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OBNDD releases safety alert for medical marijuana

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The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs recently released a statement on OBNDD and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s joint attempts to prosecute THC edibles that resulted in hospitalizations. OMMA would like to advise all patients of the importance of drug protection.

“The welfare of our patients and our society is still our number one priority,” said Dr. Kelly Williams, director of the OMMA. “My staff is working very hard, in collaboration with OBNDD, to solve this problem and review the drugs for sale at our approved dispensaries. We also understand that patient and public care activities must proceed after patients have received their medication.”

Both drugs, including prescription marijuana, should be kept out of the hands of children and pets. Where a medical marijuana product resembles or is prepared in the same way as non-THC drugs, particularly edible medical marijuana products, extra precautions may be required to avoid unintentional ingestion; the use of a prescription lockbox is advised.

Oklahoma medical marijuana purchases must comply with all Oklahoma packaging and marking standards (63 O.S. 427.1 et seq., and OAC 310:681), including reflective, child resistant packaging. Each batch or sample must have a Certificate of Analysis, a laboratory-issued paper showing the findings of required protection and potency tests, on-site and available for patient evaluation. OMMA urges patients to inquire and check this information in order to ensure that every medication they buy has been thoroughly reviewed.

OAC 310:681-7-1(b) requires dispensaries to reject all items that do not fulfil all packaging and labelling standards. OMMA Compliance has increased its enforcement checks and is collaborating with OBNDD to take action on all non-compliant drugs sold in dispensaries.

Those that become aware of incorrectly packaged or labelled goods should contact OMMA by uploading details to the OMMA enforcement team at [email protected], including the company name and address, product category and definition, and photographs if appropriate.

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Pfizer to submit COVID-19 vaccine data in children in matter of ‘days,’ CEO says

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Pfizer to submit COVID-19 vaccine data in children in matter of ‘days,’ CEO says

(NEXSTAR) – Pfizer’s CEO says the company is close to submitting results of COVID-19 vaccine trials among children ages 5-11 in a bid to become the first vaccine maker to gain regulatory authorization.

“I think we are going to submit this data pretty soon. It’s a question of days, not weeks,” Albert Bourla told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Earlier this month, Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s vaccine chief, said he was “very, very hopeful” that children in that age range could receive vaccinations against COVID-19 by the end of of the year, or sooner.

Marks said he hoped the FDA would be able to analyze Pfizer’s study results “in a matter of weeks.”

As the delta variant continues to rip through unvaccinated populations, including school-aged children, many parents, teachers and public officials are anxiously awaiting expanded access to the vaccine. Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are among people who weren’t vaccinated.

With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health authorities said they’re confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-too-distant future.

The spike in demand — expected following last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots — would be the first significant jump in months. More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the enticement of lottery prizes, free food or gifts and pleas from exhausted health care workers as the average number of deaths per day climbed to more than 1,900 in recent weeks.

Federal and state health authorities said current supply and steady production of more doses can easily accommodate those seeking boosters or initial vaccination, avoiding a repeat of the frustratingly slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the country early this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Hitmen let mom get child out before killing 7 in Juarez home, newspaper says

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Hitmen let mom get child out before killing 7 in Juarez home, newspaper says

Meth trafficking behind massacre, burning of bodies inside home on Division del Norte neighborhood, police say

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A group of sicarios allowed a woman to retrieve her 2-year-old son before murdering her brothers and some guests, then setting fire to their corpses inside a home in Juarez, Mexico, over the weekend, a newspaper reported.

The unidentified woman told El Diario she and a female friend had been consuming crystal meth inside the home, left momentarily to the store, then came back to find armed men holding people inside the house hostage. The woman told the newspaper the men let her get her child out but she couldn’t convince them to spare her brothers.

The gunmen killed five men and a woman inside the house Saturday after fatally wounding a seventh victim and injuring three others in the backyard, Chihuahua state police told Border Report on Monday. The attackers then set the six bodies inside the house on fire.

Drugs sales appear to be the motive behind the Saturday night attack, police said.

“A solid line of investigation points to the sale of drugs,” said state police spokesman Alejandro Rubalcava. “Investigators have compiled statements regarding drug sales in that home, specifically crystal methamphetamine.”

Juarez police investigate the scene where six men and one woman were shot to death inside the Division del Norte neighborhood. Six of the bodies were set on fire. (Border Report photo)

The spokesman said no arrests had been made as of late Monday morning. A total of 20 people were murdered between Friday and Monday in Juarez, a city used by two drug cartels – La Linea and Sinaloa – as a staging point for drugs into the United States and where domestic or in-house drug sales have skyrocketed in the past few years as well.

Residents of the Division del Norte neighborhood told KTSM they had repeatedly complained to police about drug activity at the home, but never got a response. Residents said a group of four or five men with guns and rifles arrived at the home late Saturday in a white Chevrolet Suburban before shots rang out.

Juarez police officials in the past have blamed drug cartels for attacks on civilians who police believe are involved in illegal activities and aren’t giving a cut to the cartels. Last month, members of one such organization allegedly burned cars in four junkyards and left a sign accusing the owners of selling stolen vehicles, El Heraldo reported. Authorities later arrested members of La Linea on arson charges.

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These are the remains of the home where seven people were killed in Juarez, Mexico, this past weekend. The bodies were set ablaze inside the house. (Border Report photo)

Last year, members of a criminal organization shot and cut off the hands of a man they accused of stealing auto parts, La Verdad reported. A sign warning other alleged thieves was left next to the man, who survived the assault. The warning was signed by the New Juarez Cartel.

Juarez has recorded more than 1,000 homicides this year, including 91 so far in September.

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COVID cases and quarantines impacting bus routes for some Johnstown and Gloversville students

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COVID cases and quarantines impacting bus routes for some Johnstown and Gloversville students

FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cases of COVID-19 and ensuing quarantines have led to temporary cancellations of bus routes for some students in both the Johnstown and Gloversville school districts. Buses carrying secondary students in both districts won’t be running for the next eight school days.

“I didn’t expect this at all. It was either transport him, or have him be remote,” said Cassie Freese, a Johnstown parent.

Some parents in both districts were told Sunday evening that their children’s buses would temporarily stop running over the next several days.

For Freese, that means a completely different daily routine. Monday morning, she had to bring her son to work for a half hour at 7, but with school opening at 7:30, she had to leave work before returning. After leaving work at noon, she had to return downtown at 2:30 to pick him up.

“I mean how many people can go to work and just leave to go take their kid, you know? It’s really rough, I hope it doesn’t continue. It’s okay for the short time being, but long term, we can’t do it,” she explained.

The temporary cancellations are impacting over 300 secondary students in the two districts, which are served by buses from HFM BOCES.

“This quarantine of bus drivers, which is already kind of a decimated staff, makes it even harder to make sure those transportation routes can take care of our students,” said Johnstown Superintendent Dr. William Crankshaw.

In Gloversville, the superintendent says most impacted students were in the classroom Monday. He’s asked counselors and administrators in both the middle and high school to reach out to effected students who were not.

“So we can do everything we can to get these kids in school, or make sure the synchronous learning efforts are effective,” David Halloran said.

NEWS10 reached out to HFM BOCES transportation but have not received a statement.

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White Creek factory may find future as Washington County’s first marijuana growing facility

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White Creek factory may find future as Washington County’s first marijuana growing facility

WHITE CREEK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In the southern Washington County town of White Creek, an out-of-use factory may be in line for a new – and newly legal – line of use.

Businessman Tim Lorito came before the Warren-Washington Industrial Development Agency with a pitch, now approved for a public hearing, leaving it up to the townspeople whether the former Morcon Tissue facility at 879 Route 22 will be the future site of a growing and processing facility for recreational cannabis production.

White Creek Supervisor James Griffith is hoping the public will say yes.

“It’s not really the expansion of marijuana,” Griffith said during a phone call on Monday. “It’s the expansion of agriculture and agritourism.”

The facility would create at least 25 jobs with a base pay of $35,000/year, between growing marijuana flower and extracting oils to then be sold to companies that manufacture other forms of recreational cannabis, such as edibles.

That would leave a big impact in the roughly 2,500-resident community, between Cambridge and Hoosick Falls. Griffith is especially interested in the impact a plant like that could have for area students who want to enter the workforce or a trade profession after graduating high school.

“They’re going to stay in the area, and we want to have jobs for them so they can have a sustainable life,” he said.

He’s also interested in working with existing horticultural programs at WSWHE BOCES to bridge that gap.

The project is a $5 million endeavor, and Lorito is examining mortgage tax and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes options with the IDA.

The White Creek location would be the second cannabis enterprise for Lorito, who currently operates a 10,000 square foot building in Oregon. The Morcon building offers plenty of space for the new plan, which includes use for a 14,000 square foot building for growing, and another 6,000 for processing.

Anything produced by the new facility would have to be sold by licensed sellers within New York, by part of state law established when recreational marijuana was legalized in the state in the spring.

Those dispensary licenses haven’t been distributed yet, but when that part of the process gets going, those businesses and farms will build relationships on their own, keeping the money within financial ecosystems in the state.

“So you won’t be able to sell in Massachusetts, won’t be able to sell in Vermont, won’t be able to sell in New Jersey.”

New York will begin accepting growing applications in January. As long as the community approves the new enterprise, all Lorito will have to do is apply and wait.

As far as the public vote – which does not have a date, but which Griffith said should take place within the next few weeks – public opinion is something the supervisor feels good about.

“I know that some people are completely against marijuana, but the reality is that in New York it is legal,” Griffith said. “They are going to set parameters on growing and cultivating and retail, and ultimately, the positive thing is the jobs.”

Meanwhile, Griffith is also the general manager of the Aviation Mall in Queensbury, and said that federal law would not allow him to invite a marijuana dispensary to operate within the mall at this time.

But, things could always change.

“There is a bill in the house that Chuck Schumer introduced just two weeks ago to allow less restrictive banking for companies working on business with marijuana industries,” he explained.

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How will the vaccine mandate impact local hospitals?

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How will the vaccine mandate impact local hospitals?

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York state’s vaccine mandate has reached its deadline. For local hospitals, that means terminating or suspending staffers who won’t get the shot.

Many are concerned about possible staffing shortages in the wake of the mandate. State-wide only 84 percent of hospital workers are vaccinated. However, the Capital Region could be in a better position than most regions with 91 percent of hospital workers vaccinated.

“It’s really hard,” Hannah Hulett, Labor and Delivery Nurse at St. Peter’s Health Partners, said. “Then already lose more nurses on top of it? It’s just unethical overall.”

Hulett said she’s disappointed to be losing some “good nurses” on her team.

“And they are leaving because they don’t want to have something forced upon them,” Hulett said.

As of Monday, just under 400 SPHP employees have not yet submitted their proof of vaccination. Overall, 96 percent of “eligible employees” have been vaccinated.

“The pandemic itself is a significant stressor. This vaccine mandate is just one more stressor on that system,” Chris Jordan, Chief Nursing Officer for Acute Care and VP of Patient Services, said.

St. Peter’s told NEWS10 that any employee who does not comply with the state mandate will be suspended without pay. They will have until October 8, to “become compliant” or they will be terminated.

Glens Falls told NEWS10 they’ve been combatting staffing shortage for over a year.

“It’s difficult. Our hospitals are busier than they’ve ever been,” Ray Agnew, VP Hospital & Community Management, said. “But still come to the hospital if you need care. We are ready to help.”

Agnew added that the staff has been working extra shifts and stepping up wherever they can. Glens Falls Hospital has also utilized agency staff to help fill the gaps.

By noon, 64 of Glens Falls employees were not in compliance with the vaccine mandate. They will be placed on a 90-day unpaid administrative leave beginning at midnight on September 28.

Albany Med said like most hospitals, they are experiencing increased wait times due to the staffing shortages felt nationwide. When it comes to the total workforce, 97.6 percent is vaccinated.

“Our staff has demonstrated such strong leadership throughout the pandemic,” Albany Med stated in a response to NEWS10. “We are hopeful that the 272 members of our staff who are unvaccinated will become vaccinated for the safety of our community. “

Albany Med added that they are working to develop “thoughtful solutions” to keep cancellations and postponements of surgeries to a minimum.

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NYS begins Pfizer booster shot rollout

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NYS begins Pfizer booster shot rollout

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State has announced that it supports the CDC’s recommendation for the COVID-19 booster shot.

If you received your first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine six months ago, Governor Kathy Hochul said you shouldn’t put off getting a COVID-19 booster shot since it will help provide additional protection against the virus.

“We’re not necessarily seeing people becoming acutely ill and dying, but we are seeing a lot more hospitalizations,” explained Dr. Jim Saperstone, a local pediatrician. “So that tells us that in addition to people who are not being vaccinated, some of it is wearing off.”

 New Yorkers who received the Pfizer vaccine should receive their booster dose if:

  • They are 65 years and older or residents in long-term care settings
  • If they are between the ages of 50 – 64 with underlying medical conditions. 

Additionally, New Yorkers who received the vaccine may get their COVID-19 booster dose if:

  • They are in the 18-49 age group with underlying medical conditions
  • Those between the ages of 18 – 64 years old and have a high risk of COVID-19 exposure because of where they work.

As of right now, booster shots are only available for the Pfizer vaccine.

“The booster shot is very essential,” said Dr. Nosa Lebarty, who is the Chief Medical Officer of Central Med Urgent Care.

Appointments are now available at all New York State mass vaccination sites.

“I suspect within a couple of weeks, we will see Moderna on board, too, with that,” explained Saperstone.

Besides getting a COVID-19 booster vaccine, state and local health care providers recommend getting the flu shot as well.

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Nationwide alcohol shortage impacts Capital Region

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Nationwide alcohol shortage impacts Capital Region

LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The pandemic caused shortages of items like chicken wings and toilet paper. Now, you can add alcohol to the list. And the issue may have you sipping soda instead of Chardonnay the next time you go out to dine or make yourself a cocktail.

Craig Allen owns All Star Wine and Spirits in Latham, one the largest alcohol retailers in New York’s Capital Region. He says, after news reports of an alcohol shortage last week, it was like 2020 all over again.

“Kind of reminiscent of the toilet paper rush back last year with people coming in and buying spirits. Mostly liquor. [People] worried that it’s going to be gone for the holidays,” said Allen.

He says folks have been driving up to his store from downstate and even New Jersey to buy in bulk. Most looking for higher priced selections of wine and liquor.

The pandemic certainly caused an unprecedented rise in alcohol demand. Pair that with a dash of importing problems and a twist of shortages in labor and bottling materials, and the result is a cocktail that’s ultra dry and bound to leave you parched! 

But the issue goes beyond your nearest liquor store.

After labor shortages, restaurants are now facing a sober reminder that their businesses are not out of the woods just yet.

NEWS10’s Anya Tucker visited several area bars and restaurants with managers and owners telling her that they are facing intermittent shortages in deliveries of wine, liquor and beer.

And it’s unclear how long the shortage will last, especially as we enter the holiday and season.

Craig Allen’s advice?

“Buy more than one of your favorite because it may not be available for a couple of months.”

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Freedom of life on the road continues to attract people, despite Petito case

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Freedom of life on the road continues to attract people, despite Petito case

FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 filer, a logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

(NewsNation) — So-called “van life” picked up steam during the pandemic, when people packed up their lives and hit the road for freedom, nature, and fresh air. To some, it’s seen as a referendum on materialism and the status quo.

The minimalistic lifestyle is now being talked about across the country in the wake of the Gabby Petito case.

Six months ago, Quin Gable, 29, quit her corporate job and converted a van to become a nomad with her two cats. “You can do whatever you want, wherever you want,” Gable said. “You can choose to be with people who are like-minded; you can choose to be with people who maybe put you outside of your comfort zone.”

Gable, now a brand ambassador, is part of the growing trend: people who can work remotely and see the natural wonders of the country. While there are no exact numbers as to how many people choose to live in their vans, there have been more than 2.1 billion TikTok views under the hashtag #vanlife.

“We’re kind of following each other throughout the state or the national parks, or by myself, you know, alone, just going from place to place,” Gable said.

Gable focuses on teaching others, especially women, how to live her lifestyle safely.  “I will text my family my coordinates every single night,” she said. “I also have a satellite GPS phone, which lets me breathe so well there’s an SOS button, I can text outside of service.”

For her and her fellow van lifers, Gabby Petito has been top of mind. Gable said she’s now traveling in a caravan, instead of solo. “It just really hurts my heart that this happened to Gabby. I don’t think van life is to blame for this or the safety of Van life,” Gable said.

Still, the enchantment of America’s natural wonders and a life free of constructs and constraints continue to draw in Gable and others. She said she doesn’t see herself living in an apartment anytime soon. “I don’t know where I’m going to be tomorrow,” she said. “I would say a couple of years, I love it. It just really pushes you to grow as a human and what I love about the van life community is everyone is incredibly self-aware.”

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Biden gets booster, urges unvaxxed to get dosed

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Biden gets booster, urges unvaxxed to get dosed

CDC said 25% of eligible Americans have not received any doses

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — “I am over 65,” President Joe Biden said, laughing, as he publicly received his COVID-19 booster shot Monday morning.

Biden, 78, rolled up his sleeve for the booster. He’s one of the millions of Americans now eligible for the additional dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Anyone 65-and-older or with underlying health risks is eligible, along with those in high-risk jobs like first responders, health care workers and grocery store employees — as long as it’s been more than 6 months since their second Pfizer vaccine shot.

But Biden said there’s something more important than booster shots, and that is convincing the unvaccinated to get the initial immunization.

The CDC said 25% of eligible Americans have not received any doses.

“We know that to beat this pandemic and to save lives, to keep our children safe, our schools open, our economy going, we need to get folks vaccinated,” Biden said in remarks before he received the booster.

Unvaccinated Americans put others at risk, the president said. “That’s why I’m moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can.”

However, there is still no date for when Biden’s vaccine mandate for employees of large businesses will take effect.

“We knew it would take a little bit of time, given there are some very understandable and good questions by the business community,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “We want to ensure there’s clarity when they do put out the rules.”

When it does take effect, Republicans — including a group of 24 state attorneys general — are threatening to sue the administration.

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Poestenkill men arrested for burglary after car gets flat tire

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Albany man arrested for drugs, stolen handgun

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man unexpectedly won the Quad Cities Marathon this weekend when the two Kenyan runners who had far outpaced him were disqualified after being diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist.

Tyler Pence crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds to become the first U.S. runner since 2001 to win the race through the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa. Pence, the head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, logged his fastest time ever with the win and took the first prize of $3,000.

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