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KSBR News Briefs on Monday, April 23, 2018


Americans told to toss romaine lettuce over E. coli fears

U.S. health officials say consumers should throw away any store-bought romaine lettuce they have in their kitchens and have warned restaurants not to serve it in the midst of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened more than 50 people in several states.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had expanded its warning about tainted romaine from Arizona, saying information from new illnesses led it to caution against eating any forms of the lettuce that may have come from the city of Yuma. Officials haven’t found the origin of the contaminated vegetables.

Previously, CDC officials had only warned against chopped romaine by itself or as part of salads and salad mixes. But they are now extending the risk to heads or hearts of romaine lettuce.

The CDC says people at an Alaska correctional facility recently reported feeling ill after eating from whole heads of romaine lettuce. They were traced to lettuce harvested in the Yuma region.

So far, the outbreak has infected 53 people in 16 states. At least 31 have been hospitalized, including five with kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.


Survey: Economists' outlook is sunny but not due to tax cuts

America's business economists are sketching a bright picture for the coming months, with a survey finding that more of their companies foresee rising sales and expect to continue hiring and raising pay.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of respondents in the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics say President Trump's tax cuts, which were promoted as likely to spur hiring and investment, haven't affected their plans.

The survey appears to suggest instead that the economy's momentum is being driven primarily by solid growth worldwide and by the nearly nine-year-old U.S. expansion from the depths of the Great Recession.


Wife: Man struck by California train pushed her off tracks

The wife of a man who was struck and killed by a Metrolink train in Dana Point says investigators told her he pushed her out of the way.

The Orange County Register reports Jacqueline Gibson from Lake Elsinore, said she was vacationing with her 71-year-old husband Ernest Gibson a week ago, when they crossed the tracks to return to their Dana Point campground.

She says he suddenly told her to run. She found herself on the other side moments later as the train came through.

Once it passed, she found her husband's body.

She says investigators told her video from the train showed her husband pushing her out of the way.

Metrolink officials say the area was restricted. Gibson says there were no signs indicating to keep out.


Los Angeles high school wins national Academic Decathlon

A Los Angeles high school has won the national Academic Decathlon, defeating competitors from across the country.

The Los Angeles Times reports it's the seventh time in the last two decades that El Camino Real Charter High School has won the event.

The school's nine-student team scored 54,531.2 out of a possible 60,000 points in the competition in Frisco, Texas.

More than 600 students gathered there to compete over the last three days in academic contests in 10 categories.


AP-NORC Poll: Amid strikes, Americans back teacher raises

Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don't make enough money, and half say they'd support paying higher taxes to give educators a raise.

The findings of the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research come in the midst of recent teacher strikes and other protests over low pay, tough classroom conditions and the amount of money allocated to public schools in several Republican-led states.

Tens of thousands of Arizona teachers voted last week to strike after rejecting an offer of a 20-percent raise, because it didn't include a vow from state lawmakers not to further cut taxes before providing more money for the state's schools.

Company manager in Tucson, Arizona Elaine Penman says "to educate children and barely get a living is obnoxious." And added she and others went outside to cheer on protesting teachers who were marching by.

She's among the 50 percent of Americas who say they'd pay a higher tax bill if it meant more money for teachers.


Children’s Bureau

Five children die every day from abuse and neglect. The Children’s Bureau founded in 1904, is one of the largest investors in child abuse prevention in the country.

CEO Ron Brown says it prevents child abuse by strengthening families and communities through its mental health services, family foster care and adoptions.

It also has family resource centers, where families may connect with the focus on parent education, child development and healthy eating.

He says one of the key components of child abuse is neglect and isolation. The Children’s Bureau helps connect families to communities and services to make them stronger.

Brown, along with Children’s Bureau OC Trustee Keven Yue are the guests on our public affairs show “Collage,” which airs this evening at seven.