State Briefs 5/5/09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Fermilab relocates Mexico meeting over swine flu concerns

BATAVIA -- At Fermilab near Chicago, a federal physics lab that employs about 1,900 people, a spokeswoman said the lab has taken extra precautions to protect workers from the swine flu virus.

An upcoming meeting scheduled in Mexico has been relocated, and all employees who have recently traveled to Mexico have been asked to stay home for three days to see if symptoms of the flu materialize, said Rhianna Wisniewski.

No Fermilab employees have recently traveled to Mexico on company business, Wisniewski said, but at least one recently returned from a vacation there.

Many employers have sent memos or hung posters in the workplace detailing simple hygiene procedures to avoid spreading illness. At Fermilab a daily newsletter blast sent to employees contained tips for protecting against flu infection, like washing hands.  Additionally, Wisniewski said any employee feeling ill is encouraged to see the on-site medical doctor.

“It seems to be blowing over,” Wisniewski said Monday.

Chicago Suburban Life

Woman accused of hitting officer

SPRINGFIELD -- A Springfield woman was arrested early Saturday after being accused of hitting a police officer and kicking out the window on a patrol car outside Mac’s Lounge.

Nichelle Y. Robertson, 39, was taken to the Sangamon County Jail after the incident, which happened about 2:40 a.m. Police were sent to the nightclub to assist an off-duty officer working security. Police said Robertson was causing problems and was told to leave the bar. She did but returned a short time later. The off-duty officer told her to leave, at which time she allegedly punched him in the mouth.

The officer went to arrest Robertson, and she pulled away and hit him in the chest, reports said. Once she was handcuffed and seated in the patrol car, she allegedly kicked out a right rear window.

State Journal-Register

Woman, boyfriend accused of making explicit videos with child

PEORIA -- A South Peoria woman was ordered Monday to be held in custody of the U.S. marshals pending on a bond hearing next week for allegedly making sexually explicit videos with an 8-year-old child.

Tammy Watters, 43, turned herself in to authorities Friday evening after learning she had been charged in U.S. District Court in Peoria on a charge of child porn production. She appeared in court Monday afternoon for a brief hearing where a judge set the hearing date.

No trial date has been set for Watters or her boyfriend, Raymond E. Freeman, 51. He faces the same charge.

Both could receive at least 15 years and possibly up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

According to a criminal complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court, the couple made at least three videos with the child, all of which feature Watters engaging in some sexual activity with the child. One of the videos has both adults in the video as well.

Police learned of the couple after a person who was at their house noticed “hundreds” of compact discs and DVDs sitting on a table. The titles of those discs, the complaint states, were “of concern” to the person, who took them home and upon watching them, went to the police.

Journal Star

20 people confirmed as swine flu cases in Kane County

The Kane County Health Department announced Tuesday that 20 people have been confirmed as swine H1N1 flu cases.

A backlog of test results came into the Health Department on Monday evening.

Investigations into each case will continue as the Health Department contacts the patients and their doctors, determines their locations, and whether or not they’re students.

According to the Health Department, a complicating factor is that cases are initially assigned to a jurisdiction according to physician or hospital that submits the test, which may lead to a discrepancy in numbers reported by the Health Department.

Executive Director of the Health Department Paul Kuehnert said that they are focusing on preventing the disease from spreading any further.

“As we’ve been saying from the beginning,” Kuehnert said. “This is a rapidly developing situation. With the state now able to conduct the tests, we hope the backlog that built up last week can finally be cleared up.”

Chicago Suburban Life

GateHouse News Service