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Health

101-year-old woman wins 100-meter dash at World Masters Games

101-year-old woman wins 100-meter dash at World Masters Games

She came. She ran. She conquered.  A 101-year-old woman from India won gold in the 100-meter dash at the World Masters Games in New Zealand. Man Kaur may have been the only athlete competing in her age division in the race, but she finished in 74 seconds. Not bad for someone who only started running at 96, according to Sports Illustrated. The World Masters Games are held every four years by the...
Dental board ends investigation in toddler’s death at Austin office

Dental board ends investigation in toddler’s death at Austin office

The state Board of Dental Examiners has dismissed its investigation against an Austin dentist who was treating a 14-month-old girl when she died during a procedure and found insufficient evidence to continue its proceedings, the dentist’s attorney told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Wednesday. Dr. Michael Melanson was notified last month about the outcome of the inquiry in the death of...
LAWSUIT PENDING: Dental board ends investigation in toddler’s death at Austin office

LAWSUIT PENDING: Dental board ends investigation in toddler’s death at Austin office

The state Board of Dental Examiners has dismissed its investigation against an Austin dentist who was treating a 14-month-old girl when she died during a procedure and found insufficient evidence to continue its proceedings, the dentist’s attorney told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Wednesday. Dr. Michael Melanson was notified last month about the outcome of the inquiry in the death...
Texas sees highest number of mumps cases in 25 years

Texas sees highest number of mumps cases in 25 years

Texas has already seen more mumps cases this year than during any year since 1992, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Thus far, doctors have diagnosed 236 cases, mostly in the Fort Worth area, health services spokesman Chris Van Deusen said. State health officials suspect many of the Texas cases are related to an outbreak that has reportedly infected more than 3,000 Arkansas...
Scared of snake encounters as weather heats up? Stay cool, experts say

Scared of snake encounters as weather heats up? Stay cool, experts say

As summer approaches and temperatures continue to increase across the region, chances for running into snakes are getting better. Evening temperatures in Austin will be hovering around 70 degrees later this week, so the nighttime hunters might be more likely to be on the move. Most snakes scattered throughout Central Texas pose little or no threat to humans, said John Davis, director of the Texas...
Texas scientists closer to diabetes cure with unconventional approach

Texas scientists closer to diabetes cure with unconventional approach

Health researchers at the University of Texas think they have found a way to trick the body into curing Type 1 diabetes. The immune system of a person with diabetes kills off useful “beta” cells, but the UT researchers say they have found a way to make other cells in the pancreas perform the necessary work. Their approach, announced earlier this month in the academic journal Current Pharmaceutical...
New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

New ‘oldest person in world’ is 117, explains secret to longevity

Violet Mosse-Brown of Jamaica is officially the oldest living person in the world, at 117 years of age. Mosse-Brown earned the title after the death of Emma Morano of Italy, who died earlier this week at 117 years, 137 days old. Mosse-Brown has a simple secret to her longevity. “Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except...
Two Views: Gay, lesbian couples are solution to foster care backlog

Two Views: Gay, lesbian couples are solution to foster care backlog

The backlog of children in the Texas foster care system awaiting placement with a foster family has been front and center in recent debates about how to best reform the state’s child welfare system. News reports of children sleeping in the offices of Child Protective Services caseworkers has led many people to question why there is such a critical shortage of foster families across the state...
Commentary: Protect patients from nonmedical prescription switching

Commentary: Protect patients from nonmedical prescription switching

The Texas legislature is considering a bill that prevents health plans from unfairly denying patients essential medications prescribed by their physicians – drugs that could be their only defense against serious conditions. House Bill 2882 and its companion, Senate Bill 1967, offer a much-needed protection for Texans suffering from long-term, serious illnesses, who deserve the health care for...
Viewpoints: CPS overhaul needs holistic solutions, hearty funding

Viewpoints: CPS overhaul needs holistic solutions, hearty funding

The question has been asked: Is the job of a Child Protective Services investigator – or any job at the agency, for that matter –the toughest job in Texas? The answer depends on whom you ask. One thing is for certain: It doesn’t have to be. Whether or not the job – be that of caseworker, supervisor or front-line administrator – continues to be seen as among the worst...
VA hopes to revitalize Waco research program after troubled past

VA hopes to revitalize Waco research program after troubled past

The Department of Veterans Affairs will look to reboot its once troubled Waco Center of Excellence research program as it inaugurates a long-awaited, 53,000-square-foot facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. The new facility — with enough space for 100 staff members and trainees, a custom-built laboratory wing and numerous examination rooms — will tackle a number of research...
Why I adore the Austin Symphony

Why I adore the Austin Symphony

When this reporter arrived in town during the 1980s, the Austin Symphony was OK. Fine artists. Respectable programs. Perhaps too much emphasis on visiting marquee soloists, but that was what the group’s leaders felt sold tickets. It was missing two crucial ingredients: Peter Bay and the Long Center. After a season-long audition process, Bay became music director and conductor in 1998. Instantly...
Brain aneurysm disguised as migraine suddenly kills mother of four

Brain aneurysm disguised as migraine suddenly kills mother of four

A North Carolina family is still in mourning, grieving the loss of its wife and mother, who died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm disguised as a migraine. Lee Broadway, 41, died just before her 42nd birthday on April 3 at a Charlotte hospital, leaving behind four children and a husband. Eric Broadway said his wife had a history of migraines, but he said this one was different and that she...
Man files suit in Travis saying e-cigarette exploded in his pocket

Man files suit in Travis saying e-cigarette exploded in his pocket

A man has filed a wide-ranging lawsuit in Travis County for severe skin burns he says he suffered from a defective battery used to power an electronic cigarette. Matthew Bonestele was carrying an LG Chem battery in his right pants pocket when it suddenly exploded on April 21, 2016, the lawsuit says. He sustained third-degree burns to most of his leg as well as a loss of skin in a baseball-sized section...
Commentary: Predatory drug pricing harms patients, health care reform

Commentary: Predatory drug pricing harms patients, health care reform

Each day, Central Texans are forced to make difficult decisions about their health. The high price of drugs has created an unfortunate reality for the most vulnerable among us: a choice between basic necessities and taking daily prescription medications. Many need those drugs to survive. It’s particularly galling to see prices for drugs that have been around for decades suddenly and steeply...

Williamson County launches phone app to help save lives with CPR

Williamson County has launched a free mobile phone app that alerts volunteers trained in CPR when someone nearby needs help. The app, called PulsePoint, works to alert users up to 750 feet away from someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, said Williamson County EMS Director Mike Knipstein. Survival rates decrease by 10 percent for every minute that passes for a person whose heart has stopped without...
Austin City Council approves incentives to bring Merck tech center

Austin City Council approves incentives to bring Merck tech center

The Austin City Council voted 7-3 Thursday to approve an incentives package potentially worth up to $856,000 to pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., which is promising to bring at least 600 new jobs to the city. The agreement, Austin’s first major corporate incentives grant since 2014, would pay $200 a year for each full-time job that Merck creates and retains under the 10-year...
Run for your life! Study says one hour run could equal 7 extra hours of life   

Run for your life! Study says one hour run could equal 7 extra hours of life   

Run for your life, literally. Just one hour of running each day could extend a person’s life by as much as seven hours, according to a new study. Iowa State University professor and study co-author Duck-chul Lee and his colleagues analyzed data from the Cooper Institute in Dallas,  a non-profit dedicated to health research and education, and other recent large studies on...
Mike Geeslin set to take the reins of Central Health

Mike Geeslin set to take the reins of Central Health

Mike Geeslin, the intended future CEO of Central Health, said Monday he’s ready to get to work at the county’s hospital district — though when that will be remains undetermined. Central Health board members announced Geeslin as the sole finalist for the position late Friday. Board Chairwoman Katrina Daniel said his start date and pay have not yet been negotiated. Board members selected...
Opinion: Autism families need Texas legislators to stand up for them

Opinion: Autism families need Texas legislators to stand up for them

April begins another National Autism Awareness Month and this year, the Autism Society of Texas is taking it one step further and declaring it Autism Acceptance Month. We hope that Texans will take a moment during the month to learn more about this growing complex developmental disorder to help us embrace and celebrate neurodiversity within our communities. Texans living with autism face an uncertain...
Your child and sex: Know this on National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

Your child and sex: Know this on National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

It’s National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day. (I know you marked your calendar for this one.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied behaviors of teens and found that the good news is that high school students are less sexually active and engaging in less risky sexual behaviors, but here’s one statistic that will startle you: 40 percent of sexually active high school...

By the numbers: Child abuse and neglect in Texas and Austin area

With April declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month, child advocacy groups and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas are calling for public vigilance against child abuse or neglect in their community. Some statistics for the state and Central Texas: 222: The number of children who died in Texas as a result of abuse and neglect from Sept. 1, 2015, to Aug. 31, 2016, according to...
Commentary: Lawmakers could help avoid a Flint disaster here in Texas

Commentary: Lawmakers could help avoid a Flint disaster here in Texas

After nearly three years of grappling with contaminated drinking water, the citizens of Flint, Mich., finally obtained some relief as a federal court approved a settlement this week mandating replacement of lead pipes. However, lead in drinking water is not unique to Flint, and we must confront the sobering need to “get the lead out” here in Texas as well. Lead is a potent neurotoxin....
Ivanka Trump secret meeting with Planned Parenthood falls flat

Ivanka Trump secret meeting with Planned Parenthood falls flat

First daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump reportedly held a secret meeting with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards in January in an outreach effort with the women’s health organization. Politico first reported that Trump requested a meeting with Richards to try and find common ground between President Donald Trump’s policies and the organization. A Planned Parenthood...
Millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts to disability services proposed

Millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts to disability services proposed

In what could be another blow to people with disabilities, the state has proposed millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts to in-home services for people with intellectual disabilities. About 50 people spoke against the proposed rate reductions on Thursday during a hearing held by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The bulk of those who testified have or are relatives of those who are nonverbal...
Possible autism breakthrough using children’s own stem cells 

Possible autism breakthrough using children’s own stem cells 

Duke University researchers have seen promising results in a study using autistic children’s own umbilical cord stem cells to treat symptoms of autism. Previous research has shown that cord blood cells can help reduce inflammation and signal cells to help repair damaged areas of the brain, according to Duke scientists. “This study is investigating whether similar success will...
New SMU study shows just how bad helicopter parenting can be on kids years later

New SMU study shows just how bad helicopter parenting can be on kids years later

Years later, all that helicoptering you’ve done could be affecting your college-age kids. MARY HUBER/THE SMITHVILLE TIMES Researchers at Southern Methodist University studied college age kids who were either raised by helicopter parents — those that hover over everything their kids do — as well as parents who just didn’t encourage independence.
Bathe and burn, baths as good as 30-minute walks

Bathe and burn, baths as good as 30-minute walks

  Soaking in a hot tub is just as beneficial to your health as a 30-minute walk. That’s the conclusion of a new British study comparing bathing to exercise. Researchers at the U.K.’s Loughborough University measured study participants’ blood sugar levels and calories burned when taking an hour-long hot bath or biking for an hour. They discovered that while taking a...
Central Health to hold meet-and-greets with two CEO finalists

Central Health to hold meet-and-greets with two CEO finalists

The Central Health Board of Managers has narrowed the pool of candidates to fill its president and CEO position to two. With the help of executive recruitment firm B.E. Smith, the board selected Valetta Abdellatif of Portland, Oregon, and Mike Geeslin of Austin as finalists to run Central Health, the taxpayer-funded hospital district that oversees health care services to low-income and uninsured Travis...
Commentary: Protecting our children from tobacco addiction

Commentary: Protecting our children from tobacco addiction

Texas legislators have proposed bipartisan legislation to raise the state’s minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21. Legislators and public health representatives – including our two organizations – came together at the Capitol recently to draw attention to the issue. Evidence and experts strongly suggest this policy would have a sharp impact in preventing children from...
John Cornyn mostly right that Medicaid absorbs a third of Texas budget

John Cornyn mostly right that Medicaid absorbs a third of Texas budget

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn stressed how much Medicaid costs Texas state government in a Senate floor speech premised on Republicans leading a successful repeal and replacement of the Obamacare law. On March 9, the Texas Republican initially declared that state and federal governments “spend an awful lot of money on Medicaid,” the federal-state entitlement program providing health coverage to...

Merck tech center would create 600 jobs, boost Austin medical district

One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies has targeted Austin for a major new technology center, citing its “strong interest” in helping reshape health care and develop the new innovation district emerging around the Dell Medical School. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. has asked the city for $856,000 in incentives over a 10-year period to build its fourth global technology hub...
Could breastfeeding reduce hyperactivity in children? Maybe, says new study

Could breastfeeding reduce hyperactivity in children? Maybe, says new study

Nursing moms can talk to a lactation consultant through Doctors on Demand and UpSpring. A new study that of 8,000 children that were part of the Growing up in Ireland data collection survey looked at behavior and cognitive abilities of children who were breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life compared to children who were not.
Bogus doctor gets 10 years for injecting toxic substances into patients

Bogus doctor gets 10 years for injecting toxic substances into patients

A Florida woman accused of injecting Fix-a-Flat, cement, silicone, mineral oil and Super Glue into the buttocks of women in to try to enhance their figures was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison over a death resulting from the toxic mix, according to local media reports.   The 2012 death of Shatarka Nuby, 31, was dubbed the “toxic tush” case. O’Neal Morris, 31, served...

John Young: This health care stuff was gonna be sooo easy

Act 1 of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” features a putdown of a hollow braggart who “speaks an infinite deal of nothing.” Sort of reminds of the merchant of Mar-a-Lago and his first act as a legislative mastermind. “On my very first day in office,” said Donald Trump in October, in full bray about the Affordable Care Act, “I’m going to ask Congress...
Dell Children’s first in Texas to get new heart arrhythmia technology

Dell Children’s first in Texas to get new heart arrhythmia technology

On Valentine’s Day, 9-year-old Sophia Dahlberg walked into Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas to get the arrhythmia in her heart fixed. A new technology, the Abbott EnSite Precision cardiac mapping system, allowed doctors to map the electrical workings of her heart in ways they had not been able to do before. The technology was approved by the Food and Drug Administration...
Paul Krugman: How to build on Obamacare

Paul Krugman: How to build on Obamacare

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” So declared Donald Trump three weeks before wimping out on his promise to repeal Obamacare. Up next: “Nobody knew that tax reform could be so complicated.” Then, perhaps: “Nobody knew that international trade policy could be so complicated.” And so on. Actually, though, health care isn’t all that complicated...
Jack Hunter: Libertarians are flexing their political muscle

Jack Hunter: Libertarians are flexing their political muscle

The American Health Care Act—the “ObamaCare-lite” legislation championed by most Republicans including President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan—is dead. And it was the most libertarian members of Congress who did the most to kill it—from the very beginning. Reason’s Eric Boehm writes, “On January 13, a week before Donald Trump would take the oath of office and...
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