Monthly Archives: May 2017

Nebraska Prison Receives Bill From Dentist For Making Dentures For Inmates Who Were Not Eligible To Receive Them

dentures-1514697_960_720In Lincoln, Nebraska, a dentist working with the state prison system sent an invoice to the department for a total of $145,500 to make dentures for numerous prison inmates who otherwise would not have been eligible to receive them, according to the Nebraska State Auditor’s Office.

Dr. David Schrad, whose contract of employment was canceled in April, said that he never received guidelines to follow in order to determine who was and was not qualified to receive dentures.

“It’s the Department of Corrections, and I’ll leave it at that,” Dr. Schrad told the Omaha World-Herald.

About 15% of the edentulous population has dentures made each year, and they can be massively helpful to those with missing teeth to perform necessary functions like eating and talking.

According to the Herald, the Corrections Department has raised concerns for years regarding overcrowding issues, miscalculation of sentences, and other misconduct. However, they issued a formal response stating that the dentist was made fully aware of the regulations and guidelines of the prison: inmates must serve at least 24 months before receiving eligibility for state-funded partial or full dentures. In addition, they must have no fewer than six months left on their sentences.

In response to Dr. Schrad’s comments, spokesperson for the Corrections Department Dawn-Renee Smith said that it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on the extent of Dr. Schrad’s knowledge of prison policies.

However, she did state that the department requested the audit upon being informed that rules were going unfollowed in addition to raising suspicions as to the number of dentures being made.

“There were issues, and some of those were related to the protocols,” said Smith.

There’s no doubt that dental services are a necessity. About 74% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease as it is, and neglecting dental care for upwards of 24 months can take a serious toll on oral health. But clearly, a better system must be put in place to prevent miscommunications and unclear bills.

Regardless, the inmates who were lucky enough to receive state-funded dentures are very fortunate. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, but it’s medically important as well.

Heated Up: San Diego Woman Signs A/C Service Contract And Gets Nothing But Cold Shoulder

air-conditioning-1295800_960_720When Gail Duffey of Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego noticed a display stand outside her local Home Depot about two years ago, she thought it would be a wise decision to sign a service contract for her air conditioner.

“I thought, it’s at Home Depot so it’s probably reliable,” she told NBC 7.

Initially intending to make an appointment for a one-time repair, Duffey ended up paying $599 for a five-year service contract with Delta Mechanical, hoping to save money and make a long-term investment. After all, air conditioner units usually need to be changed either once a month or once every three months, depending on how often they’re used, in addition to twice yearly maintenance inspections, according to EnergyStar.gov.

“The salesperson pointed out to me that they had a service contract that might save me some money,” she said.

Although Gail didn’t see any problems with the initial repair job, she became concerned when, a year later, the company kept rescheduling appointments when she needed an expensive replacement part installed.
Two-thirds of all homes in the United States have air conditioners, so it’s not uncommon for repair companies and contractors to be busiest during the hot summer months — still, Gail knew something was amiss.

“They quickly came out to diagnose the problem but they were very slow, once they took our money for the part, to actually come and finish the job,” she said.

Gail said she continually made appointments with the company but the repeatedly didn’t show up. After eventually calling to make a complaint, Delta Mechanical agreed to reimburse her $300 for her trouble. But according to Gail, “when I looked at my credit card statement, no credit.”

Six full months passed while Gail tried to get in touch with the company. Considering that electronic bill payment is a now common feature of online banking and makes things like refunds and transfers easier than ever, giving Gail her well-deserved $300 credit should have been simple. NBC 7 also tried to contact Delta Mechanical, but to no avail — they were virtually unreachable.

“There would be no answer on the phone, the number that I always called, and I’m thinking great, I just lost my money,” said Duffey.

Finally, NBC 7 contacted the Home Depot Gail originally came across the display and signed the service contract at. Gail said that they took initiative by offering not only to give her the refund, but to take over the rest of her service contract, even though she signed it with a different company. Considering their strong organic sales growth, it’s not surprising that they maintain a high caliber of customer service.

NBC 7 did eventually receive a response from Delta Mechanical, citing personnel changes as the primary reason for their unavailability and refund delay.

Suzy Kitchukova, a spokesperson for Delta Mechanical, said in an email, “Delta Mechanical would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the inconvenience caused to Mrs. Duffey. Unfortunately, due to a change in personnel, the refund was not submitted to the proper department for processing. Once this oversight was brought to our attention, we were able to process the refund immediately. Delta Mechanical is currently fulfilling all warranty work for previous installations.”

Entek Gag Order Overturned – State To Reveal Air Pollution

Brown coal power plant emission

Having a functioning and effective air system is important to the health and safety of workers in factories. It’s why 70% of all manufacturers have some form of compressed air system. Sadly, this doesn’t protect employees or residents from hazards outside the factory.

Recently there has been an issue with clean, healthy air in the area surrounding manufacturing plants in the United States. A company in Oregon, Entek, had recently won a case against Oregon officials regarding the presence of a chemical in the air that was having an adverse affect on the employees there.

The Oregon officials had wanted to tell residents about the presence of the chemical to prevent further incidents of poor health. Some side-effects that had been appearing in the employees included dementia, neurological problems, rashes, dizziness, and trouble driving home from work.

“For 30 years, we’ve worked to remain in compliance with OSHA standards and to implement technology and best practices to ensure both compliance and the safety of our employees,” said the company attorney, Joel Mullin.

Oregon environmental and health officials raised this case against Entek due to concern about potentially elevated levels of trichloroethylene near the Entek factory earlier this year.

Though Entek originally won the gag order, the case was revisited in court where Linn County Judge Carol Bispham ruled against the previous verdict, stating that, “Oregon’s health, worker safety, and environmental regulators have a right and a responsibility to communicate about their activities with the public.”

She went on to say, “Oregon has a policy that public records and governmental activities should be open to the public.”

Judge Bispham also dismissed the company’s claim that they would be harmed by the information and suffer a critical loss of business, stating that Entek “had not proved that it would suffer irreparable harm.”

After Judge Bispham’s ruling the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Environmental Quality, in a joint statement, stated that Entek’s air modeling results were going to be reviewed to determine what steps to take next.

The agencies also stated that they would keep the public apprised, and “look forward to working with Entek to provide transparent, accurate and science-based information to the public.”

Chinese Groom Arrested for Paying 200 Actors to Show Up to His Wedding

A Chinese bride’s wedding, while one for the record books, did not turn out the way she hoped. It ended in tears, shock, and her fiance being arrested for fraud.

Why did the dream wedding suddenly go so terribly wrong? The enterprising groom paid over 200 actors to pose as his friends and family and attend his wedding.

In fact, he may have gone a little overboard, as the average number of wedding guests in the United States is only 165. But clearly the groom wanted to make a good impression on his in-laws, a plan that backfired in spectacular fashion.

Money
According to the police, Wang’s in-laws did not approve of the marriage because Wang came from a poorer family, the BBC reports.

Wang’s actors, who were all paid the equivalent of $12 U.S. dollars for their time, seemed to be doing well on their side of the bargain, but the bride’s family became suspicious because Wang kept evading questions about his parent’s whereabouts. As the ceremony was about to start, the groom reassured the bride his parents were on their way, but the bride’s sister started to interview the guests to see if they knew anything.

It was then she discovered they were taxi drivers and students posing as friends and family. One of the guests revealed the conversation he had with Wang on the Chinese social media site, WeChat. The charade soon unraveled.

Right before she was supposed to walk down the aisle, the bride called the cops and had Wang arrested. As of right now, police from the Shaanxi province, where the wedding was held, are not releasing any details of Wang’s charges or if he faces any jail time.

Even though the bride and groom had been together for three years, they reportedly didn’t share any mutual friends.

As for Wang, he confessed to the police that he had to fake friends and family as his real relatives didn’t approve of his fiance.

For this once happy couple, wedding bells turned into wedding sirens, and their nuptials will always be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Charleston Animal Society Pushing For Independent Study On Carriage Tour Industry

horse-1153195_960_720Of all the cities that boast horse carriage rides as an attraction, Charleston certainly ranks toward the top of the list. In fact, Charleston earned the number one spot on Travel and Leisure Magazine’s “World’s Best Cities” list in 2016. And though all reputable carriage tour companies treat their horses with the utmost care, the Charleston Animal Society is pushing to start an independent study to weed out the few companies who may overwork their horses.

The tourism commission of the city has already approved of the proposal — the ultimate objective is to finally resolve the longtime argument as to the horses’ abilities to withstand weather conditions in addition to pulling carriages full of passengers.

The tours have an obvious appeal, as they are a primary attraction for the many tourists that pass through the city. And funds from tourist attractions provide much of the city’s income as a whole — according to a Gallup survey from 2014, about 57% of Americans over age 65 make time for regular trips or vacations, and retirees are known for visiting cities with rich histories such as Charleston’s.

And aside from the profitability of the industry, it’s important for everybody to be able to take an enjoyable vacation every now and again. About 53% of employed U.S. adults come back feeling refreshed after a vacation, and a study done by the Institute of Education at Plymouth University revealed that 95% of parents agreed that their kids appeared happier while on kid friendly vacations — horse carriage tours are just as much of a novelty to children as they are to adults.

There has to be a solution, and Kurt Taylor, Animal Society legal counsel member, wants to find it. He voiced the general overview for the study, which will be conducted and subsequently reviewed by professionals from established universities. He has also stated the Animal Society’s intent to fund the study itself, however, other sources of funding may be used as well. Regardless, the study will strengthen the carriage tour industry as a whole while protecting the proud and graceful animals that make it all possible — the horses.

Adidas Sends Email With Most Awkward Subject Line In History

street-marathon-1149220_960_720In recent business blunder news, the Adidas marketing team is recovering from an awkward faux pas after sending what was supposed to be a congratulatory email but instead ended up referencing and making light of a national tragedy.

After the Boston Marathon, this year’s runners received an email from Adidas with a subject line that read, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!”

This subject line was wildly inappropriate, for obvious reasons.

Adidas received serious backlash for the email, again, for obvious reasons — the tragic Boston Marathon bombings occurred just four years ago, when two homemade bombs detonated near the finish line, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

What makes the situation even more awkward is that at least two survivors of the bombings — Marc Fucarile and Patrick Downes — had also participated in this year’s marathon.

“We are incredibly sorry,” said Adidas in an email statement. “Clearly, there was no thought given to the insensitive e-mail subject line we sent Tuesday…The Boston Marathon is one of the most inspirational sporting events in the world. Every year we’re reminded of the hope and resiliency of the running community at this event.”

The email was supposed to be an innocent, congratulatory note for elite runners. Just 2.5 hours per week of aerobic physical activity such as swimming, bicycling, or running can decrease the risk of chronic illness, but only the world’s best marathon runners can finish a race in 2.5 hours. But for athletes of all levels, the Boston Marathon is a great opportunity for runners all over the country to get some exercise and test their abilities.

About 39% of customers say they have tried a business for the first time because of direct mail advertising, but email marketing can also be effective in improving sales — that is, if the emails don’t accidentally reference a recent national tragedy.

“Adidas is going to have to fire whoever was in charge of writing this e-mail,” one person wrote on Twitter.

“Adidas, you may want to rethink the subject line,” wrote Mike Denison, artist and Twitter personality.

According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, you should replace your shoes every 350 to 400 miles, or about every six months, and that’s exactly what Adidas was urging its customers to do — “grab new gear.” Instead, the email was widely spread across social media, and users were quick to express their outrage.

“Coming in hot with the absolute worst email subject of all time. Should be ashamed,” wrote another Twitter user.

No word yet on the number of sales Adidas made after sending that insensitive email, but chances are they’d fare better upon the addition of a marketing editor.

Arsonist at Las Vegas Trump Hotel Simply Looking for Mischief to Get Into

Every year, hotel and motel fires cause a whopping $76 million in property loss. Luckily for President Trump, the recent intentionally set fires in his Las Vegas Trump International Hotel didn’t result in any major problems but did put his hotel back on the media scene.

Earlier last week, Roger Fraley, 28, was arrested after he was found intentionally setting mini fires throughout the hotelfire. Police found that Fraley had stuffed paper towels into toasters both on the pool deck and two additional bathroom suites on the 17th floor in hopes of creating a fire to consume to the hotel.

Hotel staff first got suspicious after a hotel employee saw Fraley leave an area marked Private Employee Only carrying two toasters. He fled after the employee approached him, then when she went after him, she saw smoke coming out of the pool deck’s bathrooms.

Security apprehended Fraley when he left the hotel elevators, and a fight ensued. Officers received minor injuries when detaining Fraley and once the police arrived, he was taken into custody on counts of arson and burglary.

Police state that Fraley first gave a fake name to officers, Rick Anthony Oliveras, and that he was simply visiting the hotel and immediately upon entering the hotel’s lobby he was beaten up by a group of 10 different people. After a few hours, Fraley recanted his story and claimed he had not slept in a while and was delirious.

Additionally, Fraley stated to the police that he walked into the hotel simply to see what kind of mischief he could get into and was inspired by seeing a row of toasters on a shelf.

Fraley is currently being held at the Clark County Detention Center and will have his first court appearance the first week of May. Police are quick to note that they don’t believe that his arson attempt was not politically motivated.

Studies Reveal Pets Are Good for Physical and Mental Health

puppyA 2015 Harris poll revealed that 95% of pet owners think of their four-legged friends as members of the family. As an added bonus, people with pets tend to have lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart disease than those who don’t. But now, scientists are also realizing that pets can be just as good for their owner’s mental health as they are for their physical health.

While this might seem a bit obvious to devoted pet owners, it’s finally being confirmed through scientific research.

Even though the studies conducted thus far have been small, there is evidence enough that clinics have started opening their doors to animal assistance. In other words, pet therapy. While play therapy has been used as a means for children to communicate their feelings for upwards of 70 years, animals have now made their way into clinical settings just as toys once did.

Bringing an animal into a hospital used to be frowned upon, but Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, says there isn’t a children’s hospital in sight without some form of animal therapy program.

“If you look at what animals do for people and how we interact with them, it’s not surprising at all,” Beck told TIME.

And now, further studies have suggested that growing up with a pet can prove beneficial to children’s mental health. Approximately 14% of Americans report feeling gloomy and stressed by their home environment, but it’s been proven that simply interacting with an animal can reduce stress and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine.

Initiatives such as Read2Dog have seen this phenomenon in effect. This organization places dogs in schools and sees firsthand the effect they have on shy children or those with literacy issues.

“Children and elderly people can be fragile. Children lose their inhibitions when they’re sitting there with a little friendly dog,” Julie Lovatt, a volunteer for the organization, told Refinery29.

In addition, bringing dogs into schools can help children learn how to take care of their four-legged friends. Along with companionship, this teaches compassion and responsibility. An estimated 85% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease after age four, and children can learn how to better care for their pets to prevent it.

And, as we previously mentioned, pets contribute to positive physical health. A study by The Harvard Medical School revealed that dogs actually help reduce blood pressure, as well as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.

Dog might be man’s best friend, but they’re also man’s best bet to living a happy, healthy life.