Tennessee Suffering From Massive Dental Care Crisis

Apr 30, 14 Tennessee Suffering From Massive Dental Care Crisis

Posted by in Featured, Health

Tennessee’s teeth are in danger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of the residents of the Volunteer State didn’t visit a dentist at all in 2013. Of the elderly population (65 and older), 53% have lost at least six teeth, and 31.5% have lost every single one of their teeth. And it’s not just a question of age.Dr. Michele Blackledge, a dentist with the Aspen Dental Office in Gallatin, claims the dental crisis is seeping into more and more demographics. “Every week,” she writes in a recent article on Tennesseean.com, “I treat patients in their 20s whose mouths are filled with decay, after years of ignoring their oral health.” The problem may be twofold. Dr. Blackledge cites “dental phobia” as one of the likely culprits behind the crisis. Many patients grew up without ever seeing a dentist, so they had no opportunity to become comfortable with the experience, relying instead on a sensationalized and stereotyped public image of dentistry as painful and scary. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that a modern root canal procedure is no more painful than having a cavity filled — i.e. not painful at all. Many procedures can be done with the benefit of sedation. This not only makes the procedure more comfortable, but can also reduce the number of visits required, even for complicated surgeries such as extractions and restorations. The second factor, however, might render the phobia question moot: Tennessee is experiencing a shortage of dentists. Research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows a shortage of dental health professionals in 89 of 95 Tennessee counties — that’s 94% of the state. “Many graduating dentists are attracted to the wealthy major metropolitan centers on the coasts,” states Dr. Blackledge. “Even with a fine dental school in Nashville at Meharry Medical College, where I received my degree, we have not been able to fill the gap.” Recent evidence shows that many Tennessee residents are, in fact, eager to maintain good...

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Doris Payne, 83, Pleads Guilty to Another Instance of Stealing Diamonds

Apr 30, 14 Doris Payne, 83, Pleads Guilty to Another Instance of Stealing Diamonds

Posted by in Featured, Legal

On Monday, April 28, 83-year-old Doris Payne pled guilty to one felony count each of burglary and grand theft for an October jewelry theft, the Washington Post reported. At an upscale jewelry store in Palm Desert, Calif., Payne made off with a $22,500, 3.5-carat diamond-encrusted ring. The carat originated as a natural unit of weight: the weight of the seeds of the carob tree. Diamonds were traditionally weighed against these seeds; however, the weighing system was later standardized, with one carat fixed at 200 milligrams (1/5 of a gram). Payne had been out of prison for about three months, according to the Washington Post. Judge William Lebov sentenced Payne to four years in custody: two in a county jail and two under mandatory supervision, according to the Los Angeles Times. The maximum penalty would have been six years. Gretchen von Helms, one of Payne’s lawyers, said Lebov’s sentence was “a thoughtful response” considering her client’s age and ailments. “The judge tempered punishment with compassion about her age,” von Helms told the Los Angeles Times. “He took into account the taxpayers’ pocketbook. And do we really need to incarcerate a nonviolent offender — yes, a repeat offender, that’s true — who’s ill, who has emphysema, who’s elderly?” Payne admitted to having about 60 years of experience as an international jewelry thief; she has used 20 aliases, has been linked to five Social Security numbers and has nine dates of birth on file. She is the subject of documentary “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.” The documentary’s website said she is “as unapologetic today about the $2 million in jewels she’s stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first...

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Supreme Court Case on Aereo Spells Potential Changes for Cloud Industry

Apr 29, 14 Supreme Court Case on Aereo Spells Potential Changes for Cloud Industry

Posted by in Featured, Legal, Technology

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering the legality of an internet service called Aereo, which allows its users to stream and record live television. Oral arguments have begun and so far, the future does not seem to bode well for Aereo as the justices ask telling questions about the technology’s scope. The IT industry has been paying close attention to the case, as it could have potential impact on cloud technology as a whole — and broadcast television too. Aereo rebroadcasts TV shows to its transcribers without paying the appropriate retransmission fees. “There’s a reason people call them copies,” Chief Justice John Roberts has said, seeming to critique the fact that Aereo is simply re-serving copyrighted television shows to customers. On the other hand, several justices, including Justice Stephen Breyer, have been concerned about the potential implication a decision against Aereo could have for cloud. He has compared Aereo’s technology to similar services offered by companies that store songs in the cloud, delivering them on demand. “The cloud-computing industry is freaking out about this case,” says David Frederick, the attorney for Aereo. According to Frederick, Aereo is not attempting to be a cable service — they’re merely providing customers the ability to store cable shows for watching later. The Obama administration has already sided with broadcasters, saying that “the system is clearly infringing” considering that similar services like Hulu and Netflix pay out to copyright holders. In the end, it might come down to the issue that Justice Ginsburg has noted: “Every other transmitter does pay a royalty — maybe it’s under compulsory license — and you are the only player so far that doesn’t pay any royalties at any stage.” Legalizing Aereo’s actions could potentially leave many companies off the hook for paying copyright royalties. Along with the Aereo case, cloud technology providers have certainly had enough to worry about over the past few months. Recently, huge data breaches like Heartbleed and the zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer have made consumers wary about storing...

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Giants’ Wilson Waiting on MRI Photograph for Clean Bill of Health

Apr 28, 14 Giants’ Wilson Waiting on MRI Photograph for Clean Bill of Health

Posted by in Featured, Health

New York Giants running back David Wilson is a model patient. The 22-year-old received a hit in an October 6th home game against the Philadelphia Eagles that resulted in a herniated disc. On January 16th, Wilson underwent surgery to fuse together the vertebrae surrounding the disc to relieve the pressure. Most herniated disks result in pain at the site, as well as numbness or tingling in the arm or hands. Wilson says he experienced none of these symptoms. “It’s hard to realize the severity when you don’t feel any pain, no symptoms,” he said, going on to state that the only actual discomfort he felt during the whole process was from the surgical incision on the front of his neck. Wilson still hasn’t been cleared for OTAs (organized team activities) this spring. His doctors are waiting on a scheduled MRI to make sure the vertebrae have been fused correctly and have healed properly. “So right now I feel fine,” says Wilson. “Before I felt fine, and right now we’re just waiting for the picture we need.” Cervical spine disc herniation usually affects adults in their 30s and 40s, and generally is a result of decades of accumulated stress and pressure, rather than a blindside hit from a Philadelphia Eagle. But Wilson — young, preternaturally fit, and boundlessly enthusiastic — is adhering to the restricted activity regimen prescribed by his doctors to ensure proper healing, and waiting patiently for the MRI photograph. “I’m a man of faith,” Wilson asserts, “so, no matter what happens in front of me, with my faith I’m going to make it...

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Forty Veterans Die While Waiting for Medical Treatment at Phoenix VA System

Apr 25, 14 Forty Veterans Die While Waiting for Medical Treatment at Phoenix VA System

Posted by in Featured, Health

It’s no secret that veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces face innumerable challenges every day of their postwar lives. Not all of them, of course, but it’s slowly becoming apparent that it’s the majority. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11 and 20% of all Iraq and Afghanistan vets will be afflicted with psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, and even more will end up homeless. The VA has an audacious and highly unlikely goal of ending all vet homelessness by 2015. But if a recent story from Arizona is any indication, even the hospital might not be a safer place for wounded vets. As CNN reported earlier this week, at least 40 vets died while waiting for treatment at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system. Some of them were placed on a “secret” waiting list, apparently created by top VA officials attempting to hide the 1,500 sick vets who were made to wait for months before they received medical care. As Dr. Sam Foote, the recently retired head of Phoenix’s VA system, said to CNN, there are always two lists — the one that gets shown to Washington bureau chiefs and the “secret” one that’s known and discussed only among the people in the know. This first list is a complete sham, as Foote said, while the second one allows the VA to circumvent its own rules stipulating that vets receive timely care, usually within 15 to 30 days of them requesting it. But just how far did Phoenix’s VA department heads go to secure their system of lies? CNN points out that document shredding was fair game, as was plainly not making the requested doctor’s appointments in the system at all. The dishonesty was strikingly bold, as Foote recounted. “They enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout,” he said. “They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here.” The VA system in Phoenix is...

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