After lost dog found, owner says pet rescue won’t give it back

MISSION, Kan. (WDAF) — The owner of a lost dog that ended up at a Kansas pet rescue says she’s having a hard time getting her pet back.

Jessica Palacio said her dog, named Capone, got loose a couple of weeks ago and is now at Unleashed Pet Rescue in Mission, Kansas. She said she has proven the dog is hers, but the pet rescue is keeping him.

“It hurts because I don’t know if he’s OK,” said Palacio.

She has been worried about her 3-year-old dog since he ran away just before Easter. Palacio said Capone needs daily medicine for a serious skin condition.

She and her family spent hours looking for him and posted lost dog alerts in her neighborhood group.

Palacio was relieved when she got an email from Unleashed Pet Rescue.

“April 4, Easter Sunday, I get an email from Unleashed Pet Rescue telling me that they have my dog,” Palacio said. “Feel free to come pick him up. There’s going to be some fees attached.”

After talking to someone at Unleashed on the phone, Palacio said she went to get Capone on April 8, with the $150 they said she’d need to get her dog back.

‘They said he is not available … I mean, I got like 15 different stories as to why I couldn’t take my dog,” Palacio said. “When I had to go home and tell my daughter we couldn’t get the dog back, she was upset because that’s her baby. He’s everybody’s baby, you know?”

WDAF left messages Monday and again Tuesday for Unleashed’s owner, Danielle Reno, to comment, but they went unanswered. When asked about the dog, employees at Unleashed said Reno was the person to talk to, but added that she wasn’t there.

Palacio said she is not able to go back to the pet rescue because an employee called the police after she demanded they release her dog. She said officers who responded told her they could not do anything to help her because it is a civil matter and that if she went back to Unleashed, she would be arrested for trespassing.

“Just give me back my dog,” Palacio said. “I don’t understand why this is a hard issue for you guys. I guess they thought I would give up, but now I’m going to fight. I want my dog home.”

Late Wednesday, Reno responded to WDAF, saying the dog had been neglected but that she has tried to get the dog back to its owner.

from KRON4

Watch: Crews rescue sea lion with head stuck in metal loop

SAN DIEGO (KSWB) – A sea lion found itself in a precarious situation off the San Diego coast Friday, but a rescue team from SeaWorld was able to free the critter’s head from a metal loop on a buoy.

The sea lion was first spotted by boaters Friday morning with its head wedged in a welded metal loop on the buoy. The SeaWorld Rescue Team and Harbor Police Department headed out to see if they could help the animal, which appeared panicked and disoriented at times, at one point sliding off the buoy so it was hanging on to the structure by only its neck.

Two of the SeaWorld rescuers and an officer scrambled on to the buoy to help the sea lion, spreading enough soap and ointment across the critter’s head and torso that it eventually slid out and into the water. In all, it took rescuers only about two minutes to get the sea lion safely into the ocean, SeaWorld said in a statement.

Rescuers also took the opportunity to tag the animal with a National Marine Fisheries identifier to help track the sea lion in case of any future incidents.

from KRON4

No, vaccine side effects don’t tell you how well your immune system will protect you from COVID-19

(The Conversation) – If someone gets a headache or feels a bit under the weather after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s become common to hear them say something like “Oh, it just means my immune system is really working hard.” On the flip side, when people don’t notice any side effects, they sometimes worry the shot isn’t doing its job or their immune system isn’t reacting at all.

Is there any link between what you can notice after a vaccine and what’s happening on the cellular level inside your body? Robert Finberg is a physician who specializes in infectious diseases and immunology at the Medical School at the University of Massachusetts. He explains how this perception doesn’t match the reality of how vaccines work.

What does your body do when you get a vaccine?

Your immune system responds to the foreign molecules that make up any vaccine via two different systems.

The initial response is due to what’s called the innate immune response. This system is activated as soon as your cells notice you’ve been exposed to any foreign material, from a splinter to a virus. Its goal is to eliminate the invader. White blood cells called neutrophils and macrophages travel to the intruder and work to destroy it.

This first line of defense is relatively short-lived, lasting hours or days.

The second line of defense takes days to weeks to get up and running. This is the long-lasting adaptive immune responseIt relies on your immune system’s T and B cells that learn to recognize particular invaders, such as a protein from the coronavirus. If the invader is encountered again, months or even years in the future, it’s these immune cells that will recognize the old enemy and start generating the antibodies that will take it down.

In the case of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, it takes approximately two weeks to develop the adaptive response that brings long-lasting protection against the virus.

When you get the vaccine shot, what you’re noticing in the first day or two is part of the innate immune response: your body’s inflammatory reaction, aimed at quickly clearing the foreign molecules that breached your body’s perimeter.

It varies from person to person, but how dramatic the initial response is does not necessarily relate to the long-term response. In the case of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, well over 90% of people immunizeddeveloped the protective adaptive immune response while fewer than 50% developed any side effects, and most were mild.

You may never know how strongly your body’s adaptive immune response is gearing up.

The bottom line is you can’t gauge how well the vaccine is working within your body based on what you can detect from the outside. Different people do mount stronger or weaker immune responses to a vaccine, but post-shot side effects won’t tell you which you are. It’s the second, adaptive immune response that helps your body gain vaccine immunity, not the inflammatory response that triggers those early aches and pains.

What are side effects, anyway?

Side effects are normal responses to the injection of a foreign substance. They include things like fever, muscle pain and discomfort at the injection site, and are mediated by the innate immune response.

Neutrophils or macrophages in your body notice the vaccine molecules and produce cytokines – molecular signals that cause fever, chills, fatigue and muscle pain. Doctors expect this cytokine reaction to happen any time a foreign substance is injected into the body.

In studies where neither recipients nor researchers knew which individuals were getting the mRNA vaccine or a placebo, approximately half of people aged 16 to 55 who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed a headache after the second dose. This reaction may relate to the vaccine – but a quarter of people who received just a placebo also developed a headache. So in the case of very common symptoms, it can be quite difficult to attribute them to the vaccine with any certainty.

Researchers anticipate some reports of side effects. Adverse events, on the other hand, are things that physicians do not expect to happen as a result of the vaccine. They would include organ failure or serious damage to any part of the body.

The blood clots that triggered the U.S. to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are a very rare event, apparently happening with one-in-a-million frequency. Whether they are definitely caused by the vaccine is still under investigation – but if scientists conclude they are, blood clots would be an extremely rare side effect.

What component in the shot causes side effects?

The only “active ingredient” in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is the mRNA instructions that tell the recipient’s cells to build a viral protein. But the shots have other components that help the mRNA travel inside your body.

To get the vaccine’s mRNA into the vaccinated person’s cells where it can do its job, it must evade enzymes in the body that would naturally destroy it. Researchers protected the mRNA in the vaccine by wrapping it in a bubble of lipids that help it avoid destruction. Other ingredients in the shots – like polyethylene glycol, which is part of this lipid envelope – could cause allergic responses.

If I feel sick after my shot, does that signal strong immunity?

Scientists haven’t identified any relationship between the initial inflammatory reaction and the long-term response that leads to protection. There’s no scientific proof that someone with more obvious side effects from the vaccine is then better protected from COVID-19. And there’s no reason that having an exaggerated innate response would make your adaptive response any better.

Both the authorizedmRNA vaccines provided protective immunity to over 90% of recipients, but fewer than 50% reported any reaction to the vaccine and far fewer had severe reactions.

from KRON4

Pentagon cancels all border wall projects paid for with military funds

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The Department of Defense announced Friday that it is canceling all border wall projects that were paid for with military funds, “consistent with the president’s proclamation.”

“DOD has begun taking all necessary actions to cancel border barrier projects and to coordinate with interagency partners. Today’s action reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families,” Jamal Brown, Deputy Pentagon Spokesman, said in a statement.

The DOD said it will proceed with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions, such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account.

The cancellation means those projects can move forward as soon as possible, according to a news release. However, the DOD will review its project list to determine which ones need to be prioritized.

In one of his first official actions as president, Joe Biden halted the construction of the border wall by rescinding an emergency order imposed by Donald Trump along the Southwest border.

Biden’s executive order, which he signed on Inauguration Day, dissolved Proclamation 9844, which former Presiden Donald Trump issued on Feb. 15, 2019, “to deal with the border security and humanitarian crisis” at the border, and it allowed the president to access military funds for border security measures.

Just two days before leaving office, Trump extended the proclamation through Feb. 15, 2022. But with a swipe of his pen, Biden rescinded it. And that means that Congress will have to shift billions of dollars that had been taken from the Department of Defense for border wall construction.

Visit the homepage for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.

from KRON4

Should states regulate marijuana by its potency? Some say yes

NEW YORK (AP) — As marijuana legalization spreads across U.S. states, so does a debate over whether to set pot policy by potency.

Under a law signed last month, New York will tax recreational marijuana based on its amount of THC, the main intoxicating chemical in cannabis. Illinois imposed a potency-related tax when recreational pot sales began last year. Vermont is limiting THC content when its legal market opens as soon as next year, and limits or taxes have been broached in some other states and the U.S. Senate’s drug-control caucus.

Supporters say such measures will protect public health by roping off, or at least discouraging, what they view as dangerously concentrated cannabis.

“This is not your Woodstock weed,” says Kevin Sabet, the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group that has been pressing for potency caps. “We need to put some limitations on the products being sold.”

Opponents argue that THC limits could drive people to buy illegally, and amount to beginning to ban pot again over a concern that critics see as overblown.

“It’s prohibitionism 2.0,” said Cristina Buccola, a cannabis business lawyer in New York. “Once they start putting caps on that, what don’t they put caps on?”

THC levels have been increasing in recent decades — from 4% in 1995 to 12% in 2014 in marijuana seized by federal agents, for example. Cannabis concentrates sold in Colorado’s legal market average about 69% THC, and some top 90%, according to state reports.

sweeping 2017 examination of cannabis and health by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine listed increasing potency among factors that “create the potential for an increased risk of adverse health effects.”

Some studies have linked high-THC pot, especially when used daily, with the likelihood of psychosis and certain other mental health problems. But there is debate over whether one causes the other.

Dr. Rachel Knox, an Oregon physician who counsels patients on using cannabis for various conditions, says she doesn’t see an increased risk of psychosis for people using such products under medical oversight. She opposes capping potency but suggests that products containing over 70% THC should be reserved for medical users while research continues.

“I think we should treat it with both freedom and with kid gloves,” says Knox, a former chair of the Oregon Cannabis Commission and a board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, a trade group.

But Colorado pediatrician and state Rep. Dr. Yadira Caraveo says she has seen the dangers of high-THC cannabis.

One of her adolescent patients who used high-potency pot daily was repeatedly hospitalized with severe vomiting linked to heavy marijuana use, and another needed psychiatric hospitalization after the drug exacerbated his mental health problems, said Caraveo. She’s thinking about proposing a potency cap.

“I’m not interested in going back to criminalization,” the Democrat says, but “the reason that I ran, and what I continue to do with the Legislature every day, is to protect public health.”

Various states have regulated how many milligrams of THC can be in a single serving, package or retail sale, at least for some products. Vermont took a different approach, limiting the percentage of the chemical in any amount of recreational pot — 30% for flower-form marijuana and 60% for concentrates.

Virginia’s new legalization law gives its future Cannabis Control Authority the power to set THC limits, and a proposal to cap THC in medical marijuana has gotten some attention in Florida’s Legislature. Nationally, the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan Caucus on International Narcotics Control suggested last month that federal health agencies study whether pot potency should be limited.

Legalization supporters say caps will backfire.

“Consumer demand for these products is not going to go away, and re-criminalizing them will only push this consumer base to seek out similar products in the unregulated illicit market,” Paul Armentano, the deputy director of NORML, wrote in a recent op-ed in the Denver newspaper Westword.

Rather than forbidding high-potency pot, some states are just making it more expensive.

Marijuana is taxed on sales price or weight in most states where it’s legal. But recreational pot taxes depend partly on THC content in Illinois and New York.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office recommended a potency tax in 2019, saying the approach “could reduce harmful use more effectively.” But the same year, Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board said it wasn’t feasible, citing uncertainty about how switching from the state’s sales tax would affect consumption, public health and revenues.

Potency taxes have an upside for states: more stable revenue than sales taxes, says Carl Davis of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a progressive think tank. That’s because sales tax totals can fall with prices in a maturing market.

There’s a downside for small cannabis companies, says Amber Littlejohn, the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s executive director. She worries they’ll lose out if THC taxes drive customers to underground dealers or to big, multistate firms that may be able to trim prices.

Instead, Littlejohn says potency policy should focus on research and stringent labeling and marketing requirements, and the industry needs to be responsive.

“It is absolutely an emerging issue,” she said, “and it is something that needs to be addressed.”

from KRON4

Man builds, donates giant Nintendo Switch

(NewsNation Now) — Being able to entertain yourself is important, but one man in Alabama wasn’t satisfied with what he could buy from a store shelf. He’s gone viral after making modifications to a popular game console.

Michael Pick’s YouTube channel is gaining hundreds of thousands of views because of his nearly 6-foot-tall home-built Nintendo Switch that actually works.

It’s mostly a combination of 3D printing, a 4K TV, some lumber and a little engineering. The actual console is housed inside the giant blue controller on the left side.

In his video, he says he built it because he found the original Switch too easy to lose. His creation measures 70″x30″, and weighs 65 lbs., so it definitely won’t get lost in a backpack.

At the end of the video, Pick says he donated it to St. Jude Children’s hospital.

from KRON4

U.S. expands ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory to 80% of countries amid pandemic

(NEXSTAR) — The U.S. State Department is “strongly” urging all Americans to reconsider international travel, according to a press release issued Monday.

In light of “unprecedented risks” posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the department has announced plans to update its current travel advisories to better reflect guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In doing so, the department will expand its Level 4 (Do Not Travel) advisory to approximately 80% of the world’s countries.

Despite this “significant increase” in nations listed at Level 4, the State Department’s updated advisories do not necessarily indicate “a reassessment of the current health situation” but rather the criteria for designating a Level 4 destination, according to the department.

The updated advisories, which will begin appearing this week, will reflect the CDC’S Travel Health notices and “existing epidemiological assessments” in addition to any risks the State Department deems to be a threat to the safety of U.S. travelers. COVID-prompted travel restrictions, as well as COVID testing ability, will also be evaluated.

“As always, we are closely monitoring conditions around the globe, and will regularly update our destination-specific advice to U.S. travelers as conditions evolve,” the press release states.

Travel to the remaining 20% of the world’s countries is still discouraged, the State Department indicates.

The CDC, meanwhile, currently recommends all travelers delay any domestic or international trips until fully vaccinated. The agency also lists over 160 global destinations under its own Level 4 (COVID-19 very high) designation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

from KRON4

‘Boom!’ Couple warns homeowners about exploding glass shower doors

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. (WJZY) — A couple is warning homeowners about a bathroom blast that sent glass shards shattering.

Kathy Loftin says she and her husband were at their Lincoln County home Saturday night when they heard a large “boom!” Her husband found shattered glass all over the bathroom.

“It blew, literally, all the way to the bedroom floor,” said Loftin.

The glass shower door had shattered seemingly out of nowhere.

“Thank God we didn’t have anybody in the bathroom when it happened,” Loftin said. “When I researched it, I said, ‘Hey, we’re not an anomaly.’ This has happened before and people don’t know it.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 500 people go to hospital emergency rooms each year due to their shower glass shattering. Between 2012 and 2016 (the last years statistics were available), 2,300 people went to the ER, the agency said.

In 2016, the agency sent out a safety alert and required changes to manufacturing to make the products safer.

In 2018, a yoga instructor from Raleigh, North Carolina, received 30 stitches after she was injured when a shower door in her California hotel room exploded, according to the New York Post.

The most common causes of exploding shower doors are wear and tear, the door jumping the track, and faulty installation, according to glass experts.

Loftin said it took more than three hours to clean up the mess.

After filing a claim with their insurance company, Loftin says she’s not sure if she’ll go back to a glass shower.

If she does, she’s already making plans.

“We’ve decided we’re going to put up a heavy-duty shower curtain,” Loftin said. “Then when we get done taking a shower we’re gonna close it. Because then it’ll stop the full blast.

“If this ever happens again.”

from KRON4

Virginia teacher charged with drug possession, cocaine found in desk

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia kindergarten teacher faces a felony drug possession charge after authorities say she had drugs stashed in her desk.

In a letter to students’ families, Colonial Heights Public Schools Superintendent William D. Sroufe said Lakeview Elementary School teacher Cybil Billie was arrested and charged with felony possession of cocaine.

Sroufe said officers arrested the 46-year-old Chesterfield County resident “tactfully.”

“The safety of our students is a top priority and we will continue to follow School Board policies
and procedures throughout this process,” Sroufe said in the release. “Families with any concerns or who may need additional support during this time may contact Lakeview Elementary School.”

The Colonial Heights Police Department said a school administrator first contacted a school resource officer to report to a possible drug offense on April 21. The officer reported finding what appeared to be cocaine in her desk, police said. Superintendent Sroufe said the students were at recess at the time of the arrest.

Billie had been a teacher with Colonial Heights Public Schools for seven years. Students that were in Billie’s class will receive additional communication from Dr. Patrick Neuman, Principal of Lakeview Elementary, regarding a new teacher assignment.

Colonial Heights resident Kelli Gagnon’s daughter is a student in Billie’s class. Gagnon said she had a conversation with her daughter after she was notified of the incident.

“I did just let her know that sometimes adults make mistakes and just like children, there are consequences. Sometimes adult mistakes are a little bigger. We can’t just go stand in time out, but she will be taken care of no matter what. She will get the help that she needs,” said Gagnon. “She was a great teacher. My daughter enjoyed having her so much.”

We are continuing to cooperate with the Colonial Heights Police Department during their investigation. This is a personnel matter and I have no further comment.

Colonial Heights Public Schools Superintendent William Sroufe

Billie will be held in jail without bond until her next court date on June 2.

from KRON4

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