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CRIMINAL PROBLEM A six-month investigation between CBS News and Sports Illustrated has found that approximately 7 percent of college football players for teams in the Top 25 have a criminal record.

ALSO INSIDE I-Team: Dog Days At The Track Could A Tsunami Hit South Florida Stay Away From Tax Refund Loans Researchers Find Hangover Cure Miami Hits Top 20 In “World’s Rudest Cities”

N E W S .

March 18, 2011


CBS4 Newspaper March 18, 2011 Edition


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CBS4 Newspaper

March 18, 2011

5

College Football’s Criminal Problem MIAMI (CBS4) – For most fans of college football, especially fans of the big three schools in Florida, seeing a handful of players getting arrested each year for crimes ranging from public intoxication to sex offenses and assault is the norm. Now, a six-month investigation between CBS News and Sports Illustrated has found that approximately 7 percent of college football players for teams in the Top 25 have a criminal record. Of course, that also means that 93 percent of the players are keeping their nose clean and performing both on and off the field. The investigation looked at the backgrounds of 2,837 players and found that of the 7 percent that had criminal records, 40 percent of the alleged incidents were considered serious offense. In addition, only 2 of the top 25 schools surveyed conducted any background checks of potential recruits and none checked juvenile records. In the group of players charged, 56 violent crimes were reported. These crimes included assault and battery (25 cases), domestic violence (6), sex offenses (3), aggravated assault (4), and robbery (4). There were 41 charges for property crimes like burglary and theft, and 105 cases for drug and alcohol offenses. Of the cases that made it into the court system, only 60 percent of the players paid a form of penalty. If the report had looked at only scholarship players, the criminal record rate would have jumped to 8.1 percent. Florida State is one of the school’s that did not perform criminal background checks on recruits. “We have people in the community who know people,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Everybody knows law enforcement people. We know people who are around guys.” FSU and the University of Miami have been bitten before by players with criminal records. The most infamous case was that of linebacker Willie Williams. “It’s 9:25a.m. and I’m committed,” declared Williams six and a half years ago. Many South Florida sports fans remember the day Willie Williams, the most highly

touted high school football player in the country announced he would follow up a stellar career at Miami’s Carol City High… to play for the University of Miami. “Having grown up in Miami, I’m excited to be playing for the hometown team.” The same day he announced he’d play for the U, reports surfaced that he’d been arrested 11 different times while in high school. Once the arrest record was out, Williams still was allowed to sign with Miami. He couldn’t crack the starting lineup as a freshman and he transferred out of the school. Williams bounced around to community college, then transferred to Louisville where he played 3 games before getting kicked out for marijuana possession. He finished his career at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky. Williams is just one of many examples of players who ended up on the wrong side of the law too many times, embarrassing themselves and the schools they represented. “I don’t think there’s any way that you can argue with these statistics,” said Richard Lapchick, founder of the Center for Sport in Society and president and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports at the University of Central Florida. Lapchick continued, “I think that this study is going to make everybody take a second look at their recruiting policies both at individual institutional levels, as well as at the NCAA level. The CBS News Investigative unit shared some of its data with the CBS4 I-Team and that data shows that eight University of Miami players on the team this past fall had been charged with a total of 15 offenses. The most serious of those charges included felony assault, armed robbery, felony burglary, felony battery and resisting arrest. CBS News’ investigation also looked into the background of 318 student athletes from the state of Florida and discovered, that according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 31 players had criminal

records… 22 of them had juvenile records… including both felonies and misdemeanors. Not a single school, not even in-state universities UF, FSU or U M, ever bothered to do a j u v e n i l e background check. “I’m not too surprised at all,” says D a n n y Kanell who p l a y e d quarterback at FSU in the 1990? s and later in the NFL. Kanell now serves as a play-by-play analyst on college football games for ESPN. “When you talk about 7% of football players having prior records, I don’t think that’s much different than the regular student body that’s going into a freshman year at college.” No school checked FDLE records even though CBS News and Sports Illustrated did. It turns out Florida is one of the few states that allows for a check of juvenile records through FDLE for 24 dollars a person… The lack of effort to check out a recruit’s background was best stated by Ohio State University head coach Jim Tressel. “We don’t really go into anything outside of the school system,” Tressel told CBS & SI. “Hopefully, through the school system, we can find out just what we need.” The report has caught the eye of the NCAA, which has been notoriously slow to deal with crime amongst its athletes. The NCAA has typically left it up to schools to dole out the punishment. But that may change in the coming years.

“Whether it’s a m o n g studentathletes or the student b o d y m o r e

generally, violent crime is something that we all need to address – very seriously,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said. “And if it involves student-

athletes, then that’s something that I as NCAA president want to work hard on.” The ball is in the NCAA’s court now, but it’s still to be decided if the college governing association will pressure presidents to clamp down on recruiting felons; or if the allure of millions of dollars in revenue can cancel out almost any crimes of players who can help a team to a championship.


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March 18, 2011

7

I-Team: Transportation’s Future And when it is completed, experts say it will one of the most premier facilities in the country.

MIAMI (CBS4) – At Miami International Airport they call this the “MIC,” M-I-C… Miami Intermodal Center.

Trains, planes and automobiles. It doesn’t matter what form of transportation you use, residents and travelers alike, will soon be able to get it here, says Harpal Kapoor, Director of Transit for MiamiDade County, ”this will serve as a one stop location. And soon you’ll be able to have one ticket and go anywhere on any type of public transportation in South Florida from Miami to West Palm Beach… one ticket.” Thirty years in the dreaming, planning,

politicizing and building… with a $1.7 billion dollars price tag… when the Miami Intermodal Center is finally finished, it will be a hub where you can find and ride everything… from private cars to rental cars… people movers to bicycles… airplanes to buses… metro-rail to tri-rail… taxis to water taxis

completed center to see how they can build similar hubs in their communities.

Gus Pego is Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, District #6. ”When we’re done you’ll be able to go from West Palm Beach all the way to Key West on public transportation. It will be all connected here.”

Even in a time of budget cuts in transportation… cutbacks in major projects like this… Mica, a Republican, says he still believes that this type of public transportation combination center is the future in the US.

“Right here?” asks Stock.

“This serves as a model for the rest of the country. they did it right here in Miami.”

“It’s going to be the Grand Central Station of Miami.

“It used to be no one rode public transportation because it wasn’t connected. You couldn’t get anywhere or where you wanted to go,” Mica told Stock. “That’s all changed with this.”

The powerful Chairman of the US House Transportation Committee Representative John Mica of Central Florida, took us on a behind the scenes look at the project.

When it is completed, this center will serve as the ending point for a people mover bringing travelers from the airport… where they can then connect to tri-rail, buses, cars, any form of transportation to go anywhere in South Florida.

Mica brought together teams of officials from Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, even Tulsa, Oklahoma to tour this nearly

This part is scheduled to be completed by 2012… the entire Intermodal Center is slated to be completed by 2013.


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March 18, 2011

9

I Team: Dog Days at the Track is losing millions o f dollars a year? We l l y o u don’t have to walk far to find t h e answer to that

MIAMI (CBS4) – Dan Adkins strolls along the grandstands of Mardi Gras Dog Track and remembers the way things used to be.

question. Just behind that massive and empty grandstand lies a casino with more than 1,200 slot machines and a card room for high stakes poker.

“When this was built in ’74, it was the largest grandstand in the world for greyhound racing,” says Adkins, the president of Mardi Gras, formerly Hollywood Greyhound Race Track. “Still is today. In 1981 we had 14,000 people here. We used to have 10,000 to 12,000 people regularly here on weekends in the early Eighties.”

“This is the kind of entertainment gaming activity that people are looking for,” Adkins said as he walked through the casino floor.

When CBS4 I Team investigator Jim DeFede, noted that it has been a long time since Adkins had 14,000 people in those grandstands, Adkins replied: “It’s been a longtime since we had 400 people in these grandstands. I think on a good Saturday night we might have 100 people sitting out here watching the races” Adkins says he is going to lose $2.5 million this year on the dog races. Down the road in Miami, the owners of Flagler Dog Track are reportedly losing almost $2 million a year.

But in order to operate the casino Adkins has to keep racing dogs. “The law is forcing me to put greyhounds on this track every day and run,” he said. But before you feel sorry for Adkins, you should realize it’s a law he helped create. A decade ago, Adkins realized there was no long-term future in dog racing. But rather than close as other tracks around the country have done, he held on to racing, using the track’s economic problems as leverage to get voter approval five years ago to install slot machines. Now that he has his casino, he’s looking to dump the dog track.

“It’s dead,” he declared. “I’ve been in this business my entire life and its dead.”

“If you could replace this greyhound track with a resort destination casino on this same property, the same property where gambling has been taking place for 80 years, now you are going to create jobs, you are going to create billions of dollars for this state in revenue,” Adkins said.

So why continue to operate a business that

Adkins along with the owners of Flagler

Adkins said the sad reality is that the dog racing industry can not be revived.

Dog Track, are pushing for legislation in Tallahassee that would allow them to keep their casinos while closing their racing facilities. In addition, they would like to see the Legislature allow them to expand their casino operations to include all of the games they are currently prohibited from operating – including blackjack, roulette and craps. “The track operators for some years now have wanted to become casino operators, but they don’t want to be honest with the people of Florida and say they want to open a casino, so they have backdoored the casinos through card rooms and parimutuel wagering,” said Jack Cory, a lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association, which represents the dog owners and trainers. Cory said the track owners tried to sneak a bill through the legislature last year but were unsuccessful. He said he has already heard they are working to do the same again this year. Cory said if folks like Adkins and the Havenick family, which owns Flagler Dog Track, don’t think they can make a profit racing dogs then they should turn in their licenses and allow someone else to operate the dog tracks. Cory argues it is not fair to allow the current owners to summarily decide greyhound racing is a dead business. Unfortunately, many of the dog men, as they are called, have no idea what the track owners are doing. James “Barney” O’Donnell, 81, has been racing dogs for more than 50 years and currently owns between 300 and 400 greyhounds. Even when he was told of Adkins plans, O’Donnell refused to believe it. O’Donnell said he believes Adkins is going to work to save the track. “He’s going to improve it,” O’Donnell said. “He’s going to improve it.” But in fact, he says he’s not. And while turning his back on the dog men, Adkins and the track owners are forging some unusual alliances with groups such as Grey2K, an animal rights group that has waged a relentless ten year battle with the racing industry.

“It’s a little bit like Alice in Wonderland,” said Carey Theil, the group’s executive director. In 2008, Grey2K helped win approval for measures banning dog racing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They have also watched as tracks have closed in Connecticut, Kansas and Wisconsin. There are only 23 dog tracks left in the United States — with thirteen of them here in Florida. If Adkins looks at the issue strictly as a matter of dollars and cents, Theil approaches it with a sense of outrage. Greyhound racing, he argues, is inherently cruel and inhumane to the animals, which spend 20 to 22 hours a day locked in cages, stacked on top of one another in long, windowless kennels. “A lot of people think these dogs are owned by people and they are taken to the track and they race and they go home at night,” Theil said. “That’s not the case. These tracks require a large population of dogs and because of that they use a housing system that is cruel and inhumane.” Theil took CBS4 News to the Florida Kennel compound in Hialeah. The facility, which can house hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs, is jointly owned by Mardi Gras and Flagler dog tracks. Theil described how dogs are typically housed. “They are in their cages up to 22 hours a day on average,” he explained. “Perhaps the dogs are let out of their cages four times a day to relieve themselves for thirty minutes and the rest of their life is spent in a cage. If most Floridians could go through this guard shack and past the barbed wire fence and see for themselves how dogs live in this kennel compound I believe they would say this is something that must come to an end.” Theil provided us a copy of an undercover investigation his group did surrounding the conditions of the kennel in Tucson Arizona highlighting, he says, the way dogs are routinely confined. The video shows dogs muzzled in their cages. continued


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continued -

March 18, 2011

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I Team: Dog Days at the Track continued

“No dog would like to live in a cage, but the fact that greyhounds love to run and are so gifted makes it especially cruel that these dogs endure a life of confinement,” Theil said. “It’s just no way to treat a dog.” A n d then there is the case of Ronnie Williams. A kennel operator and trainer at Ebro Dog Track in the Florida Panhandle. In October, state investigators discovered more than 30 dogs starved to death inside his kennel. “When you first drove up outside the gate, way out in the parking lot, you could smell the stench of the dead animals,” said Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock. Williams is facing more than 30 felony counts of animal cruelty and remains in the Washington County jail. “What we are trying to find out is when is the last time the kennels were inspected?” Haddock said recently. “Who went in the kennels? Who knew what? And what the

checks and

Initially, Adkins agreed to show us. “Yeah, sure, I’ll take you down there myself,” he said.

balances are?” Unfortunately, according to Theil, there really aren’t any checks and balances. Until recently inspectors from the state had to call in advance and set up an appointment before they could inspect the kennels. And even when inspections do occur, the reports are troubling. CBS4 News obtained copies of reports from the state division of pari-mutuel wagering regarding inspections they have done on kennels across the state. Of the 127 inspections conducted 20 percent – or one in five – listed the condition of the kennel as poor or worse. There were 28 instances of multiple dogs living in the same cage and 724 instances of greyhounds being injured. Which brought our interest back to Florida Kennels. CBS4 News wanted to see for ourselves what conditions were like inside the Hialeah compound.

But the next day we were told the dog owners and trainers did not want to let us in with our cameras. Theil said it is not only the issue of confinement that makes the sport inhumane. Dogs are routinely injured and killed while racing. Grey2K has amassed a library of video in which dogs are hurt and killed, including a case where a greyhound was electrocuted at a track in Orlando when he tripped and fell into an electric rail. They also provided CBS4 News video of a terrible accident at Mardi Gras in which a dog – BB’s Story Book – collided with other dogs while trying to make the first turn, became disoriented and ran in the wrong direction. As the announcer shouted for handlers to get the dog off the track, it crashed into lure carrying the metal rabbit that the dogs chase. The dog is believed to have died instantly. “As long as you have commercial dog racing you are going to have dogs that die on the track,” Theil said. How many dogs are killed or injured every year at Florida greyhound tracks? Unfortunately, no one has the answer. Florida track owners are not required to maintain those types of records. In fact,

every time legalization has been proposed that would require them to keep such records they have vehemently opposed it. “It is a sport, it’s a contact sport, it’s like football or baseball and injuries do happen.” Adkins admitted. “But these dogs are very well taken care of. I will never call this an inhumane sport because nobody in this industry does anything to hurt these animals “ But ironically, because of the groundwork of Grey2K, and the growing public perception that dog racing is in fact cruel, that may allow Adkins to keep his casino while losing the dog track. “For me it’s not a humane issue, it’s an economic issue,” Adkins said. “It’s that simple. If this sport was making money, again being brutally honest about it, I would do everything I could to continue it because I don’t view it as an inhumane sport. I do view it as a money loser.” Theil said Adkins motivations are irrelevant to him. If he can forge an alliance with the track owners to close their tracks he is more than willing to do it. “Regardless of what the reason is, I think its time to give the dogs a break.” Theil said. “These dogs have suffered and died at these race tracks for generations and this is no longer a viable industry, no one is interested in it, it is time for this to end.”


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Could A Tsunami Hit South Florida?

Tsunami Here?

and Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville. Although many people envision a tsunami as one gigantic wall of water, it’s actually a series of powerful fast-moving waves that can suddenly inundate a shoreline. A tsunami can travel at speeds of 500 to 600 mph. A major tsunami will cross an entire ocean before it slows and rises in a towering wall of water. Such catastrophic waves are unlikely but not impossible for Florida and the nation’s East Coast, according to tsunami researchers, while Caribbean island dwellers have more reason to be wary.

MIAMI (CBS4) – South Floridians know how to prepare for a disaster, after all, we’ve got hurricane season year after year. But in the wake of the devastating earthquake and massive tsunami in Japan, many people are wondering whether a tsunami could strike Florida. While we’d like the answer to be ‘no chance’ at all, it’s not that simple. There is actually a “very remote chance” a tsunami could hit the Sunshine State. The good news? Most tsunamis are associated with major earthquakes which makes the possibility of a tsunami hitting Florida’s East Coast very small. The Atlantic Ocean basin does not have large faults like the Pacific, which are associated both with earthquakes and tsunamis. It is thought that rare underwater landslides would pose a greater risk in the Atlantic Ocean. While the Caribbean region does have a history of both earthquakes and tsunamis, they have not impacted Florida’s coastlines. Regardless, the Weather Service and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have a warning system in place, which includes a network of buoys in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and have encouraged several communities along the nation’s East Coast to enroll in the Tsunami Ready program. The two in the program in Florida are Indian Harbour Beach in Brevard County

Meteorologist Bart Hagemeyer from the National Weather Service says an earthquake in the Caribbean region is likely to project wave energy more to the north and less toward Florida. But the direction can vary and much of the outcome depends on the amount of energy released by the earthquake. The highly unlikely tsunami that Florida might keep in mind could come from across the Atlantic, created by the collapse of a volcano in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, say experts. For years, some have thought that the unstable volcanic structures in the Canary Islands would cause massive tsunamis to slam into the East Coast of the U.S. if they crumbled into the sea. That would have the potential of a not just a garden-variety of tsunami, but a “megatsunami,” according to Hagemeyer. Still, Florida has one big factor in its favor. The shallow waters off Florida’s coasts will act as a breakwater, dissipating a tsunami’s energy.

March 18, 2011

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Stay Away From Tax Refund Loans “They’re a terrible deal and cost way too much for people to have to pay to get their own money back, it’s a horrible deal,” said Coral Gables Financial Planner Charles Sachs of Evensky and Katz.

MIAMI (CBS4) – As tax season gets into full swing, many Americans have already filed their 2010 return and are anxiously awaiting their refund. Of those awaiting cash back from Uncle Sam, about 10% taxpayers want their money back as soon as possible and accept so-called refund anticipation loans from the tax preparers. Anticipation loans are a huge and profitable business for banks and tax preparation firms, but are not the best bet for smart taxpayers. In 2009, more than 7 million taxpayers took out refund loans at a cost of $664 million in fees and extra charges. The loans cost, on average, anywhere from $30 to more than $100 dollars and carry interest rates as high as 700%, according to the Consumer Federation of America.

Following years of c o n s u m e r complaints, the federal government has just started cracking down on the banks that write the tax loans. As a result, several major lenders across the country are not offering them anymore. “It’s almost like preying on the people who can least afford it, who cannot afford all the fees. It’s much better to file early and wait the 2 weeks for your check to arrive without paying the extra $50$200,” said Sachs. For years the IRS has advised taxpayers who want their refunds back as soon as possible to file early using electronic EFile programs and have their refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts. The IRS says it can process refunds in 8-10 days and there’s no extra charge for them to deposit the money directly into a bank account.

March 18, 2011

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CBS4 Newspaper March 18, 2011 Edition


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March 18, 2011

17

SunPass Affected By ‘Problem Windshields,’ Drivers May Face Fines windshield containing metal oxide in the glass. The material in these “problem windshields” can prevent the car’s transponder from being read.

MIAMI (CBS4)- Motorist who use SunPass could land in hot water and may not know it, depending on the make and model of their car. That’s because there could be an error with scanning the barcode on their SunPass.

But there is a way to avoid the hassles. SunPass officials said motorist’s vehicles could be to blame. Certain makes and models may be equipped with special

If the transponder cannot be read motorist’s records may show that it was not paid, that means fines and — if left for unpaid for too long — possible criminal charges.

• Land Rover’s Range Rover • Mercedes-Benz: various Classes • Oldsmobile • Pontiac • Cadillac • Bentley • Porsche • Volvo • Mazda

The windshield defect could lead to thousands of dollars in fines because of toll violations, suspended license and registration and even put drivers in jail.

SunPass officials said that drivers should contact the dealer where the car was purchased if they are unsure whether their vehicle has a metal oxide windshield.

The cars affected range from various makes, models and years. SunPass transponders will work for a number of cars. However, in order to be read the transponder must be mounted in a specific location, SunPass said.

If a transponder is not always being read when driving through SunPass lanes, motorists must cease using their transponder and call the SunPass Customer Service Center at 1-888-865-5352.

Makes affected include, but are not limited to: • BMW: 3-series; X5; 645; 7-series • Buick • Chevrolet

SunPass advises Mercedes-Benz drivers to contact their Customer Service Center for proper mounting location on 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class equipped with “Night View Assist”.


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March 18, 2011

19

Fla. Lawmaker Seeks Legalization Of Medical Marijuana TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) — Use of marijuana for medical purposes would be legalized if approved by voters under a proposed constitutional amendment filed

by a

Democratic

lawmaker on Thursday. “There is no good reason for us to allow people to use synthetic drugs like oxycontin,

methodone, percocet, and Prozac, but ban them from using a natural, safer drug,” said Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, the author of the bill (HJR 1407). “Study after study has shown that the use of medicinal cannabis can help t h o s e suffering f r o m debilitating diseases. Who could be against that?” The proposal would, if passed by the Legislature, go to the 2012 ballot f o r v o t e r approval. It’s Florida’s first-ever bill seeking to legalize the medical use of cannabis.

A recent poll by Gov. Rick Scott’s pollster found that nearly 60 percent of Floridians support the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

companies are not required to cover medicinal cannabis, and that employers are not required to accommodate use in the workplace.

Several health care professionals and people with debilitative conditions joined Representative Clemens on Thursday during a press conference announcing the legislation. Among the participants was Cathy Jordan, 60, of Bradenton. She has lived with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease for 25 years and she says cannabis helps her manage the disease.

Fifteen other states have already passed variations of Rep. Clemens’ proposal. It has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new private industry revenue and millions of dollars in state tax revenue.

“Cannabis is a neuro-protector, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory,” said Jordan. “I am here today to help patients and the families of patients with neuromuscular diseases and brain disorders to educate themselves on cannabis.”

“We have a fantastic opportunity to provide relief to thousand of Floridians,” Clemens said. “It would be madness to not move forward with letting the people of Florida vote on this issue.”

The bill calls for medicinal cannabis to be used only under certain conditions, including the prescription of the drug by a physician, the diagnosis of a debilitating condition, and restriction of use to places that are not “in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public.” It also states that insurance

But the true focus of the bill is providing natural relief to people who are dealing with difficult medical issues.

The measure hasn’t been referred to any committees, and so far doesn’t have a Senate companion. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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March 18, 2011

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Researchers Find Hangover Cure MIAMI (CBS4) — Most people feel awful w h e n t h e y have a

Most

hangovers aren’t as bad as what was

have all sorts of hangover remedies. “Take an aspirin before you go to bed and keep your feet on the floor,” said Kevin Springs. Some of the more popular hangover cures include guzzling water, eating bananas or a greasy breakfast, or having a Bloody Mary. “Drink Gatorade to hydrate and lots of water,” according to Natalia Pardey. Dr. Michael Oshinsky led a ground breaking research project on headaches and alcohol in rats. Yes, humans and rats have a lot of similarities

hangover and there are all kinds of remedies people use to get over one. Now, researchers say they’ve discovered the solution.

i n the movie “The Hangover.” But over imbibing can leave you feeling lousy the next day, and people

“Rats would get headaches similar to humans because they have a similar physiology even though they look very different,” said Dr. Oshinsky. But how do you tell if a rat has a headache? They get super sensitive around the eyes. “We developed sensory tests on the face and

around the eyes of a rat where we can determine when the rat is having a headache,” said Dr. Oshinsky. And so after they were given alcohol and tested positive for a headache, researchers were able to debunk a popular theory that hangover headaches are caused by dehydration. It’s actually a by-product of the alcohol that makes your head hurt. And the research showed the best remedy was a combination of caffeine and an antiinflammatory, like ibuprofen or aspirin. “So if a person uses alcohol, a significant amount, and they expect to get a headache they should take that non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug soon after finishing drinking, and then they should definitely have a Coke or a coffee the next morning,” said Dr. Oshinsky. The researchers didn’t set out to find a hangover cure. They were actually trying to better understand what triggers headaches, in hopes of developing targeted treatments.


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March 18, 2011

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22

Spring Has Sprung, Allergies Are In Season PALMETTO BAY (CBS4) – While Spring officially begins March 20th, tropical flowers and foliage already are coming into full bloom – along with seasonal allergies! Allergy sufferers in South Florida typically start feeling symptoms in mid-March, but this year, the sneezing, sore throats and watery eyes arrived earlier, thanks to Mother Nature. “We see a lot of problems when we see weather like we have right now, when it’s really windy and the pollen is blowing around,” sauid Dr. Michael Pacin from the Florida Center for Allergy and Asthma Care in Palmetto Bay.

peak seasonal period. “The first to pollinate in the spring are the trees, then the pollen, then the weeds,” he said. Living in paradise does have its downfalls. The cool and windy weather is blowing pollen in the air. In the summer it is the humidity and rain that carries dust mites, South Florida’s biggest allergy problem. Dust mites arrive with the April showers arrive. The microscopic creatures live in pillows, mattresses and carpets. The best relief for any allergy, bed bugs or not, is reducing exposure.

Allergies can get in the way of dreams. Just ask 12-year-old Bernard Hudson. Bernard wants to be the next NFL star, but his allergies prove to be a problem.

“We suggest they keep the windows closed, change the filters,” Pacin said.

“Say if I make a tackle on the field, get on the ground, and on the grass, my eyes get swollen, my nose gets swollen, and I’ll start sneezing,” Bernard said.

• Dust settles on furniture and carpeting, so dust often; • Use anti-allergy bedding; • Using a dehumidifier can help reduce mold; and • Clean and change your air conditioner

Dr. Pacin said each type of allergy has a

filter as possible.

often

as

But for moderate to severe sufferers Dr. Pacin recommends prescription nasal sprays, and if that does not work, there are allergy shots. The shots are the solution for Bernard so he can get outside and get back to tackling teammates instead of stifling sneezes. “I’m really active. I like playing sports. And doing things and I don’t like staying in

CBS Radio Inc. All

There are a few ways to avoid allergies.

the house all the time,” he said. (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of

rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )


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CDC: Deadly Superbug “C-Diff” Spreading have their colon removed, their entire colon,” according to Dr. Riccardi. Riccardi and the CDC blame a new strain of the bacteria. “This epidemic strain is much more aggressive. It produces many more toxins or stronger toxins and it’s harder to treat,” explained Riccardi. C-Diff is highly contagious and is usually spread by health care workers who don’t wash properly.

MIAMI (CBS4) — Most of us have heard of MRSA. The antibiotic resistant superbug can eat through patients’ skin but there’s another bug few have heard about that can be just as menacing and it’s causing deadly and preventable infections.

It gets even tricker because those alcoholbased hand sanitizers used in hospitals kill all kinds of potentially dangerous bacteria but they don’t work on C-Diff. Washing with soap and water before and after entering a patients room is only way to kill it.

Three months after having a knee replacement, Kathleen Powers is finally feeling well enough to do something as simple as make herself a cup of tea.

The microscopic spores of C-Diff can also survive for weeks on hard surfaces like a counter, a phone, or handrail.

However, her slow recovery has nothing to do with her knee. An infection she picked up in the hospital ravaged her digestive system.

Kathleen said hospitals need to do more to educate and protect their patients.

“It’s debilitating. You feel like all of your life’s energy is being sucked out of you. Tests confirmed Kathleen had C-Diff. It’s short for Clostridium Difficile a bacteria that attacks your intestines. “You feel like all of your life’s energy is being sucked out of you,” she said. “You feel like you’re not going to get better and you feel like you are dying.” Many people do die from this superbug. According to the Centers for Disease Control, C-Diff kills thousands of people a year and that number is rising. “It’s between three to six fold more common today than it was just ten years ago,” explained Dr. Rocco Riccardi. Dr. Riccardi said antibiotics are the standard treatment but that doesn’t always work. “In that situation, one can get very, very sick and have to

“You don’t think you’re going to go in and come out with something deadly. I just want people to be aware that this C-Diff is out there and it’s devastating.” Certain antibiotics can actually increase your risk of CDiff so if you are having surgery talk to your doctor. The only other way to protect yourself is to make sure your caregivers keep their hands clean or wear gloves.

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Study: Social Networking May Leave Teens Depressed

MIAMI (CBS4) — Facebook, MySpace and Twitter — most of us are on at least one. In fact, social networking has become such a part of our lives that there was even a movie made about it. New studies suggest that sites that are supposed to keep you connected can actually leave you feeling depressed. “Social networking is one of the most popular ways of having relationships these

d a y s , ” according to psychology professor J o a n n e Davila.

“Whose married, whose having children, whose doing well in their career, when you see people having things you don’t, or that you have and are not going as well, it can make you feel worse and much more likely to feel depressed,” said Dr. Davila.

step away and get some perspective.

Nearly 800 m i l l i o n p e o p l e worldwide use Facebook a n d MySpace, where they c a n constantly make new friends as well as keep up with old ones.

This is particularly true for younger people said Davila who studied the connection between social networking and depression in teens.

Blogger Andy Ostroy hates the idea of social network sites like Facebook and Twitter, even though he uses them.

While these sites are supposed to keep you connected, several new studies suggest they may actually leave you feeling more isolated even depressed. Dr. Davila says there’s actually a name for what happens during this process, it’s called “social comparison.”

“One of the things we are finding is that there are people who are at a greater risk to the negative interactions in social networking and consequently feeling depressed or sad afterwards,” said Davila. Psychologists say the first line of defense is to not believe everything you read online. Second, don’t get wrapped up in the number of friends you have. Also, avoid focusing on the accomplishments of old rivals. Finally, remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the screen. Davila added that sometimes it’s good to

Even if people aren’t always thrilled with them, these sites continue to grow. There are now about 800 million users of Facebook and MySpace worldwide.

“It’s called quote, unquote social networking yet it really just pulls people apart, alienates them, keeps them inside, keeps them from doing anything but actual real social networking,” said Ostroy. He thinks they make people phony. “It allows people to say ‘I have a thousand friends’ and the truth is you don’t have a thousand friends. Try calling them at two in the morning when you need something.” Psychologists say to avoid becoming a victim of “social comparison”, don’t believe everything you read. Try not to get too wrapped up in how many friends you have or don’t have and who cares what your high school rival is up to now.


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Brain Matters Targets Alzheimer’s it is here in the area. Laura Jones started noticing changes in her husband Jay about eight-years-ago. “He was 46 at the time. They started as personality changes,” Laura said. “He started to become increasingly agitated and argumentative. Basically, he turned into someone other than the man I married.” After years of wondering what was going on, the couple finally received an official diagnosis. Jay was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. DELRAY BEACH (CBS4) – A new case of Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed every 70 seconds in America. South Florida is ground zero for the disease and that’s why one of the largest private facilities to treat

“We left the office and we looked at each other and literally started sobbing,” Laura said. Jay and Laura went to the Brain Research

Institute in Delray Beach for help. It’s also referred to as Brain Matters Research.

lack of exercise, smoking,” Dr. Brody said. Age is also a risk factor and so is stress.

Director Dr. Mark Brody, who is also a neurologist, said the institute provides a diagnosis for clients as well as prevention and treatment. Brody admits the first sign of Alzheimer’s can often be a change in personality.

Folks who join the Brain Institute are given iPads with brain exercises. In addition blood pressure, cholesterol levels and brain activity are remotely monitored 24/7 for convenience.

“He’s forgetful that’s a hallmark of the disease losing his glasses, wallet, keys, doesn’t remember where the car is,” Dr. Brody said.

While progress has been made in better diagnosing the disease; now the hope is to gather data for improved treatment and ultimately a cure.

According to Dr. Brody, that combination of symptoms is considered Dementia and Alzheimer’s is one of the worst forms of Dementia.

“We can’t make people better right now our best hope is to stop it in its tracks,” Dr. Brody said.

Identifying the signs and key risk factors can lead to prevention and earlier treatment. “Anywhere from specific genes to vascular risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, the

Treatment at the Brain Research Institute is not covered by insurance, but that may change. It’s estimated 20% of the Medicare/Medicaid budget over the next 10 years will be devoted to Alzheimer’s care. For more information on the Brain Research Institute call 561-374-8461.


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Miami Hits Top 20 In “World’s Rudest Cities” networking service that keeps track of where you and your friends are, the rudest city in Florida is Boca Raton, and that has earned it the rank of the 12th rudest cities in the world, based on the amount of curse words in posts from that city. Miami made the top 20, but apparently we’re a little less rude here. We MIAMI (CBS4) – Been flipped off on the Palmetto lately? Screamed at by the nameless voice at the drive-thru? No ‘thank you’ when your buy your burrito at the gas station? Does it surprise you that Miami has been named one of the rudest cities in the world? But, believe it or not, it’s not the rudest city in Florida. According to Foursquare, the social

squeaked in at 18. It appears we’re in rude company. While the city judged the rudest in the (English speaking) world was Manchester, England, other than Melbourne, Australia, all of the cities in the top 20 were in the US. Rudest in America, and #2 in the world? El Paso, Texas. Rounding out the list of top

potty-mouth places were Pittsburgh, Bloomington, Indiana, and Riverside California. The Golden State had the largest number of rude cities — 7, including Riverside, but Florida was no slouch. In addition to Boca Raton and Miami, Jacksonville also cursed it’s way into the top 20. So how did Foursquare quantify our lack of manners? The service operates by allowing users to share tips with their friends. Foursquare engineers uses a sophisticated suite of software to analyze the curse words in those tips, and since the service is all about locating people and places, they tied the curses to the locations they were made. But even though might apparently could clean up our posts a bit, it appears it doesn’t take much to get on the list. Foursquare said in Manchester, the rudest city, just .016 percent of the users cursed when leaving a tip. You can get better results at any Miami traffic jam.

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Horoscopes provided by www.starlightastrology.com

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 22)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 23)

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Gemini (May 22-June 21)

You should teach children some of your unique creative talents. Don’t deny yourself this month. You will find that friends or relatives may not understand your needs. You will have a problem sorting out your true feelings when it comes to your relationship. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

Jealous coworkers may try to sabotage your attempts to get ahead. Try to have patience and refrain from being judgmental. If you’ve been really busy, try to schedule some time to spend with loved ones. Involvement in groups will be favorable and lead to valuable information. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Friday.

Try to include friends and relatives in your activities. Don’t blame others for your own stubbornness. Take care of any paperwork concerning institutional or governmental agencies. Your love will not be willing to listen to your criticism. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.

Get involved in groups that are creative in nature. Work diligently and you will get ahead this month. Put your time and energy into home improvement. Driving too fast or double parking will result in difficulties with officials. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Friday.

Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)

Sagitarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)

Taurus (Apr. 21-May 21)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23)

Come to your own You will be tempted conclusions rather than to shop till you drop. taking the word of They may cost you someone else. Don’t let dearly. Don’t get your stubborn nature get involved in joint the better of you. Discuss ventures. You may your objectives with partners find that your quick or peers. Confronting a situation wit and charm will help will only result in indignation and you in obtaining allies. misunderstandings. Your luckiest events this Your luckiest events this month will occur on month will occur on a Wednesday. a Thursday.

Get out and enjoy some entertainment. Your pilgrimage may end up being fruitless. Be diplomatic when dealing with in-law. Think about starting your own small business, Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.

Your family may be feeling neglected and unloved. Take a look at the possibilities of starting a small part time business with friends or relatives. Don’t hesitate to sign up for creative courses or physical fitness programs. Avoid being intimately involved with clients or colleagues. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

9 4 7 6 8 5 2 3 1

5 8 3 9 1 2 6 7 4

1 6 2 3 4 7 8 9 5

N

6 5 9 1 3 4 7 8 2

L O C A L .

3 1 8 7 2 9 4 5 6

You don’t like confrontations at the best of times; however, you may find them difficult to avoid. Those you work with may have little consideration for the underdog. The information that you gain can be used in every aspect of your life. You may cause a fuss if you come on too strongly in public. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Friday.

4 2 1 5 7 3 9 6 8

8 3 6 4 9 1 5 2 7

7 9 5 2 6 8 1 4 3

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)

Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 20)

Get together with those You should sign up for you find men tally creative courses. stimulating. Chances Concentrate on your work. are you split up the last You are going through a time because you period of questioning. You didn’t really want to can deal with large make a commitment. institutions or government You’ll need to exercise agencies successfully this control. Travel will be month. Spend some quality favorable and bring time with the one you love. Your talents will shine you the greatest rewards. Your luckiest events at work. Your luckiest events this month will occur this month will occur on a Monday. on a Sunday.

SUDOKU INSTRUCTIONS: Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.

8

3 4

5 2 9 8

8 3 2 9 8 3 9 1 6 2 1 6 9 4 7 6 4 8 3 4 1

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E W S P A P E R

R E A L .

2 7 4 8 5 6 3 1 9

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 18)

N E W S .

Sudoku provided by www.puzzles.about.com

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

March 4th Solution

Your nerves are frazzled. Your irritability will lead to family squabbles. You can convince others to follow suit. Beware of someone who is trying to make you look bad. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.



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