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A gravel pit near area homes has received a renewal of its permit although residents weren't given notice of the hearing.

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A federal court of appeals recently upheld a lower court's 2006 decision that found the tobacco industry guilty of racketeering and fraud. The House of Representatives has already voted to give the F.D.A. powers to regulate tobacco products, and the Senate is considering a similar vote. It's time for universities such as the University of California to wake up and cut their research ties with Big Tobacco, which has long used university research results to defraud the public.

Picture of William Heisel

Don't you want to help this woman out?

Renata Celona lost both of her parents at a young age, victims of high blood pressure, the second leading preventable cause of death.

She checks her blood pressure at least once a day, avoids salt and tries to squeeze in trips to the gym between working two jobs and raising three kids on her own.

"I tell my kids that I am always going to be there for them," Celona, 47, says. "Even if I can't always pick them up from school, they know I will be tucking them into bed at night."

Picture of Angilee Shah

Kelley Weiss, a health care reporter at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, is one of this year's California Broadcast fellows. For her report, L.A. Takes On Prescription Drug Swaps, she reported on a thriving black market for prescription drugs from abroad and accompanied a team from the multi-department Health Authority Law Enforcement (HALT) Task Force to collect illegal pharmaceuticals.

Picture of Angilee Shah

Lack of primary care and attention to chronic disease are the real ills of the health care system, panelists said at a seminar on health care reform for California Broadcast Fellows.

Anthony Iton, public health officer for Alameda County, says that 3 out of every 4 health care dollars goes to the treatment of chronic disease. "It is the elephant in the room. If you're not talking about chronic disease, you're not talking about health," he says.

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Mark Katches is the deputy managing editor for projects at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He leads a team of reporters who have been watch-dogging the use of chemicals in food containers and other products for the past two years.

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After California voters soundly rejected several proposals to mitigate the state's staggering $21 billion budget deficit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is suggesting unheard-of cutbacks in health and social programs. This time, the discussion isn't just about cutting money from the Healthy Families subsidized health insurance program, it's about scrapping it altogether.

Picture of William Heisel

Matthew William Wasserman of Katy, Texas, found a unique way to treat a female patient's back: "a sensory examination of the genital area."

That was according to the Texas Medical Board.

Now, Wasserman had only been out of medical residency for three years when this happened, and he did not have a lot of women in his graduating class at Baylor Medical College. Still, one has to assume that most doctors know the basics of anatomy, male or female.

Picture of William Heisel

Anyone who has helped a friend or family member undergo cancer treatment knows the fear and frustration that can consume a patient's life. There are new, experimental treatments being touted every year, many of them only available outside of the United States.

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U.S. children and teens have struggled with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior for much of the past decade. Join us as we explore the systemic causes and policy failures that have accelerated the crisis and its inequitable impact, as well as promising community-driven approaches and evidence-based practices. The webinar will provide fresh ideas for reporting on the mental health of youth and investigating the systems and services. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors and a social media consultant to join its team. Learn more about the positions and apply.

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