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Wright State faculty ask for laid off colleagues to be rehired

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 11:49 AM


            Wright State faculty members asked the university’s board of trustees to reinstate instructors who are set to be laid off. Some faculty stood at the back of the room to protest the cuts.

Wright State University faculty, representing the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, today asked the board of trustees to reinstate faculty positions that were cut last fall.

The university announced in October 2016 that it would eliminate 23 positions, including six faculty jobs, following spring semester. The cuts were one way the university said it was dealing with its budget issues and a drop of enrollment in WSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

RELATED: Wright State merges departments to create new school

The first faculty member to speak at the board meeting this morning, Gretchen McNamara, a lecturer in the school of music, said that students “are devastated” to be “stripped away” from their instructors. The elimination of positions in the music school will make Wright State a less competitive university, McNamara said.

The October layoffs included two instructors in the school of music, officials have said.

Another faculty member pointed to arguments that the university needs to up enrollment to increase revenue as a reason why instructors should not have been laid off.

“Faculty are the revenue generators,” said Noeleen Mcllvenna, a WSU history professor. “We need more faculty not less. The rest is just noise.”

Wright State president David Hopkins said he understands faculty concerns and that he hopes enrollment increases so that faculty members who were laid off can eventually return if they want to.

“It’s always the last thing we want to do,” Hopkins said of the layoffs. “Because of the circumstances of the budget and enrollment challenges, these are the tough decisions we’re forced to make.

RELATED: Students call for WSU foundation to divest from hedge funds

Additional faculty stood at the back of the trustees meeting Friday where they held signs protesting the cuts, budget issues and the Wright State University foundation’s hedge fund holdings.

Students today were set to call for the foundation to divest from its hedge fund holdings. Hedge fund holdings make up about $6 million or 8 percent of the foundation’s nearly $80-million endowment, according to a statement from WSU spokesman Seth Bauguess.

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Preble County Sheriff’s Office investigates New Paris death 

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 10:17 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

UPDATE @ 10:45 a.m. 

County property records show Travis Bourne owns the home where a deceased body was located on Cardinal Hill Drive in New Paris Wednesday morning.  

We are working to learn about this death. 

INITIAL REPORT @ 10:17 a.m. 

NEW PARIS — The Preble County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a death on Cardinal Hill Drive in New Paris. 

The county coroner’s office will perform an autopsy Wednesday morning. 

Check back for more information on this story. 

Newborn found dead in dumpster after mom ends up in ICU

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 12:52 PM

Detroit police on Sunday found the body of a baby girl in a dumpster after the newborn’s mother went to the emergency room bleeding and complaining of stomach pain. 

WDIV reported that medical staff at the hospital transferred the 39-year-old woman to the intensive care unit, where they discovered that she’d recently given birth. She did not have a newborn with her, and neither did her husband, who drove her to the hospital. 

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Officers who went to the couple’s home on Detroit’s east side found the baby’s body in a trash bin behind the house, the news station reported

The woman’s husband told police he did not know she’d given birth. 

MLive.com reported Tuesday morning that the woman remained on a breathing tube in the hospital’s ICU, so investigators had not yet been able to interview her. An autopsy was done Monday on the infant’s body, but the cause of death has not been made public. 

The case remains under investigation. 

Shots fired near U.S. Capitol after woman flees traffic stop, police say

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 10:39 AM

A woman, center, is taken into custody on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Police say a driver struck a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser near the U.S. Capitol and was taken into custody.
Susan Walsh/AP

Officers opened fire on a woman on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday morning after she nearly ran over multiple U.S. Capitol Police officers while fleeing from a traffic stop, authorities said.

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No injuries were reported.

Officers spotted a woman driving erratically around 9 a.m. on Independence Avenue and attempted to stop her car, Capitol police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said. The unidentified woman made a U-turn and fled.

She stopped the sedan near the intersection of Washington and Independence avenues, where authorities apparently fired shots at the woman. Malecki declined to say where the bullets landed or how many shots were fired.

The incident did not appear to be related to terrorism.

“This appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism,” Malecki said.

What is a baby box and why are some states giving them to new parents?

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 9:59 AM

A newborn baby holds on to her mother's hand a few hours after being born.
Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

This week, Alabama will join two other U.S. states — Ohio and New Jersey — in launching a program that offers free baby boxes to families of newborns in the state.

Here’s what you should know about the boxes, their origin and why states are adopting the program:

What is a baby box and where did the idea come from?

The idea originates from 1930s Finland, when nearly one out of 10 infants died in their first year, according to the New York Times.

The Finnish boxes — which include bedding and nearly 50 other items — are given as an incentive for mothers to see a doctor during pregnancy; to obtain one, expecting mothers had to undergo a medical exam during the first four months.

An average of 40,000 boxes are given to Finland’s mothers-to-be every year.

Today, Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world — 2.5 for every 1,000 births, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Why are U.S. states adopting baby box programs?

The U.S. infant mortality rate — 5.8 for every 1,000 births — is more than double that of Finland.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3,700 U.S. newborns suffered sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) in 2015.

One of the big risk factors associated with SUIDs is bed sharing.

When mothers can’t afford cribs, it’s not uncommon for bed sharing to occur.

With the high U.S. infant mortality rate and SUIDs statistics, some states are offering baby boxes to encourage postpartum safe sleep.

Which U.S. states have adopted baby boxes?

New Jersey became the first state to distribute baby boxes to prevent newborn deaths, followed by Ohio and now, Alabama.

California-based Baby Box Co. teamed up with state hospitals, child fatality organizations and other nonprofits to produce and distribute bassinet-sized boxes. 
According to NPR, New Jersey plans to distribute 105,000 boxes; Ohio, 140,000; Alabama, 60,000. 

What exactly is included in a U.S. baby box?

Though the details may differ across states and countries, the laminated cardboard boxes are usually well-built, mobile and come with a foam mattress and fitted sheet.

Often, the boxes will also include a onesie, diapers, wipes and breastfeeding accessories.

While the Finnish boxes were given to expecting mothers if and only if they underwent a medical exam during the first four months, the boxes in the three states are given away for free to families of newborns.

As part of the U.S. program, parents are expected to educate themselves by watching online videos about SIDs and safe sleep and test their knowledge through a short quiz.

"Through education and awareness, people can make better choices and hopefully we can see fewer children dying," Dr. Kathryn McCans, chair of New Jersey's Child Fatality and Near Fatality review board, told NPR.

Is a Safe Haven Baby Box the same as a baby box?

No. The Safe Haven Baby Box refers to a heated and padded incubator that allows new moms a safe way to give up their babies, rather than simply abandoning them.

In 2016, Indiana installed two boxes at fire stations as an extension of the state’s Safe Haven law, which offers parents complete anonymity when giving up an unwanted newborn younger than 45 days without being arrested or prosecuted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last year.

Learn more about the new baby boxes at NPR.org.

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