Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday round-up

From Chicago Breaking News (April 24) - Former Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Tammy Duckwort was confirmed by the Senate for a post in the Obama administration as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Veterans AffairsDepartment. Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq War who was injured when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade, will be Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. Duckworth lost her left leg and her right leg has since been amputated due to injuries she sustained in the attack. (h/t Media dis&dat)

From the St. John's Telegram in Canada (April 23) - A Newfoundland woman has lodged a complaint with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary after her 18-year-old autistic son was arrested by police officers who thought he was drunk. (h/t Media dis&dat)

From the Union Leader in Concord, New Hampshire (April 22) - A 67-year-old local woman has been charged with stealing $49,000 in Social Security disability payments intended for the benefit of her child. The indictment alleges she converted the money to her own use. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000.

From KPLC TV in Lake Charles, LA (April 22) - A 68-year-old man who uses a motorized wheelchair has been arrested for burglary and theft. According to deputies, several witnesses say they saw the man making several trips into a house in Moss Bluff, that's been unoccupied since 2005, and taking items out. Numerous items from the house have been found inside the man's home.

From The New York Times (April 22) - The city’s public housing agency is violating the rights of tenants with disabilities and other health problems by failing to properly maintain its elevators, leaving them stranded for hours during frequent breakdowns, according to a federal class-action lawsuit to be filed April 21.

From the Times-Union in New York (April 22) - Last month's fire which killed four disabled people in an Adirondack group residence has prompted a state senator to propose legislation that would give local building inspectors more say in the structures.

From the Austin [Texas] American-Statesman (April 21) - The Texas legislature is considering a bill that would ban variations of the word “retarded,” inculding "mental retardation" in official state business. The bill, promoted by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), would replace the terms with variations of the phrase “intellectual disabilities.”

From the New York Times (April 21) - Clark Hoyt, public editor of the New York Times says the organization’s style manual now decrees that the word “dwarf” — not “midget” — should be used to refer to people with a genetic condition resulting in unusually short stature (h/t Patricia E Bauer).

From The Guardian in the UK (April 20) - A British teenager who was refused a place at his local school because he has Asperger's syndrome has won a conditional offer to study engineering at Cambridge.

From the Los Angeles Times (April 18) - LA County prosecutors have filed murder charges against a 30-year-old woman who uses a wheelchair accusing her of fatally stabbing a teenage girl earlier this week. Her 54-year-old mother and codefendant faces one count of assault with a deadly weapon.