Category: News Briefs Written by Ann J. Curley, CNN
(CNN) -- Martin McGowan insisted on going to high school baseball tryouts, despite his mother's worries he wasn't feeling well.
After the tryouts, the 15-year-old complained of leg pain and seemed exhausted. He woke up and vomited during the night, Diane McGowan recalled. She gave him medicine for his fever, and he returned to bed, only to wake again, vomiting and complaining of leg pain.
At the emergency room, doctors diagnosed Martin with the flu, and said his leg pain was due to "compartment syndrome," Diane McGowan said.
"Because the muscle has no room between the skin and the bone, it causes pressure on the arteries and veins with your bone, and can eventually cut off the circulation," she said. "So if they had not taken him into surgery ... they might have had to amputate his legs."
Hospitals: Get flu shot or lose job Early flu shots protect you all season
But no one was prepared for what happened next -- Martin died on the operating table that day in 2005.
"What I later found out is that the flu attacks the muscles, and that's why you feel achy when you get the flu," his mother said.
"Because he was so healthy, and because of the exertion he had done the night before, it (the influenza) went thru his system quicker than it would go through a normal child. ... The heart is a muscle, and his heart gave out on the table."
While Martin's complication was uncommon, influenza can produce complications that result in death, including pneumonia, bacterial infection, acute respiratory failure, and encephalitis, even in otherwise healthy children.
His death has been motivation for his mother to work toward preventing such deaths in other children.
Getting children ready for flu season
At the time, Diane McGowan noted, it wasn't recommended that children Martin's age get the flu vaccine -- something she worked to change, lobbying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to increase flu immunization requirements for children and teens.
She is now a volunteer with Families Fighting Flu, a group run exclusively by families who have experienced the loss of a child or a child who has suffered serious complications from the flu. The group receives funding through private donations as well as funding from organizations that include pharmaceutical companies in the form of unrestricted grants.
New research presented last week shows that healthy children, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are at risk of dying from flu-associated causes.
The research was presented at IDWeek 2012, the first conference held by a consortium of infectious disease groups. It examined deaths among children over the past eight flu seasons.
Between 2004 and 2012, 829 U.S. children under 18 died from influenza-associated causes. While many of the deaths occurred among children with underlying health conditions, including neurological disorders, asthma or lung disease, and genetic or chromosomal disorders, 40% occurred among children with no known medical condition, according to lead author Dr. Karen K. Wong of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Healthy children actually died more quickly, according to the research, with a median of four days from symptoms to death. That's compared to a median of seven days from symptoms to death among children with a pre-existing condition.
"Because influenza-associated deaths can occur rapidly in children, prevention is really the best defense," explained Wong, noting that over a third of deaths occurred in children younger than age 5 -- a group known to be at high risk -- and 11% occurred in children younger than 6 months. That's a group that is too young to be vaccinated.
New research raises hopes in quest to find universal flu vaccine
School-based influenza vaccination programs, however, may help prevent the spread of the virus among children and young adults.
In tandem with the new data on pediatric flu deaths, an example of promising new research on flu prevention was presented at the ID Week 2012 meeting.
Results of a school-based program were presented by Dr. Pia Pannaraj, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
"We looked at a proactive approach for how to prevent influenza," Pannaraj said. Her study followed 4,500 elementary school children in eight schools in Los Angeles County during the 2010-11 flu season. Half had a school-based flu vaccination program. The schools without a program served as the control group.
Thirty to 50% of children in the vaccine program schools received a flu vaccine. If any child came down with respiratory symptoms or a fever, cough or runny nose, they were tested for influenza. The process was done for all schools, Pannaraj explained, and included contacting homes of children who were out sick to make sure they were appropriately tested.
"We found that children who were vaccinated were three times less likely to get the flu and missed half the number of school days compared to children who were not vaccinated," said Pannaraj.
"In our schools that had school-based influenza vaccination programs, their rates of influenza overall at the entire school were lower than at school that did not have any vaccination program. And again, also their attendance rates were also much higher than the schools that did not have any vaccination program."
Vitamin D supplements no help for colds, flu
Vaccination of school-age children is important, Pannaraj said, because "children are very capable of spreading the flu. They go to school, they're in their classrooms, they're all together -- they touch each other, touch doors, pass around papers and pencils." They also can go home and spread the flu virus to family members including the very young or the elderly, who can become severely ill.
The entire community also benefits from school-based immunization programs, she said, as it means less time away from work for parents caring for sick children. In addition, parents don't have to take their children elsewhere for the vaccine if they receive it at school.
Another bonus: "In the school where the vaccination rate was close to 50%, we see some protection extended even to those kids who were unvaccinated," she said. "Their rates of influenza were less compared to schools with lower vaccination rates."
There are simple steps that families can take to fight the flu. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccination is critical for people who live with or care for young children or children with medical conditions, to prevent the spread of flu to high-risk children.
Moms can help protect their babies by getting a flu shot during pregnancy. And make sure that family members and caregivers -- including babysitters and grandparents -- are all vaccinated to prevent spreading flu to children too young for vaccination.
While vaccination is the first line of defense, if children do get the flu, prescription antiviral medicines, which include Tamiflu (generic name oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), are recommended by the CDC as treatment to help ease symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness, Wong said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:18
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Progress is being made at the Gateway Marketplace project in Detroit, as drivers on Woodward and 8 Mile Road can now see dirt piling up and construction workers plugging away.
The center — anchored by a Meijer Supercenter, Marshalls department store and K&G Fashion Superstore — is expected to feature 350,000 square feet of retail space on 36 acres of land.
Construction crews broke ground on the project, at the northwest corner of the old state fair property, this past May after spending eight years planning and developing the marketplace.
“Right now, we’re ahead of schedule with paving and curbing, and we started building foundations last week, we’re moving forward with those buildings,” Vince Washington, a field superintendent for the Dailey-Jenkins construction team told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
Washington said in less than two weeks, the outside walls of the Meijer store will be up.
“These block walls are starting, I’ve got five masons that started last week and you’ll start seeing blocks go up in the next few days,” he said. “Meijer is expected to start precast 12 foot high, 22 foot wide panels, you will see over in Meijer. In 10 days, you will have a complete Meijer.”
The Gateway Marketplace is scheduled for completion May 31, 2013.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:00
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit police are looking for a group of people behind nearly a dozen gas station robberies in the city over the past two weeks.
Investigators say the group is wanted for ten armed robberies and one attempted robbery of local gas stations. Between three and five young men were involved in each case.
Police say during the robberies, the suspects will cover their faces, walk into a gas station armed with assault weapons and announce a hold-up.
According to police, three suspects attempted to rob a gas station in the 6500 block of VanDyke on Oct. 10 at 4:55 a.m. by crashing a vehicle into the front of the building. Failing to gain entry, the suspects fled from the location. Police say the three armed suspects continued their crime spree by robbing a station in the 800 block of W. McNichols at 6:45 a.m.
Investigators believe the three suspects are also responsible for several robberies that happened the very next day. Those incidents happened on Oct. 11 at gas stations in the 10000 block of Gratiot at 12:45 a.m.; in the 9700 block of Van Dyke at 12:57 a.m.; and in the 1900 block of E. McNichols at 1:05 a.m.
The suspects took a break for a few days before allegedly robbing a gas station in the 1600 block of E. McNichols on Oct. 17 at 6:30 a.m. The next three robberies happened two days later, on Oct. 19, at gas stations in the 9300 block of VanDyke at 5:10 a.m.; in the 1100 block of Clay at 5:30 a.m.; and in the 3700 block of Joy at 6:00 a.m.
Police say the last two incidents occurred on Oct.23, when four or five armed male suspects robebd a gas station in the 800 block of W. McNichols at 5:15 a.m., and in the 12800 block of W. McNichols at 5:40 a.m.
No one was hurt in any of the robberies. It wasn’t immediately clear how much money the suspects were able to get away with.
The suspects are described as a black males in their 20’s, wearing dark clothing and black masks that cover the lower half of their faces. Police say they hope to issue still photographs of the suspects sometime Wednesday.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents, is asked to contact the DPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau at 313-596-1340 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. You can also submit a tip online at www.1800speakup.org, or text “CSM” and your tip to CRIMES (274637).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:44
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – A huge boost for the arts in Detroit as the Knight Foundation has announced $19.25 million investment in the arts here.
More than ten million is going to seven arts institutions, including: the DIA, the DSO, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, and the Michigan Opera Theatre.
Reception for the announcement of the $19.25 Knight Foundation investment in Detroit arts.
“I have been very impressed with the resilience of these significant art institutions in Detroit, despite the financial times that everybody has struggled with over the last four or five years,” said Dennis School vice-president of the arts of the Knight Foundation.
“The Detroit institutions have been strong and they have spent a lot of time with audience engagement.”
Scholl, who says the foundation is also committing another nine million dollars over the next three years for a contest to find and fund the best arts ideas.
The grantees are:
Arab American National Museum
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit School of Arts
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Michigan Opera Theatre
Find more information, here.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:30
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - One of Detroit’s biggest fans, figuratively speaking, is now sporting the Old English D.
The Spirit of Detroit statue was fitted with one of the largest Detroit Tigers jerseys known to man Wednesday morning ahead of Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco.
Theodore Jackson was among several fans snapping pictures of the 26-foot-tall bronze statue who tried to guess the size of the giant jersey.
“I’m guessing it’s probably a 16-X or something like that,” Jackson said laughing. “You know, something you couldn’t get at the normal big and tall.”
Nicholas Grunas was happy to see the jersey on the statue, but wondered why it didn’t go up earlier, say, at the start of the postseason.
“The earlier the better I think. It just gives something for Detroiters to come and take a picture of. With all the bad stuff going on in this city, it’s just something nice for us, you know, we deserve it,” said Grunas.
The team is footing the $8,000 bill for the jersey, which includes insurance, security and other related costs.
The Tigers play the first two games on the road against the San Francisco Giants before returning home for Saturday’s Game 3 at Comerica Park.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:24
Category: News Briefs Written by mlive.com
DETROIT — If U.S. Federal District Judge Nancy Edmunds' courtroom were a boxing ring, former Detroit water boss Victor Mercado won Tuesday's round it seems.
Mercado is a defendant in a public corruption case alongside ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor's father Bernard Kilpatrick and city contractor Bobby Ferguson, despite his efforts to separate himself from the trio.
Mercado is accused by federal prosecutors of being complicit in a scheme to steer city contracts and taxpayer dollars to co-defendant Bobby Ferguson.
Detroit Water and Sewerage contracts supervisor Daniel Edwards, who testified on behalf of prosecutors, gave Mercado high marks and called him a positive addition to the city's water management team.
"Mercado was a very good director," said Edwards on cross-examiniation. "And a very good boss to work with."
Mercado, selected by a third-party hiring firm after a nationwide search, came to Detroit in 2002 to operate the city's largest department. During his time in Detroit, Mercado earned between $200,000 and $250,000 per year.
Mercado took charge of an antiquated, vast, inefficient and outdated underground network of water and sewer pipes made, in many cases, of brick, stone and wood from as early as the 1800s.
Some of those same adjectives may also describe the department culture at the time of Mercado's arrival, based on Edward's testimony.
The Water and Sewerage Department, with a $1,2 billion budget, employed between 2,000 and 3,000 employees during the time Mercado worked in Detroit.
Mercado, in a position that in Detroit has often been bestowed upon attorneys and career politicians, is a water engineer.
He received approval to hire a third-party auditor to review the department.
Mercado made changes to cut excesses in the bloated department that had become lax with professionalism, Edwards testified. The number of employees has now dropped slightly below 2,000.
Mercado fired employees found to be drunk or high on the job, cut the number of jobs through attrition and began enforcing policies that had been ignored for years, according to Edwards.
Edwards said there were often personal relationships and friendships that were "too close" between engineering department employees — the front line for contract acquisitions — and contractors earning their livings from the city.
This is one of the prosecutions contentions that attorneys say led to Ferguson receiving $120 million in contracts during Kilpatricks' reign as mayor between 2002 and 2008.
In one example, Ferguson bid the second highest price for a contract among 10 bidders and won the contract.
Evidence presented Monday revealed Ferguson on at least two occasions petitioned the city for a "change-order" to adjust the price of his contracts, in some cases doubling and tripling the eventual price tag to the tune of millions of dollars.
Edwards said change orders are common due to the uncertainty of Detroit's unpredictable subterranean network of water mains and sewer pipe.
The bid granting process was refined, removed from the engineering department and a former method of selection by "jury" was revised so that decision makers each independently reviewed bidders without consulting one
Mercado, in a position that in Detroit has often been bestowed upon attorneys and career politicians, is a water engineer.
He received approval to hire a third-party auditor to review the department.
Detroit, after violating the Clean Water Act by dumping sewage into nearby rivers, signed a consent agreement in 1977 that turned oversight of the Water Department over to now-deceased federal Judge Feikens.
The agreement gave ultimate operational control over contracts to the "special administrator," who had traditionally been the mayor, as was the case during Kilaptrick's reign.
A 2006 ruling by Feikens stated that Mercado "promptly alerted" the court of problems as they arose and had set Detroit on a path to cleaning up Detroit's waterways.
Mercado accepted other municipal water management jobs since leaving Detroit but settled on something a little less bureaucratic.
Mercado now works at a hardware store in Florida.
Along with father Bernard Kilpatrick, friend and city contractor Bobby Ferguson and former Detroit water and sewer manager Victor Mercado, Kwame Kilpatrick faces 30 years in prison on charges of operating an illegal criminal enterprise involving extortion, accepting bribes and kickbacks, mail and wire fraud, contract rigging, obstructing justice and making malicious threats to extort money, the federal U.S. Attorney's complaint says.
Kilpatrick faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:21
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation to protect young athletes from sports-related concussions.
“Research consistently has shown that concussions are a serious health threat to athletes,” Snyder said. “Coaches and parents need to be proactive in recognizing the signs of a concussion so we can protect injured children and teens from any further complications.”
More than 140,000 high-school athletes sustain a concussion each year, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. The brain does not fully mature until people are in their mid-20s, and damage from multiple or untreated concussions can be severe. More than half of the states already have enacted laws to protect against youth concussions, and many others have legislation in the works.
The governor signed two bills to inform students, coaches and parents on how to recognize a concussion. Senate Bill 1122, sponsored by state Sen. John Proos, requires the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop both educational materials and a concussion awareness program.
“As a father of three children, each involved in multiple sports and physical activities, my goal with this legislation was to ensure the health of our young athletes is always the top priority,” Proos said. “With the number of children suffering sports-related concussions rising at an alarming rate, we must help ensure parents, coaches and athletes can recognize the symptoms of these injuries and act in the athlete’s best interest.”
House Bill 5697, sponsored by state Rep. Thomas Hooker, requires that all youth sports coaches, employees and volunteers participate in the concussion awareness program, as well as provide the educational materials to athletes. Coaches also must immediately remove any youth athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion from competition, and only allow their return with written clearance from a health professional.
“As a former football and wrestling coach, I am proud to focus efforts to help protect young people from traumatic brain injuries caused by concussions,” Hooker said. “Our goal is to make Michigan a safe place to play sports.”
The bills now are Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012.
Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 17:58
Category: News Briefs Written by Huffington Post
Stories of Detroit's emerging comeback often highlight the city's attraction to young hipsters. According to plentiful media reports, well-educated 20-somethings are streaming into the Motor City to test out new ideas, explore art and music projects or launch D-I-Y revitalization initiatives.
You can spot a number of once-dormant corners of the city now pulsing with activity thanks to young entrepreneurs. Corktown now sports pubs and restaurants that would fit in Brooklyn or Portland. Midtown shows all the makings of a creative class hub, complete with hipsters hanging out at the Good Girls Go to Paris creperie, the Avalon International Breads bakery and the N'Nmadi Center gallery, devoted to the rich tradition of African-American abstract art. Recent college grads can be seen all over town from the bountiful Eastern Market to bustling Campus Martius square to festive Mexicantown to the scenic Riverwalk to the yummy Good People Popcorn shop downtown, featuring flavors like cinnamon and chocolate drizzle.
This burst of youthful energy -- even in the face of the city's continuing economic and social woes -- debunks widespread opinion that nothing can be done to jumpstart the Motor City. While a new, more positive narrative about Detroit is welcome, there are problems in focusing entirely on idealistic young adventurers swooping in to save the city -- it reinforces the stereotype of native Detroiters as hapless, helpless and hopeless.
The truth is, locals have been working hard for years to uplift the common good in Detroit, which is now drawing the interest of outsiders. And newcomers aren't the only ones stirring up excitement around town. Good People Popcorn, for instance, was started by two sisters and a cousin, all of whom grew up here. Sarida Scott Montgomery, one of the founders who is also a lawyer and Executive Director of the Community Development Advocates of Detroit, says people are often surprised she grew up in the city. "Not in the suburbs," she says, "but in Detroit itself."
Regina Ann Campbell, Director of the Milwaukee Junction Business Center incubator in Detroit's North End, grew up on the Northwest side before earning a Masters in urban planning degree at the University of Michigan. "I welcome all the new people," she says. "But it's important for them to understand they are building on some things that have been going on for years. I want to help them appreciate the city though the eyes of the people who have lived here."
Scott Montgomery and Campbell are both part of a new initiative that matches the talents of bright, young professionals with local organizations working at the frontlines of reviving Detroit. The Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program (DRFP) selected 29 Fellows with backgrounds in urban planning, economic development, finance, real estate and related fields.
A lot of the buzz around the program highlights ambitious folks relocating from New York, Seattle, the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Chicago and Los Angeles to further their careers in Detroit, but in reality 10 of the fellows were already living in Detroit and nine others had grown up in the metro area or previously lived in the city.
For many of them it was a long-awaited homecoming, which shows that continuing loyalty from the Detroit Diaspora is a hidden asset in the city's favor. Jela Ellefson, who was working at a Los Angeles urban planning firm before moving with her husband, an architect, and two children back to Detroit, says, "We always followed what was happening in Detroit, and noticed that the urban planning world was paying a lot of attention." She now works to expand programs at the city's Eastern Market.
DRFP -- a Wayne State project financially supported by the Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Skillman Foundation and the university -- placed fellows at organizations identified as being "actively engaged in building the Detroit of tomorrow." The breadth and impact of these non-profit groups -- everything from the Data Driven Detroit research firm to the Community Investment Support Fund, which directs investment capital to low-income neighborhoods -- speaks to a strong sense of the commons that survives in Detroit even amid the economic setbacks.
Fellow Matteo Passalacqua works at the Vanguard community development corporation to rehab historic structures as affordable housing in the city's struggling North End, for instance, and Marcus Clarke at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and David Barna at Midtown Detroit Inc. are collaborating to help city firms acquire a larger share of procurement contracts from large local institutions.
Dan Varner, CEO of Excellent Schools Detroit who hired Fellow Eric Anderson as the organization's Director of Digital Media and Engagement, sees the DRFP as important in reversing Detroit's brain drain. "We've been losing talented folks for a long time. Part of what we have to do to recover our potential is stop that drain. The Fellows program represents that potential."
Allyson McLean, who grew up in the Detroit suburbs and has worked on brownfield redevelopment in Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority and on strategic planning for the Department of Homeland Security in D.C. is back in town aiding real estate development in low-income communities with the Community Investment Support Fund.
"Now that I am back," she says, "it's frustrating to hear from friends I grew up with who have no plans to ever return. In many cases they aren't necessarily staying in places like Chicago because they've landed great jobs, they simply think it's a cooler place to be. They have no idea what they're missing in their hometown."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:35
Category: News Briefs Written by Dustin Block, Mlive
DETROIT, MI - Scott Moloney nearly moved into the wrong building, jammed his ice cream machine the first time he used it, and spent a summer weekend buying dry ice to keep his tasty creations from melting.
But the owner of Treat Dreams in Ferndale survived those twists - and many more - to create a thriving business over the past two years that's now looking to expand.
"You'll never have a week that goes according to plan," Moloney told Open City Detroit on Monday night. "You can't get too high when you have your best sales day ever. You can't get too low when you have your worst sales day ever."
Moloney and four other successful Detroit small business owners shared their experiences as part of the kickoff to Open City Detroit's 2012-13 season.
Dave Mancini, of Supino Pizzeria, Emily Linn of City Bird and Nest, Grant Lancaster of City Wings, and Moloney addressed the crowd at Cliff Bell's. Liz Blondy, owner of Canine to Five, moderated the panel.
Their collective message to would-be entreprenuers in Detroit is to find the right place, be prepared to do a lot by yourself, and be ready to work hard.
"It's a lot of work. It's a lot of late nights. ... It's also a lot of fun," said Linn, who owns the home goods and local art stores in Midtown with her brother Andy Linn. "I feel like I'm always learning things, not necessarily things I want to learn about."
"You'll never have a week that goes according to plan."
Mancini said the early stages of starting his popular, and nationally recognized, pizzeria in Eastern Market required patience. He spent years looking for the right location to open his restaurant. Once he did open he had to find people just as committed and he was to making it a success.
"One of the hard things about starting a business in the early stages is the weeding out process on who's giong to work with you, and who's not," he said. "You're going to kiss some frogs. You're going to hire people who aren't going to work out."
Lancaster started City Wings at 2896 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit without money to actually start his business. He signed a lease on the building and then took a couple of months visiting friens and family around the country to help him pay for the build out.
"I told people I've got a dollar and a dream and we're gonna make it," Lancaster said. "This 99 cents isn't gonna make it. I need your penny to come along."
Starting a business isn't a straight line, the owners said.
Moloney jumped into the ice cream business from an 18-year career in banking. He quit his job and decided to open the "Custard Shack" in downtown Royal Oak as a seasonal business. When the Royal Oak site fell through he almost opened in Warren before settling in Ferndale. The first batch of ice cream - coffee toffee - he made jammed his new machine in front of his inlaws a few days before the business was scheduled to open.
"I started making ice cream the first day we were open," Moloney said.
Lancaster hired a builder for his restaurant, but didn't have enough money for an assistant so he became the assistant.
"I told him, 'Whatever you need you'd better teach me how to do it,'" he said.
Monday's panel, hosted by Open City and co-sponsored by D:hive, was titled "Do It In Detroit."
D:hive, a hub for resources to live, work, engage or start a business in Detroit, joined the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Model D Media to present this season of Open City.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:34
Category: News Briefs Written by Amber Bogins
It has been decided. After an impressive rally to come back from a 3-1 deficit, the San Francisco Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals nine runs to zero and win and the NL Championship. AL MVP Justin Verlander, Triple Crown hitter Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers will fly out to San Francisco for Game 1 of the World Series tomorrow night.
Verlander is scheduled to pitch at AT&T Park.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 10:21
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