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Category archives for:Health & Society

Before Kevin McCarthy’s Suicide, a Life of Creative Advocacy and Contradictions Running in Overdrive

| April 21, 2019

Until his last year, Kevin McCarthy had a stellar 17-year career with Flagler schools, coming out of the shadow of his father Bob McCarthy, Flagler’s longest-serving sheriff. But he had unspoken struggles.

Hands-Free Cell Use In Car May Become Requirement in Florida Under Senate Plan

| April 18, 2019

The House measure matches the Senate proposal in shifting texting while driving from a “secondary” offense to a “primary” offense, but it doesn’t impose a hands-free requirement.

A Palm Coast Man’s 5-Year Prison Sentence for Armed Robbery Exposes Intersection of Opioids, Suicide and Crime

| April 12, 2019

Gary Wayne Hodges, 35, faced life in prison before his sentence for the armed robbery of a Dollar General in Bunnell last year. The judge was lenient, however, because of his history.

Nanny Senate: Students Would Have to Get Parental Consent Before Seeking Mental Health or Birth Control

| April 11, 2019

The so-called “Parents Bill of Rights” would allow parents to access and review all of their children’s school records and change the way students can seek mental-health and reproductive-health services, including counseling and birth control prescriptions.

Between Batterers’ Classes and Ankle Monitors, A Few Strides Against Domestic Violence in Flagler

| April 10, 2019

The latest update of the sheriff’s domestic violence task force pointed to a few gains but mostly through a more robust investigative and monitoring system, and the addition of anger management classes in Flagler.

Bill Allowing Cheaper Drug Imports From Canada Advancing Against Big Pharma Fit

| April 10, 2019

Gov. DeSantis has championed the legislation as a way to curb prescription drug costs. But his effort continues to draw opposition from representatives of the pharmaceutical industry who say importing drugs could increase the amount of unsafe and counterfeit drugs.

Time for $15 an Hour and a Union

| April 9, 2019

After years of idling lawmakers, the idea now has more traction in Congress thanks to the recently introduced Raise the Wage Act, which would set a national minimum pay of $15 an hour by 2024.

Senate Panel Divides 5-4 in Advancing Measure Requiring Minors’ Parental Consent for Abortion

| April 8, 2019

After rallying and testimony from numerous activists on both sides of the issue, a Senate panel Monday approved a proposal that would require minors to receive parental consent before having abortions.

Used on Lawns, A Popular Weed Killer’s Alleged Link To Cancer Spreads Concern

| April 8, 2019

Glyphosate is by far the most widely used herbicide in the United States, and probably worldwide. It is used on nearly every acre of corn, cotton and soybeans grown in the U.S. You may have sprayed it on your lawn or garden.

Palm Coast Councilman Jack Howell To Homelessness Task Force: ‘It Needs To Be Done My Way.’

| April 3, 2019

Palm Coast Council member Jack Howell attacked the homelessness task force in charge of drawing up goals to address the issue, but did not himself provide any goals. A gap of mis-perceptions between public and agencies addressing homeless issues is making concrete solutions more difficult.

The Florida Compact on Immigration: Recognizing Immigrants’ Value Without Demonizing Them

| April 2, 2019

The compact is a set of key principles outlining the need for smart immigration policies at the state and federal levels to drive Florida’s economy forward, including a path forward for undocumented immigrants.

Flagler Health Department Issues Caution After Emu Tests Positive For Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

| March 31, 2019

Last week, an emu kept as a pet in Flagler County tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, a mosquito-borne alphavirus, first recognized in humans in 1938.

‘A Pileup of Inequities’: Why People of Color Are Hit Hardest by Homelessness

| March 31, 2019

Disparities, researchers say, are the result of centuries of discrimination in housing, criminal justice, child welfare and education. Cities and counties are beginning to take a hard look at how entrenched policy has served to perpetuate homelessness in black and brown communities.

Flagler’s Improved Health Ranking Masks Poor Access to Care and Persistent Obesity and Smoking

| March 29, 2019

Flagler’s health ranking jumped to 9th best in Florida, from 14th last year, in the latest rankings, but the jump masks continuing problems with access to primary and mental health physicians, continuing obesity, smoking and sexually transmitted diseases.

Lawmakers Mulling New Way To Regulate Medical Pot: Limiting How High You Can Get

| March 28, 2019

Florida patients can now smoke medical marijuana, but some Republican legislative leaders want to put a limit on how high they can get when lighting up: The House is considering a proposal that would cap THC levels in medical marijuana at 10 percent.

Suicides of 2 Parkland Students in a Week Have Lawmakers Questioning Schools’ Mental Health Funding

| March 27, 2019

Two suicides in the span of a week involving student survivors of the Parkland school shooting have sparked a new question at the Florida Capitol: How much mental-health money should the state provide to schools?

For Use in Joints, Pipes or Bongs: Smokable Medical Pot Finally Hits Florida Market

| March 23, 2019

In other states where medical marijuana has been legalized, smokable products comprise between 40 and 60 percent of sales. Florida voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Two Reasons Why I Won’t Report My Child Abuse

| March 15, 2019

“It always amazes me,” the author writes, “how people will call 911 simply because someone parked in the wrong spot or put the garbage out on the wrong night, yet they won’t get “involved” in possibly saving a child’s life or at a minimum their childhood.”

County Calls DEP Over Area ‘Heavily Contaminated With Human Waste’ Around Library in Cleanup of Homeless Camp

| March 15, 2019

The week-long cleanup of the homeless camp near the public library in Palm Coast revealed concerning hygienic issues but few security incidents. Meanwhile, the library is installing a new security system.

Bring Back Eisenhower Socialism

| March 14, 2019

Today’s Republicans might call “socialist” Dwight Eisenhower “Red Ike.” After all, during Eisenhower’s two terms to 1960, the wealthy paid a top tax rate of 91 percent on incomes over the equivalent of $1.7 million for an individual and $3.4 million for a couple.

You May Now Smoke It: Florida Lawmakers End Ban on Medical Reefers With Overwhelming Majorities

| March 14, 2019

The House passed the proposal (SB 182) in a 101-11 vote Wednesday, sending the bill to the governor two days before a March 15 deadline he had set. The Senate passed the bill last week.

Inspection Finds Seating-Capacity Violations at Captain’s BBQ at Bing’s, Raising New Questions

| March 14, 2019

A state inspection of Captain’s BBQ at Bing’s Landing found the restaurant to have 188 seats though it’s licensed for just 60. The county says it’s fixing the issue, which raised new questions for the restaurant, which has been at the center of a controversial proposal to expand at the county park.

Sheltering Tree, Flagler’s Only Homeless Shelter, Raises Nearly $12,000 in Latest Fundraiser

| March 14, 2019

The cold-weather shelter opens for overnight stays whenever the temperature falls to 40 or below. It operates out of at Bunnell’s First United Methodist Church, and provides other support services to the homeless.

Push For Swift Homeless ‘Solutions’ Clashes With Individual, On-the-Ground Realities

| March 13, 2019

Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins and Palm Coast City Council member Jack Howell want solutions to what they call a homeless crisis, but others are reminding them that efforts are in place. The resources and focus to pull them off in concert may not be.

Flagler Health Department Will Provide Free Tdap Vaccine Against Whooping Cough

| March 9, 2019

The vaccine, commonly referred to as Tdap, provides protection against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Florida Law requires that students entering seventh through twelfth grades receive this vaccine, unless the parents file a valid exemption.

Facing Mounting Criticism, Flagler Scraps Exiling Palm Coast Homeless and Will Keep Them Near the Library

| March 6, 2019

Averting what was turning into another embarrassing shamble, Flagler County government today scrapped plans to evict the homeless from the public library grounds in Palm Coast and exile some to an isolated camp at the far end of the county.

Florida’s House and Senate Are Nearing a Deal on Allowing Any Form of Smokable Pot

| March 6, 2019

Under the revised plan, dispensaries could sell any form of smokable marijuana, and patients could buy devices to smoke cannabis at state-licensed medical marijuana treatment centers or other retail outlets, such as head shops.

This Is Russell Landing: Flagler County’s Idea of a Homeless Camp

| March 6, 2019

An examination of Russell Landing, the extremely isolated site Flagler County would move homeless people to, is not as healthy, safe or desirable a location as the county is making it out to be.

Halifax Health Among Hospitals Paid Less By Medicare Over High Rates of Infections and Patient Injuries

| March 3, 2019

The penalties pit hospitals against one another in a race to prevent the most infections, blood clots, cases of sepsis, bedsores, hip fractures and other complications. Each year, the quarter of general hospitals with the highest rates are punished, even if their records have improved from the previous year.

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Expelling Planned Parenthood From Family Planning Program

| February 26, 2019

The program provides contraceptives, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and other primary health services to 4 million patients each year, many of them low-income or uninsured, at more than 4,000 clinic sites.

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