the political action group behind the initiative. “What's neat about this initiative process is it's non-partisan. It's an idea you can get behind.”
Freed says more than 1,000 volunteers helped collect signatures since May. They turned in 69,245 signatures to the King County Clerk on Monday, a week ahead of the July 31st deadline. To get on the ballot, 47,000 verified signatures are needed.
People are allowed to use any drugs, no questions asked. Health professionals and outreach workers ensure there are no overdoses and provide services and counseling. King County Health Officials touted the idea in a Facebook live video in June.
“There have been zero, zero overdose deaths in any of these facilities worldwide,” said Brad Finegood of the Heroin Addiction Task Force.
Freed emphasizes that they agree with most of the recommendations from the King County Opioid Task Force, just not injection sites.
“We see that as a facility that is enabling and encouraging people to use opioids,” said Freed. “Let's spend that money on treatment. Let's get people into beds that need the help and interim treatment.”
Once the signatures are validated, the King County Council has 90 days to take action. They could as a council pass the initiative as written. They could re-write it and have their re-written initiative and this initiative on the ballot. Or they could put it on the ballot as is.
Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:46 PM
WINCHESTER, Mass. — A 22-year-old woman is dead after a double stabbing Saturday at a public library in Massachusetts.
Winchester police tell Boston 25 News they were called to the Winchester Public Library just after 10:30 a.m.
When police arrived, they found a female and an elderly man both suffering from stab wounds, Boston25News reported.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan says the 22-year-old female was in the library sitting at a table when the suspect, 24-year-old Jeffrey Yao, approached her from behind and stabbed her with a 10-inch hunting knife.
She suffered multiple stab wounds to the head and upper torso and was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Several people in the library ran to help the woman, including a 77-year-old man who also sustained stab wounds, Boston25News reported. He was taken to the hospital.
Yao was arrested in connection with the stabbing. He is being held without bail and is facing murder and assault with intent to murder with a dangerous weapon charges.
Officials did not say if the stabbing was random or if Yao knew the victim. They are still investigating the stabbing - including the motive.
The victim has not been identified.
Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 2:33 PM
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Police arrested a Florida man Monday after he allegedly broke into a sleeping woman’s home and committed sexual battery.
Officers responded to an apartment in an undisclosed West Palm Beach neighborhood about 5 a.m. Feb. 19 when a woman called and said she woke up to a man kneeling at the foot of her bed and touching her genital area, according to the arrest report.
She told officers that she asked the man — who was later identified as 27-year-old Lamarsh Shelly — what he was doing in her house, and he said “your door was open,” the police report states.
According to the arrest report, Shelly then asked her if she wanted to have sex and asked her for a cigarette. She gave him a cigarette, and she demanded he leave the apartment. She told officers that she knew him from the neighborhood, and he went by the nickname “Honeycomb.”
The woman said Shelly was wearing a black shirt with tan pants, the Palm Beach Post reported. Officers then spoke to another witness who said that she saw Shelly outside of the apartment walking north while smoking a cigarette.
Officers located Shelly at 8th Street and Herietta Avenue, where he told officers, “I don’t burglarize and I don’t want sex,” the report states.
Shelly later admitted to officers that he walked into the apartment, opened the front door and saw the victim sleeping in her bed, the Palm Beach Post reported. He said that he made noises to wake her up to tell her that her front door was open, but did not mention touching her.
Police said children were sleeping in the apartment when the incident occurred.
Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 1:08 PM
EL PASO, Texas — A Texas teenage mother was arrested Friday, accused of killing her newborn child earlier this month, police said.
Erica Gomez, 17, is accused of stabbing her newborn child, wrapping the infant girl in a bathrobe and hiding the body in a storage shed at a home in the El Paso area, police said. The infant's body was found Feb. 9 by authorities, the El Paso Times reported.
The infant had a stab wound and cuts to the neck and body, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:50 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando, Florida, doctor has been arrested for Medicaid fraud.
The Florida Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Friday that Dr. Ishrat Sohail is accused of giving vaccines to patients with private insurance. The vaccines were intended for Medicaid patients and uninsured children as part of the Vaccines for Children Program, or VFC, officials said.
Officials said Sohail is accused of giving patients partial doses of vaccines while billing insurance for the full amount, officials said. The partial doses also may not provide sufficient protection from potentially dangerous diseases that can be prevented with a full dose of vaccine.
The health department is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration and health insurance companies to notify all potentially affected families. At this time, it is estimated that approximately 500 children may have been affected, officials said in a news release.
Sohail’s license to practice medicine in the state of Florida has been suspended by the state.
In 2016, the department determined that Sohail administered two vials of VFC vaccines to non-Medicaid patients and billed private insurance companies, officials said. She was suspended from the VFC program for two months.
Officials said Sohail was placed on a corrective action plan, which limited the number of doses of vaccines available to her and in January, she was found to be in noncompliance.
Any child who received a vaccine from Sohail between 2016 and 2018 should contact a new primary care provider and consider revaccination, officials said.
There is also the possibility that Sohail did not follow best practices in maintaining the sterility of the vaccines she administered.