71 POACHED IN NEVADA
Large game poaching rising, officials say
State wildlife officials say poaching is on the rise in Nevada and the slumping economy is partly to blame.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife says 71 big game animals were poached in 2008, topping the previous high of 70 in 2005 and 52 in 2007.
Agency officials say they think the increase may be partly due to people having more time on their hands because they’re unemployed.
In November, the number of unemployed Nevadans reached 111,700, or about 8 percent of the state’s work force, the highest level since 1984.
Of the 71 animals poached in Nevada last year, 37 were deer, 21 were elk, nine were antelope and four were bighorn sheep.
PROTESTERS CALLED ENERGIZED
Abortion foes march in San Francisco
Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators marched on San Francisco’s waterfront, vowing to continue to fight vehemently for their beliefs in spite of a new president who supports abortion rights.
The protesters on Saturday spoke out against the 36-year-old Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.
Dolores Mehan, an organizer of the rally, says despite losing an ally in the White House in George W. Bush, her constituency is energized to take up the challenge.
Anti-abortion marchers on Friday demonstrated on the National Mall in Washington as President Barack Obama issued a statement supportive of Roe v. Wade. Obama has also reversed two of Bush’s anti-abortion policies, including a U.S. ban on funding international family planning agencies that fund abortions.
A small number of abortion rights supporters also turned out, but beyond some shouting, police say there were no arrests or incidents of violence.
Pediatrician files lawsuit against insurer
A Sparks pediatrician has sued an insurance provider, claiming it bilked thousands of Northern Nevada doctors out of "tens of millions of dollars" by failing to pay claims and forcing them into "one-sided" contracts.
Dr. Kevin Windisch filed the class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Reno against Hometown Health Plan and Renown Health.
Hometown Health is the largest state-certified and federally qualified health maintenance organization in the region. The suit says Renown Health is the parent company of Hometown, and serves a 17-county region with a population exceeding 750,000.
In his suit, Windisch accuses Hometown Health of improperly denying or lowering reimbursements for physicians.
Renown Health spokesman Don Butterfield said the suit lacks merit and he’s confident that Hometown Health reimburses physicians in a timely and fair manner.
He said his company’s payment policies are consistent with other local and national insurance companies.
In addition to seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the suit asks the court for an injunction preventing the company from engaging in improper practices affecting doctors.