Ohio preparing for 1st execution in more than 3 years

Published: Friday, July 07, 2017 @ 2:16 PM
Updated: Friday, July 07, 2017 @ 12:06 AM

The sedative midazolam was one of the two drugs used in the execution of Dennis McGuire last month. Ohio was the first state to use the two-drug combination of midazolam and hydromorphone, a painkiller. Louisiana announced last week that it would change its protocol to include those two drugs. Ohio’s preferred drug is pentobarbital, but supplies of that drug expired in September 2013. CONTRIBUTED
The sedative midazolam was one of the two drugs used in the execution of Dennis McGuire last month. Ohio was the first state to use the two-drug combination of midazolam and hydromorphone, a painkiller. Louisiana announced last week that it would change its protocol to include those two drugs. Ohio’s preferred drug is pentobarbital, but supplies of that drug expired in September 2013. CONTRIBUTED

Ohio is following a mandatory checklist for putting inmates to death as it prepares for the state's first execution in more than three years, a prisons agency official said.

The state wouldn't release documents related to those checkups to The Associated Press, saying open records law shields such information.

"We can confirm, however, that to date all steps of Ohio's execution protocol have been complied with in preparation of the execution scheduled later this month," JoEllen Smith, prisons department spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Ronald Phillips, who was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in 1993 in Akron, is scheduled to die July 26. It's his third execution date of the year following earlier reprieves to allow legal arguments over the drugs Ohio plans to use.

RELATED: Appeals court ruling opens door to Ohio resuming executions

In a significant ruling, a federal appeals court last month opened the door to Phillips' execution and others by permitting Ohio's use of a contested sedative.

That drug, midazolam, was used previously in problematic executions in Ohio, Arizona and Arkansas in which inmates didn't appear fully sedated before other drugs kicked in.

Attorneys for death row inmates fell short in attempts to prove that "Ohio's protocol is 'sure or very likely' to cause serious pain," the appeals court said in an 8-6 ruling.

An appeal of that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected.

Phillips, 43, also has separate federal appeals pending that argue his age at the time — he was 19 — should be a consideration for mercy. The nation's high court already has banned the execution of people under 18.

"We're going to continue to fight as vigorously as we can to see that this execution does not go forward," said Tim Sweeney, an attorney representing Phillips.

Executions have been on hold in Ohio since January 2014 when death row inmate Dennis McGuire gasped and snorted during the 26 minutes it took him to die, the longest execution in the state to date. The state used midazolam and a painkiller on McGuire in a method that's since been abandoned.

RELATED: Ohio executions resume; DDN reporter witnessed last lethal injection

What Ohio's protocols require:

30 days before the execution:

— The warden of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, where executions are carried out, determines whether the state has sufficient execution drugs and reports his findings to the prisons agency director. The state has said in court filings it has enough drugs to carry out at least four executions.

—The execution team begins weekly training sessions.

21 days beforehand:

— Prison medical staff evaluates an inmate's veins and plans for the insertion of the IV lines.

— A member of the prison system's mental health staff evaluates the inmate's stability and mental health in light of the scheduled execution.

14 days beforehand:

The warden of Chillicothe Correctional Institution, where death row is housed, verifies the inmate's pre-execution visitors, his spiritual adviser, execution witnesses and funeral arrangements.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/andrew-welsh-huggins

Otterbein Lebanon trades land for outdoor sports complex

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 8:42 PM

Otterbein Lebanon transferred about 107 aces of their land to Warren County on Oct. 2, in lieu of an outdoor sports complex project. 

The project may potentially begin this November. It will begin the “Union Village” plan that Otterbein is developing to create a high-quality village that “preserves the very strong sense of community and values Otterbein holds”. 

The sports complex and Union Village project will be a planned community for all generations. 

Want to save thousands of dollars? Lose weight, study says

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 5:22 PM

New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says losing weight can save thousands of dollars.
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images/Blend Images
New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says losing weight can save thousands of dollars.(JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images/Blend Images)

Weight loss has its share of benefits — lower risk of heart disease or diabetes, better-fitting clothing and boosted energy, to name a few.

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But, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, if you’re either obese or overweight, shedding those pounds could save you upwards of $30,000 in your lifetime.

The findings, published Tuesday in the journal Obesity claim 20-, 40- and 50-year-olds would save significant dollars in direct medical costs and productivity losses over their lifetime if they go from obese to overweight or from obese to a healthy weight.

Related: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

Using previous knowledge that people with a high body mass index (BMI) are more prone to conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer -- all conditions with steep price tags -- the researchers created a computational simulation of the U.S. adult population.

The simulation examined adults at various ages, weights and health statuses, and then calculated estimated direct medical costs, productivity losses (including sick time).

Here’s how much money you could save by losing weight:

Age 20

Obese to overweight: $17,655

Obese to healthy weight: $28,020

Age 40

Obese to overweight: $18,262

Obese to healthy weight: $31,447

Age 50, cost savings peak

Average total savings: $36,278

Though researchers found that cost savings peaked at age 50 and decreased with older ages, they noted that older adults who lose weight can still save money.

In the U.S., more than 70 percent of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. That costs the country nearly $210 billion each year, study authors wrote.

Related: These 9 healthy-sounding foods have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut 

“Over half the costs of being overweight can be from productivity losses, mainly due to missed work days. This means that just focusing on medical costs misses a big part of the picture, though they're a consideration, too,” Bruce Y. Lee, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at the Bloomberg School, said in a news release. “Productivity losses affect businesses, which in turn affects the economy, which then affects everyone.”

Read the full study and its methodology at onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

Woman gives birth in car to baby still in amniotic sac

Published: Saturday, September 02, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

Woman Gives Birth to Baby While in Car

A woman’s Instargram post showing a photo of her newborn baby still in its amniotic sac after she gave birth in a car went viral this week.

Raelin Scurry, who lives in the Pittsburgh area, said that on the morning of Aug. 5 she thought she was feeling false labor contractions 29 weeks into her pregnancy.

“After about 45 minutes of consistent contractions that were increasing in intensity I decided I should probably go in,” Scurry said in her Instagram post

She then got into the car with her boyfriend, but a few minutes into the drive Scurry knew she was not going to make it to the hospital in time. 

“The contractions continued to get closer together and more intense and before I knew it I knew it was time to push. I called 911 because I was so scared. They couldn't understand me between the screams with contractions,” she said in her post.  

Once Scurry delivered the baby, she realized her son was still wrapped up in his amniotic sac. Although dispatchers told the couple to pull over, she did not want to wait and they arrived to the hospital seven minutes later. 

(WARNING: Graphic image) READ MORE BELOW

Our birth story! ❤ The human body is truly an amazing thing. 8.5.2017 at about 10am I started having contractions. I was only 29 weeks and 4 days so I just figured they were Braxton hicks and decided to wait it out. After about 45 minutes of consistent contractions that were increasing in intensity I decided I should probably go in. I there in some clothes. Grabbed my daughter some clothes, her my fiance And I left for the hospital. I dropped my daughter to her God mommy Nicole And headed to the hospital. Well the contractions continued to get closer together and more intense and before I knew it I knew it was time to push. I called 911 because I was so scared. They couldn't understand me between the screams with contractions. So I handed the phone to my fiance. I pulled my pants off and reached down, sure enough his head was right there. I pushed one time and my miracle baby was here. When I looked down I realized he was still completely wrapped in the amniotic sac. The dispatcher told us to pull over. But I knew we would make it to the hospital before they would make it to us. So I told Ean to keep driving. I was so scared. My Fiance was so calm driving and on the phone with 911. At first the baby was still and all I could do was pray he would be okay. And then I rubbed his face with my thumb and he pulled his little hands and feet up to his face as if he understood my prayers and wanted to reassure us he was okay. About 7 minutes passed that I held this miracle baby in my hands until we made it to the hospital. A familiar face came running out and grabbed my baby. He was born an caul. This happens 1 in every 80,000 births. Usually during c-section. He was 3lb 1oz. He doing wonderful all things considered all He went through I know he's going to be an awesome little man! ❤ he is truly a miracle baby. We are so blessed to be his parents. #encaul #encaulbirth #carbirth #miriclebaby

A post shared by Raelin Scurry (@raeee_nacoal23) on

What happened during Scurry’s delivery was a phenomenon called caul birth, which only happens 1 in every 80,000 births, usually by cesarean section, she explained in her post. 

The baby boy, named Ean Jamal Vanstory Jr. (E.J. for short), is doing well, Scurry said in updates on Instagram.

CDC: Over 100 people sickened in deadly salmonella outbreak involving Maradol papayas

Published: Friday, August 04, 2017 @ 12:51 PM

CDC: Over 100 People Sickened In Deadly Salmonella Outbreak Involving Maradol Papayas

In an update from officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday, the number of people sickened in the salmonella outbreak involving Maradol papayas has grown.

A total of 109 people from 16 states have been infected in the salmonella outbreak as of Aug. 3, the CDC said in a news release.
The states involved are CT, DE, IA, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, TX, VA, and WI.

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One death has been reported, and 35 people have been hospitalized, according to the CDC.

An additional strain of salmonella tied to Maradol papayas imported from Mexico has also been discovered, the CDC reported.

The FDA has found salmonella strains in other papayas from Carica de Campeche farm, which expands the original recall notice that urged consumers to avoid Caribeña brand Maradol papayas, distributed by Grande Produce.

The CDC and FDA are continuing their investigation to determine where in the supply chain the papayas became contaminated.