Michigan health department head charged with involuntary manslaughter over Flint crisis

June 14, 2017 by  
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Flint , Michigan is still grappling with the aftermath of the water crisis – in March mayor Karen Weaver said it may be over two years before locals will be able to drink water from the tap without using a filter. Now in a breaking development two state officials have been charged with crimes , including the state’s health department head Nick Lyon. His involuntary manslaughter charge makes Lyon the highest-ranking Michigan official charged in connection with the crisis. Lyon and Eden Wells, Michigan’s chief medical officer, have been charged in connection with the water crisis. Wells was charged with obstruction of justice as well as lying to a police officer, according to the Associated Press. Lyon, Department of Health and Human Services head, was also charged with other crimes in addition to involuntary manslaughter. For starters, he failed to notify the public of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease , according to the charges. Related: Michigan to replace thousands of Flint water lines in settlement 12 people died of Legionnaires’ disease, a serious kind of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria . The bacteria can thrive in mismanaged water systems, according to HuffPost. The publication noted these 12 deaths are the only ones directly connected to the crisis. Legionnaires’ disease isn’t caused from drinking contaminated water, in contrast with the lead poisoning in thousands of children in Flint that happened after they drank the water. Instead, someone who inhales water vapor with the bacteria in it could get the disease. The Department of Health and Human Services apparently knew about the outbreak in 2015, according to emails a watchdog group obtained. The department did notify Governor Rick Snyder’s office, but said the outbreak wasn’t a serious issue. Michigan’s attorney general continues to investigate the Flint lead crisis. Via HuffPost and ClickOnDetroit.com Images via U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Michigan health department head charged with involuntary manslaughter over Flint crisis

‘Eighth natural wonder of the world’ may have been rediscovered after 131 years

June 14, 2017 by  
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131 years ago, the eighth natural wonder of the world was thought to be lost in a volcanic eruption . The exact fate of the Pink and White Terraces at Lake Rotomahana in New Zealand was unknown, but now two researchers think the terraces may actually have survived, and could even be excavated to dazzle the world once again. During the mid-1800’s, visitors from around the planet came to view the Pink and White Terraces, pools cascading down into Lake Rotomahana. But in 1886, nearby Mount Tarawera erupted, releasing around as much energy as the biggest nuclear weapon ever detonated. Research hinted the terraces were either destroyed or pushed down into the depths of the lake. But independent researchers Rex Bunn and Dr. Sascha Nolden of the Alexander Turnbull Library think otherwise; according to them, the terraces may be preserved just 32 to 49 feet under the surface beneath mud and ash. Related: Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius Bunn told The Guardian the government of the 1800’s never surveyed the area, so we don’t know the exact longitude and latitude of the terraces. But the two researchers drew on unpublished 1859 survey data from 19th century geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter to determine the German-Austrian’s location as he made his field notes to determine where the famed terraces might be today. They think the Pink and White Terraces may be in reasonable condition, able to be restored. Now they hope to begin exploring the site, if they can clinch funding. Bunn told The Guardian, “We want to undertake this work in the public interest. And I have been closely liaising with the ancestral owners of the land, the Tuhourangi Tribal Authority, and they are supportive and delighted with the work.” Nolden and Bunn aren’t the first researchers to think they’ve rediscovered the terraces. GNS Science New Zealand said in 2016 following five years of research, an international team came to the conclusion much of the terraces had been destroyed. But Bunn said he’s talked with GNS and that their conclusions may have rested on 130 years of incorrect cartographical information. Bunn and Nolden’s research was published online this month by the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand . Via The Guardian and IFLScience Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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‘Eighth natural wonder of the world’ may have been rediscovered after 131 years

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