Renowned physicist and professor Stephen Hawking dead at 76

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 5:48 AM

Stephen Hawking Fast Facts

Professor Stephen Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, England, Wednesday. He was 76.

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According to a statement released by a family spokesperson, Hawking died peacefully in the early hours of the morning.

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His children issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and peristence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

The family said in their statement that the “University of Cambridge has very kindly offered to open a book of condolence at Gonville and Caius College for anyone who would like to pay tribute to the life and work of Professor Hawking.”

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Hawking was diagnosed with progressive and degenerative motor neuron disease in 1963 when he was 21 years old, according to Hawking.org, and given just two years to live by doctors.

>> Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute

He’s defied those odds by more than 50 years. Most patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) live no more than roughly three years after diagnosis, according to the ALS Association.

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Despite the disease, he was able to communicate from his motorized wheelchair using his cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating computer. 

While the illness may have forced Hawking into a wheelchair and left him voiceless, it never slowed down his intellect or genius and, if anything, seemed to accelerate his scientific drive and ambition. He spent 30 years as a professor at Cambridge, and, in addition to his scientific accomplishments, he’s also a prolific writer and penned one of the most iconic books of the 20th century “A Brief History of Time,” making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Oregon man wins lottery jackpot with 'mistake ticket'

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 1:16 AM

A man in Oregon is much richer after buying a lottery ticket that was printed by mistake.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A man in Oregon is much richer after buying a lottery ticket that was printed by mistake.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A convenience store clerk last week offered an Oregon man a chance to buy two lottery tickets that were printed by mistake. The man bought one and left, then thought better of it and returned to buy the other one.

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It was a decision for which he would be richly rewarded.

That second ticket Charles Svitak bought June 16 at a 7-Eleven store earned him a $7.3 million payday in Oregon’s Megabucks game, KDRV reported.

"When I checked the ticket on my computer I couldn't believe it," Svitak told The Oregonian. "The first thing I thought is that I had worked my last graveyard shift."

Svitak, who works in Medford, took the lump sum option, which was for $3.65 million, KDRV reported.

Patrick Johnson, public affairs officer at the Oregon Lottery, told the Oregonian that the tickets were not Quick Picks, where numbers are randomly generated by the computer.

Svitak did not tell his wife about the winnings. He went to Salem to get the check and then bought a truck.

"On the way home I got a new truck and put the oversized check they gave me on the windshield," Svitak told the Oregonian

Svitak showed his wife the check and truck when he returned home.

"She hasn't stopped giggling since," Svitak told KDRV.

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Giant spoon erected in front of pharmaceutical company to protest opioid addiction

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:57 PM

What You Need To Know: Opioids

A giant spoon was left in front of a pharmaceutical company in protest by a Connecticut artist.

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The 800-pound, 11-foot-long steel spoon symbolizes a much heavier burden for two artists.

"A symbol of the negative emotion I felt of the opioid addiction of my brother, Danny," Westwood native Domenic Esposito said. "For the last 14 years, we have been dealing with it.”

Esposito traveled to Connecticut to work with art gallery owner Fernando Alvarez to make the sculpture, and then move it to the front of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut.

“I’ve gotten a lot of tweets and messages about this," Esposito said. "Everyone knows what the missing spoon is who has family members that were affected by this.”

Earlier in June, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against Purdue on behalf of the state.

The lawsuit accuses the maker of oxycontin of illegally promoting the use of opioids and misrepresenting the risks of addiction and death connected to the drug.

It was the first lawsuit that also names the drug maker's executives and directors.

Purdue has denied the allegations and released a statement on the protest.

“We share the protestors’ concern about the opioid crisis, and respect their right to peacefully express themselves," the protest said.

Gallery owner Fernando Alvarez said the crimes are never punished, and changes need to occur.

"No one ever goes to jail for these things and that’s why the epidemic continues to happen," Alvarez said. "We are talking about real lives.”

Alvarez ended up in handcuffs on Friday for a minor charge of obstructing free passage. 

City workers using heavy equipment hauled away the giant spoon, but the two men hope the weight of the message stays.

Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The spoon will become a part of the exhibit at the Alvarez Gallery in Stamford.

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Woman accused of embezzling more than $150,000 from a doctor's office

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 11:24 PM

Ciera Garvin (Tulsa County Jail)
Ciera Garvin (Tulsa County Jail)

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting a woman for eight counts of embezzlement.

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Officials said Ciera Garvin, 31, embezzled $153,000 from the doctor’s office where she worked over a period of seven years.

Garvin turned herself in to the Tulsa County Jail.

Investigators said the doctor noticed on her tax forms that Garvin made too much money and said she discovered Garvin had altered her hours to overpay herself by $8,000 to $10,000.

Investigators said based on a forensic audit, they believe Garvin skimmed all the cash co-payments from patients and kept them rather than depositing them, along with co-payments made via credit and debit cards.

Police said Garvin had been doing it since at least 2011.

Fraud detectives said they believe it’s a growing problem and have arrested at least five office managers from doctors’ offices for embezzlement over the past few years.

A few months ago, the Tulsa Police Department fraud unit teamed up with the Tulsa Attorney General’s Office to have them prosecute some of the repeat offenders and larger cases. TPD said this case involved such a large amount of money that it was the first case in the partnership that the AG’s Office will prosecute.

Garvin has bonded out of jail. Her attorney, Chad Greer, said they have no comment.

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12-year-old's invention for detecting plastics in oceans getting national recognition

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 9:43 PM

(Boston25News.com)
(Boston25News.com)

A 12-year-old girl from Andover, Massachusetts, is getting a big prize and national recognition for her invention to clean up the world's oceans.

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Anna Du is one of 10 finalists for the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work on an invention that detects microplastics in bodies of water without disturbing plants or animals.

"One day when I was at Boston Harbor, I noticed there was a lot of plastics on the sand," Du said. "I tried picking some up, but there seemed to be so many more, and it just seemed impossible to clean it all up."

Du, a lover of marine animals, decided to take action.

She began work on an underwater device that uses infrared light to detect harmful microplastics in the ocean.

Her invention is now gaining national attention as a finalist in the challenge.

As a finalist, Du will get a chance to work with one of 3M's scientists to take her invention from detecting plastic in her backyard, to detecting it in the world's oceans.

"Science has always been a big part of my life," Du said. "I'm super excited to make something that can actually help the world."

Du wants to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study marine-related science.

She and the other nine finalists will take part in the final competition in October at the 3M Innovation Center in Saint Paul.

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