Blog Posts by Newser

  • Litter of Kittens Busts into Maximum Security Prison

    (Newser) - Four kittens seeking shelter managed to find some in the unlikeliest of places: a maximum security prison in upstate New York. The Glens Falls Post-Star says the kittens, just weeks old at the time and in sorry shape, somehow found their way into the Great Meadow Correctional Facility.


    kittensOne inmate built a "kitty condo" for them out of scrap wood and chicken wire, and staffers set it up in the prison's maintenance area. In the months since, staffers and inmates have informally adopted the animals.

    The prison electrician is their primary caretaker during the week, and an inmate known as the "cat whisperer" relieves him on the weekends. They won't be lifers, though: Doc, Meadow, Annie, and Comstock are being groomed for adoption.

    In other strange animal news, a parrot is being credited with the saving the lives of a couple who were sleeping through a house fire.

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  • Couple Takes Flak for Crying Baby in Elite Restaurant

    (Newser) - It all started with a cranky baby. But this particular baby happened to be with mom and dad as they dined at one of the nation's swankiest restaurants, Chicago's Alinea. As the baby kicked up a fuss, chef Grant Achatz says he could hear it from the kitchen.


    crying boyHe took no action, but later tweeted this: "Tbl brings 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no,but.." Since that Saturday night tweet, Achatz and his restaurant have been at the center of what's become a national debate on fine-dining etiquette, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Do babies belong at ritzy restaurants?

    Much of the sentiment seems to be of the 'no way' variety, observes the Chicago Eater blog. (Sample tweet: "If you can afford a meal at Alinea, you can afford a sitter. How inconsiderate.") But 312DiningDiva is surprised at how much sympathy is out there for the parents. (Sample tweet: "Hard when you shell out that money for

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  • 'Swearing Toddler' Can Stay with Mom: Judge

    (Newser) - A toddler who attracted national attention for his swearing in an online video will stay with his mom-at 17, also a minor-after both were placed in custody. The two will be cared for in the same foster home, CNN reports, following an Omaha juvenile court judge's ruling.


    Laptop.Meanwhile, the city's police union is explaining its decision to post the video, which it titled "Thug Cycle," online. The ACLU was among those criticizing the Omaha Police Officers Association for what it called "racially charged language."

    "The focus of this video is not on any one ethnicity, rather the focus is on the terrible behavior directed towards this child," said Association president Sgt. John Wells, noting that the video referenced drugs and gangs.

    "We believed this to be a strong example that demonstrates to law-abiding citizens of Omaha a true picture of the violent criminal culture," Wells said, per KETV. "We felt it is critically important that citizens see these types of behavior to

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  • Swedish Doctors Pull Off 9 Womb Transplants

    (Newser) - A team of Swedish doctors may have just pulled off the first successful womb transplant in history-or even the first nine. In a controversial new procedure, nine women have successfully received wombs from living relatives since September 2012, the doctor at the helm of the surgeries has revealed.


    The wombs are not connected to the women's fallopian tubes, so they still can't get pregnant the old-fashioned way, but they've had embryos created from their own eggs via in-vitro fertilization. Doctors will soon attempt to implant those embryos in their new uteri, the AP reports, and the wombs will be removed after a maximum of two pregnancies, so that the women can stop taking side-effect-ridden anti-rejection drugs.

    swaddled newborn
    There have been two previous womb transplant attempts, one in Turkey and one in Saudi Arabia, but neither produced a baby. "This is a new kind of surgery," says lead doctor Mats Brannstrom. "We have no textbook to look at." And in an optimistic sign, many

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  • Experts: Brain-Dead Teen's Body is Deteriorating

    Photo: Corbis(Newser) - The coroner's office has issued a death certificate for Jahi McMath, but her family's lawyer this week claimed that now that she is receiving nutrition via a feeding tube, her "health is improving" and her condition has stabilized.


    But medical experts say that condition is undoubtedly a deteriorating one. Yesterday marked a month since since Jahi's Dec. 9 surgery, and the San Jose Mercury News and Los Angeles Times share notes written by a critical care pediatrician at Children's Hospital Oakland last week and contained in a court filing.

    The notes indicate that the elasticity is fading from the tissues below Jahi's skin, that blankets are needed to keep her body temp above 95 degrees, that muscle contraction is occurring, and that "additional and more dramatic signs of the body's deterioration will continue to manifest over time, regardless of any procedures and regardless of any heroic measures."

    Other medical experts agree. "This is basically organ support; it's not life

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  • Owner Selling Restaurant to Help Ailing Teen Worker

    (Newser) - A Texas man is selling the restaurant he's owned for 17 years-which he figures is worth some $2 million-to help a 19-year-old employee handle her mounting medical bills. "I'm not able to just sit by and let it happen. I couldn't live with myself," Michael De Beyer, owner of the Houston-area Kaiserhof Restaurant and Wunderbar, tells the Courier.


    Sharecare found 6 ways you can avoid secret health hazards restaurants may be hiding.Waitress Brittany Mathis was diagnosed with a brain tumor after visiting the hospital with a rash on her leg, KHOU reports. "It was my blood clotting," Mathis says. "So, they wanted to keep me and do CAT scans and MRIs and the next day they came in and told me I had a tumor."

    The tumor is the size of a ping-pong ball, the Courier reports. But Mathis doesn't have insurance, and she hasn't yet signed up for ObamaCare. According to CBS Houston, her treatment has stopped amid growing costs, and she's not yet sure if the tumor is malignant or benign.

    But her father died after a brain tumor ruptured in 2000. "Here's a family,

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  • Hospital Refuses to Unplug Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman

    (Newser) - Paramedics Marlise and Erick Munoz of Crowley, Texas, had good reason to talk about their own end-of-life wishes, and Erick says his wife made it clear that she would never want to be kept on life support if there was no chance of recovery, reports the Dallas Morning News.


    Hospital roomAnd yet 33-year-old Marlise, who died Nov. 26 after likely suffering a pulmonary embolism, has been on a ventilator since, against her and her family's wishes. The issue: Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant when her parents say she was declared brain-dead (John Peter Smith Hospital has not publicly confirmed this). The New York Times reports that Texas is among 12 states that have laws preventing pregnant women from being removed from life support.

    "It's not a matter of pro-choice and pro-life," her mother tells the Times. "It's about a matter of our daughter's wishes not being honored by the state of Texas." Erick says that he's largely been kept in the dark about how the hospital plans to handle the fetus

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  • Chance Photo Leads Family to Missing Son

    (Newser) - An upstate New York family was reunited with their missing son after a photo of him appeared in their local paper alongside a story about cold temperatures hundreds of miles away in Washington, DC.


    white, cold, glitering, beautiful,breathtaking,mysterious

    Nicholas Simmons, 20, disappeared from his parents' home on New Year's Day, but after an AP photographer captured an image of him huddled on a grate, police were able to locate him and take him to a hospital where he was reunited with family members, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.

    "Nick is alive and obviously not well," Simmons' mother wrote on a public Facebook page. "(We) are going to get him home safe and this is by far the greatest example of God's love and divine intervention I have ever experienced."

    The photographer who spotted Simmons among a group of homeless men says the story is a reminder that every person has a story. "It's really gratifying to see that a photograph can make a tangible difference in someone's life," she says. "I'm

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  • 3-Year-Old Dies After Trip to Dentist

    (Newser) - When Ashley Boyle took her 3-year-old daughter to Hawaii's Island Dentistry for Children in November, she says she was told the child needed six fillings and four root canals.


    They returned for the root canals on Dec. 3; on Friday, Finley Boyle died, a month after suffering brain damage after the visit to Kailua dentist Dr. Lilly Geyer, reports CNN. The girl's parents plan to file a wrongful death suit, but Fox News picks up alleged details from an already filed negligence lawsuit. Per court documents, Finley was administered five sedatives and anesthetics, Demerol among them, and the "drugs given were as though given individually," reports KITV.

    Regular dental check-ups can help eliminate bad breath.The family's lawyer alleges that Geyer had to leave her office and run to another part of the building to seek out a pediatrician who could perform CPR after Finley began to go into cardiac arrest; he claims the child went 26 minutes without anyone monitoring her. The suit claims Finley "suffered severe and permanent brain

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  • For 26th Year, Police Remember Abandoned Baby

    (Newser) - It's a 26-year tradition now in Meriden, Conn., and one with a somber start: On Jan. 2, 1988, police found a newborn boy frozen to death outside. He had been wrapped in a blanket, but the full-term baby with blond hair and blue eyes stood no chance in the frigid weather.


    Police took up a collection and paid for his burial, reports WTNH, and members of the local clergy named him David Paul. Today, as they have on every Jan. 2 since then, police and others in the community gathered at the cemetery where the baby is buried.

    A Sheriff's Badge
    "The Meriden Police Department unofficially adopted this child and cared for this child's burial," says a retired detective sergeant, "and we think David Paul represents all the children who are abused, neglected, or abandoned."

    The local Record-Journal notes that Connecticut has since passed a Safe Haven law that allows a mother to leave her baby at a hospital within 30 days of birth, no questions asked.



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