Juvenile system to free over 550

Texas’ troubled juvenile prison system plans to release more than 550 inmates who have completed their minimum sentences and haven’t caused trouble behind bars, officials said Monday.

The inmates will be released in the coming week, as soon as agency officials are able to line up the services they will need in the community, including parole supervision and counseling, Texas Youth Commission spokesman Jim Hurley said.

The move is part of a top-to-bottom investigation of agency policies amid allegations that inmates were sexually and physically abused and employees who knew about the problems did nothing to stop it.

The system incarcerates about 4,700 offenders ages 10 to 21 considered the most dangerous, incorrigible or chronic.

Advocates for inmates and their families have complained that sentences are often extended for capricious reasons or in retaliation for filing grievances.


Woman sues hospital over loss of limbs

A woman who contracted flesh-eating bacteria and had to have all her limbs amputated sued a hospital Monday for medical malpractice.

Claudia Mejia’s lawsuit against South Seminole Hospital, filed in state circuit court, seeks unspecified damages, the Orlando Sentinel reported. It claims the hospital failed to detect early signs of an infection after she gave birth to a boy in April 2005.

Mejia developed a form of streptococcus that resisted conventional treatment, according to medical records. She went into shock, gangrene set in, her kidneys began to fail and doctors amputated her limbs to save her life.

Jennings Hurt, attorney for hospital parent company Orlando Regional, issued a statement Monday saying the company determined Mejia did not get the infection at the hospital.


Two teens charged with poison attempt

Two students were arrested on felony charges that they tried to poison their science teacher by pouring a fabric freshener into her soda, authorities said Monday.

The teacher, 51-year-old Jacqueline Hutchins, was not hurt, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. She noticed an odd taste when she sipped her Pepsi on Friday.

Other students told deputies the boy and girl, both 15, huddled around the teacher’s soda and talked about putting the Febreeze fabric freshener in her soda, authorities said.

The students were charged with poisoning, a first-degree felony, authorities said. They were taken to a juvenile detention center, and their status was not available Monday.


Jazz institution to move from L.A.

One of the jazz world’s foremost learning institutions will move here from Los Angeles, and those involved hope it will ensure the genre has a future in the city where it was born.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is relocating its performance program from Los Angeles to New Orleans’ Loyola University.

The program, which will be based at Loyola for the next four years, is dedicated to developing musicians who are teachers as well as performers.


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