YOUR HEALTH: Special tools now developed for safer infant surgeries

DENVER, Colorado – No parent wants to hear their child needs surgery, but a less invasive approach with smaller incisions would sure make going through it a whole lot easier.

But to make tiny incisions, you need tiny tools.

And as two year old Mateo Harkins found out, they are now becoming smaller and smaller.

He had a rough start.

Doctors found a growth on his lungs when mom was just 23 weeks pregnant.

"You could feel the air come out of the room," his father Jacob Harkins remembered.

"It was just like 'phooo'.   Happy to like scared as you could imagine."

"We went home and consulted Dr. Google and of course everything got way scarier," said Mateo's mother, Florencia Vitaver.

He needed a lobe of his lung removed, a surgery he'd have at two months old.

"It was heavy," recalled Florencia.   "It was really, really tough."

But Mateo was in skilled hands.

Dr. Saundra Kay and her colleagues are pioneers in minimally-invasive surgery for babies.

"Operating on a little baby is not the same as operating on a bigger person," said Dr. Kay, a pediatric surgeon at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.

When laparoscopic tools first hit the scene, they were too big for babies.

But those tools are getting smaller giving the tiniest of babies a better option.

"We're talking five pounds and even less than that for some of the procedures that we do," explained Dr. Kay.

Kay's partner, Dr. Steve Rothenberg, has developed small tools now used around the world, like this three millimeter sealer to close tiny blood vessels.

"These things really expand our capabilities," said Dr. Kay.

It's often an easier recovery.

No big cuts mean no big scars.

"They're little mosquito bites," explained Florencia.   "He has three little mosquito bites."

"It's amazing to us.   It's so cool."

NEW TECHNOLOGY:   Years ago, when the field of pediatric surgery first started, a lot of babies didn't make it because surgeons didn't have the proper tools to work on such small patients. Starting with open surgery, over the years, the technology and surgical tools have improved. Open surgery on infants, especially through the chest muscle, can cause major scarring and possible side effects as the child grows to be an adult. It can also be extremely painful, requiring higher dosages of pain medication. Now, smaller instruments have been developed to allow surgeons to make even smaller incisions. They are able to perform a much larger number of surgeries, even on little babies. More centers are starting to use laparoscopy for the neonates as well.

Surgeons at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children train surgeons all over the world on their minimally invasive tools and techniques.

During Mateo's surgery, there were 27 doctors around the world watching.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

WQAD News 8 earns honors from the Iowa News Broadcasters Association

WQAD News 8 received awards for its news coverage throughout 2018.

Here are the awards from the Iowa News Broadcasters Association:

  • Best Photography – 1st Place
    “Savanna-Sabula Bridge Implosion” – click here to watch
  • General News – 1st Place – Chris Minor and Jenny Hipskind
    “Thuggin” – click here to watch
  • Best Sports Report – Honorable Mention – Elizabeth Wadas and Stephanie Mattan
    “Redneck Fishing” – click here to watch
  • Best Feature – Honorable Mention – Marissa Sulek and Stephanie Mattan
    “Joe’s Job” – click here to watch

Related: WQAD News 8 earns 4 Illinois Associated Press Awards

Iguana thrown inside Ohio restaurant suffers broken leg

PAINESVILLE, Ohio– The iguana that was thrown inside an Ohio restaurant is now recovering from a broken leg.

Officers were called to the Perkins in Painesville shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday for a disorderly customer.

Painesville police said Arnold Teeter, 49, laid down in a booth and threw a menu at a waitress. When he was approached by the manager, Teeter allegedly pulled an iguana out from under his sweatshirt and starting swinging the lizard over his head. He threw the animal, which missed the manager, and landed on the floor, according to police.

Teeter picked up the iguana by the tail and left the restaurant.

(Photo courtesy: Painesville Police Department)

Officers searched the area and learned the suspect was outside the Painesville YMCA. Police said they found Teeter walking through traffic as cars swerved to avoid hitting him. He struggled with law enforcement in the street before he was handcuffed.

Police removed the 2-foot iguana from his shirt. Department staff cared for the animal until it was transferred to the Lake County Humane Society.

According to Painesville police, an exam at the Animal Center of Euclid revealed it suffered a leg bone fracture, which will required surgery. It has metabolic bone disease, is missing part of its tail and is in poor condition.

Arnold Teeter (Photo courtesy: Painesville Police Department)

Teeter was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and cruelty to animals. He pleaded not guilty in Painesville Municipal Court Wednesday afternoon and his bond was set at $10,000.

During the hearing, Teeter was disruptive and repeatedly swore at Judge Michael Cicconetti. The humane society requested he surrender to the iguana, but he refused.

“I want my f****** lizard back,” Teeter yelled.

Army Corps of Engineers trains its next group of flood area engineers

PLEASANT VALLEY, Iowa -- The Army Corps of Engineers is training its next group of flood area engineers for Rock Island District, which extends from Dubuque in the north to south of Hannibal, Missouri downriver.

"Most of the folks here, their day job is at a desk," said Rodney Delp, Chief of Emergency Management for the Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District.  "Doing engineering type work or some of them are operations or maintenance personnel, we have a pretty wide diversity," he said.

The junior flood area engineers took part in training in five different stations, learning how to fill and stack physical barriers like sandbags and gabion baskets, set up and run powerful pumps, and other flood fighting techniques.

They come from different backgrounds in the Army Corps of Engineers, some of them managing operations at lock and dam systems along the Mississippi River. Jeff McCrery is an Environmental Compliance Coordinator in his day job.

"This is a collateral duty for all of us," he said. "We volunteer to take this on in addition to our normal duties for the district," he said.

The Mississippi River remains above major flood stage in the Quad Cities as of Wednesday. It could crest again before this year's flood season is over.

Why Carl’s Jr. is testing out a CBD burger

DENVER – Carl’s Jr. is testing out a cannabis burger to stay at the forefront of the CBD trend.

The chain said Wednesday it will sell the Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight burger at one location in Denver, Colorado for just one day (April 20th, of course). The burger features a sauce infused with CBD, or cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive hemp derivative.

Though the promotion is limited, it’s not a stunt. The burger chain is using the test to determine whether a CBD burger belongs on its permanent menu, said Patty Trevino, senior vice president of brand marketing for Carl’s Jr.

“It is something that feels right for the brand,” she told CNN Business. “We are all about innovation.”

Food, beverage and other consumer goods companies have been trying to figure out how to capitalize on growing interest in ingredients like CBD. Consumers are increasingly seeking products that offer an extra something, like increased energy or better gut health. CBD may fit the bill: Some studies suggest the CBD can help treat inflammation, pain, anxiety and seizures. Carl’s Jr. isn’t promoting any possible functional benefits of CBD, Trevino said.

Carl’s Jr. is hoping to please their customers, whom Trevino said tend to be interested in new trends. It’s also chasing “future Carl’s Jr. customers that are younger,” said Trevino. “They are more open to different flavors of products,” as well as benefits trendy ingredients may offer.

The chain first decided to explore CBD in January, after introducing a product based on another trend. Earlier this year, the chain announced a plant-based alternative to its signature burger in partnership with Beyond Meat.

“I was sitting down with our head chef Owen Klein, and we were talking about trends,” Trevino said. After the Beyond Meat launch, they came up with a wish list that included a CBD product. “We looked at ourselves and said, ‘You know what, let’s try.'”

CBD is an attractive new ingredient for companies, but they have to act carefully because regulation around use of the ingredient is ill-defined. Hemp was legalized nationally last year as part of the Farm Bill, but the Food & Drug Administration still hasn’t decided how to regulate CBD products. In a March interview with Brookings Institution, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said it could take several years before the agency fully legalizes CBD for use in food products and dietary supplements.

Starting small, in a market where cannabis regulation is “really strong,” will allow Carl’s Jr. to figure out how to move forward. Testing CBD could give the company an edge over competitors, because most of its locations are in Western states, where recreational cannabis is legal.

Because Carl’s Jr. decided to test in just one location on one day, it was able to bring a product to customers very quickly. The chain partnered with Bluebird Botanicals, a Colorado-based company that sells CBD oil and capsules, for the test.

Disney donates $5 million to help rebuild Notre Dame

PARIS – Disney is joining the efforts to help restore Notre Dame.

Disney is donating $5 million in aid to help rebuild the 850-year-old cathedral after a fire severely damaged it this week, the company announced Wednesday.

“Notre-Dame is a beacon of hope and beauty that has defined the heart of Paris and the soul of France for centuries, inspiring awe and reverence for its art and architecture and for its enduring place in human history,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

Iger added that the company “stands with our friends and neighbors in the community.” He offered the donation and Disney’s “heartfelt support” for the restoration of what he called an “irreplaceable masterpiece.”

Disney joins several others who have also given to the cause, including Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted Tuesday that the company will also make a donation, though he did not say how much.

Some of France’s wealthiest families have been fundraising to help rebuild the Paris landmark, too. The donations reached $900 million on Wednesday, according to the French culture minister.

Disney has a connection to Notre Dame. It made an animated film of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” in 1996.

A drawing of Disney’s cartoon version of “Hunchback” protagonist Quasimodo embracing Notre Dame went viral on social media following the fire earlier this week.

Police: Maryland man kicked puppy to death

ELKTON, Md. – A Maryland man is accused of kicking a puppy to death while it was tied to a fence, according to WBFF.

Police reportedly arrested Ibe Lyles, 42, for allegedly kicking a 5-month-old pit bull puppy while it was unable to flee or protect itself.

Lyles is facing multiple charges, including aggravated animal cruelty, animal cruelty, restraining a dog to have limited movement and restraining a dog to limit water or shelter.

He is currently being held without bond.

Wheel of Misfortune; Antoine Flournoy Jr. wanted for Attempted Murder

Each Wednesday on News 8 CrimeStoppers of the Quad Cities introduce the community to one of the area's most wanted criminals.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the "Wheel of Misfortune" landed on 26-year-old Antoine Flournoy Jr. He's 5'10" tall, 160 pounds, black hair and brown eyes.

He's wanted by Bettendorf Police for Attempted Murder, Willful Injury, Intimidation with a weapon, Conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

The charges stem from a shooting last July at Village Inn on State Street in Bettendorf where a man was shot.

He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers. Tips leading to an arrest could be eligible for a $500 reward.

Six Davenport massage businesses found in violation of new ordinance

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Six massage businesses in Davenport were found to be in violation of a newly-passed ordinance within the city.

According to the Davenport Police Department, an investigation launched to check out complaints about "illegal activity occurring inside the businesses" and to make sure the businesses were complying with the ordinance.

The ordinance put extra regulations on massage parlors in an effort to crack down on illicit businesses.

Police said the violations were related to licensing and that some of the businesses had building code violations.

Violations were found at the following massage parlors: Pearl Massage, Asian Garden Massage, Spa Magic, Sunset Massage, Asian Massage, Tuina Studio.

Airlines will raise fares this summer, here’s why

(CNN) — Airfares are almost certain to go up this summer. Troubles with the Boeing 737 Max are part of the reason.

The grounding of the Boeing 737 Max jet took 371 planes out of service worldwide for an indefinite period of time. Boeing also halted deliveries of new jets that could have been in service by the time the peak summer season arrived. Discount European carrier Ryanair had been awaiting its first 737 Max when deliveries were halted.

Among 737 Max’s largest customers are discount airlines, like Southwest in the United States and Norwegian Air in Europe. Those carriers put pressure on fares, forcing other airlines to offer more seats at lower prices to compete for leisure travelers. Fewer flights by discount carriers mean less competition for other carriers, and less incentive to offer lower-priced seats on their planes.

“I think it certainly has the ability to pressure fares higher as we get into the busy summer months,” said Helane Becker, airline analyst for Cowen.

Uncertainty over when the Boeing 737 Max will be back in service has led airlines to cancel hundreds of flights a day all the way into August. Southwest canceled flights through August late last week, and American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, did the same on Sunday. United Airlines, the third US airline with a version of the 737 Max in its fleet, has canceled flights through early July.

United on Tuesday trimmed its estimate for how much its capacity will grow this year. It expects to grow by up to 5% growth, down from its earlier forecast of 6%. It also said it expects sales from passenger fares to be up 2.5% in the April through June period.

Summer is the peak travel season for airlines. They put as many planes in service as they can, which means fewer extra planes will be available to fill in for the missing 737 Max jets.

“All the airlines have some extra planes at any period of time. But in the summer the system is strained more tightly,” said Philip Baggaley, the lead credit analyst for transportation companies for Standard & Poor’s.

The 737 Max problems aren’t the only reason fares will be higher this summer. A strong US economy, with near record low unemployment has increased demand for travel. And higher jet fuel prices limit routes that airlines are willing to fly.

“It’s tough to disentangle the impact of the 737 Max from the other factors,” said Baggaley.

When jet fuel is lower, airlines will add flights on routes where they might not otherwise be profitable, which adds to passenger choices and can push down fares. The opposite happens when fuel prices are higher. Fuel prices are about 20% above where they were a year ago, and prices are expected to climb higher in the next three months.

Europe doesn’t have as strong an economy as the United States, but a number of budget airlines have gone out of business in the last six months, including Wow Air, Primera Air and FlyBMI. That means less fare competition, allowing fares at other carriers to rise.

All of Boeing’s Max planes were grounded worldwide last month after a 737 Max jet flown by Ethiopian Airlines pilots crashed in that country, killing everyone aboard. It was the second fatal crash involving a Max in recent months. A Lion Air flight crashed in October.

Investigators believe the crashes are tied to an automatic safety feature of the new jet that forced its nose down.

It’s unclear when Boeing will get approval for a software fix meant to address the problem.

Teen mom charged with capital murder after baby found buried in flowerpot at cemetery

CARROLLTON, Texas – The mother of a baby who was found dead in a flowerpot at a Texas cemetery last month has been charged, KDFW reports.

Jazmin Lopez, 18, of Dallas, is charged with capital murder.

The body of the child was found by a worker at Perry Cemetery on March 3.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner determined the child’s mother was at least 34 weeks pregnant when she gave birth.

Carrolton police say Lopez came forward after seeing the story of the baby’s body being found on the news.

She initially told authorities she gave birth and the child was not moving or breathing. However, she changed her story after investigators found a photo of the baby alive on her cellphone, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lopez later admitted to authorities that she gave birth in a bathroom while her family members were home, and, when the baby was about to cry, she covered its mouth and held it against her body for about one or two minutes, according to KDFW.

She later put the baby in a backpack and left the apartment to meet a friend. She said when she got to her friend’s car, she knew the baby was dead by then.

Lopez told police she and her friend bought a flowerpot at Home Depot, put the baby’s body inside, filled it with soil and flowers and dropped it off at Perry Cemetery the next day.

Lopez is confined in the Dallas County jail under a $500,000 bond.

Woman fends off 300-pound, half-naked burglary suspect with baseball bat

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A 65-year-old Florida woman didn’t wait for police after she says she saw a large man wearing only his underwear trying to break into her car early Sunday.

“So I grabbed my bat,” Clarese Gainey told WGFL. “I braced myself, I eased the door open.”

Police say the man Gainey found before her, wearing only boxer shorts, was 5-foot-6-inch, 300-pound Antonio Mosely. WGFL reports that Gainey played softball in high school, and, when Mosely allegedly charged, she was ready.

“I took that bat and hit him upside the head like ‘Pi-hay!’ and he said ‘Owww!'” Gainey said.

Deputies later arrested Mosely and booked him into the Alachua County Jail.

Court records show he face two burglary charges and one count of drug possession.


Man sues Dodgers for $2 million after alleged ‘unprovoked’ attack by security guards

LOS ANGELES -- A man filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, alleging he broke his ankle after he was attacked by security guards during a game last year.

Daniel Antunez is seeking more than $2 million in damages, according to court documents obtained by KTLA.

The man was at a game with friends celebrating his birthday April 24, 2018, when one of his friends spilled her beer on a fan seated below them. The fan called security guards who came over and asked Antunez and his friend to leave with them, according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

While standing with about 10 security guards, Antunez told them he needed to use a nearby restroom and proceeded to walk towards it. Three security guards then grabbed the plaintiff "without any provocation" and threw him to the ground, according to the lawsuit.

A number of other security guards then joined in and "attacked' Antunez, court documents claim.

Surveillance video from Dodger Stadium shows the man standing near a restroom before several men in security uniforms appear to grab him and pin him to the ground. The group then crowds on the ground behind a column and are no longer visible in the video.

Different surveillance footage shows Antunez handcuffed and being taken out of the stadium on a wheelchair.

Antunez' ankle was badly fractured as a result of the incident, according to his lawyer Peter diDonato.

The lawyer said his client suffered permanent injuries and emotional distress, and incurred medical expenses and lost pay because of the incident.

The Dodgers declined to comment on the case.

Family: Alaska girl expelled after she kneed boy in the groin in girls’ bathroom

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — An Alaska school district is coming under fire for how it handled the discipline for a female student at North Pole High School who kneed a boy in the groin as he blocked her exit from the girls’ bathroom, KTUU reported.

“We had an incident last week to where some boys entered the girls’ bathroom, and a girl kneed a boy, feeling threatened. They were blocking her way. And she was suspended from school, because she used too much force,” Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-Fairbanks, said during a House Majority press conference last week.

According to Wilson, the boys were in the bathroom due to “some kind of protest.”

The Washington Post reported the boys were upset about a selfie snapped in the boys’ bathroom by a student transitioning from female to male. They walked into the girls’ bathroom to take their own selfie “as a [form] of protest,” the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District superintendent told The Washington Post.

Wilson told KTUU the reason they were there shouldn’t matter.

“If you ever feel threatened, for your safety, whatever force you think you have to go give, I will stand by you and so will your community, and not for those boys who were where they didn’t belong,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the girl was suspended and missed her prom, while the boys were allowed to attend, KTUU reported.

In a tweet, the girl’s sister said that she was actually expelled for what she did.

Superintendent Karen Gaborik would not confirm to The Washington Post whether the girl was expelled.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District released a statement:

“The district does not encourage students or staff to use force against students, staff, or visitors to school facilities. Students or staff who use force against another person on school grounds could be subject to disciplinary action, depending on the facts and circumstances of the incident.”

The district also said multiple students faced disciplinary action, KTUU reported.

Wilson said, “She did the right thing, and we should be backing her, not having her sitting at home wondering whether she made the right decision or not.”

According to The Washington Post, the girl’s family plans to appeal the disciplinary action.

Police: California man on crime spree stabs woman, steals car, strikes pedestrian

LAKE FOREST, Calif. - Two people were left in critical condition Tuesday, and a man was taken into custody in Lake Forest on suspicion of several offenses including breaking into a woman's home and stabbing her, stealing a car and colliding with a pedestrian before crashing and attempting to break into several other cars, authorities said.

The crime spree started at around 5 p.m. when the unidentified suspect got into a physical altercation at a Salvation Army store, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.

The man then fled to an apartment complex and entered a home where he was confronted by the resident and fled again, this time into a residential neighborhood. He then entered a home by smashing through the back door, according to the news release.

Inside the home, he grabbed a knife and confronted a mother who was at home with her two daughters. She ran outside onto the street to lure him away from her teen girls and he chased after her, eventually catching her and stabbing her multiple times, the Sheriff's Department said.

While he was stabbing her, three good Samaritans driving by saw her bleeding on the sidewalk and stopped to help.

They told KTLA they thought the man leaning over the woman was trying to help her, but they soon realized he was stabbing her. When he saw them, he started chasing after them with the knife before getting into their white BMW and driving away.

The stabbing victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

“He was just smiling the whole time like he was having a good time,” Daniel Alexander, told KTLA. Alexander had been in the BMW.

The suspect then drove erratically, sometimes going in the wrong direction, before he stuck a woman walking on the sidewalk and fled the scene, according to Lake Forest Police Services Lt. Chad Taylor.

The victim, a woman in her 50s, was also transported to a hospital in critical condition, the Sheriff's Department said.

The man then continued driving until he crashed into another vehicle, got out of the car and started running towards a trailer park, Taylor said.

There, he unsuccessfully attempted to break into a house and several other cars, according to police.

A passing cyclist pepper-sprayed him before officers arrived at the scene and took him into custody, the Sheriff's Department said.

It took officers a total of nine minutes from the time dispatch received calls to apprehend the man, according to the news release.

The suspect was hospitalized and was expected to later be booked into an Orange County jail on several charges including attempted murder, carjacking and felony hit-and-run, authorities said.

"We believe there is no further threat to the community," the Sheriff's Department said.

Authorities did not identify the suspect or the victims.

FBI: Woman connected to Colorado school threats is dead

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — The woman at the center of a massive manhunt for allegedly making threats against schools in the Denver metro area is dead, the FBI confirmed on Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, the FBI confirmed “investigative activity” near the base of Mt. Evans. Less than 30 minutes later, the FBI said:

“UPDATE: THERE IS NO LONGER A THREAT TO THE COMMUNITY. More information to follow shortly.”

Officials did not provide any additional details about Sol Pais, the 18-year-old woman at the center of the investigation.

Pais, who the FBI said is infatuated with the 1999 Columbine massacre, was found in the woods near the Echo Lake Lodge at the base of Mount Evans Road in Clear Creek County.

On Tuesday, the FBI said Pais flew to Colorado from the Miami area on Monday night and purchased a pump-action shotgun and ammunition in the Denver area.

After receiving threats, several schools, including Columbine High School, were placed on lockout on Tuesday.

The lockout later extended to all Denver metro area schools.

On Tuesday night, the vast majority of schools in the Denver metro area announced they would be closed on Wednesday because of the threats that were deemed credible.

Second victim accuses Pennsylvania doctor of sexual assault; his lawyers are seeking other victims

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — At least one other person has come forward to provide allegations of sexual assault by a Lancaster County doctor who was charged last week with having inappropriate contact with a male patient during an exam earlier this year, according to the attorneys who say they represent “several clients” accusing him of sexual assault.

Dr. William Vollmar was arrested and charged with indecent assault last week after a Lancaster County man accused him of having inappropriate contact with him during a deep tissue massage at a clinic in Quarryville. The man had initially made an appointment to have Vollmar examine his injured ankle, he said.

Attorneys Brian Kent and Guy D’Andrea of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP in Philadelphia, said they are representing the victim in a press release Tuesday.

Kent and D’Andrea said they, along with attorney Tom Malone of the Philadelphia-based Malone Firm, LLC, are representing “several clients” who are accusing Vollmar of sexual assault.

The attorneys said the alleged sexual assaults occurred while various young men, who wish to remain anonymous, on separate occasions, obtained medical treatment from Vollmar.

“Vollmar abused his position of power and trust when he allegedly sexually assaulted these young men,” the attorneys said in a press release. “Doctor Vollmar was apparently known to perform unnecessary genital exams of young boys throughout various school districts of Pequea Valley and Lampeter-Strasburg, and possibly others.”

Kent and D’Andrea said they accompanied one client, whom they identified as Victim No. 1, to the Pennsylvania State Police barracks to report the alleged sexual assault. Victim No. 1’s allegations led to Vollmar’s arrest on charges of indecent assault April 10.

Shortly after Volmar’s arrest, Kent, D’Andrea, and Malone said a second male victim, represented by Malone, came forward and provided a statement to police accusing Vollmar of assaulting him.

“Vollmar had access to countless numbers of young males through his partnership, association, and affiliation as a physician with the Pequea Valley School District, Middletown Area School District, Lampeter-Strasburg School District, and Conestoga Valley High School, as well as his employment with the medical practice of Stephen G. Diamantoni, M.D. who is the Lancaster County coroner,” the attorneys said in the press release.

Vollmar has resigned his position with the Middletown Area School District, the district told parents in a letter April 11.

Shortly after his arrest, State Police said they were seeking additional information on Vollmar.

Kent, D’Andrea and Malone allege that Vollmar’s sexual assaults “began a long time ago, and involved victims as young as 13 years old.”

They said when Vollmar became a doctor at Conestoga Valley High School, he ran a “study” where he examined athletes who were not injured.

“The study looked at the connection between Achilles tendon flexibility and knee injuries,” the attorneys said. “It also involved determining where the athletes were in terms of puberty. Vollmar examined the genitals of each athlete to make this determination.”

The attorneys representing Vollmar’s alleged victims are urging others who may have been sexually assaulted by Vollmar to come forward.

Expert says woman found ring containing Charlotte Brontë’s hair, appraised it for $26K

ERDDIG, Wales – A lock of braided hair found inside a ring inscribed “C. Brontë” has been deemed “very likely” to have been the hair of the famous author Charlotte Brontë, according to the Guardian.

The ring was reportedly appraised on the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow, filmed in Erddig, north Wales, by expert Geoffrey Munna.

The unidentified woman told Munn said the ring belonged to her late father-in-law.

Munn said there was little reason to doubt the ring’s authenticity because such commemorative jewelry was common during the 19th century; Brontë died in 1855.

Woman finds ring filled with Charlotte Brontë's hair, is now $26,000 richer https://t.co/UG0cvJwjff pic.twitter.com/Had0Ly3a2K

— Jezebel (@Jezebel) April 16, 2019

Principle curator at the Brontë society and Brontë Parsonage Museum Ann Dinsdale said the ring would make a “lovely addition” to the museum’s collection, assuming they could afford it.

According to Jezebel, the ring by itself would have been worth around $28 if it didn’t belong to the author of “Jane Eyre.” But, because even historians and jewelry experts said they had no reason to doubt the jewelry’s authenticity, the ring’s worth is reportedly closer to $26,000.


Israeli flight attendant in coma after getting measles

KFAR SABA, Israel – An Israeli flight attendant has slipped into a coma after contracting measles, according to health officials.

The 43-year-old woman has encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, a well-known and potentially deadly complication of the virus. She was otherwise healthy before getting measles.

“She’s been in a deep coma for 10 days, and we’re now just hoping for the best,” said Dr. Itamar Grotto, associate director general of Israel’s Ministry of Health.

The flight attendant, who works for El Al, the Israeli national airline, might have contracted the virus in New York, in Israel or on a flight between the two, Grotto said. Health authorities do not believed that she spread the virus to anyone on the flights.

She’s unable to breathe on her own and on a respirator in the intensive care unit at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, near Tel Aviv.

She developed a fever March 31 and entered the hospital that same day.

Ongoing measles outbreaks in the United States and Israel started with parents who’ve chosen not to vaccinate their childrenaccording to health authorities. Authorities believe that the flight attendant was vaccinated as a child, but the vaccine isn’t perfect, and in her case, it didn’t work.

“I knew this was going to happen sooner or later,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University and an adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccines. “We have the reintroduction of a serious viral infection with a population that’s withholding the vaccine from their children, and now it’s spreading beyond that population.”

One dose of vaccine not optimal

Like many others of her generation around the world, the flight attendant, who has not been identified, received only one dose of the measles vaccine when she was a child.

It wasn’t discovered until later that one dose is only about 93% effective. More recently — in the United States, starting in 1989 — children have been given two doses, which is about 97% effective, according to the CDC.

It’s not known why most people who get measles recover fully while others have devastating complications.

About 1 out of every 1,000 children who gets measles will develop encephalitis, according to the CDC. This can lead to convulsions and leave a child deaf or with an intellectual disability.

Additionally, 1 or 2 out of 1,000 US children who get measles will die from it. Worldwide, the illness is fatal in 1 or 2 out of every 100 children.

No fatalities have been reported in the United States from measles this year or last year. In Israel, a toddler and an elderly woman died last year of the disease. In the European Union, 35 people died of the disease in 2018, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Measles in Israel

There have been 3,920 cases of measles in Israel from March 2018 through April 11, said Grotto, who is also a professor of epidemiology and public health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

In the United States, there have been fewer than 1,000 cases in about the same time period.

In Europe, there were 34,383 cases of measles based on data reported to the World Health Organization from April of last year to April of this year.

Ukraine had the highest number of cases in the past 12 months, with more than 72,000, followed by Madagascar and India with more than 69,000 and 60,000 cases, respectively. WHO warned that there are delays in reporting and that this data may be incomplete.

Grotto said there was a surge of cases in Israel last fall when large numbers of ultra-Orthodox Israelis traveled to Ukraine on a religious pilgrimage during the Jewish New Year. Ukraine has had more than 72,000 measles cases this year, more than any other country, according to the World Health Organization.

About 85% to 90% of Israeli measles cases have been among ultra-Orthodox Jews, Grotto said.

There’s nothing in Judaism that teaches against vaccination; on the contrary, rabbis encourage vaccination in keeping with Jewish teachings on protecting your health and the health of others.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews tend to have large families, and Grotto said those who don’t vaccinate tend to have practical, not ideological, reasons.

“Sometimes, they vaccinate their first or second child, but with so many children, they don’t always have time to vaccinate them all,” he said. “They’re not against vaccines. They have nothing against them ideologically.”

To turn the tide in the outbreak, Israeli public health authorities have increased vaccine clinic hours, opened mobile clinics in religious neighborhoods and taken out ads in newspapers in religious communities.

Memphis teen honored as youngest person ever to build nuclear reactor

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis city leaders honored a teenager who became the youngest person to ever build a nuclear reactor.

On Tuesday, the City Council recognized 14-year-old Jackson Oswalt with a resolution honoring the teen for his accomplishments.

“Not only did Jackson spend his 12th year assembling parts to create nuclear fusion at home, he developed this project through experimental trial and error, given no blueprints for nuclear fusion exist for pre-teens, let alone adults,” Chairman Kemp Conrad said. “Remarkable accomplishment, and beyond that feat, Jackson is establishing a fund to ensure imaginative youth scientists are not impeded by a lack of financial resources to fulfill their dreams.”

Oswalt was just 12 years old when he was able to achieve nuclear fusion. He built the device using vacuums, pumps and chambers he purchased on eBay.

Amateur physicists verified his findings.