Disruption to cancer service will increase mortality – Oncologist Twitter Hospitalisations rise as Donnelly suggests masks will stay ’til autumn 45 new social homes to be built in Dungloe Twitter Google+ Pinterest Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook A spokesperson for woodland owners in Donegal has called for a stop to the selling of our states forests.Speaking to Highland Radio, John Jackson stated there was a unanimous agreement among woodland owners that state harvesting rights and forestry lands should not be sold off.Mr Jackson says Donegal has a huge resource which isn’t being realised, and with support, forestry and woodland can make a major contribution to the county’s economy, through employment and renewable energy as well as bringing recreational and environmental benefits….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/jhn12.mp3[/podcast] Consultation launched on proposal to limit HGV traffic in Clady Donegal hoteliers enjoy morale boost as bookings increase WhatsApp News Google+ Today is the 30th anniversary of Eddie Fullerton’s murder Chairman of the Donegal Woodland Owners Society calls for a stop to the sale of state forests Facebook Previous articleIsland life at risk if ways to boost the fishing sector are not foundNext articleMan charged after attempted armed robbery in Letterkenny News Highland By News Highland – March 30, 2013 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR
Lamar sports informationNATCHITOCHES, La. — It’s always the little things that count when two teams’ aces go head-to-head, and Saturday night it was one of three errors charged to Lamar that helped Northwestern State punch through a run and down the baseball team 2-0 at Brown-Stroud Field in the Southland Conference opener for both teams.Speedster Nick Heath led off the sixth inning for the Demons (7-6, 1-0 Southland Conference) and reached when the Cardinal (9-5, 0-1) infield was charged with an error. Heath promptly stole second base and took third when Bret Underwood rolled over a groundball to first base. The first out of the inning was Cort Brinson, who lined out to Stijn van der Meer at shortstop, but Heath took matters into his own hands by successfully stealing home.His steal undid a great outing from senior starter Will Hibbs (2-1), who was forced to take a loss. The right-hander worked six innings and allowed only two hits. The lone run charged to him was unearned and he struck out six batters with just one walk.With two outs already on NSU, it added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when a walk was issued to Kwan Adkins. Heath sent him to third with a single through the right side and Adkins was able to take home on a wild pitch uncorked by reliever Brett Brown.Brown pitched two innings and struck out four with a walk, hit and run allowed.Northwestern State ace Adam Oller (2-0) was dominant Saturday and only allowed three runners to get into scoring position. None of those made it to third base. He took the complete-game, shutout victory on nine innings with five hits and two walks allowed and three strikeouts.All five of LU’s hits came from three players, both van der Meer and Cutter McDowell each had two. Van der Meer was 2 of 3 with a walk and McDowell was 2 of 4. David Fry led the Demons with two hits in four trips, and Heath recorded the other hit.Both teams plan to play a doubleheader with the start time still to be determined. Jayson McKinley (0-0, 1.02 earned run average) is expected to start game two while Billy Love (0-0, 1.46) will get the ball in the finale. McKinley will face Chase Hymel (1-2, 4.91).After its series at NSU, Lamar will return home for a midweek contest against Houston at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. That contest opens a seven-game home stand for the Cardinals that includes conference series against Central Arkansas and New Orleans.
March 15, 2015 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Mental health in the courts: Could this finally be the year? Mental health in the courts: Could this finally be the year? Senior EditorWhen it comes to financing the care and treatment of its citizens with mental health problems, Florida has almost nowhere to go but up. In a ranking of 52 states and territories, Florida ranks 50th, according to Miami-Dade County Judge Steve Leifman. If the state added $1 billion to its mental health expenditures, that would raise it to only 32nd on the list.And while there have been some innovative pilot programs that offer hope, the state continues to waste much of the money it does spend, Leifman told the Florida House Judiciary Committee, which held a workshop on mental health and criminal justice issues February 18.He observed that if the people with physical ailments were treated the same as those with mental illnesses, “there would be lawsuits and criminal indictments. It still stuns me that it’s OK to discharge people with serious mental illnesses into homelessness, and that’s basically what we do. And then we don’t understand why they end up in the criminal justice system.”This was not the first time Leifman has testified before the Legislature, but there was some indication it may have a larger effect this year. Committee Chair Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, started the meeting by saying, “I expect it will generate discussion amongst legislators and stakeholders for possible legislative reforms.”And committee member Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, chair of the Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee of the Health and Human Services Committee, said she planned to hold a hearing on the issue with an eye toward producing legislation this year.Leifman led off the meeting and cited four factors as “drivers” to creating mental health treatment problems in the state, including the low expenditures for community mental health. Effective use of the money spent is complicated by having a system that is fragmented and difficult to use, especially for people with mental health problems. The other three factors, he said, are:* Much of the money that is spent is wasted. One third of the state’s entire mental health budget for adults — about $200 to $210 million a year — is spent on 2,500 people in an attempt to restore their “forensic” mental competency so they can stand trial. That’s more than any other state, and only three other states have more than 400 patients in such expensive treatment. Yet 70 percent of those who have their competency restored will have the charges dropped, be sentenced to time already served, or get probation. And there is little or no follow-up treatment for them once they are released. Meanwhile, the 150,000 to 160,000 people arrested every year in the state with serious mental problems will receive inadequate treatment.“We keep doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome,” Leifman said. He noted an alternative pilot program in Miami-Dade is about one-third faster and one-third cheaper. Between 1996 and 2012, the population of Florida’s state prisons grew by more than 50 percent, but the number of inmates with serious mental problems grew three times as fast. It could cost the state $2.5 billion over the next 10 years to build prisons for inmates with mental health problems.* Medicaid funding for mental health problems is based on a 1950s notion of providing only “medically necessary services” — usually medication — which is less than the comprehensive approach needed and winds up cycling people through the system again and again. But it doesn’t treat the post-traumatic stress disorder for many of the 92 percent of women in prison who were sexually abused as children and the 76 percent of men in prison who have some sort of trauma in their backgrounds. “We need treatments to deal with trauma,” Leifman said.* Involuntary commitment laws, including the state’s Baker Act, are based on 1700’s common law and have the goal of protecting the community rather than helping the mentally ill. Frequently, Leifman said, the incarcerated person gets evaluated, gets a prescription, and then is released in 72 hours with no follow-up, even to ensure they will take the prescribed medication.Leifman said there are alternatives that work. He said the pilot program in Miami-Dade has reduced its jail population from 7,800 to 4,400, has reduced injuries to police by the mentally ill, and has reduced injuries to the mentally ill by police. Recidivism on misdemeanors by those with mental problems has dropped from 72 to 20 percent, and the program is being expanded to those charged with nonviolent felonies.He said better training for police, diversion programs for those facing less serious charges, a less fragmented system that’s easier for those needing help, monitoring in schools to identify children with mental health problems (70 percent of those in the juvenile justice system have mental health issues), effective case management, housing, and treatment beyond handing out a prescription can all make an effective system.Leifman called for diverting some of the money from the forensic treatment to diverting and treating the mentally ill when they are arrested for minor offenses. The assistance system also needs to be easier for those people to use, recognizing they may be homeless, have difficulty with transportation, and have other issues.“People really don’t want to be sick. People really don’t want to be on the street. But the system is so unwelcoming, that is where they prefer to be,” Leifman said.Seventh Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza and Sixth Circuit Public Defender Bob Dillinger said there are attempts to address mental health issues when their offices confront them, but much more needs to be done.Larizza said better programs are needed to determine when those arrested have mental health issues and to treat them once that determination is made. He added that the priority for prosecutors remains protecting public safety.Dillinger said diversion programs have proved effective, but there are too few of them. He said one such program in his circuit has proved 90 percent effective. He also said children with mental health problems in the justice system is a growing problem and is inadequately addressed. He noted one problem to help children who are committed under the Baker Act closes for the summer when schools close, even though it is full for the rest of the year.“We need to do something. It is a threat to public safety to have people who are not being treated, and it is unfair to people who could benefit from being treated,” Dillinger said.Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Galtieri said better training for his deputies has dramatically reduced problems when they are called to incidents involving the mentally ill, but added in most cases there is no program or follow-up care for those people. He added the biggest need is for “navigators” who can steer people through the mental health system and the programs in place to help them.Okaloosa County Court Judge Patt Maney talked about how the traumatic brain injuries he sustained in Afghanistan helped him understand the need for expanding the use of veterans’ courts because of the special physical and mental challenges many veterans face. He has formally had such a court since legislation passed authorizing them in 2012.“You can function, you can look normally, you can talk normally, but sometimes when you get injured there’s a little piece that doesn’t work right,” Maney said. “The veterans’ courts work because they’re designed around the basic drug court model.. . . It’s outcome-based. The veterans’ courts work because they key to the military identification of the defendant.”The committee also heard from officials from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice on their mental health programs in its almost three-hour meeting.“Obviously we’re looking at possible legislative reform, and I look forward to having some input,” McBurney said as the meeting adjourned.
TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford took time out of his work days to film taxpayer-funded videos that have been criticized as partisan propaganda on at least 100 occasions during his first year in power.A Canadian Press analysis of a year’s worth of Ontario News Now videos found that Ford filmed with them on close to a third of the days in his first year as premier.The premier’s office said he usually spends less than five minutes at a time on ONN filming and defended the use of time and did not dispute the estimate.“Ontario News Now is a creative way to communicate the government’s message in the modern, digital world — no different than a video press release or a digital householder,” spokeswoman Ivana Yelich said in a statement.One of the differences, said NDP critic Taras Natyshak, is that Ontario News Now styles itself as journalism. The spots are formatted like a TV news report, with a woman posing as a reporter interviewing the premier and cabinet ministers.“Delivering your message on policy will always be an exercise that parliamentarians embark on and it’s an important way to communicate through all facets,” Natyshak said in an interview.“However, trying to make it seem like this has the aspect of journalism and that he’s being questioned by a legitimate journalist, sort of, is disingenuous. He’s not receiving the hard questions that true media outlets would give him, given the opportunity.”In Ford’s first year he held formal media availabilities, in which he takes a variety of questions from reporters, about two dozen times. He also did a handful of one-on-one interviews and called into talk radio on several occasions.Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said it is a “shocking” amount of time for the premier to spend on his “personal propaganda network.”“Rather than filming partisan videos disguised as independent media, the premier could have spent this time speaking with students, educators, and municipalities affected by his cuts,” Schreiner said in a statement. “I suggest the premier spend less time in the ONN echo chamber and more time listening to the people being hurt by his cuts.”Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser said Ford “should be spending his time answering the tough questions from the media rather than filming vanity spots on his own private news network.”Ford has previously said that mainstream journalists have become irrelevant because he is “circumventing the media through our social media.”Ontario News Now is produced and funded through PC caucus services. All recognized parties in the legislature — currently just the Tories and the NDP — get caucus service budgets for research, communications and associated staff. The total earmarked for the parties for 2018-19, the latest figures available, was $13.7 million.“As leader of the PC caucus, the premier is responsible for helping to get our government’s message out through new and engaging content,” Yelich said.Peter Graefe, an associate professor of political science at McMaster University, said the videos are probably not a good use of the premier’s time, but it also isn’t clear that they are helping the government — rather they may just be fostering cynicism.It is important for all governments to communicate with citizens, he said, but there is a line between information and partisan self-promotion.“Normally, you would expect communications to be not through the government caucuses,” he said.The videos are not subject to government advertising rules that the auditor general oversees.The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has called for the rules to be changed so that public money for caucus services cannot be spent on partisan advertising.Interim Ontario director of the CTF, Jasmine Pickel, said Ford should also restore oversight powers of the auditor general.The former Liberal government changed the criteria for what is deemed partisan advertising, and the auditor general has complained that doing so reduced her office to a rubber stamp and removed her discretion to veto ads as partisan.The Progressive Conservatives frequently slammed the Liberals over government advertising that they said was partisan and promised during last year’s election to restore the auditor general’s powers.But they now won’t commit to keeping that promise, only to review it.Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Tom FennarioAPTN National NewsRoxann Whitebean wouldn’t normally film herself.But she received medical news she couldn’t ignore.So, she started recording her own journey and the loss of something special.