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  1. Emergency departments across the U.S. have been slammed in recent weeks by an onslaught of flu visits, forcing hospitals to devise new spaces to house patients, to restrict visitors and to postpone elective surgeries. Visits to hospital emergency departments, urgent care centers and other outpatient clinics by people with flu symptoms have been skyrocketing for several weeks. As of mid-January, such visits had surpassed every flu season except 2009-10, when a new flu strain caused a global pandemic. The dominant strain this season, H3N2, is particularly virulent, and the vaccine isn’t very effective against it. NYC Health & Hospitals has seen a 40% increase in the number of people being tested for the flu compared with this time last year, according to Sean Studer, deputy chief medical officer of the group, which runs New York City’s public hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. Feverish ActivityCumulative flu hospitalization rate for each week since early November for the 2017-2018 season comparedwith previous seasonsSource: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .per 100,0002013-20142014-20152015-20162016-20172017-201801234567891011051015202530354045 To cope with greater traffic to the emergency department, hospitals in the network are opening up so-called “flex” spaces that aren’t usually needed for routine care. Patients coming to the hospital reporting flu symptoms are also placed in a separate waiting area and given masks to help prevent transmission, Dr. Studer said. If they need to be admitted, patients are given a room with a single bed when possible. In Atlanta, the emergency department at Grady Memorial Hospital is caring for up to 25% more patients than it did at this time last year. The department usually sees around 400 patients a day, but there have been times this month when that number shot up to 502, according to Hany Atallah, Grady Memorial Hospital’s chief of emergency medicine. “Our emergency department is full, and our inpatient services are full,” he said. “Overfull, actually.” But people are still coming, so the hospital has set up a temporary mobile medical unit on its premises for 30 days to deal with the overflow. Fully equipped with medical supplies and 14 beds, it is essentially a second emergency room, Dr. Atallah said. Staff began seeing patients in the mobile unit on Tuesday. A mobile emergency room is set up outside Grady Memorial Hospital to help handle the ever-growing number of flu cases. PHOTO: DAVID GOLDMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS In addition to the mobile unit, Grady Memorial is using “family waiting rooms, holding areas and literally some hall spots” for patient beds, said Dr. Atallah. Not everyone who comes to the emergency department needs to be admitted to the hospital, Dr. Atallah said. A patient who is young and otherwise healthy will likely be treated for fever, muscle aches and dehydration and then sent home to rest. Those most at risk for complications are the elderly, very young children, or people who have other health issues that the flu can exacerbate. Given the severity of the flu this season and its potential complications, the hospital isn’t allowing children 14 years old and younger to visit hospitalized patients. Children tend to harbor more infections, Dr. Atallah said, and they may not be as diligent about hand sanitization. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, which sees an average of 250 to 300 patients each day, has experienced a jump in volume of about 10%, largely because of the flu outbreak. “We’ve not only seen an increase in volume, but an increase in acuity,” said Sarah Nafziger, physician adviser for the Center for Patient Flow at UAB Hospital. “People are sicker than they were in previous years. “It’s not just people with flu symptoms, but people who have chronic medical conditions that are exacerbated by the flu,” she added. To deal with the higher number of emergency department visits, UAB is placing patients in areas that would normally be used for postoperative patients, such as anesthesia recovery rooms. The hospital has also delayed some elective surgeries that would require an overnight stay to open up more beds for admitted patients. “As you can imagine, that’s a costly decision for the hospital because elective surgeries and nonelective surgeries are the way hospitals increase their revenue,” said Dr. Nafziger. “But sometimes you have to make those decisions to make sure you can safely care for patients.” Visits to hospital emergency departments, urgent care centers and other outpatient clinics by people with flu symptoms have been skyrocketing. Above, a medical assistant gives a patient a flu shot at the Sea Mar Community Health Center in Seattle on Jan. 11. PHOTO: TED S. WARREN/ASSOCIATED PRESS The surge in flu-related admissions will place pressure on hospital margins because reimbursement for flu admissions is often insufficient to cover the cost of treatment,Moody’s Investors Service said in a report Monday. It can also crowd out elective procedures, which command higher reimbursement rates, Moody’s said. In its latest brief on flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 49 states were reporting widespread flu activity, though California and other West Coast states were beginning to see a turnaround.
  2. Def Leppard's Joe Elliott recently announced he and his bandmates are co-headlining a U.S. tour with Journey that is set to kick off on May 21. In addition, Def Leppard’s full catalog is now officially available for streaming for the first time. But the 58-year-old's work for the year is far from over. Fox News spoke to Elliott about the obsession with their 1987 hit "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and inspiring country music artists. Fox News: How does it feel to get back on the road? Joe Elliott: Well, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a very long time really. We actually finished the last U.S. tour in June. And even after that, we did three weeks in South America. So we’ve only been off the road a couple of months, and now we’re already announcing a tour for May. It’s just business as usual because we pretty much tour every year… But this one is going to be bigger and better because it’s 58 shows and it may stretch more than that. Fox News: What keeps you going as an artist? Elliott: We like playing live. It’s why we formed the band in the first place. Whenever we get together, we just get inspired to play on stage. And you want to perform for an audience, not a studio. And everyone just wants to express their creativity on the stage. It still feels just as exciting as it first did back then. Members of the British rock group Def Leppard placed their handprints in cement during the private ceremony at Hollywood's RockWalk ceremony September 5, 2000 in Hollywood. Shown (L-R) are Rick Allen, Phil Collen, Joe Elliott, Vivian Campbell and Rick Savage. The band was originally formed in 1977 and has sold over 31 million albums in the United States alone. (Reuters) Fox News: Did you ever think “Pour Some Sugar on Me” would be so iconic after all this time? Elliott: You know, when we recorded the song for the album, we knew it was a good song. And when we put that song together we actually had already finished the album. It was the last thing we did. It was written almost by accident. It really came about because Mutt [Lange] was messing around with the chorus during a break in a recording session. ...We were done writing. But he still insisted that we do this song… It became the most important song on the album, if not our career… Think of the most iconic Beatles song you can think of. That’s what it became for us. It became this perfect song. We just had a feeling when we released it that it was going to be an important song. I don’t know if we ever thought it would last 30 years… I don’t really see it going away. It seems to get played more now than even five years ago… It has a life of its own. Fox News: It’s been said the song is popular in strip clubs. Elliott: Well, even when we wrote it, Mutt said we had to make this song sexy. It had to be danceable. And so, it was almost designed to be that way anyway. It’s a very slow-paced song for rock. And I have no problems with that, actually... That’s how it became popular. It started off in some of these dance clubs and it just spread across the country. And it’s been doing that ever since Fox News: [Drummer] Rick Allen said Def Leppard doesn’t need to become part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. How do you feel about it? Elliott: He’s absolutely right. I couldn’t agree more. My opinion on the whole thing about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will soften somewhat when it becomes a fan-driven choice, as opposed to a committee who decides whether you’re cool enough to be a part of their cliquey club. It’s not going to make our careers any bigger or any better to be in there. It may be an honor, but it’s only an honor if it’s fan-driven. To be chosen by someone who I don’t even know who they are just to become a member of a club like that? It doesn’t really have any meaning to me. So until they change the rules or make it more fan-based, it’s not going to make or break anything we do. That’s how I feel about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Too many great bands have not been put in or it took 10-12 nominations just to be accepted. Fox News: Several country artists have found inspiration from Def Leppard. Does that surprise you? Elliott: Not really because what they are basically saying is that the harmonies we do on our records – that’s what separates us from heavy metal bands. The fact that we do these big vocal harmonies. And Mutt Lange, who was very instrumental or at least part of the decision-making in these harmonies, was a huge fan of country. And he could change the melody just by one or two notes and all of a sudden it had a bit of a country twang to it, even though we were doing a rock song. Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott (R) and lead guitarist Phil Collen pose on the red carpet at the 2016 Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards in Tokyo, Japan, November 11, 2016. (Reuters) And country artists certainly pick up on that, much more so than we would. They hear it instantly and go, “That’s a country harmony.” We were just doing it in the confines of rock ‘n’ roll… So I can see why country artists would be attracted to it. You can talk to artists like Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, and they’re big fans. We’ve either worked with them in the past or they come to see us on a regular basis. Fox News: When you’re not on the road, how do you spend your free time? Elliott: I don’t really have that much because I’m a father to two children, and I’ve just basically become a family guy. Luckily, my studio is in my house, so I get to work from home… And I’m going to be working on the next Down ‘N’ Outz album, my side band, before I start preparing for this tour in May. I just spend my free time with my family because I won’t be able to do that when the tour starts.
  3. Kate Upton has publicly accused Paul Marciano, the co-founder of the Guess fashion line, of sexual misconduct in two separate social media posts. On Wednesday, the 25-year-old Sports Illustrated model took to Twitter to name Marciano and lament his ability to still have power in the industry in the midst of the growing “#MeToo” movement sparked by allegations against Harvey Weinstein that led to the fall of many men in positions of power since October 2017. “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo.” Soon after, she posted a screencap of her tweet on Instagram accompanied by another caption. “He shouldn't be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo,” she wrote. Upton did not give further details that would explain why she feels he is guilty of any misconduct. It’s worth noting that, despite her use of the “#MeToo” hashtag, Upton did not specify that she was the victim of any misconduct. Her husband, Justin Verlander, retweeted her message to his followers as well. According to the Guess website, Marciano co-founded the company with his brother in 1981 after moving from the south of France. So far, he has not made any statement on the matter. Representatives for Guess did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
  4. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who appeared on BET Wednesday to lambast President Trump's State of the Union Address, called for a parental advisory each time the president appears on television. “Whenever he appears on TV there should be a disclaimer that says ‘This may be may not be acceptable for children,'” she said. Waters recorded a pre-taped response to Trump’s address, which was broadcast on attorney and political commentator Angela Rye’s BET special. “One speech cannot and does not make Donald Trump presidential. He’s not presidential and he never will be presidential. He claims that’s bringing people together but make no mistake, he is a dangerous, unprincipled, divisive, and shameful racist,” Waters said. Waters further accused Trump of using divisive rhetoric during his first year in office. She said, “After Trump defended white supremacists, targeted Muslims with his travel ban, described Mexicans as rapists, and mocked people with disabilities, it’s impossible to believe him when he tries to declare he wants to bring the country together.” At the end of her speech, Waters described Trump as a “terrible role model for our children,” because of “his hatred for women and people of color…” Waters has been a vocal critic of Trump since he took office, having repeatedly called for his impeachment. She was one of several lawmakers who didn’t attend the State of the Union address.
  5. Tallahassee, Fla. - Senator Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola), Senator George Gainer (R-Panama City), and Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) expressed serious concerns to the proposed legislation by Senator Greg Steube (SB 858) that would move every county in Florida to the Eastern Time Zone. "Senator Gainer, Senator Montford, and myself represent people who live and work in the Central time zone and we adamantly oppose any move to change to Eastern time zone. We have heard our constituents loud and clear that they want to us to maintain our historical place in the Central time zone," Broxson said. Montford said he had heard from parents who do not want their children waiting for the bus in the dark. "It becomes a safety issue for our school districts,” he added. Gainer agreed. “We do not need the state legislature to tell us what time it is," Gainer said. "Anything of this magnitude that affects our daily lives should be put to a vote by the people."
  6. BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After the death of Surfside middle schooler Gabriella Green, locals have gotten together to honor her memory. "We started a foundation called the Gabriella Green Foundation for Bullied Children, Inc. Even though Gabriella Green no longer walks among us, she is with us in spirit and she's helping us fight the fight for bullied children," Local parent and Foundation Director Amy Strout said. The foundation is made up of parents, including Gabriella's, and is based on donations. "The donations that are made, they go into a fund that will offer counseling for the victims of bullying. It will also offer counseling and some skills for the parents to help them give some guidance on how to deal with their children who are being bullied," Strout said. The group plans on raising money by selling t-shirts, stickers, and buttons designed by Bay County students. Parents also plan on hosting events like a 5K run to raise money for the foundation. Strout says the group will also be taking their concerns to state lawmakers. "This law that we're working on is called the 'Gabriella Peyton Green Law' and what this is going to do is hopefully bring stricter laws on bullying," Strout said. Strout also says she hopes the law makes bullies more accountable for their actions. Representatives from the Student Advocacy Center say they're fighting for similar laws. "We want a law in the book that if you're bullying someone and it leads to an injury or death, you know, if they contributed to that, we want that to be anywhere from a misdemeanor if there's no injury to a first degree felony if there's a serious injury or a death," Student Advocacy Center founder and director Gregory Dossie said. The center and parents involved in the foundation are teaming up to make a change together. They tell us it's all about power in numbers. Gabriella's parents have hired attorneys Jose Baez and Jasmine Rand to investigate Gabbie's case. Baez is known for representing Casey Anthony, the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, as well as football player Aaron Henandez.
  7. TAMPA — A Panama City Beach man is facing several charges after he allegedly tried to steal two planes from a Tampa airport and then crashed a fuel truck into a hangar, according to police reports. Drew Bronnenberg, 28, was arrested Saturday after the failed airplane heist. The Tampa Police Department reported the incident started about 10:30 p.m. at Peter O. Knight Airport, 825 Severn Drive. They reported Bronnenberg first entered a hangar, pulled out a Piper PA-12 valued at $60,000 and tried to start it. He failed to start that aircraft, however, and then attempted to steal an ICON A5 valued at $285,000. After both attempts were unsuccessful, Bronnenberg drove a golf cart to the airport’s fuel pumps and started a fuel truck, police reported. He drove the truck back to one of the hangars and crashed it into the side of the building, causing about $250 in damage to the structure. He then left and was arrested minutes later. Bronnenberg has posted a combined $26,000 bond on 11 charges, including burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief, court records stated. His occupation is listed as a lifeguard, and Federal Aviation Administration records indicate Bronnenberg does not have a pilot’s license.
  8. Breanna Godwin reportedly told investigators the bump on her forehead was from her arrest in Mexico Beach, but her swollen nose and two black eyes were not. PANAMA CITY — A Bay County woman has been charged with lying to authorities after police said she claimed two black eyes she sustained while fighting with officers during a DUI arrest were the result of an abusive boyfriend. According to Mexico Beach Police Department reports, the series of events began about 5 p.m. Saturday when officers conducted a traffic stop on Breanna Cait Godwin’s vehicle. As police were placing Godwin under arrest on a DUI charge, she allegedly kicked one officer in the face and another in the left leg, police reported. Godwin, 21, was charged with two counts of battery on an officer on top of the DUI charge and taken to the Bay County Jail. She posted a combined bond of $12,500 Sunday but remained on authorities’ radar because of claims made to “numerous parties” that she had been the victim of domestic violence, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office report. “Upon making contact with Breanna, it was made clear to her she did not have to make a report, and I would only proceed with criminal investigation if she wished to make a report,” an officer wrote. “Breanna advised me she did want to pursue criminal charges against ... her boyfriend of approximately one year for domestic battery.” Godwin reportedly told investigators the bump on her forehead was from her arrest in Mexico Beach, but her swollen nose and two black eyes were not. Godwin claimed she sustained those days earlier when her boyfriend punched her “three to four times” in the face, and that is what caused her to drive to Mexico Beach, where the DUI arrest took place. BCSO contacted her boyfriend, who showed them text messages of their conversations throughout the incidents. The texts begin with a series of “incoherent messages” from Godwin including photographs from her drive to Mexico Beach, BCSO reported. Monday morning, she sent photographs of her injuries. “I observed (the boyfriend) ask her what happened, and she responded with advising she didn’t know but she believed it was from the incident in Mexico Beach,” BCSO reported. BCSO then took Godwin into custody on one charge each of making a false report of a crime and perjury. She had an additional bond of $5,000 placed on her release Tuesday for the new charges, court records show, and has been court-ordered to not have contact with her boyfriend.
  9. Fox News once again dominated the monthly cable news program rankings. But MSNBC and CNN saw their programs crack the top 10 for January 2018 as well. FNC had 7 of the 10 most-watched cable news programs for the first month of 2018, including Hannity at No. 1 with a solid 3.27 million total viewer average. Tucker Carlson(No. 3), The Ingraham Angle (No. 4), The Five (No. 5), Special Report With Bret Baier (No. 6), The Story With Martha MacCallum (No. 8) and America’s Newsroom were other Fox News shows to score spots in the top 10 most-watched. FNC had 5 of the top 10 among adults 25-54, but MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow finished at the top of the heap in the demo that means the most to news advertisers. (678,000 adults 25-54). All In With Chris Hayes and The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell both earned spots in the top 10, and posted significant year-over-year audience growth (as most MSNBC programs did). CNN had 2 entries into the top 10 among adults 25-54, with AC 360 coming in at No. 9, and new (but temporary) entry Cuomo Prime Time at N0. 10. *Note: This data excludes specials. Cable News Top 10 (Total Viewers) Hannity (3,269,000) Rachel Maddow Show (3,033,000) Tucker Carlson Tonight (2,982,000) The Ingraham Angle (2,576,000) The Five (2,545,000) Special Report With Bret Baier (2,514,000) Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (2,354,000) The Story With Martha MacCallum (2,319,000) All In With Chris Hayes (1,994,000) America’s Newsroom (1,805,000) Cable News Top 10 (A25-54) The Rachel Maddow Show (678,000) Hannity (660,000) Tucker Carlson Tonight (597,000) Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000) The Ingraham Angle (504,000) Special Report With Bret Baier (470,000) The Five (468,000) All In With Chris Hayes (436,000) Anderson Cooper 360 (392,000) Cuomo Prime Time (392,000) Here are two expanded cable news program rankers. The first is sorted by Total Viewers, while the second is Adults 25-54. Cable News Program Ranker: January 2018 (Total Viewers) Cable News Program Ranker: January 2018 (A25-54)
  10. To demonstrate just how far down the drain their standards for news and analysis were, CNN spent a couple minutes before the State of the Union Tuesday wondering if First Lady Melania Trump’s outfit was designed to protest the President, her own husband. Just before the 9 p.m. hour, CNN White House Reporter Kate Bennett was trying to read the tea leaves to understand why Melania didn’t ride with Donald to the Capitol: All that, despite the fact that Bennett did admit that Melania was accompanying her guests to the event. And after being teed up by CNN host Jake Tapper, Bennett tried to read into the secret message the First Lady was trying to send, with her dress. “You know, she's wearing a cream-colored suit there, which I find interesting. Remember last year the female Democratic Senators all wore white,” she recalled while claiming it was to protests Trump’s anti-woman policies. “Listen, it could be a total coincidence, but I just find a lot of the stuff she does these days, to look at it twice,” Bennett continued. “I think Maureen Dowd called her the “Slovenian Sphinx,” everybody looking at her and trying to decipher the mysteries,” Tapper quipped, apparently buying into the ridiculousness.
  11. It's been a while since I've actually updated anyone who cares on how things are going . . . so it's time. I got here in October, and when I accepted the job, I knew it would be a lot of hours, hard work, and ups and downs. Little did I know . . . I work my ass off. I work harder and longer than I've ever worked anywhere in my life. Marc Summers is the OM, who I've known for over 20 years. I adored him when we worked together in Huntsville, AL together. We kept in touch all these years, so when I had the opportunity to move closer to home and work with him again, I did every thing in my power to make it down here. For years, my passion for radio declined. All the corporate bullshit, all the consolidation, and all the homogenized SHIT radio companies put on the air really deflates you and takes the air out of your sails. I was in Toledo, and literally my job took me an hour to complete. The rest of the time I was just sitting around with my thumb in my ass. Marc has completely reignited a spark in my passion for this business, and sometimes at the end of the day I'm a dishrag mentally, but in the end I know I am accomplishing something I am proud of - and I know with his help and support, it will be something better than 95% of the radio stations in this Country. He is MANIACAL some times, he has ADD, and sometimes his pace exhausts me - but he is one of the absolute best minds this industry has ever seen. I'm tired all the time, and am going non stop from the time I get here at 6am usually. I'm the PD for 97X, our Rock station and the PD of our talk station News Talk @ 101. I do early afternoons on the talk station, and I do afternoons on 97X. I am the production director for all of our stations. I'm responsible for promotions on both stations. I post content on the websites and post daily and hourly content on our social media platforms. If a computer or tech problem happens, that'd be me. AND I haven't had a producer for my talk show in 30 days. I schedule music for 97X. I could go on and on . . . but my point is, I'm content. If you work in corporate radio and you have to go through 10 channels to get one small thing done, I feel sorry for you. It's refreshing to work for a local company. When we have an idea for a promotion, we do it. When we need promotion items, we get them. When we need to take a dump, we don't need to ask for permission. We got ratings back yesterday, and I"m so proud of the whole staff. NEWS TALK was up in some areas by FOUR WHOLE POINTS! All of our stations were way up and we're dominating! It's awesome!! THIS IS WHAT RADIO SHOULD BE. THIS is what I signed up for! To my owners and co workers - Don, Elke, Aaron, Misty, Marc, and EVERYONE in the building - we're rocking it! STAY THE COURSE!
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