The Boy Who Lived: How A Florida Teen Beat The Brain Eating Amoeba

Doctors describe 16-year-old Sebastian DeLeon as a walking miracle – he’s only the fourth person in the U.S. to survive an infection from the so-called brain-eating amoeba in the U.S.
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Wilson Sayre / WLRN

At noon on a cloudless day, the sun beats down on the rooftop of a Coconut Grove hotel. Daren Goldin, a solar contractor, walks around rows of solar panels installed at angles on the white roof. The sun’s reflection is almost blinding, like snow on a sunny day.

This kind of installation is at the heart of a constitutional amendment about solar energy that is on the Aug. 30 ballot alongside races for mayor, Congress and judicial posts. (Scroll down for a full explanation of both August’s Amendment 4 and November’s Amendment 1)

AMENDMENT 4

Today, we celebrate the historic centennial of the National Park Service, one of our country’s crowning achievements and a model of conservation and preservation that is used all over the world.

 

In Florida, we are a fortunate enough to have 11 national park sites. Each is unique to our area and each is deserving of national park protection. And this centennial year we’ve had some incredible victories on behalf of some of our parks right here in South Florida.

 

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

South Florida’s Olympic Silver medal winner is back home.

Danell Leyva brought home a silver in high bar and another silver in parallel bars, both packed in red and white tube socks in his carry-on.

At the airport to meet his flight home were friends and family, also a few dozen young gymnasts from Universal Gymnastics, where Leyva started.

Clearly tired from everything that’s happened to him in the past few weeks, the 24-year-old said he said he’s happy to be home, if not a little overwhelmed.

Brazil Police via AP

COMMENTARY

I don’t wear Speedo swimsuits. I obey the unwritten law – which ought to be codified criminal statute – that middle-aged men don’t wear them.

But I’m a Speedo fan this week. Not just because the company said it will no longer sponsor Lamebrain Lochte (his real first name is Ryan) for his boorish behavior in Rio de Janeiro last week. And not just because most of Lochte’s other corporate patrons dumped his clueless kiester, too.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

The Aug. 30 election will be  the first to host elections in  the newly redrawn state and federal congressional districts.

Vincent Van Gogh's paintings might not make it obvious that he was an artist troubled with depression and mania. But a computer algorithm might be able to figure that out. Computer programs are getting pretty good at discovering health information by studying heaps of social media data.

A computer script analyzed galleries of photos posted to Instagram and accurately predicted if the users had depression, according to a study posted this month to the public online repository arXiv.com.

A powerful earthquake shook central Italy overnight, killing at least 150 people, according to Italy's prime minister, and destroying large swaths of several towns. Victims are still being pulled from the rubble, and the full extent of the devastation is not yet clear.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the quake, which was centered about 100 miles northeast of Rome, had a magnitude of 6.2 and was shallow — at a depth of just over 6 miles.

In the small flood-ravaged town of Springfield, La., Rachel Moriarity waited more than a week for a center where she could apply for emergency food stamps to finally open in the Am-Vets hall — but she's been turned away at the door.

This week they are processing only those with last names beginning with A through D.

"I don't have a vehicle to get here," she tells a staffer from the state, who replies that due to the volume of applicants in need, there isn't anything they can do.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

“It's jail food, I feel like I’m in prison.

“It’s sometimes cold and salty. Sometimes it has no taste.”

“I look at the school lunch and don’t even eat it”

These are just a few of the comments Rachel Greig collected about very few people’s favorite meal: school lunch.

The Miami-Dade County high school junior talks about school lunch all the time with her younger brother and dad, an elementary school teacher. And always wondered why it didn’t meet her standards for a good meal.

Follow her journey to get some answers:

A series of medical images published Tuesday offer the most complete picture, so far, of how the Zika virus can damage the brain of a fetus.

"The images show the worst brain infections that doctors will ever see," says Dr. Deborah Levine, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who contributed to the study. "Zika is such a severe infection [in fetuses]. Most doctors will have never seen brains like this before."

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Employee Rights in the Workplace

(8-24-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is an “At Your Service” edition, with a focus on employee rights and legalities in the workplace. We’ll visit with regular contributor, attorney and author, Donna Ballman. She’s the author of STAND UP FOR YOURSELF WITHOUT GETTING FIRED, and represents employees in workplace disputes. We take listener calls throughout the hour.
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