Among the hardest hit was Tennessee, where officials believe hundreds of buildings have been damaged or destroyed as fires burned in Sevier County, just outside Knoxville. The county is home to the popular tourist destinations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
State Attorney General Mike Hunter sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions one day after Attorney General Sessions was in Oklahoma. “We need to start treating the industry from the top down like the criminal enterprises they are,” said Hunter. Attorney General Hunter said the letter’s intent is to open communications to develop a federal and state partnership to combat the opioid epidemic. “There is clear evidence of these companies spending millions of dollars on lobbyists and fraudulent marketing campaigns in order to get these drugs into communities across the nation.” Hunter says the feds could go after the manufacturers under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Scientists may be a step closer to solving the mystery surrounding death and what happens next. New research finds a person’s brain is still active after the heart stops beating, so many people actually may be aware that they have died, according to a new report. >> Read more trending news Researchers from New York University’s Langone School of Medicine are currently conducting a study to explore how the brain functions after death. To do so, they examined individuals who suffered cardiac arrest, but were later revived. The scientists noted that death was defined by when the heart stops and blood stops flowing to the brain. During the evaluation, many patients were able to recall full conversations and visuals, and in some cases, participants even reported hearing they had been pronounced dead. 'They'll describe watching doctors and nurses working; they'll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,' lead author Sam Parnia told Live Science. >> Related: No cure, yet, but scientists may have found the cause of dyslexia Scientists confirmed the patients’ stories with doctors and nurses present at the time of death, and were stunned to hear what the subjects remembered. Why is there still brain activity after death? Brain death is a process. It takes up to 20 seconds before brain waves are no longer detectable. Once they aren’t, a set of cellular processes take place that eventually result in brain death. And this could occur hours after the heart has stopped, Parnia said. 'If you manage to restart the heart, which is what CPR attempts to do, you'll gradually start to get the brain functioning again. The longer you're doing CPR, those brain cell death pathways are still happening — they're just happening at a slightly slower rate,' he said. The scientists are now expanding their ongoing experiment, which will be the largest of its kind, to investigate the occurrences of consciousness after death and how it may affect the rest of a person’s life if they are revived. >> Related: After near-death experience, Atlanta teen pursues songwriting dreams 'In the same way that a group of researchers might be studying the qualitative nature of the human experience of 'love.'” Parnia said. “For instance, we're trying to understand the exact features that people experience when they go through death, because we understand that this is going to reflect the universal experience we're all going to have when we die.
Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. One out of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 — about 9 million — could be attributed to disease from toxic exposure, according to a major study released Thursday in the Lancet medical journal. The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report says, costing some $4.6 trillion in annual losses — or about 6.2 percent of the global economy. “There’s been a lot of study of pollution, but it’s never received the resources or level of attention as, say, AIDS or climate change,” said epidemiologist Philip Landrigan, dean of global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and the lead author on the report. The report marks the first attempt to pull together data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution combined.
Pittsburgh police arrested a woman Thursday after a parent teacher conference. >> Read more trending newsSuspect Daishonta Marie Williams, 29, allegedly waited for Pittsburgh King elementary school teacher Janice Davis Watkins after school Wednesday. Williams is accused of following Watkins in her car, throwing a brick at her car at a red light, dragging her out of the vehicle and assaulting her. Williams is facing several charges, including aggravated assault and stalking. Police are trying to identify a man who was with Williams at the time of the alleged attack. PREVIOUS COVERAGE A teacher was attacked after class Wednesday: hit by a brick, dragged out of her car and assaulted. That teacher is recovering after her kids said she was brutally attacked by the parents of a child who weren't happy with the way she handled a punishment. 'It's just ridiculous and it's horrible,' said Gerald Watkins, the victim's son. 'That's the way they teach their children to solve differences.' Pittsburgh King pre K-8 teacher Janice Davis Watkins was attacked Wednesday afternoon after her children said she took away one of her elementary school student's cellphone. 'There's 102 ways that you can deal with this situation and violence is not one of them,' Gerald Watkins said. Watkins' children said their mother held a conference with the student's parents Wednesday at school after the child allegedly bit their mother when she took away her cellphone Tuesday. They allege the parents of the child threatened her during the conference, then waited for her, following her from the school. >> Related: Teacher accused of sex with students in cemetery sentenced 'As soon as she hit the red lights, they got out,' Gerald Watkins said. 'They threw a brick through her car. They pulled her out and assaulted her.' Read more here.
This winter won’t likely bring any extreme snow or cold in New England, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on the conditions in the Pacific Ocean running cooler than average (also known as La Niña), which Deputy Director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center Mike Halpert said are similar to those observed last year, the forecast for this winter will likely be similar to last year’s. Halpert said a La Niña watch was issued in September and is likely to be upgraded to an advisory in about a month. A La Niña event is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean. In a conference call, NOAA officials provided the organization's official winter outlook based on data collected throughout the year, computer model simulations and known patterns regarding La Niña winters. It presents what is likely to come in the next few months to help families, business and governments prepare. Temperature forecasts indicate New England doesn’t have a strong enough climate signal to indicate whether the winter will be colder or warmer than usual. 'In the past, we have had variable La Niña winters that have provided wetter and drier winters locally, so there isn't as reliable an expectation,' Boston 25 Meteorologist Shiri Spear explained. 'Other parts of the United States have more predictable outcomes. But higher than average precipitation could improve drought conditions in coastal New England, Halpert noted. NOAA officials say these ‘probablistic’ forecasts can certainly change and New England’s location along climate lines can sway these changes further. 'At this point, the outlook for New England would tilt the odds toward warmer than average,' said Halpert. 'Our models are kind of waffling in that area, there's not a real strong signal. I don't think there's even a strong signal for less snow up in New England.' Less snow than average usually comes in La Nina winters, but the signal in New England is not as strong as other parts of the United States when it comes to indicating what will happen.