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ALSO INSIDE Report: Private Health Insurers Owe Florida $3 Million South Florida Travelers On Edge Over “Belly Bomb” Threat I-Team: Lawmakers React To Charter School FCAT Failures Be Smart When Selling Gold Or Silver Smart Bottle Helps Patients Remember Prescriptions Best New Beach Reads For Summer

July 15, 2011

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July 15, 2011


Report: Private Health Insurers Owe Florida $3 Million inspector general. Florida health officials should have received $3.1 million in refunds during that time. The report recommends the state repay the federal government its share — $2 million — and increase oversight going forward. The inspector general report blamed the mistakes on the state’s lax oversight, saying the state agency and its contractor, Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, lacked policies requiring staff to review reports and “reconcile them to supporting records.” MIAMI (CBS4) — Private health insurers inaccurately reported how much they spent on patient care and owe Florida health officials $3.1 million in refunds for a government children’s health care program, according to a recent federal report. Under a joint state-federal program called the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration pays private insurers to provide health insurance for families who aren’t eligible for Medicaid but can’t afford private insurance. Insurance companies are required to spend at least 85 percent on medical services. If an insurer spends less, it must refund 50 percent of the shortfall to the state. But between 2003 and 2007, eight of roughly two dozen reports from private health insurers inaccurately reported how much was spent on patient costs and avoided paying state and federal health officials the difference, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services’

The findings were sent to HHS authorities for “any action deemed necessary,” according to the report. Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, which oversees the insurance program for the state, said in a May letter to federal health officials it had recouped the bulk of the funds from the insurers and returned most of the $2 million federal share to the state. AHCA declined comment to The Associated Press. The report comes a month after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law putting the state’s nearly 3 million Medicaid patients into the hands of private health companies. Patients and doctors complained they couldn’t get appointments and were denied medications during a problematic pilot program in five counties. The latest oversight has critics questioning whether AHCA is equipped to ensure forprofit companies are not lining their pockets

with state funds instead of spending it on patient care. “The job of government is to oversee services that the private sector cannot provide, not to enable private companies to run to the bank with a quarter of the taxpayers’ money,” said Rep. Elaine Schwartz, a Democrat from Hollywood. It’s not the first time the children’s health program has had trouble. Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc. was charged with engaging in an elaborate scheme to defraud the Florida Medicaid program and Florida Healthy Kids Corporation of about $40 million. WellCare avoided criminal prosecution after agreeing to pay $80 million in restitution in 2009. “AHCA will have its work cut out to monitor the activities of health plans all over the state,” said Laura Goodhue, head of

patient advocacy group Florida CHAIN. (© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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South Florida Travelers On Edge Over “Belly Bomb” Threat Administration says that people traveling to the U.S. from overseas may experience additional screening at airports. South Florida security expert Wayne Black says this seems to be a natural progression for terrorists. “We’ve gone from using the plane, to shoe bombs, Richard Reid, the underwear bomb and now belly bomb,” said Black. “These guys are not going to quit ever, so we just have to be more prepared.” Reporting Ted Scouten MIAMI (CBS4) — A new warning from the U.S. government has South Florida air travelers on edge. Homeland Security officials are warning airlines that some al Qaeda operatives in Yemen are considering surgically implanting explosives into humans to carry out attacks. “They can do anything!” said Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport passenger Christine Field. “Nothing is beyond the limits of a person who wants to do evil. “ There is no intelligence pointing to a specific plot, but the U.S. has shared this information with executives at domestic and international carriers. The



Placing explosives and explosive components inside humans is not a new idea. But a U.S. security official says there is new intelligence pointing to a fresh interest in using this tactic. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security information. (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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July 15, 2011


I-Team: Lawmakers React To Charter School FCAT Failures When it comes to the failure rate, charter Schools – operated at public expense by private companies – tanked on the 2011 FCAT. And an explanation provided by a major charter school booster does not appear to make the grade. The numbers, first reported by CBS4 News Tuesday, are striking:

Reporting Gary Nelson MIAMI (CBS4) – When Governor Rick Scott visited Florida International Academy – a charter school - in Opa Locka in January, he brought his special advisor on education, Michell Rhee, with him. Rhee, the controversial former superintendent of the Washington DC school system, is a big believer in spending public money on privatelyoperated charter schools. “Who are we to deny a child, a low income child, who has the opportunity to take the same dollars and actually get a better education?” Rhee asked. The answer may in fact be that kids in charter schools aren’t getting a better education.

Of Florida’s 2,280 public elementary and middle schools, only 17 scored an “F” on the FCAT. Of the state’s 270 Charter elementary and middle schools, 15 flunked. Charter schools had a failure rate 740% higher than that of public schools. Charter school boosters were working damage control Wednesday. “Traditionally, they (the charters that failed) were in failing school neighborhoods,” said Representative Erik Fresen, a Miami Republican who sits on several education committees and is a strong supporter of charter schools. Fresen said that a rule that requires charter schools to give the FCAT in their first year of operation accounts for most of the failure rate. “They started as an “F” because they inherited, essentially, “F” performing students,” Fresen said. Fresen’s defense, however, does not

appear to wash. CBS4? s analysis of the 15 charter schools that failed show at least nine have administered the test for at least two years. Some saw their grades plunge from an “A” to an “F.” At least two had back-to-back “F” grades, including Broward Community Charter Middle School and Lawrence Academy Elementary Charter School in MiamiDade. Fresen, whose sister and brother-in-law own a charter school management company, Academica, said he sees no conflict between that and his leadership role in education in the legislature. “It certainly provides me a different perspective…that others perhaps don’t have,” Fresen said. “But it certainly doesn’t influence the politics one way or the other.” At least five companies involved in charter school management contributed the maximum allowable donation to Fresen’s most recent election campaign. Democratic state lawmakers say the explosion of publicly-funded, privatelyoperated schools is a growing drain on the public education system. “People need to get out of the business of profiting from public education,” said Rep. Dwight Bullard of Miami.

Rep. Luis Garcia, a Little Havana Democrat, agreed. “The present policies that….state government is taking seem to be attacking public education in favor of for-profit – to the extreme,” Garcia said. CBS4 News Producer Jeremy Jacobson contributed to this report.

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July 15, 2011


New Version Of Old Phone Scam Targeting South Floridians “I received a phone call early in the morning saying that my brother was in a car accident,” said Enrique Betancourt who recently became the victim of scam. “I said ‘what happened? What happened?’” said Betancourt.

Reporting Jorge Estevez MIAMI (CBS4) – A new twist on a known phone scam that usually targets seniors is now affecting people of all ages. The scam involves people randomly calling phone numbers and pretending that the person’s loved ones are in danger, leading the caller to ask for a ransom. This story hit close to the CBS4 family. It happened to a close friend of reporter Jorge Estevez.

Betancourt said the man on the other end of the phone began describing, in little detail, how Betancourt’s brother was involved in an accident with a motorcycle and then a gang of people with the motorcyclist took his brother hostage. The caller did not specify his brother’s name or give a description. “The guy on the phone said they attacked my brother and hit him in the head with a gun,” said Betancourt. The details came through a call from a complete stranger, usually police say, from a pre-paid cell phone. For the first few minutes, Betancourt wanted details to verify the tragedy. “It is happening really, really, really, fast – fast enough so you don’t ask questions,” said Betancourt.

And that’s usually part of the scam; they kept him on the phone with little details and then the bombshell. “He said ‘stop, stop. If you hang up the phone, they are going to kill your brother.’ They want 1500 dollars or they will kill him,” said Betancourt. A few minutes into the phone call, the number one priority for Enrique was to get the brother on the phone and that is when the light bulb went off. Betancourt convinced the caller to let him put the phone down to get dressed and go out to get the money, but instead he walked to his home office and tried to reach his brother from a home phone That gave him some time to locate his brother and the ordeal was over. According to the phone log, it ended 13 minutes after it began. “They are random calls so it is not a specific group of people that they are targeting,” said Detective Keandra Simmons with the Miami Police Department. In fact, according to Miami Police stats, six other victims have contacted police in the

past few months. “Same exact thing. It is a phone call from suspect saying a loved one is involved in a motorcycle crash. They want them to send money to set them free. It was the exact same “MO” for each one,” said Simmons. As for Betancourt, he felt taken, but feels worse for other victims who may not have known how to handle that kind of call. “It was the most horrible and happiest day of my life when I actually heard my brother’s voice. He was just lounging on the couch,” said Betancourt. According to police, if your loved one is out of town and they call you about he or she being in danger then you can call the police department in your city and they can contact your loved ones local police department and verify that he or she is O.K.

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Nasty Nile Monitors Invade South Fla. “I happened to glance out the picture window and I saw this big lizard, kind of slithering this way and I saw it go underneath the bench,” explained Neilson. State wildlife officials set up a trap to capture the wandering lizard along with other traps in locations around Broward and Palm Beach Counties. It’s believed the monitors were most likely pets released by their owners who no longer wanted them or could no longer take care of them. Reporting Ted Scouten WEST PALM BEACH (CBS4) – There’s a new kind of home invasion being reported all over South Florida. They are home invasions of the slithery kind. At a home in West Palm Beach, a Nile monitor lizard recently made its way into a home through a doggie door and into a screened patio. It likely came from a nearby canal. The Nile monitor is a large ill-tempered African lizard which has powerful jaws, razor sharp claws and can grow up to seven feet in length. The West Palm Beach encounter isn’t the first. There are plenty of up close encounters with Nile monitors being reported all over the South Florida including Hollywood where Mary Stafford lives. Stafford found a 3-foot long monitor camped out at her screen door. “It was here, with the tail this way and the head was here,” described Stafford to CBS4’s Ted Scouten. “I walked past it many times, 3 times I know and it was here.” Mary was very surprised when she spotted the creature. “I probably scared it to death because I screamed, poor thing, right in his ear,” said Stafford. The lizard moved around Stafford’s Hollywood neighborhood. A few days later, it showed up at Connie Neilson’s place a few doors down.

The monitors, who have been called “the largest, most dangerous non-indigenous lizard in the United States” by the U.S. Geological Survey, pose a threat to native wading birds and smaller animals. The FWC’s Gabriella Ferraro described the disposition of this foul tempered creature as ‘nasty’ and calls them a nuisance. “They eat anything and everything including plants and animals. What the FWC is most concerned about is that they’re preying on eggs laid by wading birds,” said Ferraro. The FWC discourages attempts to capture the lizards since they can get nasty when captured. They have long tails that they can use like whips, sharp teeth and claws. They can also swim under water for as long as an hour or scamper at 15 or more miles per hour above ground. The FWC plans to gather as much information as they can on the lizards movements, size and what they are eating before they decide whether to eradicate them or merely suppress their numbers. They want to avoid what’s going on in Cape Coral on the west coast where officials are trying to deal with more than a thousand of the free roaming lizards. If you happen to see a Nile monitor, don’t touch it. Call wildlife officials at 888IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681). The hotline has been set up by the Nature Conservancy and Everglades National Park in cooperation with the FWC. The public may also report sightings and upload photos on the Web at

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Need S. Fla. Traffic Info? There’s An App For That The app is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store. The new app provides the same real-time traffic and travel time information as the 511 phone system and

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – If you’re looking for traffic information on Florida’s roadways, now there’s an app for that. The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Florida 511 iPhone application is now available for free download on iTunes. The Florida 511 Traveler Information System provides traffic information on all of Florida’s interstates, toll roads and many major metropolitan roadways.

The 511 app uses iPhone’s GPS tracking to provide users with traffic information within miles of their location. Users can set the app to provide information for a range of up to 200 miles from their location or receive traffic information based on their registered My Florida 511 custom routes. Travel time information is also available based on location and direction of travel. The Florida 511 app offers traffic updates in three ways: •An audible recording of incidents •On-screen list of incidents •Map view displaying incidents “This is a great addition to Florida 511’s suite of traffic resources such as the tollfree phone call, and My Florida 511 personalized services,” said FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad. “The app allows users to access traffic updates quickly and safely.”

The Florida 511 system is a safety resource from FDOT. The Department reminds all travelers to Know Before You Go by checking the app, making a toll-free call to 511 or visiting before leaving to avoid distracted driving. “If you’re on the road, have a passenger check 511 or pull off the road to call 511 or check the 511 app,” said Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol. Users can still receive personalized

Florida 511 updates by creating a My Florida 511 account. Registered users can hear information on their custom routes first when calling 511 and even receive traffic alerts via phone call, text message and/or e-mail. My Florida 511 users can customize alerts based on time of day, day of the week and severity of incident. The system is also updated during emergencies such as a hurricane or wildfire with information on lane closures, toll suspensions and more.

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July 15, 2011


Be Smart When Selling Gold Or Silver metals by their feel, their weight and sometimes their smell. “When it’s not gold sometimes we can smell the copper or brass,” Gnat said. Gnat recommends getting items tested in a specific machine that can detect gold in less than a minute.

Reporting Al Sunshine MIAMI (CBS4) — With gold and silver prices on the rise, many, South Floridians are digging through their old jewelry and their grandmother’s silverware to see if they have precious metals that can be converted to cash.

Many consumers are turning to their extensive coin collections in hopes they can be converted to cash. One man brought in a coin collection handed down from his grandfather. “They’ve been sitting around collecting dust,” he said. The buyer inspected the coins and handed them back saying there was no gold or silver in his collection.

But all that glitters is not gold or silver.

Another man had a gold nugget wrapped in a Kleenex.

Jeweler Raz Gnat says an experienced jeweler can often recognize precious

“I brought a gold nugget my granddad found up by Leadville. I don’t know how

much I’ll get for it,” he said. It turned out it was real gold, so he walked out with more than $340 in his pocket. Experts say gold tends to be heavier than its imitator. It has a solid sound when rattled. Also, real gold and silver come with real markings. They should be labeled with what carat they are or should read sterling silver.

Still, the best and most accurate way to know if jewelry box treasures are worth anything, bring them in to get tested. Most jewelers and precious metal traders will evaluate them free of charge. Have possessions inspected at more than one place so you know that you’re getting the best price. Remember all that glitters is not necessarily gold and silver.

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July 15, 2011


Saving Money Takes Work, But Simple Tips Pay Off “I save our family about 31 or $32,000 a year,” said Alexander. After their second son was born, she decided she wanted to quit her job and stay at home. Todd is the music minister at their church and earns about $40,000 a year, and they knew it would be tough, but she had a plan. “We started by listing out all of our expenses,” she said. A lot of folks, you know, it comes in, it goes out; you don’t exactly know where it is going.” Reporting Al Sunshine (CBS4) – Andria Alexander and her husband Todd have two small children and a dog. Like many families, they have at times found themselves without enough money. Unlike many families, they’ve done something about it, and now they are sharing their tips for surviving, and thriving, in a bad economy. The wife and mother of two said the trick to “Simply Frugal Living” is to always get something back when shopping and the same game plan works at any store or restaurant.

“So, it’s a matter of grabbing hold of your expenses and figuring out where the money is going exactly.” They cut back in every category, starting with groceries. “I was able to cut that expense category consistently by 50 percent,” said Alexander. “By matching coupons with sales prices and then stocking up for six to eight weeks at time on a product when you could get it at its cheapest.” The family of four spends just $200 a month on food, and that includes cleaning

and paper products. Alexander shops at various stores depending on which has the best deal, and she plans her weekly menu based on sales. “My goal is to have at least two things going for me, if not three when I buy something,” she added. “I want it to be on sale. I want to have a coupon for it, and I would like if there could be some other promotion.” Alexander also has some tips on how they save on utilities. “Running the dishwasher and the washing machine at night when the rates are lower; always running a full load, never a partial load; washing your clothes on cold instead of warm or hot cause it doesn’t use as much gas to heat the clothing. Cooking food as much as possible in a crock pot to avoid running the gas on the stove,” she said. Alexander also said they are not suffering. In fact, they are living and eating better than before.

She pays cash for almost everything, and every dollar has a spot in her “envelope system.” Each envelope has a category like groceries, clothing or eating out. When the envelope is empty, that’s it for the month; no more spending. It isn’t easy and it’s time consuming, but it sure pays off, and she’s sharing the wealth through her website. “I cover all kinds of resources for how to live frugally from coupon match ups for the grocery store, all kinds of resources to help people save in this economy,” Alexander said. The Alexanders also take vacations and eat out, but how they live and spend never changes; pay in cash, always look for a deal, and double that deal if you can. This report is based on an item that first appeared on CBS station KDKA

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Dade School Cafeteria Workers Hit The Books For Healthier Food During a session at Doral Middle School food service workers were eager to learn all they could about the latest ‘farm to school’ program, about the proper cleaning of fruits and vegetables and most importantly the importance of eating healthy so they could spread the word.

Reporting Marybel Rodriguez

“The goal of this training is to educate and motivate part-time food service employees so when they go back to their kitchens in August they will be able to share that information not only with their colleagues but also with the students,” said Wanda Pedraza food service director for MDCPS.

MIAMI (CBS4) – Hundreds of part-time Miami-Dade County Public Schools food service employees have gotten a crash course on healthier food.

The day’s session kicked off with a video message from First Lady Michelle Obama who spoek about the importance of gardens in schools.

“This is the first time I am taking this course, I think it is very important because I am the cook at American Senior High,” said Pamela Burke.

Erin Healy, who heads the “farms to schools” program, then spoke to the gathering about the importance of bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables from the farms to the schools.

“Sometimes in these trainings we do tastings so the employees could actually taste the fruit of veggie and tell the students all about it,” said Healy. School officials believe the best way to reach the students is by getting them to connect with the food service workers who they believe are the gatekeepers of this important health initiative for lunch program at schools. “When students are up in line they could make suggestions; fish, fruits and veggies and for instance if they are not taking a fruit they could say ‘Would you like to try this new fruit, I tried it and liked it, maybe you would too’,” said Pedraza. This course has not been taught in MiamiDade in the last six years, but school officials thought that it was so important they managed to allocate the money this year. More than 1,500 part time food service employees enrolled in the course which was taught at several school throughout the county.

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Smart Bottle Helps Patients Remember Prescriptions morning?’” Grossman said. Grossman now knows for sure because the cap on a high tech pill bottle won’t let him forget. It’s called the Glow Cap. It’s the world’s first wireless, internet connected pill bottle. “It’s a tiny little processor, with a tiny little wireless chip,” said Mike Kuniavsky, who designs and writes about cutting edge, embedded computer technologies.

Reporting Cynthia Demos MIAMI (CBS4) — New technology promises to help patients remember to take their prescription drugs and will warn patients, doctors, even caretakers if doses are missed. Donald Grossman takes medication for high blood pressure. But with no symptoms, Grossman admitted it can be tough to remember his daily dose. “Sometimes I say, ‘Did I really take it this

He tested an early version of the Glow Cap, to remind him to take his allergy medication. “I think actually it’s a really great system,” said the entrepreneur. Here’s how the Glow Cap works: Over the internet, by email or by phone, patients set up a dosing schedule. When it’s time to take medicine, a light goes on and the Glow Cap and a small wireless base station begin to pulse orange. After a while, the cap starts to gently chime, until you open the bottle and take a pill. If that doesn’t work, it goes a step further.

“If you haven’t opened it for a few hours, it will text message or send you an email or dial your home phone,” said David Rose, the CEO of Vitality, the maker of Glow Cap. The device sends data wirelessly to a secure network. When a refill is needed, patients just press a button on the inside of the cap to contact the pharmacy. Each week, patients, along with any designated doctor or family member, get a report. “In the case of my Dad, he has to take a lot of different medicines. He forgets sometimes. It would be very valuable to me,” said Kuniavsky. Technology such as the Glow Cap may become very valuable in cutting health care costs. Studies show how patients who don’t correctly take their medicine can boost medical spending by nearly $300 billion a year. “On average, six months of being on

medication, about half the people who receive the prescription are not taking it.”, said Dr. Arnold Milstein of Stanford University. He said there are many factors that contribute to patients not taking their prescription drugs but forgetfulness is a big one. Milstein said if you can help patients remember to take their medicine using inexpensive technology, it would be a very big opportunity to both improve health and to lower health care spending. As for Glow Caps, the company is currently trying to work out a price for the device. It is available to some employees who use Express Scripts, but the system is not yet commercially available. Grossman was involved in a trial, and asked if he could keep his. “I think it’s a great idea. I mean I think it really helps me,” Grossman said.

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July 15, 2011


Komen: College Students Give Back To Prevent Breast Cancer wasn’t always this lucky. She grew up without health insurance. Now, she wants to give back. She works as an intern for the Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center, or AHEC, and it’s “Life Campaign.” Ebony Orr works as AHEC’s Health Education Coordinator. “We’re trying to establish lifelong habits of good breast care,” said Orr. The training starts on college campuses all over Miami-Dade. Reporting Cynthia Demos MIAMI (CBS4) – Finding affordable health insurance in tough economic times is a hard thing to do. Now, a local organization is teaching the community about general health issues and an intern at the organization is spending her time paying it forward. Sherlley Sanon already boasts a biology degree from the University of Miami, and she plans for even more school. But Sanon

“We educate students there so that those students can then educate the community in general on those important issues such as breast cancer,” according to Orr. The college students then teach in the community about a different issue each month. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October is their way to reach out about breast cancer.

Sanon remembered one mother who went to the AHEC booth with her two teenage daughters to teach them how to do self exams. “She was practicing right along with them,” said Sanon. She said that hands-on learning makes all the difference. “I feel like it’s that vital component, that extra piece of information, that little bit of knowledge that could have changed something, that could

have sparked something.” For more information about the Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center (AHEC), go to their website at For more information about breast cancer education and prevention, go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website at

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Medical Diagnosis Leads To New Fashion Line “I wasn’t use to doctors and hospitals and medicine so my life changed drastically,” Vazquez said. One way Ali’s life changed was that she now had to wear a medical tag which alerted emergency responders to her condition. But Ali had a passion for fashion and the traditional medical bracelet did not meet her stylish needs.

Reporting Vanessa Borge MIAMI ( – When Aliette Vazquez was dealt a setback with a debilitating condition, she didn’t give up, but instead turned it into a program she will help others be safer and looked fashionable while doing so. It started in 2004 when Ali was returning home from an event and began to feel odd. She ended up crashing her car into a van and one week later was diagnosed with epilepsy.

“There has to be someone with some sense of fashion who came up with this; and then finally I thought ‘ya know what! I’ll do it,’” she said. So Ali teamed up with a jewelry designer and created chic and stylish bracelets for her company, Medirocks. “We wanted to launch the line rocker chic,” Vazquez said. “In the back is where you can engrave all your medical information.” They each have a plate in gold, silver or matte on which the appropriate medical symbol is engraved. Along with an adult line, Ali also created bracelets for kids.

They each come with 10 silly bands. So they’re practical fun. She personalizes each child’s bracelet to whatever allergy they may have. “With every purchase they receive a personalized medical ID card,” Vazquez said. Ali said the bracelets are the way she’s turning her diagnosis into a opportunity to help others. “I think its important to say this happened to me so this is a part of me a new element of me, embrace it love it.” The bracelets run from $75 to $85. The children’s bracelets are $20. For more information on Medirocks, go to

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Best New Beach Reads for Summer those who missed out on the original stories. For fans of: immersive, smart memoirists, like A.J. Jacobs or Sarah Vowell. The Astral: A Novel Kate Christensen

MIAMI (CBS4) — There’s no better company at the beach (or the backyard) this summer than a smart, engrossing page-turner. Brooklyn-based writer Jami Attenberg picks the season’s best new books to tote on your vacation. The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie Wendy McClure For those who were raised on Little House on the Prairie — both the books and the long-running television series depicting the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, pioneer girl – this hilarious, insightful examination of its lingering impact will deeply satisfy. Pop culture writer and memoirist McClure (I’m Not the New Me) relives her own obsession with the books by connecting with others who live in “Laura World” both online and in person, visiting historical Wilder family homes across the Midwest, and, of course, churning butter. Clever and heartwarming, The Wilder Life is a great read, even for

PEN/Faulkner winner (The Great Man) Christensen is back with her compelling sixth novel, The Astral, a witty, perceptive look into the mind of Harry Quirk, a down-on-his-luck poet who has just been kicked out by his suspicious wife. As Quirk navigates the streets of Brooklyn, bouncing from one quirky character to the next – including his Hasidic co-workers, his freegan daughter, and his cult-entrenched son – a textured and extremely smart tale of love, marriage, friendship, and the power of commitment emerges. For fans of: Although Christensen is a New Yorker, she’s best compared to sharp-witted contemporary British authors like Lionel Shriver. The Storm at the Door Stefan Merrill Block A stunning, soulful second novel from bright young literary star Block (The Story of Forgetting), The Storm at the Door is inspired by actual events in the lives of the author’s grandparents, Katherine and Frederick Merrill. As their marriage falters in 1962, the couple is

separated when Frederick, a heavy drinker prone to bouts of bad behavior, is committed to a mismanaged mental institution. Both are forced to confront their past mistakes and the possibilities of love, even as their worlds collapse around them. Written with grace and precision, Block’s vision of the past is colored with melancholy — but with sympathy and hope, as well. For fans of: Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. You Must Go and Win: Essays Alina Simone Smart, crisply written, and raucously funny, You Must Go and Win is an addictive collection of essays from brainy, critically acclaimed Russian-American songstress Alina Simone. The book offers a peek into the struggle of the indie rock life, as well as Simone’s complex relationship with religion, her Russian past, and her tough-minded family. Simone’s life stories are addressed with a witty, inquisitive tone, and her insights, challenging as they are, manage somehow to be of great comfort too. For fans of: David Rakoff and Mike Birbiglia. Jami Attenberg is the author of Instant Love, The Kept Man, and The Melting Season. A fourth book, The Middlesteins, is forthcoming in 2012.

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July 15, 2011

Horoscopes provided by

Gemini (May 22-June 21)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 23)

Confusion at an emotional level will cause you to make wrong decisions concerning your personal life. Your ability to visualize will help you convince others of the possibilities. You may meet that special person if you attend fundraising functions. You will be able to talk about emotional problems with your partner. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Try and avoid getting involved in idle chatter or gossip that might get you in trouble. Uncertainties are still prevailing. Do not over expand if you have your own business. Sit tight. Don’t let your personal partner hold you back. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Sunday.

Opportunities to get involved in self improvement projects will be rewarding. Hard work will bring rewards. If you can put some work into home improvements, you should. You have worked hard and the payback is now. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Wednesday.

You’ll communicate easily and develop new friendships. Acknowledge your lover’s needs. Opportunities will develop through those you encounter while attending organizational events. Don’t let opposition from those envious of your talents daunt your progress. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Friday.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23)

Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 20)

Sagitarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Try to visit friends or relatives you don’t get to see often. You’re in the mood to spend money. Balance is required if you want stability. You can learn from those who have had similar experiences. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

You will learn a great deal from the foreigners you meet. Don’t be afraid to push your beliefs and attitudes. You may want to make changes that will not be to their liking. Loss or theft may occur if you are careless with your belongings. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

You mustn’t make promises that you won’t be able to keep. Call siblings or old friends to catch up on recent news. Get out and have some fun. Concentrate on work. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Tuesday.

You will do well in social settings, and new and interesting individuals may spark a romantic curiosity. Things will be emotional with your mate. Think of changes to your home that will please and add to everyone’s comfort. Comfort is a necessity. Check your motives. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 18)

Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 22)

Taurus (Apr. 21-May 21)

New methods and innovative technology will make your job far easier than you anticipated. Mingle with those who can further your goals. Your flair for dramatic appeal will unleash itself at social functions. You will be up and down emotionally. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

One of your female friends may try to disrupt your day. Stand up for your rights. Your diplomatic nature will help you in straightening out unsavory situations. Avoid arguments with relatives who might be conservative and outdated. Visit someone who hasn’t been feeling well lately. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Thursday.

Get involved in sports events that will benefit your physical appearance. Don’t overlook that fact that someone you care about may be hiding something. Unpleasant situations concerning family members will be unnerving. You could find yourself having problems with coworkers and employers. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Saturday.

You can accomplish a lot if you work out of your home this month. Get back into a routine that promises a better looking, more aware individual. Be sure to catch up on overdue correspondence and help those you love find solutions to their dilemmas. Don’t overload your plate. Your luckiest events this month will occur on a Monday.


2 9 5 1 6 8 4 3 7

5 6 2 9 4 3 7 8 1

L O C A L .

8 4 7 5 1 2 6 9 3

4 7 3 8 9 1 2 6 5

9 5 8 7 2 6 3 1 4

6 2 1 4 3 5 9 7 8


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.


2 9 5 5

3 6 7 3 4 1 3

8 9 6 3 4

2 6 7 5

9 1 8 2


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R E A L .

3 1 9 6 8 7 5 4 2

N E W S .

Sudoku provided by

1 3 6 2 7 4 8 5 9

July 1st Solution

7 8 4 3 5 9 1 2 6

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 22)

CBS4 Newspaper  

July 15, 2011 Edition