Dec 22

Georgia scores low on report about preventing outbreaks

Half the states in the U.S., including Georgia scored a 5 or lower on 10 key indicators for preventing, detecting & responding to disease outbreaks, according to a new report. The response to Ebola was a central theme in the report by the Trust for America’s Health & the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Ebola crisis in the United States this year showed that “some of the most basic infectious disease controls failed when tested,” Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, said in a statement. “The Ebola outbreak is a reminder that we cannot afford to let our guard down,” Levi said. “We must remain vigilant in preventing & controlling emerging threats … yet not at the expense of ongoing, highly disruptive & dangerous diseases – seasonal flu, HIV/AIDS, antibiotic resistance & health-care-associated infections.” Ebola, which has devastated West Africa, spread for the first time outside that region this year. In early autumn, a Texas hospital initially failed to diagnose the disease in a new arrival from West Africa. When he was eventually admitted, he was fatally ill & highly contagious. Two nurses attending to him caught the virus, raising fears nationwide, yet the nurses recovered after treatment. Georgia has responded quickly to Ebola, public health officials say. …

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Dec 22

Gaines, Thornton pace Georgia to easy win over Seton Hall

<!– google_ad_section_start –> ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kenny Gaines was hardly surprised that Georgia was ready to run its swift break after two weeks off between games.”We were just ready to play,” he said. ”I’m proud of how we came out in the beginning & sustained the lead.”Gaines scored 15 points, Marcus Thornton added 13 & Georgia easily beat Seton Hall 65-47 on Sunday night.Playing their best game of the season, the Bulldogs (6-3) had been off since beating Colorado at home Dec. 7.Fresh legs helped Georgia outrebound the Pirates by 19 & outscore them 16-0 on fast-break points.”I thought over our two-week break that I was glad we’re playing a really satisfactory team because it forced our guys to be on point when the game started,” Bulldogs coach Mark Fox said. ”I was really pleased with our defense.”Brandon Mobley, Khadeen Carrington & Desi Rodriguez each scored eight points to lead Seton Hall (9-2). The Pirates were coming off a 20-point victory at South Florida Thursday, yet looked sluggish from the start.Seton Hall never led, missing nine of its first 12 field-goal attempts & trailing 22-7 when coach Kevin Willard called timeout at the 12:09 mark of first half.Gaines made his seventh start despite being a game-time decision with a shoulder injury sustained against Colorado. He had two fast-break dunks that brought huge cheers from the crowd in the second half.The Bulldogs led by double digits the rest of the game after Charles Mann’s layup made it 18-7 midway through the first half.Juwan Parker’s 3-pointer in the final minute of the first gave the Bulldogs a 21-point lead. They went up by 22 on Thornton’s three-point play early in the second.Nemanja Djurisic played with flu-like symptoms, yet dunked to donate Georgia a 24-point lead midway through the second & finished with eight points.Sterling Gibbs, Seton Hall’s leading scorer this season, missed his first seven field-goal attempts before his layup cut the lead to 21 with 15:50 remaining. The junior guard finished with just three points on 1-for-11 shooting.Gibbs scored in double figures in the Pirates’ first 10 games, yet his teammates couldn’t bail him out. Seton Hall was just 2 for 18 on 3-point attempts & handed out only seven assists to Georgia’s 14.”We are looking forward to getting back home & getting straight back into practice,” Willard said, ”to improve on this game against Georgia & to commence playing satisfactory basketball again.”TIP-INSSeton Hall: Freshman Isaiah Whitehead, the Pirates’ second-leading scorer this season, picked up his fourth foul early in the second half & finished with five points & five rebounds.Georgia: Reserve point guard J.J. …

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Dec 21

Bush speaks in South Carolina, dropping 2016 hints – Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

By STEVE PEOPLESAssociated Press COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – As he signals strong interest in a 2016 presidential campaign, Republican Jeb Bush on Monday encouraged college graduates to “shake things up” & embrace alter during a commencement address at South Carolina’s largest university.The former Florida governor’s appearance, weeks before a self-imposed deadline to decide his political future, marked his second visit in three months to the state that hosts the presidential primary season’s first contest in the South. Bush avoided any direct political references in his 10-minute speech to the University of South Carolina’s winter commencement, yet his mere presence in the state fueled new speculation approximately his 2016 intentions. “Do not settle for artificial limits on you or this nation,” Bush told an estimated 2,750 college graduates & 14,000 friends & family gathered in South Carolina’s capital city. “We can be greater than we are.” In a TV interview shown the day before, Bush dropped more hints that he’s moving toward a presidential run. Bush said he “would be a satisfactory president,” disclosed that he was writing an e-book approximately his time as governor that would come out in the spring, & promised to release approximately 250,000 emails from his time in office. The son of one president & brother of another, Bush has the power to transform the 2016 contest like no other Republican. He can tap into his family’s vast political network, & his campaign would attract strong support from the same donor pool that other establishment-minded Republicans – New Jersey Chris Christie among them – need to fuel their own prospective campaigns. A Bush candidacy would moreover impact Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who came up through Florida politics as a strong Bush supporter & has been considering his own presidential run. …

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Dec 21

No. 1 South Carolina beats Liberty 84-44

<!– google_ad_section_start –> MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A’ja Wilson came off the bench for 17 points & 10 rebounds to obtain her second career double-double & No. 1 South Carolina cruised past Liberty 84-44 Sunday.Aleighsa Welch scored 15 points & Tiffany Mitchell added 14 for the Gamecocks (12-0), who have 12 days off before beginning Southeastern Conference play. Simone Brown led the Lady Flames (6-5) with 12 points. Ashley Rininger & Karly Buer each added 10.The win, at the Subway Classic being hosted by the University of Minnesota, allowed the Gamecocks to tie the school-record win streak of 12 set during the 2001-02 & 1979-80 seasons.After a slow start, the Gamecocks dominated.Trailing 12-11 nearly 7 minutes into the game, South Carolina was able to obtain the ball inside to spark a 16-0 run & take control. The 6-foot-5 Wilson had a pair of 3-point plays during the spurt & Welch, a 6-footer, added four points.Using their height advantage & quickness, the Gamecocks finished with a 40-24 advantage in points in the paint & held a 46-30 rebounding edge.Three-pointers by Asia Dozier & Mitchell keyed a 13-4 run for a 44-20 halftime lead for the Gamecocks. Elem Ibiam, a 6-foot-4 center, had four points down low in the surge.An inside move by Welch & fast-break layup by Mitchell stretched the lead to 57-28 6 minutes into the second half. Five points by Wilson & four points by Alaina Coates keyed a 15-0 South Carolina run for a 72-36 lead approximately 6 minutes later.Coates & Ibiam each finished with 11 points.TIP-INSSouth Carolina: The Gamecocks shot 48 percent from the field. They entered the game shooting 49.1 percent – eighth best in the nation. … South Carolina was 17 of 26 from the free-throw line. …

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Dec 21

Tennessee Titans prepping for possible Jay Cutler deal

The market for Jay Cutler is beginning to form. Despite just two winning seasons in nine years, the former first-round pick will undoubtedly be enticing to a few teams should he be released or traded at a decent price. That list of teams includes the Titans, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Ken Whisenhunt & his staff have started doing their research on the former Vanderbilt star & could very well be players in the Cutler sweepstakes if the Bears end up dealing him. Before his benching, Rapoport added, Chicago planned to examine a possible trade this upcoming offseason. Cutler’s preferred destination would moreover be Nashville, Rapoport noted. If the Titans were able to snag Cutler, immediately bringing them some respectability under center, the move would shake up the 2015 NFL Draft & possibly reward some other offensive teams sitting between the No. 2 & No. 5 picks. Tennessee currently holds the No. …

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Dec 21

Georgia rural hospitals not scaling back operations

ATLANTA, Ga. -Months after Georgia allowed struggling rural hospitals to scale back their operations to save money, not a single facility has signed on. Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration intended that unprofitable rural hospitals could scale back their services & just offer emergency care & a few outpatient services. Public health officials said reduced care was better than no care at all if a rural hospital closed. Hospital executives were skeptical the plan would save much money. This fall, financial consultants told a state committee that freestanding emergency rooms would probably take a loss, likely discouraging any hospital from pursuing it. “We haven’t been able to make the finances of it work,” said Jimmy Lewis, CEO of HomeTown Health, a network of rural hospitals. “There was never any enthusiasm right after it came out.” The rule alter applied to any hospital serving a county of less than 35,000 people, including hospitals that have been closed for up to a year. A freestanding emergency room could be no more than 35 miles from a general hospital & would have to offer around-the-clock care. …

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