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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Hospital worker to be sentenced in hepatitis case

Monday, 02 December 2013 05:57 Published in National News

   CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A traveling medical technician who infected dozens of patients in multiple states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes was due to find out Monday how many decades he'll spend in a New Hampshire prison.

   David Kwiatkowski, 34, worked as a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in 2011, moving from job to job despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft. Since his arrest last year, 46 people in four states have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.

   Kwiatkowski, who has admitted stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood, pleaded guilty in August to 16 federal drug charges.

   In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said Kwiatkowski should spend 40 years in prison because he created a "national public health crisis," put a significant number of people at risk and caused substantial physical and emotional harm to a large number of victims. Defense lawyers argued that a 30-year sentence would better balance the seriousness of the crimes against Kwiatkowski's mental and emotional problems and his addiction to drugs and alcohol, which they said clouded his judgment.

   In all, 32 patients were infected in New Hampshire, seven in Maryland, six in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania. Kwiatkowski, 34, also worked in Michigan, New York, Arizona and Georgia.

   Two of the 16 charges stem from the case of a Kansas patient who has since died. Authorities say hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can cause liver disease and chronic health problems, played a contributing role.

Probe seeks cause of fatal NYC train crash

Monday, 02 December 2013 05:51 Published in National News

   NEW YORK (AP) — Metro-North officials say the locomotive of the commuter train that derailed in New York City, killing four people, has been righted.

   Spokesman Aaron Donovan says cranes re-railed the engine at 4:20 a.m. Monday.

   Two cranes are in place to lift the rest of the derailed cars pending approval from the National Transportation and Safety Board.

   Donovan says about 150 people were on board when the train derailed Sunday morning while rounding a riverside curve in the Bronx. More than 60 were injured.

   Donovan says all passengers have been accounted for.

   The accident occurred on the Hudson line, which carries 26,000 weekday riders. Federal authorities are embarking on an exhaustive investigation into what caused the derailment.

Suspended Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Speaks Out

Wednesday, 27 November 2013 06:25 Published in Local News

   Suspended Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy says he's still not sure why the school board placed him on administrative leave.  McCoy spoke with the press and about 50 supporters at Shalom Church in Berkeley Tuesday afternoon.  

   McCoy says he learned from media reports, and not the school board that there was a concern about the reporting of attendance numbers in August of 2012.  

   He says someone four-levels below superintendent actually reports the attendance data.  "My expectation for my staff is to review the data and make it accurate," he said.  "That's my only involvement, my only conversations about it.  No conversations with the board, and no knowing of them even having an issue with it." 

   McCoy says both he and his attorney have asked for a meeting with the board.  But Board President Paul Morris issued a statement saying they've received no such requests since placing McCoy on leave November 6th. 

   The backlash over Dr. McCoy's suspension may not be fully felt until the next school board election.  

   Arthelda Busch, chairwoman of the district's Citizens' Taskforce on Excellence in Education stood by McCoy Tuesday afternoon as he spoke to the press and supporters in Berkeley.  

   McCoy told the crowd that he's never actually been told why the school board voted 6-1 November 6th to place him on administrative leave.  Busch says that's one reason she's calling on Board President Paul Morris to step down.

   "Mr. Morris' past affiliations with the district and the board's current decisions have created huge concerns and distrust among the community at large," Busch said.

   In his statement, Morris said an investigation into several accusations against McCoy is underway and he hopes to resolve the situation soon.

 

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