Briefs: 11/15/12

NW Staff

State News

A national meningitis outbreak has reached Michigan, leaving at least 129 individuals infected and causing nine deaths throughout the state. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, the state reported 65 cases of meningitis, 57 epidural abscesses, six joint infections and one stroke. This outbreak of meningitis has been linked to contaminated steroids that were produced by a pharmacy in Massachusetts. These steroids were sent out to four Michigan clinics where they were then distributed. Nationally, this outbreak has killed 32 and infected more than 400 people.

National News

New York utility company Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) faces a class-action lawsuit for the amount of customers remaining without electricity and heat in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Sandy which made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J., about 100 miles from New York City, killed at least 120 people, caused an estimated $50 billion in property damage and economic losses and caused over 8 million homes and businesses to lose power. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Long Island residents, claiming LIPA failed to replace an “outdated, obsolete” system to deal with a large-scale power outage. LIPA said over 38,000 homes and businesses will remain without power due to saltwater flooding, making it unsafe to restore electricity until a home is inspected, repaired and certified. LIPA Chief Operating Officer Mike Hervey resigned Tuesday, Nov. 13 after receiving criticism from customers and politicians.

International News

The death of a pregnant Indian woman has brought the issue of legalizing abortion in Ireland back to the foreground. Savita Halappanavar, 31, was 17 weeks pregnant when she was hospitalized due to severe pain on Sunday, Oct. 21. Shortly after she was admitted to the hospital, it was determined that she was miscarrying her child. Although Ireland’s constitution bans abortion, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling determined that the procedure should be legalized for when a woman’s life is at risk because of the pregnancy. Because there has been no official law passed to resolve the confusion between these two legislations, hospitals are hesitant to abort a pregnancy. Doctors denied Halappanavar’s request to terminate the pregnancy, saying they would not abort the fetus while its heart still beat. The fetus was surgically removed later in the week once it had died. Halappanavar was placed under sedation, but died a few days later from blood poisoning.

Weird News

A New York City pedestrian who was struck by an NYPD vehicle was sent a bill for a little over $1,000 for damages done to the car from the collision. Jesse Zorski, a 25-year-old man, was hit going through a crosswalk on April 12. The car hit his leg and caused him to fall over. Hospital and ambulance fees added up to roughly $1,200. After some recognition in the New York Daily News, the NYPD has admitted the bill was a mistake. Zorski claims he had a signal to cross, while NYPD alleges they too had the right of way. His family is suing the city to cover his medical expenses.