Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Former Rathdrum Star Publisher Dies

Tom Burnett, a veteran journalist, is shown with the small weekly he started to serve the northern communities of Kootenai County, Rathdrum Star. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo)

Tom Burnett, who founded the Rathdrum Star weekly newspaper before it closed in December due to his retirement, died at his home on Friday night, acquaintances said. He was 70. Burnett has worked at several newspapers over the past 50 years, including from being a copy boy in Stamford, Conn., to owning the former weekly Post Falls Tribune in the 1980s. The Star was the first paper he started/Coeur d'Alene Press Online.

Thoughts about Tom's passing?

What’s a woman to do?

The FDA has raised questions about the side effects of statin drugs: diabetes and memory loss.Oh, great.

When you come from a family where diabetes is closing in on you from both genetic sides and your cholesterol is high, even when you eat like a rabbit, it’s all a crap shoot. More than 20 million Americans take statin drugs which lowers cholesterol; if the statistics prove true, then 100,000 people would be diagnosed with statin-induced diabetes.

(Healthy) food for thought.

(S-R archives photo)

Chef Deen Battling Diabetes Type 2

Celebrity chef Paula Deen. Deen recently announced that she has Type 2 diabetes. While Deen has cut out glass after glass of sweet tea and taken up treadmill walking off camera, she plans few changes on the air. (AP Photo/Food Network, File)

Question: Does diabetes run in your family?

Deputies in fatal highway pursuit ID’d

Investigators have released the names of the law enforcement officials involved in the pursuit that ended with a diabetic man dying in a head-on crash with a semi truck.

Deputies Jennifer Wrotenbery and Mike Northway were in separate patrol cars when they saw Daniel J. Marinovich, 50, (pictured) driving southbound on Highway 395 at Half Moon Road after receiving reports of an erratic driver in a red Ford Taurus.  

Washington State Patrol Trooper Terry VanWeerdhuizen deployed spike strips near Hatch Road hoping to stop Marinovich, but Marinovich continued for about a mile on a flat tire before crossing into the northbound lane and hitting the truck.
Friends believe Marinovich may have suffered a diabetic reaction. A multi-agency team has finished reviewing statements from Wrotenbery, Northway and VanWeerdhuizen but has not yet concluded the investigation.
Investigators believe Marinovich was traveling between 60 and 80 mph as he abruptly swerved, slowed and accelerated during the pursuit.
Wrotenbery and Northway first activated their patrol lights, then their sirens before Wrotenbery used her public announcement system to demand Marinovich pull over. She tried to position her car to stop Marinovich's by hitting the bumper, but his erratic driving led her to believe the "PIT" maneuver wouldn't be safe.
"Both deputies stated they thought he would slow down as his tires went flat," according to a news release. "This would have allowed the deputies to use the PIT maneuver to end the pursuit safely. "
Wrotenbery said Marinovich appeared to swerve into the path of the semi truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Marinovich had previous convictions for assault and resisting arrest; friends say he was a severe diabetic who was prone to erratic behavior.

Driver killed in police chase was diabetic

A driver who crashed into a log truck and died while being chased by sheriff’s deputies was a Post Falls man with severe diabetes, friends say.

Authorities identified Daniel James Marinovich, 50, late Tuesday after an autopsy, which concluded he died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Investigators are trying to determine if a medical condition may have been a factor, said sheriff’s Lt. Steve Barbieri. But a former coworker of Marinovich’s believes the only logical explanation for his erratic driving is that he suffered a diabetic episode while traveling from his job in Deer Park.

“I guess I’d have a hard time seeing him as a hardened criminal,” said Vicki Shafer. “I can sure see him going down the road, being out of it and not even realizing.”

Read my full story here.

Candy tax update: Lege did talk about diabetes

OLYMPIA — Spin Control may have taken an unfair swipe at the Legislature on Tuesday in the preceding post when writing about reader questions regarding the candy tax.

At least one committee hearing on the tax on sweet stuff did have witnesses raising the question about whether putting a sales tax on candy was unfair to diabetics. Niki Reading, reporter and blogger for TVW’s Capitol Record, wrote to say that it came up at a Jan. 22 joint hearing of the House Finance and Health Care committees, when an early version of a candy tax bill was discussed.

That was for HB 2388, which was a short-lived proposal to levy the sales tax on candy and put the money in a special fund for public health projects. One witness did raise an objection that the tax was unfair to diabetics.

That bill never made it out of committee, and the eventual revenue bill that was put together in the special session puts the candy tax money into the general fund. So it’s hard to guess whether any of the legislators present at that Jan. 22 joint committee meeting, who were weighing their vote on the final tax package, had a momentary pause where they wondered “didn’t someone mention something about this being unfair to some people with some medical condition?”

Of course, if they had, it might not have made much difference because the Legislature’s special session coach was about to turn into a pumpkin, and there wasn’t any way to delay the vote to get a bit more research, let alone hold a public hearing.

But big thanks to Niki Reading for the information on the hearing that Spin Control may have missed (or dozed off during). And apologies to the Legislature for any unfair aspersions the previous post may have cast.


Is candy tax unfair to people with medical conditions?

OLYMPIA — Monday’s post about the taxable and tax-exempt sweets starting June 1 generated some interesting queries from readers.

One wrote to say his daughter has Type 1 diabetes, and she takes candy on a daily basis to treat her hypoglycemia. Would candy that’s taken for medical reasons be exempt?

Another called to say that people with celiac disease can’t digest grain flours, so a rule is discriminatory that doesn’t levy the tax on sweets made with grain flours — licorice is in many of the items on the exempt list — because they’re classified as food under the National Streamline Sales Tax System. Shouldn’t they be able to have tax exempt candy?

Interesting issues, because when the Legislature extended the sales tax to bottled water, it exempted those people who have a prescription for bottled water for medical purposes. And prescription drugs remain free of the sales tax.

But even though the sales tax extention to candy is in the same section as the sales tax extension to bottled water, there’s no language that exempts candy for medical purposes.

Without that language, the Department of Revenue can’t extend the exemption administratively, Mike Gowrylow, a department spokesman, said. It would have to be authorized by the Legislature at some future date.

Kind of makes you wonder if the Legislature had had some honest to gosh public hearings on the tax bill during the special session, as opposed to shuttling proposals back and forth between the Senate back offices and the House back offices, would someone have pointed out that inconsistency. Guess we’ll never know.