05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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Radon risk map

Radon risk level map, credit to the Oregon Health Authority. To view a full size map, click here; to view maps for other parts of the state, click here.

Wintertime often means staying indoors, shuttering windows and curling up with a good book until the weather warms up. This hibernation can also lead to exposure to the hazardous gas, radon.

Throughout January -- Radon Action Month -- the American Lung Association of Oregon and The Oregon Health Authority want to educate Oregonians on the risks of exposure and encourage residents to get their homes tested for radon.

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and invisible radioactive gas. It occurs naturally in the soil and accumulates in buildings where it can build up to dangerous levels.

The Radon Program operating with the Oregon Health Authority has been tracking data from previous radon tests to determine areas of high risk throughout the state. High risk cities include Scappose, Banks, North Plains, Boring, Dundee and La Grande. An extensive area of Portland, including the north and northeast neighborhoods are also at high risk.

To see what levels have been detected in your neighborhood, visit the Radon Program website at www.healthoregon.org/radon, which lists test data by city and Zip code.

 In addition to radon often being a large contributor to background radiation, inhalation of radon contributes to lung cancer.

“We know from many studies that breathing high levels of radon increases your risk of lung cancer,” said Renée Klein, President of the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon contributes to 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States; 2,900 of those deaths were people who have never smoked. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after cigarette smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

The EPA and the American Lung Association recommend all homes be tested for radon. The EPA suggests conducting a short-term test from 3-7 days which gives a snapshot of the background concentration. Levels are likely to be the highest during winter heating months when people keep their windows closed and they spend more time indoors.

Brett Sherry, the Radon Program coordinator with the Oregon Health Authority says the data shows a clear and critical need to test homes.

“The take-home message is that every home needs to be tested, regardless of where it is located,” Sherry said. "Radon has been detected in homes all across Oregon. The only way to know if your home has high radon levels is to test."

Radon test kits can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores, or can be purchased online at www.radonkit.org. Many tests cost between $15 and $25 dollars.

Radon issues can be repaired at a cost similar to many common home repairs. Radon repairs include sealing cracks in floors and walls, which reroute airflow throughout the house.

The EPA suggests contracting with an EPA qualified or state-certified radon contractor to evaluate and rehabilitate radon exposed homes. To find a contractor near you, visit: www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html

The Radon Program is also offering free radon tests if your Zip Code has fewer than 20 radon test results. Cities that have very few test results include Cornelius, Tillamook, Scio and Brookings. To see if your Zip Code is on this list, visit www.healthoregon.org/radon.

If you qualify, send an email to radon.program@state.or.us to receive instructions on how to get a free test kit, which will be provided while supplies last.

For Klein, the most important action of Radon Action Month is to get that test done so you can know what your risk is.

“Testing is an easy, important way to protect you and your family,” Klein said. “If you don’t test, you don’t know.”

 

Learn more about radon, radon testing and mitigation and radon-resistant new construction, visit www.healthoregon.org/radon or the EPA website at www.epa.gov/radon/nram.

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