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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

IL Senate to consider medical marijuana bill

Thursday, 09 May 2013 02:49 Published in Local News

   The full Illinois Senate will consider a bill that would legalize medical marijuana. The Senate Executive Committee voted Wednesday to approve the proposal.

   The measure allows physicians to prescribe limited amounts of marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions.  Under the bill, patients who use the drug would automatically consent to sobriety fields test should a police officer suspect they were driving under the influence of the drug.  

   Supporters say marijuana can relieve continual pain without causing the harmful side effects of some prescription drugs.

MO House defeats evaluations for principals

Thursday, 09 May 2013 02:25 Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has rejected tough new evaluation standards for school principals and administrators.

   The House voted 82-76 to defeat the measure Wednesday, one of Republican House Speaker Tim Jones' top education priorities.

   This marks the second defeat of legislation to impose evaluations based largely on student achievement. Previous versions of the bill would have subjected teachers to the evaluation standards, but that provision was removed from this bill in an effort to pass the measure.

   The evaluations would have started in the 2014-15 academic year and would've included multiple measures and be conducted at least annually. School personnel would have been classified on a four-point scale ranging from highly effective to ineffective.

 

Small helicopter crashes in downtown Honolulu

Thursday, 09 May 2013 01:26 Published in National News

   HONOLULU (AP) — A small helicopter lost power and came crashing down on a busy downtown Honolulu street Wednesday afternoon, but no one was seriously injured, authorities said.

   "It's a pretty miraculous situation that no one was badly hurt by this," said Capt. Terry Seelig, a spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department. "This is a pretty busy area."

   The helicopter was on a photography flight when it lost power, forcing a crash landing on Fort Street, which is home to a large apartment complex and Hawaii Pacific University. The area is usually full of university students and downtown office workers, and has a lot of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

   The chopper ended up along a curb, badly damaging a parked car, Seelig said. A fire station is also on that street, so firefighters who heard the crash ran out to help.

   The pilot, Julia Link, told KITV everything seemed normal until all of the sudden it got quiet and the engine quit. Repeatedly training for this type of scenario helped her bring the helicopter to the ground, she said.

   "First I thought it was a joke and then, I was like 'Oh my God, this is for real," said the 30-year-old.

   She was grateful the problems developed when the aircraft — which she said was brand new — was 3,000 feet above ground as that gave her a lot of time to plan their descent.

   Link said she's glad everyone walked away alive and no one was seriously hurt.

   The 71 year old male passenger was treated at the scene for minor injuries to his head, Honolulu Emergency Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright said.

   The chopper was operated by Mauna Loa Helicopters. Representatives of the company couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

   Preliminary information indicates the Robinson R22 Beta had an engine failure, said Allen Kenitzer, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

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