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News from Finger Lakes Public Radio

Telepsychology resources growing in upstate NY

There are new developments in tele mental health in the Finger Lakes. As WXXI’s Brett Dahlberg reports, researchers and entrepreneurs are trying to capitalize on the trend. Nancy Gerlach’s kitchen was a flurry of chopping and mixing. Pots steamed on the stove, and bowls and Tupperware filled the counter space in her Finger Lakes home. “We’re up to our elbows,” she said. It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Her son Bill and his fiancée were expecting a baby. And another son, Derek, was dead.

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Some members of a commission that’s creating the rules for a public campaign finance system for state elected offices are concerned that the plans being developed would be too favorable to incumbent politicians.

Members of the Fair Elections Coalition, a public campaign finance advocacy group, briefly disrupted the meeting to express their displeasure with the commission’s actions. 

“Big money out,” they shouted as the commissioner watched.

Last Thursday, in Wayne County, Everardo Donoteo-Reyes was sentenced to 20 years in state prison and five years probation for the murder of his girlfriend Selena Hidalogo-Calderon and her infant son, Owen. Both Calderon and Reyes were undocumented immigrants. While their families and communy continue to grieve, soon a contested new law could help undocumented domestic violence victims get to safety.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published new guidance Friday for doctors looking to diagnose lung injuries caused by vaping.

The article, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, examined a series of patients who came to URMC with “respiratory failure of unknown origin” and a “history of e-cigarette or vape use.”

They found that x-rays of all the patients’ lungs showed signs of pneumonia and inflammation, but no evidence of infection. Ruling out infection as the cause of the respiratory failure allows doctors to move toward a diagnosis of a vaping injury, the researchers found.

A new state law that takes effect in January will give people accused of crimes more tools to mount a defense in court. But the state’s District Attorneys say changes to what’s known as the discovery laws will be costly and hard to implement.

Under current law, defendants don’t have a right to see a prosecutor’s evidence against them until the trail begins. This includes police reports, recordings, or results of DNA tests - evidence that, in some cases, defendants may not see for months or even years.

Three new inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame

Nov 11, 2019

The National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum inducted some longtime favorites during a ceremony Thursday.

The class of 2019 includes the collectible card game Magic the Gathering, Matchbox cars, and the coloring book.

Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections for the Strong, said the newest honorees were chosen from a group of finalists that included My Little Pony, Jenga, Nerf Blaster, Masters of the Universe, Care Bears, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the top, the game Risk, and the smartphone.

Seneca Falls will be getting a big economic boost from New York state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the town will get $10 million in funding as part of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul delivered the news Wednesday at the new home of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

“It is gifted with a history that others can only dream of; what happened here, an epicenter of social movements that literally propelled our nation into a far better place,” Hochul told those gathered in Seneca Falls.

A state appeals court in Seneca County has upheld New York’s elimination of religious exemptions to vaccine requirements.

The ruling from State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle rejected claims that eliminating the exemptions was an unconstitutional infringement on religious rights.

New research has shown signs that a measles infection can produce an “immune amnesia” effect.

Emil Lesho, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist at Rochester Regional Health, said the research shows that the harms of a measles infection last well past when the body seems to beat the virus.

State health department officials, testifying at a Senate hearing, say they still don’t know the exact cause of the vaping related respiratory illness that has sickened over 1,800 across the nation including 156 New Yorkers, and caused 38 deaths.

The USDA released long-awaited regulations on CBD this week that will provide more federal regulation of the growing of hemp plants, where CBD comes from.

Meanwhile, in New York, a bill that would regulate CBD is in limbo. The State Legislature has approved it, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t acted on it yet.