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In 2011, a Newport Beach accident involving a drunk driver left Crystal Morales, then a senior at Newport Harbor High School, in a coma with a traumatic brain injury. When she returned to school about three months after the crash, she was given assignments but not required to turn them in and her grades quickly started improving, in one class from a D to an A-. In her opinion, the school’s staff gave her a pass to graduate, cheating her out of a quality education. Now she’s suing the school, requesting that Newport-Mesa Unified School District invalidate her diploma and allow her to re-do the last few months of her senior year.

In court papers filed in response to the lawsuit, the school district indicated that Morales’ mother, Gloria, refused an assessment for special education for her daughter after the Newport Beach accident and was adamant that her daughter graduate with a high school diploma, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The elder Morales said, “that she didn’t understand what her daughter would miss out on by graduating.”

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Shigella boydii

Shigella boydii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six people experienced the symptoms of food poisoning after eating at Newport Beach restaurant True Food Kitchen, reported the Orange County Register. After eating at the Fashion Island restaurant, which offers plant-based and other health-oriented options, on August 21, 23, 24, and 25, the diners came down with severe diarrhea and tested positive for the intestinal bacteria shigella. Investigators suspect the bacteria was passed from ‘person to person,’ as none of the victims ate the same dish. The county shut down True Food Kitchen on August 28, allowing it to reopen last Saturday after it sanitized the restaurant and disposed of all ready-to-eat foods. Replacement staff will be serving diners until all regular employees are tested and cleared to return to work.

Shigellosis as a Cause of Food Poisoning

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English: Bike lanes were created in 2010 on Ja...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bike riding and walking is about to become safer in Santa Ana. California has awarded the city $3 million in grant funds to add new bicycle lanes and upgrade traffic signals, reported the Orange County Register. Along with several other cities across the state, Santa Ana applied for funding for the projects with the California Transportation Commission through its Active Transportation Program, which received requests for a total of $184 million in projects. Approved for six of the eleven projects it submitted to the agency, Santa Ana will spend the funding it receives on ‘bicycle boulevards’ along Bishop Street, Pacific Avenue, and Shelton Street and on designated bike lanes along Newhope Street, Civic Center Drive, and Grand Avenue. It will also be modifying traffic lights and signage near schools.

Much of the population relies on bike riding and walking to get around, so hopefully these improvements will have an affect on Santa Ana’s poor safety record for bicycle and pedestrian accidents. In 2011, the most current year for which the California Office of Traffic Safety has published accident data, Santa Ana ranked 4th out 13 cities with populations of over 250,000 for bicycle and pedestrian accidents in a ranking system in which 1st place is considered the worst.

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Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefore hold peaks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether you buy your peanut or almond butter at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Ralphs, you should throw it out and contact the producer, nSpired Natural Foods Inc., for a refund. After routine testing of nSpired’s nut butters revealed the risk of Salmonella contamination, the Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that the company would be voluntarily recalling several lots of its products.

The recall affects peanut, almond, and nut butters sold under the following brands: Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods’ 365 label. Four illnesses that may be related to the use of these products have been reported. For a complete listing of recalled items, visit the FDA’s website.

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Broken asphalt road by Chuetsu Earthquake, 200...

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In their 40 years practicing personal injury law in California, the lawyers in our office have handled hundreds of cases involving pedestrians injured in accidents that were the result of the failure of city governments to properly maintain walkways. In Los Angeles, where 40 percent of the sidewalks were estimated to be damaged in the late 1990s-a proportion that’s most likely grown by now-and where citizens routinely file trip-and-fall claims against the city, officials have decided to use their $27 million budget to fix the sidewalks with the biggest risk of legal liability first, reported the Los Angeles Times.

In order to avoid liability for pedestrian accidents on property for which the city “is indisputably responsible” and to ensure access to public amenities, sidewalks on or near city properties like parks and libraries will be repaired first, though this year’s budget will not cover the cost to fix all of them.

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I was introduced to this terrible condition two years ago. So why discuss this today? How is it relevant to you? Please take a moment to read on.

A good friend started having breakouts that caused him to feel like bugs were crawling under his skin. He became quite sick, as did a family member. Soon, he was at the doctor’s office and undergoing multiple tests.

Eventually, all the tests came back normal. He had neither a virus nor an apparent bacterial infection nor elevated chemical panels in his liver or kidneys. The doctors threw up their hands saying, “We do not know what it is.”

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Between backyard parties, festivals, and barbecues, we may find ourselves drinking more than usual during the summer. This is especially true on the season’s holidays, first Memorial Day then the Fourth of July and finally the quickly approaching unofficial end of summer, Labor Day. Unfortunately, at these times the line between celebration and tragedy is dangerously thin-and can be crossed the instant a drunk driver turns the key in the ignition.

Year after year, summer ends in death on our roads and highways, with alcohol-involved crashes claiming more than 750 lives over the last five Labor Day weekends. In California, the most current Office of Traffic Safety accident statistics indicate that driving while under the influence killed 34 people and injured another 1,894 on Labor Day weekend in 2011.

The victims of drunk driving accidents are often innocent motorists, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists: 35 percent of the more than 10,000 people who die in DUI crashes every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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Privacy is fleeting these days. A Google search of almost anyone will yield at least a few results, in many cases from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The widespread attention one Riverside beauty contestant received on YouTube would have probably been welcome had it not resulted in a year in county jail, three years probation, and $24,000 in restitution-if she’s convicted of Workers’ Compensation Fraud.

Last March, 22-year-old Shawna Lynn Palmer, a clerk for Stater Brothers, claimed to have fractured her toe, insisting she couldn’t put weight on her foot or wear a shoe. Not long after making these claims, and while collecting workers’ comp benefits, Palmer competed in the 2014 Miss Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix pageant. A YouTube video of the event shows her walking and standing in high heels without any indication of discomfort. A week later she was back at the doctor’s office with the same complaints of pain.

Investigators for the California Department of Insurance had little trouble finding the YouTube video of the aspiring beauty queen and she was arrested last Friday, reported KTLA.com

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English: CPR training

English: CPR training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of about 600,000 people and accounting for 1 in every 4 fatalities annually. Sufferers of heart disease are more prone to cardiac arrest, and about 47 percent of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside a hospital. A new app alerts its users whenever someone’s heart has stopped beating. The hope is that good Samaritans will perform CPR, in many cases sooner than emergency responders arrive, ensuring the brain continues to receive oxygen and preventing death.

Using the PulsePoint Respond mobile app, an emergency dispatch system alerts CPR-trained bystanders and off-duty professionals when people near them suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest event and where to find the closest automated external defibrillator (AED).

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Southbound PCH in Crystal Cove State Park near...

Southbound PCH in Crystal Cove State Park near Laguna Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Annually, 3 million people flock to Laguna Beach for its temperate year-round climate, scenic beaches and coves, and art galleries and festivals. Throughout the year-but especially in summer-swimsuit-clad tourists can be seen spilling out of crosswalks as they traverse Pacific Coast Highway to the ocean. Given the popularity of this seaside resort, you would think more would be done to accommodate visitors walking and cycling through the city, as well as full-time residents. For a city its size, Laguna Beach ranked the most dangerous for pedestrians.

In an effort to identify emerging and ongoing traffic safety problems that may be ameliorated with grants, the California Office of Traffic Safety compares the accident statistics of cities with populations of a similar size, ranking those with the worst records the highest, starting with 1st place. In 2011, the most current year for which crash data are available, Laguna Beach ranked 1st out of 102 cities with populations of between 50,001 and 100,000 for its incidence of pedestrian accidents. Laguna Beach ranked 18th for accidents involving bicyclists and 4th for those involving motorcyclists.

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