Health Department decides where salmonella outbreak in Minneapolis came from – it was the guinea pig meat

A Minneapolis woman has been fined after tainted guinea pig meat serving at her market resulted in a mass salmonella outbreak, health officials said.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued a $1,000 citation Oct. 1 to Nieves Riera, owner of New York Plaza Produce. the citation says Riera obtained the guinea pigs and pork from sellers that aren’t approved for wholesale, and that Riera slaughtered the guinea pigs in the back of her shop in August prior to an Ecuadorian Independence Festival, creating a health hazard.

More than 80 people fell ill as a result of eating the guinea pig meat

Um, OK.

North Dakota waits 11 days to tell the public about oil spill

Steven Jensen’s wheat field

When a North Dakota pipeline ruptured and sent over 20,000 barrels of crude oil gushing across a wheat field, it took officials nearly two weeks to inform the public about it.

The spill — the biggest in the state since it became a major producer — comes at a time when concerns are growing over the safety of the U.S. pipeline network, which is pumping more oil than ever to bring shale oil and Canadian crude to U.S. refineries.

State officials said they believed the spill to be much smaller than it actually was and said that was one of the reasons no public announcement was made for 11 days – and then only after The Associated Press asked about it.

Critics, however, said this is typical of the state.

“It shows an attitude of our current state government and what they think of the public,” said Don Morrison, executive director of the Dakota Resource Council, an environmental-minded landowner group. “It’s definitely worrisome. There is a pattern in current state government not to involve the public.”

This is not only typical of North Dakota – a state controlled by 19th Century minds with added incentives from the Oil Patch Boys – the secretive, anti-democratic mindset is common to fossil fuel energy colonies.

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GED test changes cause concern over higher standards

Educators are worried raising academic standards in the U.S. education system may discourage some people from taking high school equivalency exams.

The G.E.D. test will be changed in January to bring it in line with the Common Core — a set of standards for kindergarten through 12th grade students that have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, The New York Times reported.

There is a lot of fear of it becoming too challenging,” said John Galli, assistant director at the Community Learning Center, an adult education center run by the City of Cambridge, near Boston.

So, maybe kids will be better off staying in school? What a concept.

The changes have caused concern for instructors and students as they try to prepare for the unknown, the newspaper said.

“The information we have is still very much up in the air,” said Catherine Pautsch, education and career pathways coordinator at Youth Build Just-a-Start, a non-profit group that helps young adults prepare for high school equivalency exams. “We haven’t had anyone take the test yet, so we’re not sure what it’s all going to look like.”

The cost of the test will also increase come January. Test-takers currently pay $60 in New York, but that will increase to $80 in January.

Yes, another pet peeve. We have an education system that fails every generation, seemingly getting worse as time passes. We experience boatloads of talk and very few efforts to raise standards. Standards that affect testing as well as teaching. Meanwhile the rest of the educated industrial world strolls by leaving young Americans in the dust.

If the agreed purpose of the Common Core is to raise the abilities of students what possibly is the aim of retaining an alternative that retains the lesser standards of the recent past? I don’t see very many worriers offer a convincing case that today’s students confront studies as demanding as those in vogue rolling back to the period immediately after World War 2. Yet, graduation rates, the number of students capable of entering college was much higher than today. The limiting factors were generally opportunity and economics.

I don’t see any benefit to fighting for lower standards.

Doctor says 5 junkies showed up at drug treatment center addicted to the flesh-eating drug Krokodil

All the photos I found of krokodil addicts were too horrible to post

A physician in Joliet, Ill., says he’s treated at least five people addicted to the flesh-eating drug krokodil – but authorities have yet to confirm the cases.

Dr. Abhin Singla, director of addiction services at Presence St. Joseph Hospital, said three women and two men arrived in the hospital’s emergency room last week with rotting flesh, the Chicago Tribune reported.

All of the patients reported using krokodil — a drug made by mixing codeine, red phosphorous, iodine and paint thinner together that was first seen in Russia 11 years ago.

The drug gives users a heroin-like high, but leaves them with rotting wounds and scaly, green flesh.

“It is a horrific way to get sick. The smell of rotten flesh permeates the room,” Singla said in a news release issued by the hospital. “Intensive treatment and skin grafts are required, but they often are not enough to save limbs or lives.”

Health authorities haven’t confirmed the krokodil cases, yet. No one accuses junkies of having an excess of self-control or of making astute choices. This really would push the envelope of self-destruction, though.