2 deaths linked to listeria outbreak at New Zealand hospital; company recalls meat products

2 deaths linked to listeria outbreak at New Zealand hospital; company recalls meat products
July 18, 2012 - 6:54 PM

A listeria outbreak at a New Zealand hospital has been linked to the deaths of two women and has prompted a food company to recall its pre-packaged meat products.

Since May 9, four patients at the Hawke's Bay Hospital had been diagnosed with the bacterial disease, said spokeswoman Anna Kirk.

She said listeria likely caused the death of one woman and was a contributing factor in the death of a second. One woman who died was in her 80s, the other in her 60s, and both had weakened immune systems, Kirk said. The other two people diagnosed have since recovered, she added.

Hawke's Bay company Bay Cuisine, which supplies the hospital, has voluntarily recalled its salami, pepperoni and ham products, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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  • Oregon asks firm to stop using fetal tissue from B.C. to generate power

    PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon commission has ordered a waste-to-power facility to stop accepting boxed medical waste after learning it might be using the remains of aborted fetuses from British Columbia to generate electricity.

    Sam Brentano, chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners, said late Wednesday the board is taking immediate action to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries.

    The British Columbia Health Ministry tells The Associated Press that regional health authorities there have a contract with a company that sends biomedical waste, including fetal tissue, to Oregon, where it's incinerated in the waste-to-energy plant

    Vancouver-based B.C. Catholic newspaper identified the plant as Covanta Marion, based in Marion County.

    The facility processes about 500 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste, generating up to 13 megawatts of energy sold to Portland General Electric.

  • Port Hardy earthquake felt across Okanagan

    KELOWNA - A series of earthquakes 90km south of Port Hardy has several Twitter users saying they felt it here in the Okanagan as well.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the first quake hit at 8:10 p.m. and registered 6.7. A second 5.0 quake struck the same area seven minutes later followed by a 4.3 at 8:40 p.m.

    Several Tweet's were sent by Okanagan residents saying they felt the earthquake in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon, however this has not been confirmed.

    There are no reports of damage or injuries. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • RCMP plan to deal with the 'regulars' and reduce crime

    PENTICTON — RCMP Supt. Kevin Hewco said dealing will serial offenders is his first priority for the annual performance plan.

    Hewco presented the Penticton RCMP’s first quarter report to City council Tuesday night. He said prolific offender management programs are going help them catch the criminals who cause a good portion of the city’s property crime.

    “It’s those few that are causing all your property crime in this town, I can guarantee it,” he said.

    Hewco said the RCMP will concentrate their investigative resources to catch these criminals and get them into treatment or jail. They will also work with service providers and government agencies, including, but not limited to Community Corrections, Crown Counsel, and the Ministry of Housing.

    “I’ve seen it work,” Hewco said of the program.

    A prolific offender is someone who commits a disproportionate amount of crime, according to the quarterly report. The difference between a prolific offender and a repeat offender is prolific offenders fail to control their criminal behaviour, and addictions, mental health issues, self-esteem and lack of skills may also be motivating factors, the report states.

    There are also seven active chronic nuisance offenders in Penticton responsible for three per cent of total files in the first few months of 2014. They made up 13 per cent of total liquor act, safe streets and cause disturbance reports for that time period, according to the report.

    One offender is a 15 year old girl and chronic runaway, while the other six are men aged 40 to 63 who suffer from substance abuse or mental illness.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Orphaned bear cub sent to rehab

    PENTICTON — A baby black bear was found alone in Penticton but has been rescued and taken to a shelter.

    The cub, who was named Norman, was taken to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, B.C. to be cared for.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Council requests another new design for proposed housing development

    PENTICTON — City council decided new designs were needed for a proposed apartment development on Scott Avenue after hearing residents' concerns during an earlier public hearing.

    It's been two years since the project was first proposed to council in 2012. The applicant, Singla Brothers Holding Ltd. wants to build a four-storey apartment building on a lot that is too small, councillors and neighbours said.

    The proposed lot at 273 Scott Avenue is currently zoned for a duplex, so there would be no problem building a duplex on the site. However, the applicant is asking for a zoning change so an apartment building can be built there.

    Right now, there is a rental home on the property, and the whole lot is an eyesore according to residents. Cars, boats and lots of junk are left out on the lawn and all over the property, creating a huge, ugly mess, said Don Maundrell, a nearby home owner.

    Several residents of Scott Avenue, including Maundrell came forward and said they are not against development, the proposed design is just too big for the lot.

    Maundrell said, he was at the public hearing in 2012 when council advised the applicant to come back with a plan that fits the lot because earlier designs were also too big.

    “This has absolutely not been achieved,” Maundrell said.

    His property on Argyle Street borders the proposed lot and with the proposed dimensions, he will be able to touch the building without leaving his backyard.

    “Basically, I feel I’m going to provide their green space,” he said. 

    Residents expressed their concerns for other issues pertaining to the development, the biggest being safety.

    They said there is a lot of traffic on the street, which is very narrow and full of parked cars, and there isn’t enough sidewalk space for pedestrians.

    One woman asked what will happen when another 16 families are added to the street when the apartment is built.

    During the council meeting, councillors debated whether the plan should be postponed or completely abandoned completely.

    “It’s time to give the residents of this neighborhood a break,” Coun. Katie Robinson said.

    There is a mix of housing on the street, including duplexes, single-family homes and apartment buildings.

    “I don’t think all the infilling needs to be done on one street,” she said.

    Coun. Judy Sentes praised the architect for his designs but said, ultimately, it’s not the right design for that lot, though she didn’t want to give up on the project completely.

    “You’d have to tweak it in half,” she said about making changes to the size of the building.

    In the end, council sent the plan back to the applicant to revise. They'll come back once they create a design to fit the lot space.

    To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

  • Penticton family with epileptic child wants law allowing her to use medical marijuana

    PENTICTON - When a retired police officer from Summerland left his job after 25 years, he hardly imagined fighting for his little granddaughter to be given marijuana.

    Chris Nuessler, along his wife and Elaine, wants Canada to allow two-year-old Kyla Williams to be given a form of medical marijuana known to prevent seizures resulting from epilepsy.

    The girl's parents, Jared and Courtney Williams, along with the Nuesslers, have been researching medical pot use and speaking with experts to build what they're calling "Kyla's medical team."

    They say Kyla has suffered severe side effects from prescription drugs when she could be helped like other children in the United States.

    A strain of marijuana commonly called Charlotte's Web has been known to help kids in the U.S., but it's illegal in Canada.

    It contains very little THC, which provides the buzz recreational pot users crave, and is mostly made up of CBD, which limits the severity and frequency of seizures.

    Named after a little girl named Charlotte Figi who has epilepsy, the weed has allowed her to develop and enjoy a more normal life.

    In Canada, the only form of legalized medical marijuana is dried, meaning Kyla would have to smoke it.

    Chris Nuessler said his view of marijuana as medicine has radically changed since his policing days.

    "For me it was back to the 1980s and 1990s mindset when I was busting people. I had to do a 180 (degree turn) and start researching this."

    Kyla appeared to be a healthy, little girl for the first six months of her life until her mother noticed she wasn't progressing at a normal rate and had unusual eye movements.

    After she was seen by a pediatrician, Kyla was rushed to BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, where she was diagnosed with retractable seizure disorder.

    Over the next year, the little girl was placed on a series of prescription drug mixtures, received steroid shots and was given a high fat diet.

    She even developed a kidney stone. Some of the drugs had brutal side effects and she was averaging 100 seizures a day, her grandparents said.

    "The drugs aren't really working and we were told there's really nowhere she can go," Elaine Nuessler said. "She's down to her last drug. She may seizure for the rest of her very short life."

    In March, Kyla's mother and grandmother made a trip to Vancouver and were told Kyla's life expectancy would be short.

    "We both cried all the way home from Vancouver," Courtney Williams said.

    The next day, Courtney's 91-year-old grandfather called to tell her he'd seen a CNN report on Charlotte's Web and how it's been known to help children with cancer and epilepsy.

    "Her development was so similar to so many of the kids who have been helped by cannabis," Elaine Nuessler said.

    With Kyla's father working for long periods of time in Fort McMurray, the Nuesslers have become incredibly active in Kyla's life and are in the process of selling their home to accommodate the toddler and her parents.

    They say they've spoken with leading experts in the field, including Figi's doctor, and have even considered moving to Colorado, where marijuana is available.

    "Our entire support network is here," said Courtney Williams, who was trained as a health-care aide.

    Growing pot themselves is not an option because it requires detailed chemistry to create Charlotte's Web.

    The family said they want to try the marijuana to see how it will work for Kyla and understand that there are no guarantees.

    "Why not? It can't be any worse for her than some of the horrible drugs she's been put on and the side effects her little body has had to endure," Elaine Nuessler said.

    "Our main thing is access, awareness and acceptance, not only for Kyla but for other children in her situation. In my opinion you should be able to go to your doctor, get a prescription and then go to a pharmacy or dispensary and get exactly what you need."

  • Two arrested during plainclothes RCMP operation

    OSOYOOS - A plainclothes RCMP operation netted two arrests between April 16 and 17 as Mounties spent the day watching people and cars coming and going in downtown Osoyoos.

    Both arrests took place on the second day of the operation. The first happened at 1:47 a.m. when police noticed a grey 2008 Chevrolet Impala driving in an unusual manner. Officers pulled the car over at Main and 87 Street and found the man at the wheel had a cell phone though he was ordered by the court not to carry one. Police conducted a search and found drugs in the man's possession. He was arrested, the vehicle was then searched and 180 grams of marijuana was seized from the trunk of the car.

    The 19-year-old Kelowna man faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and breach of recognizance.

    The second arrest took place around 4:20 a.m. Police stopped a red 1993 Honda Civic on Highway 3 near Meadowlark Drive. The driver failed to produce a licence and gave police several false names. He was arrested for obstructing a police officer. Mounties also discovered he was driving while prohibited. A search of the car revealed a pair of brass knuckles and a small quantity of suspected crystal meth.

    The 41-year-old man from Grand Forks faces charges of driving while prohibited and his vehicle was impounded for seven days.

    To contact a reporter for this story, email marcher@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065. To contact the managing editor, email Marshall Jones at mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

     

  • Kelowna man carries a million bucks in his wallet for a month

    KELOWNA - A local man bought a 6/49 ticket on his return road trip from Vancouver to Kelowna and forgot about it. A month later, he was thinking about what to do with $1 million.

    Steve Woloshyn of Kelowna purchased the ticket for the March 22 draw while getting gas at a Chevron station in Hope on Old Hope Princeton Way. He tucked it in his wallet. Woloshyn went about his business for a whole month before casually pulling it out and sliding it into a number checker to see how he'd done.

    “When I put the ticket into the machine and saw winner I figured I’d won a smaller prize, not a whole million,” he said in disbelief. “It finally began to sink in when the clerk called BCLC.”

    Woloshyn's first phone call was to his wife at home in Kelowna. She thought he was joking until he sent through a picture of the winning ticket.

    “I can’t believe I carried one million dollars in my wallet for a month,” laughed Woloshyn. “I’m an accountant for goodness sake. I should know where my money is!”

    Woloshyn will use his prize to pay off his mortgage and enjoy the summer with his wife and children.