Chartrand…

News media starting to watch its language

when reporting about mental illness

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

The Associated Press Stylebook — the bible for news media accuracy and terminology — has just released its 2015 updates. The changes include the journalism profession’s first serious attempts to write clearly and accurate about mental health issues in general and suicide in specific.

So far, the mental health community seems most encouraged by the Associated Press’s new guidelines regarding stories about suicide.  The 2015 guidelines provide much-needed expansion of the AP’s 2013 guidelines, which included the first-ever attempts to recommend wording and terminology standards about mental health issues.

The Associated Press guidelines are just that — guidelines. Recommendations. Part dictionary and part encyclopedia. None of it has the force of law or even the leverage of shame. Individual media outlets and web-based publications remain free to set their own conventions for stories about mental illness and suicide.

The new 2015 AP Stylebook updates regarding suicide state: Continue reading

Shutdown doesn’t deter Affordable Care Act

It’s a crazy time as Americans shop for health care insurance

By FINN M. BULLERS
Freelance Writer

Scanning the Infosphere after a crazy day on Capitol Hill to seek some health care clarity, I came away with a few thoughts on the first day of shopping for federally subsidized health care plans.

1. It’s smart to start shopping now, but wait awhile to push the “buy” button. There are still details to be worked out and information to be gathered.

2. Residents of states that opted out of the federal health exchange will have a more difficult time gathering information, but if they are persistent they can find it.

3. The devil is in the details. What results in lower health care costs for  one family on the neighborhood cul de sac may result in higher costs for another. Continue reading

Shutdown doesn’t deter Affordable Care Act

It’s a crazy time as Americans shop for health care insurance

By FINN M. BULLERS

Scanning the Infosphere after a crazy day on Capitol Hill to seek some health care clarity, I came away with a few thoughts on the first day of shopping for federally subsidized health care plans.

1. It’s smart to start shopping now, but wait awhile to push the “buy” button. There are still details to be worked out and information to be gathered.

2. Residents of states that opted out of the federal health exchange will have a more difficult time gathering information, but if they are persistent they can find it.

3. The devil is in the details. What results in lower health care costs for  one family on the neighborhood cul de sac may result in higher costs for another.

Let’s scan the Internet for perspective, guidance and maybe even a few gold nuggets of information to make our shopping less painful. Continue reading

Oklahoma City police shoot, kill Olathe man

According to an Associated Press article, an Olathe, Kan., man was killed Thursday night by an off-duty police officer following a rap concert in Oklahoma City.

Brian Simms Jr., 24, was shot and killed at the Farmers Public Market in Oklahoma City following a Chief Keef concert. Chief Keef is a rap artist out of Chicago, Ill.

According to the article, the Oklahoma City Police Department said the shooting happened after two off-duty officers spotted Simms inside a car.

Police say Simms, who appeared to be unconscious in the vehicle, was armed with a gun. Then, the shooting happened after Simms did not comply with police orders, according to the police department.

Police Sgt. Paul Galyon has been placed on paid leaving until an investigation is complete on the shooting.

 

Top Obama appointees, including Sebelius, using secret emails

The Associated Press today, June 4, is reporting that some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including Health and Human Services Secretary and former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, have been using secret government email accounts to conduct official business. It’s a system, according to the AP, that complicates agencies’ legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails under public records requests and congressional inquiries.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday acknowledged the practice and said it made eminent sense for Cabinet secretaries and other high-profile officials to have what he called alternative email accounts that wouldn’t fill with unwanted messages. Carney said all their email accounts, public and otherwise, were subject to congressional oversight and requests by citizens under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Continue reading

Powerful storm produces tornadoes in Kansas

According to an article by the Associated Press, a powerful storm system rumbled through the Plains and upper Midwest on Sunday, spawning tornadoes that damaged roofs and structures near Oklahoma City and kicked up debris in Wichita, Kan.

There were no immediate reports of injuries caused by the funnel cloud that touched down in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond before moving off to the northeast, or the one that touched down near Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport late Sunday afternoon.

Forecasters had been warning for days that a big storm may barrel through the region over the weekend, and emergency responders were keeping a close eye on the system in several other states, including Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Texas.

In Wichita, there were few reports of damage after a storm hit near the airport shortly before 4 p.m. Sedgwick County (Kan.) Emergency Management Director Randy Duncan said officials were “very grateful” that the storm wasn’t more severe.

To read more, click here.

 

Explosions at Boston Marathon; two dead, dozens reported injured

Boston Police react to the explosion at the Boston Marathon. Photo from Boston Globe website

Boston Police react to the explosion at the Boston Marathon. Photo from Boston Globe website

According to news reports, two people have been confirmed killed and dozens of people have been seriously injured after two reported explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Boston Globe cited witnesses who reported hearing two large explosions shortly before 2 p.m. CT. The Associated Press reported at least one of the explosions came near the entrance of the Fairmont Copley Hotel.

ABC News has live stream coverage of the event — click here.

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