SWINE FLU-RELATED TOTAL: 35
Three more Clark County deaths tied to H1N1 virus
The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting three more H1N1-related deaths for the week ending Dec. 19.
The patients were a 38-year-old woman, a 42-year-old man, and a 53-year-old man, each of whom had underlying medical conditions, district officials said in a release. One death occurred in early November and was reported to the health district last week.
This puts the total swine flu-related deaths for the year at 35 in Clark County.
To date, the health district has received 152,100 doses of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, some of which has been distributed to private providers. More than 360,000 doses have been delivered to private providers in Clark County by the Nevada State Health Division. The health district has administered more than 95,600 doses since October.
20,000 BABIES BORN
State’s population growth slows, rising just 1 percent
Nevada’s population growth has slowed, rising just 1 percent in the past year.
The U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday estimated the state’s population as of July 1 as 2.64 million, about 27,000 more than in 2008.
About 20,000 of the new residents arrived through childbirth. The census bureau estimates 11,000 people moved to Nevada from elsewhere, while 4,000 left the state.
The fastest growing states were Wyoming, Utah and Texas.
The official census count conducted every 10 years will be in early 2010. That count is used to determine how many congressional seats each state is awarded, and Nevada is expected to pick up another seat for a total of four.
AFFAIR, $96,000 CITED
Watchdog group puts Ensign on 2009 list of ethics scandals
A government watchdog group has put Nevada U.S. Sen. John Ensign on its Top 10 list of ethics scandals for 2009.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics listed the Nevada Republican for his conduct involving his affair with Cindy Hampton, a former campaign staffer and wife of his then-administrative assistant Doug Hampton.
The Washington, D.C.-based group takes Ensign to task for failing to disclose $96,000 Ensign’s parents paid to the Hamptons, and his efforts to help Doug Hampton become a lobbyist. Ensign says the money was a gift.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma also was criticized for helping Hampton violate the lobbying ban by meeting with Hampton’s lobbying clients.
The watchdog group filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee seeking an investigation.
Ensign has acknowledged the affair.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MONEY
Desert Research Institute to create dust-detecting system
Nevada’s Desert Research Institute will receive $1.2 million to create a mobile aerosol monitoring system for the Department of Defense.
The funding was included in a military appropriations conference report and announced this week by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Officials say the system will help the military better understand the relationships between troop exposure to desert dust and respiratory and other health problems.
They say it also will allow them to determine the effects of dust on military equipment.
BACK AT WORK
Jackson’s doctor filmed by documentary crew
When Michael Jackson’s embattled personal physician returned to work last month, cameras were rolling.
Miranda Sevcik, a spokeswoman for Dr. Conrad Murray, confirms that a British documentary crew chronicled his first day back at a Houston clinic for the poor.
Murray returned to the clinic Nov. 23 and was greeted by several patients and his pastor.
Murray remains under investigation for his role in Jackson’s June 25 death. No charges have been filed, but investigators are looking into whether Murray improperly administered the pop superstar the powerful anesthetic propofol.