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Archive for July, 2016

11 July
Comments Off on Private school funding prompts legal fight

Private school funding prompts legal fight

Michigan school groups and unions plan legal action to try to block $2.5 million in private school aid included in next year’s state budget, arguing the mandate reimbursement is unconstitutional. “We’re very seriously thinking about the strategy for challenging this really unconstitutional allocation of public dollars to private schools,” said David Hecker, president of the Michigan chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.(Photo: John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)Buy Photo

11 July
Comments Off on US Motor Vehicle Industry to Grow While US Market Shrinks, Reports Find

US Motor Vehicle Industry to Grow While US Market Shrinks, Reports Find

From has announced the addition of three Freedonia Focus Reports forecasting various components of the US motor vehicle industry and its domestic market.

The first includes details on the US retail sales of new motor vehicles. They are forecasted to total 17.1 million units in 2020, down from 17.9 million units in 2015. The newly released report, “Motor Vehicles: United States,” analyzes factors such as the impact of aging Baby Boomers and light-vehicle leasing trends on US automotive markets.

As the average age of US drivers increases, the number of total miles driven is expected to fall and negatively impact new car sales. Furthermore, a rise in leased vehicles over the historical period is expected to suppress prices for used vehicles over the forecast period, further constraining demand for new models. At the same time, motor vehicle manufacturers producing in the US are expected to increase output to nearly 13 million units in 2020 on increasing exports, particularly of light-duty trucks and vans. The report on light-, medium- and heavy-duty motor vehicles procured and produced in the US is available here.

In a related report titled “Medium amp; Heavy-Duty Trucks amp; Buses: United States,” purchases of new medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses in the US are expected to total 510,000 units in 2020, representing annual growth of 0.6 percent from levels in 2015. Medium-duty truck demand is projected to increase at an above-average rate – 1 percent annually through 2020 – to 216,000 units. Increased US construction and manufacturing activity will fuel demand for all forms of transport vehicles. To learn more, click here.

For background on the levels of US-produced freight driving demand for transport vehicles, “Manufacturing: United States” breaks out the total output of US durable and nondurable goods industries into 10 key segments. Industries associated with plastic and rubber product manufacturing are expected to grow in output at the fastest rate of all others, at 4.9 percent annually to 2020 in value terms. The US transport equipment industry itself is a leading manufacturing sector producing ground, air and maritime equipment, with shipments from US factories poised to grow 2.6 percent annually to 2020. To learn more about US manufacturing and trends in the key transport equipment sector, click here.

10 July
Comments Off on When did Parliament introduce registration of births, deaths and marriages?

When did Parliament introduce registration of births, deaths and marriages?

1 July 1837
The official registration of births, deaths and marriages begins

A formal system of civil registration of birth, marriages and deaths came into force across England and Wales on this day in 1837. Before then, only churches recorded such details, but Parliament saw a need for broader accurate records to guide voting, defence and taxation.

And since registrars were paid for every registration, there was a strong incentive to make sure the new system worked. The change also meant marriages could take place in a register office rather than having to be in church, so it was a good day for the non-religious – or those wanting a cheaper wedding.

The new registration districts were broadly based on what were previously called “poor-law unions”. These were groups of parishes and towns that offered support to local needy folk, even if only to place them in workhouses with a fearsome reputation for harsh conditions.

England was also far from being first to go for formal national registers, meanwhile.The first nationwide register was instituted in Sweden back in 1631. Once again, those canny Scandinavians leading the way on social matters.

10 July
Comments Off on German court strikes down legal trainee headscarf ban

German court strikes down legal trainee headscarf ban

A German court in the state of Bavaria ruled on Thursday against restrictions in the state barring Muslim legal trainees from wearing headscarves.

The district court in Augsburg ruled in favor of the 25-year-old legal student who brought a complaint against the state for prohibiting her from wearing the headscarf at public appearances in the court while performing a legal training.

The judges ruling on the case said there was no legal basis for the restriction and no formal law that obliges legal interns to a neutral worldview or a religious neutrality, according to a court document explaining the decision.

The ruling could pave the way for the first female legal officials wearing a headscarf in Bavaria.

Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback said he would appeal the ruling, arguing that legal officials as well as trainees in the court needed to present the appearance of impartiality.

Every party, every defendant and every other person involved in the legal process, anyone that comes in contact with the judiciary, needs to be able to trust in the independence, the neutrality and the clear objectivity of judges and prosecutors, Bausback said.

Under the traditionally Roman Catholic states 8-year-old regulation, a Muslim judicial trainee is prohibited from wearing a headscarf in the courtroom and during hearing of witnesses and expert opinion.

In the case of the German-Pakistani student, she was not allowed to sit at the judges bench during training as is the case with other students. Instead, she was forced to sit in the observers area. Due to this discrimination she sued.

The wearing of the headscarf while acting in an official capacity has long been a contentious issue, especially for teachers. Last year, the Federal Constitutional Court
ruled a blanket ban on teachers wearing the headscarf was illegal, unless it can be proven that the headscarf constitutes a concrete danger.

cw/kl (AP, dpa, epd)

10 July
Comments Off on Fatal motor vehicle accidents reported over the weekend

Fatal motor vehicle accidents reported over the weekend

A 65-year-old man from Mokelumne Hill died Monday in an ATV accident near Mokelumne Hill and a 55-year-old man died Saturday in a motorcycle accident in Tuolumne.

The San Andreas California Highway Patrol said the identity of the man from Monday’s accident is being withheld until his family is notified.

About 5:30 pm Monday, the man was riding a 2005 Arctic Cat ATV eastbound on Jesus Maria Road, west of Baker Riley Way.

Authorities did not know why but he turned the vehicle to the right, causing the ATV to go off the south side of the road. The front collided with a Dodge 3500 truck parked in a driveway. The man was ejected and landed in the roadway.

He died at the scene. The CHP said alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the accident. The man was not wearing a helmet.

On Saturday, about 8:19 pm, Sonora resident Duane Hernandez was driving his 2000 Harley-Davidson Road King on Woodham Carne Road north of Vergus Road at an unknown speed. While trying to go around a right curve, the right side of the motorcycle collided with the ground, according to the Jamestown CHP office.

The motorcycle overturned and traveled across the roadway until it left the east side of the road. He hit a tree and was ejected from the motorcycle. Hernandez sustained fatal injuries and died on scene, the CHP said.

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor at this time, the CHP said.

Also on Monday, a San Jose man, Lloyd Smith, 43, suffered major injuries as a result of a single-vehicle accident on Highway 120 east of Grizzly Road on New Priest Grade. For whatever reason, Smith’s Toyota Tacoma drove off the side of the road, down the embankment and overturned multiple times. He was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for major injuries.

10 July
Comments Off on Data Shows 170 Motor Vehicle Deaths in Iowa 2016, So Far

Data Shows 170 Motor Vehicle Deaths in Iowa 2016, So Far

New data from the Iowa Department of Transportation shows 42 more people have died on Iowa roads in 2016 than at the same time last year.

The Des Moines Register reports seven people were killed in traffic accidents over the weekend, bringing the total number of motor vehicle deaths to 170 people. Thats 30 more than the five-year average of 140.

The worst month of the year so far has been May, which had 39 deaths.

State officials say a mix of high speeds and impaired or distracted driving have contributed to the higher number. The data shows victims werent wearing seatbelts in about half of the deaths.

The departments driver data manager says he has noted more single-vehicle accidents in which the vehicle left the roadway before crashing.

10 July
Comments Off on Supporters of sales-tax increase for education respond to legal challenge

Supporters of sales-tax increase for education respond to legal challenge

OKLAHOMA CITY — Supporters of a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase for education asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday to toss out a legal challenge.

OCPA Impact, the lobbying arm of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, last month filed a legal challenge to State Question 779 seeking to ban the measure from the Nov. 8 ballot. The Oklahoma Supreme Court tossed out an earlier legal challenge by the group, which alleged the measure contained more than one subject in violation of the state constitution.

10 July
Comments Off on What to say to dental patients who ask about their ‘insurance’

What to say to dental patients who ask about their ‘insurance’

This article first appeared in DEs Expert Tips amp; Tricks. To receive enlightening and helpful practice management articles in this e-newsletter twice a month, visit

Most patients have a hard time understanding their dental benefits. There are as many different plans as there are contracts, and dental insurance is not the same as medical insurance. In fact, it’s not really “insurance” at all.

A patient’s employer selects the plan and is ultimately responsible for the design of the contract. Each contract specifies what procedures are covered. Even if a procedure is dentally necessary, it may not be covered. This doesn’t mean it isn’t needed, of course, it simply means it’s not “covered.”

Patients might believe that a non-covered procedure is not necessary, and the dental office team must be ready to explain why it is. Patients should be told, gently and appropriately, that coverage is not the sole consideration for accepting recommended treatment.

Here are some frequently asked questions heard in dental offices. Here I’ll attempt to answer them well.

o “Why doesn’t my insurance cover all the costs of my dental treatment?”
Dental insurance isn’t really insurance at all. It is not a payment to cover a loss. It is actually a benefit provided by employers to help employees cover the cost of routine dental treatment. An employer will buy a plan (one of many offered) based on the amount of the benefit and the cost of the premium for the company or the employee. Most plans cover only a part of the total fee for dental services.

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o “Why aren’t my exams and cleaning, among other procedures, 100% covered like my plan says?”
The insurance company typically allows 100% as payment for the procedure. It isn’t always what the dentist may charge. An insurance company may allow $60 as payment for an exam, but the office fee is $80. This leaves $20 that the patient is responsible for.

o “Where do the allowed payments come from?”
Most insurance companies call these payments “UCR,” which stands for usual, customary, and reasonable. But these don’t mean what they sound like. They are actually a list of payments negotiated by the employer and insurance company. The amounts are related to the cost of the premium. In other words, the lower the allowed amount, the lower the premium paid by the employer, or whoever is providing the plan.

o “What good is my insurance if I always have a balance?”
Even if the fee is not fully “covered,” at least it pays part of it. This should be stressed to the patient. Any amount reduces the out-of-pocket expense for the patient. Something is better than nothing!

o “Is the dentist charging more than he/she is supposed to?”
This question is usually in response to a patient receiving an EOB (explanation of benefits) from the insurance company. Remember that the amount paid for treatment is the negotiated fee between the insurance carrier and the employer or provider. That amount is applied to the actual fee. Typically, this negotiated fee is much lower than what dentists in your area are charging. It does not mean the dentist is overcharging.

o “Why did my insurance company change the treatment to something less expensive?”
Again, this question typically follows a patient receiving an EOB, and the answer is very similar to the previous one. The benefits are negotiated and many times will provide only for less expensive procedures.

Obviously, if a tooth needs a crown, but a filling is all that’s covered, it does not mean that the dentist should do a filling. At least some benefit is paid, and that will be applied to the fee for the recommended treatment. It is the responsibility of the dentist to provide the best treatment. It is the insurance company’s responsibility to save (make) money.

o “Why doesn’t my dentist participate in my network?”
Many dentists are uncomfortable with the restrictions that are placed on them by “network” plans. I didn’t participate in any of them in my private practice because it affected my relationship with patients. In other words, my patients were trusting me to be their doctor–not the insurance company–and I wanted patients and I to make the best decisions for their dental health.

Youre a leader in your dental practice whether you like it or not
Signs you might need a coach in your dental practice

o “Can I do anything if my insurance doesn’t cover the treatment I need?”
The coverage is between the patient, the employer or provider, and the insurance carrier. The dentist has no power to make the carrier pay for recommended treatment. There can be some intervention on the part of the dentist, but it is limited at best. The patient simply must be responsible for the total cost of treatment. Patients might be able to file complaints with the state insurance board or commission if there is a legitimate reason.

I recommend that my clients take these (and other questions from patients regarding insurance) and develop “scripted” answers based on the information provided here. Being prepared will help tremendously when you’re dealing with patients who had other expectations from their insurance. Remember, dental “insurance” is very different that medical coverage. You and your team should be prepared to explain this to your patients.

The bottom line is this–you, the doctor, need to recommend and deliver treatment based on your best diagnosis and prognosis, and then educate patients based on that. Please don’t ever let a third party, someone who has very little interest in the health of your patients, influence or dictate what you know is best for your patients’ dental health.

For the most current dental headlines, click here.

Dr. Bobby Haney recently retired from private dental practice in Waxahachie, Texas, after 32 years. He is the founder and leader of, president of 1Twenty2 Ministries, and he shares his coaching skills with his family at their home in Bristol, Texas. He can be contacted via his website, at, or call (469) 843-0119.

09 July
Comments Off on Pedestrian Hospitalized Following Motor Vehicle Accident

Pedestrian Hospitalized Following Motor Vehicle Accident

A 13-year-old girl was transported by MedFlight to a Rhode Island Hospital Thursday, June 30, after she was struck by a motor vehicle on East Falmouth Highway.

09 July
Comments Off on Fort Bliss: Chambers Dental Clinic patients possibly treated with unsterilized instruments

Fort Bliss: Chambers Dental Clinic patients possibly treated with unsterilized instruments


A frightening medical mistake left 141 dental patients in need of blood tests to check for possible infection. The patients were treated at the Chambers Dental Clinic on Fort Bliss.

Fort Bliss medical officials are investigating the possibility that dental instruments  did not undergo the complete sterilization process before they were used to treat the patients. The patients were treated during appointments Monday and for one hour Tuesday.