TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Friday, January 27, 2023

Briefs are posted weekday mornings, M-F

The Journal Sentinel spoke to more than a dozen current and former physicians, nurses and patients at Columbia St. Mary’s, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from Ascension, and concern about their status in the larger health care community. The Journal Sentinel also reviewed state and federal inspection records, and emails to Ascension Wisconsin employees.

The interviews and documents reveal Columbia St. Mary’s is reeling from staffing challenges that have caught the attention of regulators, and have resulted in disruptions to patient care, long wait times in the emergency department, delayed surgeries and staff concerns about patient safety.

All the while, physicians have been leaving the hospital “in droves,” some lured away by Ascension’s competitors in the Milwaukee area, according to one physician at Columbia St. Mary’s. The Journal Sentinel confirmed a list of more than 20 physicians who have left in the last year or so, though the list is not complete and the reasons for leaving not given.

The exodus of physicians, which includes primary care doctors, cardiologists, obstetrician-gynecologists and others, would be an added blow to the hospital if patients follow them.

Further, medical residents may be less likely to work for Ascension Wisconsin if they perceive instability and problems. “They can’t wait to get out,” the same physician told the Journal Sentinel.

Ascension Wisconsin declined an interview request with its leadership, but responded late Monday to questions sent by email last Thursday to a spokesperson.

“Hospitals across the U.S. are dealing with historic staffing challenges due to ongoing workforce shortages,” the email from director of communications Caryn Kaufman reads. “We are working diligently to mitigate these many challenges through strategies that include staffing bonuses, increased direct hiring, and new retention efforts.”

In its statement, Ascension Wisconsin said it is working to strengthen its workforce by “offering competitive compensation packages,” as well as “flexible staffing options, wellness initiatives and career growth and development opportunities.”

The shortages and departures, first reported by Milwaukee Magazine, have left some hospital workers demoralized and burned out.

“At this point, I’m at my wit’s end,” said one nurse. “I’m at a loss at what I can do in my position to improve the situation for patients.”

Another nurse said, “Every time I pick up (extra) shifts, I feel like I am dangling my nursing license from a fishing line.”

The shortage of nurses is exacerbated by a lack of support staff. Nurses interviewed by the Journal Sentinel said just one certified nursing assistant is routinely assigned to floors with 20 to 30 patients.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A story published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Thursday morning has raised questions about state Supreme Court candidate Judge Jennifer Dorow.

The family of a teen who died from fentanyl poisoning in his University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee dorm in 2021 wants more answers from the Dorow family, especially the candidate’s son.

A student at UW-Milwaukee, Reddington was out with friends on the night of Nov. 3, 2021. He took what he thought was a Percocet, but it turned out to be 100% fentanyl.

Police gave Reddington four rounds of Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, but they couldn’t save him.

Spectrum News 1 first shared Reddington’s story nine months ago during a special report about “Fighting Fentanyl” in Wisconsin.

At the time, Reddington’s family said they had a pretty good idea about where the pill that killed him came from. However, it wasn’t until Thursday that those allegations were made public.

Remaining anonymous in a piece written by columnist Daniel Bice, two friends of Reddington told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the weeks leading up to his death Reddington bought prescription pills from Michael Dorow.

Michael Dorow, who is 19 years old, is the son of Waukesha Co. Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow, who is currently running for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Reddington’s friends wonder if Michael Dorow gave Reddington the pill that killed him.

Michael Dorow has not been charged with any crime in the case, which is still under investigation by UW-Milwaukee police.

Meanwhile, Judge Jennifer Dorow has spoken out. Her campaign released a statement that called for “decency” in the election and stated that since her children aren’t running for office, they should be off limits.

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a story this morning that mentions my son and another young man, who died tragically,” the statement read. “My heart aches for his parents. I am very sorry for their loss, and I pray that they somehow find comfort and peace. Every day at work, I see firsthand the devastating effects that illegal drugs have on our community.

“I love my current role as judge, and I’d be honored to be called justice, but the most important title to me will always be mom. Like every mother, I love my children more than anything in this world. I am shocked that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and some of my opponents think it’s ok to use my son for their own political ends.”

—Spectrum News

According to a Harvard/ Harris 2024 survey, six in ten respondents have doubts regarding Biden’s mental capabilities, with 65 percent believing that the 80-year-old is “too old” to run the country.

Nearly a quarter of those who say Biden is too old, are Democrats, while 87 percent were Republicans and 67 percent were Independents.

The poll also found that 61 percent of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, while the majority, 56 percent, have an unfavorable view of Biden.

37 percent approve of how he has handled the crisis at the southern border, while 62 percent highly disapprove of his take on “fixing” the economy.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the bombshell revelations that multiple classified documents were found in Biden’s possession, American’s approval of the president slipped under the rocks even more.

A Quinnipiac University Poll found that 84 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats think Biden handled the classified documents inappropriately.

It also found that a whopping 71 percent of Americans view the matter as very serious, with 37 percent saying that Biden should face criminal charges.


President Biden claims that Republicans want to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, but that’s just “not true,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Thursday.

“President Biden says my party, I, want to gut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and that’s not true. Not even George Santos would make up a whopper like that, and the president knows that. He just believes that — he believes that the federal government is what made this country great. I don’t,” Kennedy told Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

Kennedy was referring to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who was caught lying about his background.

“I think ordinary people doing extraordinary things did, but he thinks that we ought to send all of our freedom and all of our money to Washington and let him make the decision, and so he’s happy to keep spending,” he said.

Kennedy said that Biden “is the only person in the Milky Way who thinks our country is headed in the right direction.”

—CNS News

Most living former presidents and vice presidents are asserting they turned over all materials with classified markings when they left office but won’t say if they will conduct fresh searches after documents with such markings were found at the homes of President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

All of former President Barack Obama’s classified records were handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration upon leaving office and the Archives still maintains control of those records, an official with Obama’s office told The Epoch Times via email.

Representatives for former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and the late George H.W. Bush, as well as former Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Al Gore, told CNN that all the classified records from their administrations were also turned over when they left office.

A spokesperson for former Vice President Dick Cheney told the Associated Press that he didn’t take classified materials with him when he left office and that none have been found since.

—The Epoch Times

Continuing to craft a second generation of his policies, former President Donald Trump is proposing a dramatic change in the education sphere that would empower parents to elect and fire school principals.

“Our public schools have been taken over by the Radical Left maniacs,” Trump said in a video announcement released late Thursday night.

Trump said the first step in his plan to “save American education” and restore power to parents would be to cut federal funding for any school or program pushing Critical Race Theory, gender ideology or other “inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content to children.

He also outlined funding preferences and “favorable treatment” for all states and school districts that make the following education reforms:

• Abolish teacher tenure for grades K through 12 and adopt merit pay for high-performing ones.

• Cut the number of school administrators, including the “costly, divisive and unnecessary Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion bureaucracy.”

• Adopt a Parental Bill of Rights that includes complete curriculum transparency and a form of universal school choice.

• Implement the direct election of school principals by the parents.

—Just the News

Every couple of years, the Gallup Organization surveys people around the world to see how many are seriously interested in permanently leaving their native countries. In 2011, only 18% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean wanted to move. But the most recent data suggests that figure has now surged to 37%.

Gallup also asks an important follow-up question: Where do these potential migrants most want to go? Not surprisingly, the United States tops the list. (Clearly, they haven’t gotten the leftist memo about what a “systemically racist country” America is.)

In all seriousness, this could be a huge problem. There are at least 650 million people living in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean today. If 37% of them decided to come here, that’s 240 million people.

The left insists that if we don’t want millions and millions of migrants “seeking a better life” coming to America then we have to solve “the root causes” of immigration in their own countries.

So, if we want to secure our border we have to spend who knows how much to fix Latin America to potentially stop 240 million people from flooding across our border.

Biden has done nothing to stop five million illegal aliens from crossing our border in the past two years. He’s all in on open borders and amnesty. There seems to be no number large enough that would compel this administration to get serious about border security.

—Gary Bauer

The Newport News School Board in Virginia voted to remove its superintendent following a high-profile incident in which a 6-year-old student shot his teacher.

In a 5-1 vote, the board members ousted George Parker III and named Michele Mitchell as interim superintendent, according to NBC News.

The decision follows claims Wednesday from the injured teacher’s attorney that staff members warned school administrators several times that day that the student was armed and making threats against other students.

Abigail Zwerner, 25, sustained significant injuries on Jan. 6 of this year when the student shot her while she was teaching at Richneck Elementary School. The student shot the teacher once, inflicting wounds to her hand and chest as the bullet flew.

“On that day, over the course of a few hours, three different times – three times – school administration was warned by concerned teachers and employees that the boy had a gun on him at the school and was threatening people,” Zwerner’s lawyer, Diane Toscano, said. “But the administration could not be bothered.”

–Just the News

In 2018, in the midst of the #MeToo movement launched after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Hollywood celebrities eager to show their commitment to the cause donated millions to a new organization called Time’s Up. The organization raked in $22 million.

However, it didn’t take long for Time’s Up to be exposed as little other than a partisan outfit that attacked conservatives such as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh over outrageously fabricated sexual assault allegations, while later running cover for prominent Democrats such as Joe Biden and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, both of whom were more credibly accused of sexual assault.

In Biden’s case, a former Senate staffer named Tara Reade accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Rather than jump to her cause, Time’s Up offered up some half-hearted boilerplate that Reade’s allegations should not “go ignored” before effectively ignoring her. Indeed, it was later revealed that Time’s Up’s public relations firm, SKDKnickerbocker, was led by Anita Dunn, who was one of Biden’s campaign strategists.

Furthermore, Dunn had actually worked on providing “damage control advice” to Weinstein. Well, now time is up for Time’s Up, as the organization notified its board members, many of whom are woke Hollywood celebs, that it “will formally cease its operations by the end of January.” As with so many of the Left’s “philanthropic” causes, in the end it always seems to boil down to little other than a scheme to advance political power.

—The Patriot Post

If your evening routine includes a nightly glass of wine, it might be time to think twice about your nightcap. Increasingly, research now suggests that any amount of alcohol consumption can harm your health, causing increased incidence of cancer, heart disease, and more.

A 2019 study analyzed the absolute cancer risk associated with smoking cigarettes compared with those associated with drinking a single bottle of wine per week. The team behind the study found that drinking a weekly bottle of wine is linked with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1.0 percent in men and 1.4 percent in women. Put another way, the increase in absolute cancer risk for those who drink one bottle of wine per week was equal to smoking five cigarettes per week for men, and ten cigarettes per week for women.

—Best Life

Dating has never been easy, and with the majority of today’s communication taking place online, many singles say it’s becoming even trickier in 2023. When it comes to online dating, a new survey finds singles are leaving nothing to chance. In fact, many Americans think it’s perfectly fine to “stalk” their potential partners online.

The new poll of more than 1,000 singles, commissioned by the Thriving Center of Psychology, reveals that a majority of Americans (56%) say dating is harder now than in previous years. Recently, inflation has taken its toll on finding love. The survey finds 35 percent of respondents have gone on fewer dates because of inflation. Additionally, 26 percent say inflation is driving them to offer to split the bill more on dates — with one in three women now making the offer to pay for dinner.

The reason for recent difficulties in finding love could lie in the modern popularity of dating apps. The survey finds that 67 percent of respondents have used dating apps. Of those, 69 percent don’t like them, and 35 percent do not feel safe using them — including half of women. Moreover, over half of pet owners say the more dates they go on, the more they love their pets instead of humans. Unfortunately, you can’t date your pets.

Overall, three in four survey participants still find it hard to meet potential dates without looking online.

Given the uncertainty that comes with meeting a stranger from a dating app, is it alright to stalk a date online before going out with them? Shockingly, half of Americans (49%) say the answer is yes! In fact, 65 percent of women think it’s socially acceptable to “stalk” their date online. Thirty-eight percent of respondents admit to doing some research on an online date. Three in 10 singles spend over 20 minutes going through their date’s online history looking for juicy details.

However, 18 percent confess to going even further — running a background check on their date.

—Study Finds

If his run of tough luck continues, Jay Leno will known as the comedy star who performs his own stunts.

Prepping for his return to the Strip in March, Leno is recovering from a fire in his garage in Los Angeles last November. He suffered second-degree burns over his upper body and part of his face while repairing the fuel line in a 1907 White Steam Car.

That’s the incident we know about. But there’s another mishap, this month, which Leno disclosed in a phone chat Thursday.

Referring to the November fire, I asked, “How are you doing, especially after the accident?”

“It’s so funny you should say that,” said Leno, headlining for Encore Theater for the first time on March 31, his first Vegas show since the November incident. “That was the first accident. OK? Then just last week, I got knocked off my motorcycle. So I’ve got a broken collarbone. I’ve got two broken ribs. I’ve got two cracked kneecaps.”

“Whoa,” I said. “Whoa, Sir.”

“But I’m OK!” Leno said. “I’m OK, I’m working. I’m working this weekend.”

Leno specified the accident happened nine days earlier (or, Jan. 17), again as he was working on a vintage vehicle. He was testing a 1940 Indian motorcycle and noticed the scent of leaking gas (fuel lines have been unkind to Leno recently).

“So I turned down a side street and cut through a parking lot, and unbeknownst to me, some guy had a wire strung across the parking lot but with no flag hanging from it,” Leno said. “So, you know, I didn’t see it until it was too late. It just clothesline me and, boom, knocked me off the bike.

“The bike kept going, and you know how that works out.”

Leno said he hadn’t said anything about the accident because of the massive amount of coverage from his November hospitalization and recovery.

—Las Vegas Review -Journal

María Branyas Morera has lived through two world wars, the Spanish civil war, the 1918 flu pandemic and Covid.

Now the California-born woman is the world’s oldest living person.

Branyas, 115, became the eldest known person alive after the death of 118-year-old Lucille Randon, the Guinness world records website confirmed last week. Randon died at her nursing home in the French town of Toulon on 17 January.

Branyas captured global headlines after she survived a bout of Covid in May 2020, when the pandemic made Spain one of the hardest-hit countries before the availability of vaccines. She was believed to be the oldest Covid survivor at one point, before Randon survived contracting the virus herself.

“Order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity and staying away from toxic people” is what Branyas credits with her longevity, according to the Guinness site.

“I think longevity is also about being lucky,” Branyas said, Guinness officials added. “Luck and good genetics.”

—The Guardian

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – The Paris accord ending the Vietnam War, America’s longest war to that time, was signed this day in 1973, providing for an exchange of prisoners and for the unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam

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