‘Horrific’ veteran deaths covered up in Oklahoma state-run nursing home, insiders say

VIDEO: Failing our veteransFamily speaks out about Tulsa-area man behind the headlinesStruggles at Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs start with staffing issues, payroll analysis indicatesSee the complete series: tulsaworld.com/veteransKevin Kimbrough survived 13 months of combat in Vietnam and the related post-traumatic stress disorder that plunged him into a dozen years of self-medicating with alcohol and drugs.Between 2013 and early 2015, he even survived a major stroke and the amputations of both of his legs.But two years at the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Talihina has left him battered and bruised, and two months ago, on the brink of death.His sister, who moved halfway across the country to see to his care, has had enough. She’s transferring him to a state veterans home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where the patient-to-aide ratio is a fourth of what it is at Talihina.“We’re all gonna die. Kevin’s gonna die. But it’s gonna be on God’s time – not because you neglected him or failed to do your job!” said Molly Kimbrough.One state lawmaker is assisting top executives at the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs with legislation to relocate the vets’ nursing home at Talihina to a larger city nearby because of two high-profile, questionable deaths in the last five months.Those state officials have focused their public comments and concerns on local staffing challenges and the age and design of the converted, 1921 tuberculosis sanitorium on the outskirts of a remote, tiny town in the Ouachita Mountains.But health-care workers from the highest to lowest levels of patient care at multiple ODVA-run nursing homes for veterans say the problems are in no way limited to Talihina – they’re systemic.In a Tulsa World investigation, sources provided detailed accounts and documentation of systemwide reductions in medical and nursing staff, outsourcing of lab work and one-size-fits-all, top-down medical Continue Reading

The Latest: Emily Sweeney recovering after scary luge crash

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local): 3:40 p.m. American Emily Sweeney is recovering from a frightening crash that knocked her out of the final run of the Pyeongchang Olympic women's luge competition. Sweeney was still experiencing back pain after Tuesday's crash, and she was being monitored by USA Luge's medical staff. USA Luge says Sweeney is doing well and her parents are visiting with her in the Athletes' Village. The Pyeongchang Games were Sweeney's first Olympics. Sweeney lost control around a curve considered the track's most treacherous spot, then careened through several more turns before crashing. The plan is for Sweeney to continue being checked regularly by doctors for the next few days. USA Luge says, "Further steps will be taken, if necessary." Sweeney doesn't have any other events scheduled at the Olympics. ——— 3:20 p.m. The winds are so strong at the Pyeongchang Olympics that officials are closing the media work tent outside the Kwandong Hockey Center ahead of a game between Japan and Korea. An official asked reporters and photographers to move to work locations inside the hockey rink Wednesday because the media tent was being closed. Winds are blowing steadily around 23 mph (37 kph) with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung. A heavy contingent of media is at the Kwandong Hockey Center for the women's hockey game between Japan and Korea. The two countries have a long and bitter history. ——— 3 p.m. Switzerland has edged Sweden 2-1 to take the top spot in Group B of women's hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The win ensures Switzerland, the 2014 bronze medalist, will face either Finland or the Russians on Saturday in the quarterfinals. Phoebe Staenz scored the game-winner at 11:28 of the third period. Alina Muller also had a goal and an assist, and Christine Meier had two assists. Goalie Florence Schelling Continue Reading

Girl athletes at risk for serious knee injury: NJ experts share secrets to prevent ACL tears

Allison Waznor heard a pop in her knee and then felt a sharp, excruciating pain.The Jackson Memorial High School senior, then a 15-year-old on the soccer field,  extended her left leg to get her foot on the ball, but her knee jammed after her foot hit the ground. Despite the pain, Waznor felt she had dodged a major injury.She was wrong.“I heard a popping sound, so I went down, and it hurt a lot,” said Waznor, now 17, who also plays basketball for the Jaguars. “I cried a little, but then I got up and about 20 minutes later, I thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t that bad.’ The next day, I woke up and couldn’t really bend or straighten my leg, and that’s pretty scary.” Need to know how to avoid ACL tears? Here is some adviceWaznor had torn a critical part of her knee, the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.  Those three letters are a dreaded acronym to hear if you’re an athlete; a torn ACL is a devastating injury that can take up to a year to recover from. It’s a sports injury that has grown in frequency in the last couple decades -- especially among female athletes.Girls and women in sports have a 2 to 9 times greater risk of non-contact ACL injuries than males, or an average of 3.5 times greater risk, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information.In soccer and basketball, ACL injuries are approximately three times higher in female athletes than males, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. It cited an analysis which found a female to male injury ratio of 2.67 in soccer, 3.5 in basketball and 4.05 in wrestling."It's always in the back of your mind as a coach," Rumson-Fair Haven girls basketball coach Dave Callahan said. "We have an excellent trainer, Alex Sten, and a great strength and conditioning coach, Rob Orrok, and we all work together to Continue Reading

Running Doc: Even by any other name, “Runner’s Knee”  is easily diagnosed and treated

Dear Running Doc: I am NOT a runner! I am 23 and live in Garden City, LI. The only exercise I get, unfortunately (because I just can't find the time), is walking around Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island. I do this for three hours usually 2-3 times a week as I browse and shop with friends. Recently, with no injury, I developed knee pain in both knees going downstairs and my knees stiffen up if sitting a while, like after a movie. I saw my local doctor who said I have "Runner's Knee" but I DON'T RUN! When I told my doctor that, he laughed and said I need physical therapy. He must be wrong! Can it be anything else? Laura G., Garden City, NY. Thanks Laura. It sounds like your doctor is correct, although he probably shouldn't have called it "Runner's Knee" for you. Many sports that require walking, running, or cycling cause this very problem. In your case I would call it "Maller's Knee". "Runner's knee or “Maller's Knee” or “Cyclist's Knee" is the most common knee pain people get. Sports doctors, orthopaedic surgeons, family doctors, and internists see this type of knee pain more than anything else. Understanding the real cause makes treatment easy and pain relief possible in a short period of time. It is also called "anterior knee syndrome," "chondromalacia patella,” and "patellofemoral syndrome": all names for the same thing. When it comes to this knee problem, biology is destiny: Blame your parents, they gave you your feet. Anyone whose foot rolls inward (pronation) during a stride is a candidate, but the real high risk for everyone is with extremely flat feet, a large, pronating forefoot, or a so-called "Morton's foot" (where the second toe is longer than the first, causing an exaggerated pronation). Your parents gave you those feet -- not your sport, your activity, or a specific injury. Of all the aches and pains that one can get, this one's probably the easiest to get rid of. If pain comes on Continue Reading

Aggressive solicitation comes after auto accidents in Detroit

Detroit drivers face the highest average insurance rates for cars and other vehicles in the country, often more than $3,000 a year for a single automobile.  A Free Press investigation finds that runaway medical bills, disability benefits payouts and lawsuits under Michigan’s one-of-a-kind, no-fault insurance system play a key role in driving up costs for drivers. Find out what's behind the high cost of auto insurance in Detroit — and what steps could be taken to help fix the problem.No one wants to be in an auto accident. But people who've just been in accidents are a target audience for those in the business of representing or treating no-fault insurance patients.There has been an explosion in recent years in and around Detroit of billboard, TV and radio ads for personal-injury lawyers and some accident-victim referral services that urge people to call up a lawyer after nearly any accident to snag no-fault benefits and money.Referral services work by directing people who have been in crashes to specific medical providers or law firms. In exchange for that referral, the services can get a 40% or even 50% cut of the plaintiff lawyer's contingency fee, according to court documents and contracts reviewed by the Free Press.Some of the more provocative ads in recent years have been for a referral service called Motor City Accident Attorneys that uses the 800-411-PAIN hotline. One of their 2015 radio ads featured Detroit rapper Trick-Trick. "Somebody might owe you some money; this is the number you call to get it, even the money that you got to pay your babysitter," Trick-Trick rhymed in the ad.Motor City Accident Attorneys also paid more than $40,000 a month in 2015 to have its logo and the pink 411 PAIN logo wrapped around Detroit city buses, a city spokesman said.Yet despite its local-sounding name, Motor Continue Reading

For runners, using the wrong orthotics can lead to foot or back pain

Dear Running Doc: Last August my chiropractor fitted me with orthotics. After wearing them for two months, I developed knee pain that hasn't gone away. I know you have said orthotics should not be hard or end in mid-arch. That is what my orthotics look like. Do you think the orthotics are the cause of my knee pain? — Andrea C., Livingston, N.J, Dear Andrea: Unfortunately, orthotics are like a fine Jaguar car. When working well, there is nothing better. When wrong, they will put you in the shop! Yes, your orthotics are wrong for a runner and yes, they are probably the cause of your knee pain because they have not corrected your biomechanical problem. Running magnifies every biomechanical flaw with each step. More than 80% of runners who come into my office complaining of lower extremity, foot or back pain, and who say they don't need orthotics because they already have them, have the wrong type. I think it is about time to clear up what runners need to know about orthotics. The first task is defining the term orthotic. The medical community views an orthotic as any device used to support, align, prevent deformities or improve the function of the foot. According to this definition, many devices may be considered orthotics, including over-the-counter arch supports, shoe inlays, shock reducing insoles, heel cushions or cups, and even felt or silicone pads. When sports physicians speak of orthotics, we are referring to a VERY SPECIFIC type of foot support. It is important to recognize that ALL types of foot supports have their place but they must be used properly if they are to prevent injury. Shoe inlays or shock absorbing insoles are devices placed into the shoe to absorb shock or alter load pattern on certain areas of the foot. Spenco, PPT, or Scholl's Pillow Insoles are examples. They are flat (little or no arch), cut to the length of the shoe, and made of soft, flexible materials. These are best used for a bruised or irritated foot. Continue Reading

‘Boom Boom’ Mancini’s life changed after tragedy hit the boxing ring

The sun was shining brightly on the ring outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas that afternoon. It was a perfect reflection of Ray Mancini's career. "I felt I was hitting my prime and it was all coming together. I didn't think I could be beaten," says Mancini,  who was defending his WBA lightweight title. His opponent, Duk Koo Kim, was a little-known and lightly regarded South Korean challenger who had become the No. 1 contender the old- fashioned way - someone maneuvered him there. But that Saturday, Kim fought like he belonged in that ring with Mancini. "He was the mirror image of Ray," says Bruce Trampler, long-time matchmaker for Top Rank and a friend of Mancini. "It was like Mancini versus Mancini." What happened in the ring that afternoon 25 years ago left a dark trail of tragedy, a lifetime of searing guilt for Mancini, and permanently altered the boxing landscape by ushering in 12 rounds as the standard for championship matches. Kim collapsed in his corner after getting knocked out in the 14th round and later died from a brain injury. The referee, Richard Green, committed suicide seven months later.  Kim's mother committed suicide four months after that. Mancini remains tormented by the events of that day. The anniversary of the Nov. 13, 1982, fight brings all those haunting memories rushing back to Mancini's mind  as  if everything happened yesterday. "It's still too painful to talk about it," Mancini says. "I just don't want to keep reliving it." At the time Mancini was a 21-year-old brawler from Youngstown, Ohio, was living his father's dream. Lenny Mancini was a boxer whose wounds in World War II ended any chance he had of ever being a champion. Ray Mancini inherited the dream and Lenny's nickname "Boom Boom." Mancini carried both well. Strong and compact, Mancini had a whirlwind style that was perfect for a lightweight. He had come up short in his first title shot, getting stopped in the 14th round by Alexis Arguello, Continue Reading

Knee & shoulder injuries can hit anyone who exercises, not just pros

The Specialist: Dr. James Gladstone on sports injuries An orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai for 11 years, Gladstone does research on cartilage regeneration and performs 6 to 8 surgeries a week, specializing in arthroscopic shoulder and knee procedures. The big story: Golf legend Tiger Woods, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in April, tested his body and his doctors and beat the odds with his incredible win at the U.S. Open on Monday. But for us mere mortals, sports injuries can do lasting damage if precautions aren't taken. Who's at risk: Sports injuries can happen to anyone who exercises, though some groups are at higher risk of particular injuries. For instance, Gladstone tends to see shoulder dislocations in younger patients, but rotator cuff tears tend to be "across the spectrum," usually as the result of traumatic injury. Acl (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries - tears in one of the ligaments in the knee - are very common. "I see that in anyone from 14 to 50 on a regular basis," says Gladstone. Acl tears tend to happen in twisting, pivoting sports like football, basketball, baseball, soccer and skiing. Women are four to eight times more prone to this type of injury. Doctors aren't sure why, but it's thought to be due to a combination of neuromuscular coordination, women's particular alignment of pelvis and leg, and hormonal factors. One common scenario Gladstone sees is the weekend exerciser - people who don't run during the week but then run 5 miles on Saturday and 7 on Sunday. They come to the doctor complaining of knee pain. Gladstone says the key is exercising more often, even if it is for shorter sessions: "If you can make time for yourself to work out four days a week - even for as little as 20 minutes a day - you can stay in good maintenance shape and prevent injuries down the road." Signs and symptoms: Gladstone says there is an easy rule of thumb to follow about sports injuries: "The key is - if it hurts, pay attention Continue Reading


INDIANAPOLIS - The officials finally left Jermaine O'Neal alone and let him play in Game 3. Little did O'Neal know that the Nets would do the same. For the first time in this first-round series, O'Neal didn't get into foul trouble. And that meant nothing but trouble for the Nets. O'Neal, who was fined $15,000 yesterday for criticizing the officiating after Game 2, unleashed his frustration on the Nets. He dominated them with 37 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to lead Indiana to a 107-95 win in Game 3 last night at Conseco Fieldhouse. O'Neal, who matched his playoff career-high in scoring, wasn't the only Pacer to burn the Nets. Anthony Johnson continued to haunt his former team, scoring 13 of his playoff career-high 25 points in the fourth quarter. With no answer for O'Neal and Johnson, the Nets now find themselves down 2-1 to the underdog Pacers with Game 4 here tomorrow. One more loss and the Nets will be playing to keep their season alive at the Meadowlands in this best-of-seven series. "We didn't show up," Jason Kidd said. "We didn't play any defense." The Nets are in serious trouble. They led by five at halftime but suffered a complete meltdown afterward. They were just 9-of-38 shooting in the final 24 minutes, while Vince Carter (25 points) missed all 10 of his shots after halftime. "Our defense wasn't good," said Richard Jefferson, who scored 25 points. "Our offense was twice as bad. We have way too much offensive talent to score 15 (third-quarter) points against anybody." The problem for the Nets is they finally saw just how talented O'Neal is. O'Neal spent the previous two days watching tape of Games 1 and 2 to see how he could avoid foul trouble. He had as many fouls (10) as he did rebounds in the two games at New Jersey. "I can't even tell you how many times I rewound certain plays to figure out the best way to help my team and stay out of foul trouble," said O'Neal, who earned his fine by accusing officials of letting the Nets flop. Continue Reading


After watching the sluggish rushing attack in Friday night's preseason opener, the Jets seem more determined than ever to acquire a veteran running back. It seems to be a matter of when - not if - they pull the trigger on a trade. Derrick Blaylock and Cedric Houston, both trying to fill the Curtis Martin void, combined for only 29 yards on 11 carries in the 16-3 loss to the Bucs. Houston also missed the block on Kalvin Pearson, the blitzing safety who sacked Chad Pennington and yanked his arm backward. Rookie Leon Washington didn't get much of a chance to run, finishing with one carry for a yard. "Derrick and myself, we know we can get the job done," said Houston, addressing the trade speculation. "We don't know what's going on in the offices; we just try to get better and compete for the spot." Martin, 33, is battling a career-threatening knee injury and he's not expected to practice for at least a week. Privately, the Jets believe there's an outside chance he could be ready for the Sept. 10 opener. For Martin, dealing with a bone-on-bone condition in his right knee, it could come down to a pain-tolerance issue. Some people close to him believe he's finished. Running backs who might be available include Ladell Betts (Redskins), Lee Suggs (Browns), Marcel Shipp (Cards), Cedric Cobbs (Broncos) and Chris Brown (Titans). "The fact that we didn't do it effectively means we have to go back and put more emphasis on it," Eric Mangini said of the running game. NOSE JOB: The Jets also have a serious lack of depth on the defensive line, especially at nose tackle. Dewayne Robertson, not a natural nose tackle, is learning the position and struggled in the opener. His projected backup, Sione Pouha, is out for the season after knee surgery. Look for GM Mike Tannenbaum to acquire another body. Veteran DE Kimo von Oelhoffen played some nose Friday night, with Robertson shifting to right end in the 3-4. THAT'S A FIRST: Rookie LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson had an Continue Reading