M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘health

Michigan man may have intentionally infected hundreds with HIV

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Leon Hendrix of NBC station WOOD-TV of Grand Rapids, Mich., spoke to one of the possible victims.

Update: Smith’s attorney says he plans on “exploring all options” in defending Smith, saying specifically, “I am concerned about his mental health.”

Over at msnbc.com, I have the bizarre story of a Michigan man with HIV who’s been charged with sex crimes after he told police he intentonally set out to kill as many people as he could by having sex with them.

According to documents on file with Grand Rapids 61st District Court, Smith claimed to have had sex with “thousands” of partners, intending to kill them by infecting them with HIV. Some of those people are from outside the Grand Rapids area, including people Smith met over the Internet, he told police, according to documents.

Smith faces separate preliminary hearings on the two charges on Jan. 4 and Jan. 9. He remains in the Kent County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. Smith’s attorney did not answer calls seeking comment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alex

December 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Agencies consider new kidney transplant rules

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The rules that determine who goes to the top of the list for a kidney transplant could change dramatically under an idea working its way through federal health agencies.

Some transplant specialists and medical ethicists say the idea — which is under discussion  and hasn’t been formally proposed to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network — is likely to be controversial if it is eventually adopted.

The complicated formula would give higher priority for access to the “best” kidneys to younger and healthier patients with a greater chance for long-term survival. That would be a significant shift from current first-come, first-served rules that, broadly speaking, favor patients who have been on the waiting list the longest, with less regard to age.

Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com)

Written by Alex

March 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Schools cut lunch options for kids who struggle to pay

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New federal nutrition regulations are in the works that could put an even bigger strain on the finances of already-struggling school meal programs. To encourage eligible children to sign up for federally subsidized free or reduced-price meals, some meal programs are serving them shrunken “alternate” lunches, often just two slices of bread, a slice of cheese and a 4-ounce juice cup.

If a school can get more eligible children enrolled, its direct costs go down because the federal government picks up more of the bill. Slenderized lunches, administrators say, are simply part of an aggressive campaign to make families aware of the benefit and get them signed up.

“If they need assistance, we give them assistance,” said Wayne Nagy, the Lee County district’s food and nutrition services director. But “if they don’t need assistance, we expect them to pay.”

Is that a creative way to address a shortage of school funding, or is it just punishing lower-income children? Hit the comments and let me know.

Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com)

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Written by Alex

February 21, 2011 at 8:12 am

For small charities, success can be a burden

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Video: KXAS-TV's Grant Stinchfield reportsThe Keep A Breast Foundation is generating more than $3 million a month from the sale of “i [heart] boobies” charity bracelets; just two years ago, it took in $495,969 — in total. “We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with all the money,” the executive director says, mirroring the challenges for America’s small charities that are lucky enough to hit the jackpot.

Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com and Grant Stinchfield/KXAS-TV)

Written by Alex

November 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

Reporting: In adult films, condom question twists plot

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California’s efforts to mandate the use of condoms in adult videos shot in the state has divided the pornography industry and made allies of seemingly strange bedfellows — a leading AIDS organization that says it doesn’t care about the morality of porn and a former adult actress who has made it her mission to shut down the industry.

Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com)

Written by Alex

April 30, 2010 at 6:39 am


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