TODAYS TOP STORIES
Families Fight to Keep Centers for the Developmentally Disabled Open
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- Families with loved ones living at the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center in Enid (NORCE) and Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley (SORC) met Saturday to discuss their plan to fight the decision to close both facilities.
"I would ask the legislatures to think about having a safety net for these loved ones," said Marcellus Bell.
Bell's brother, Craig has lived at NORCE for more than 40-years. Bell says he wants to see state officials keep at least one facility open.
"I'd ask them to open their eyes, open their mind," said Bell, "and not be caught up in money and politics."
DHS says it would take millions of dollars to bring SORC and NORSE up to date. The DHS Commission voted to close both facilities in November, and transition patients into home care facilities close to their families.
Sheree Powell, a spokesperson for DHS said in a statement:
We certainly understand the parents and guardians feelings and concerns about moving their loved ones. At this time, we are in the process of setting up meetings with all of the families to address their concerns and plan for the safe transition of the residents to their new homes in communities. We are keeping communications open with the families and we will continue to work with them in a compassionate manner."
Although Bell says his family has explored alternative care options for Craig, he says everything Craig needs-- from doctors to caregivers, even a job, is under one roof at NORCE. Bell says as a low-functioning, developmentally disabled adult, Craig needs to keep a consistent routine with his caregivers at NORCE.
"The caregivers there, they just treat him like he's their own son," Bell explained.
DHS says despite concern from families of patients at NORCE and SORC, officials say they have successfully transitioned people into home care facilities for the last two decades.
Powell said in a statement:
"Community services have been proven to give people a much higher quality of life over institutional care."
Bell says regardless of what studies say, he knows NORCE gives Craig everything he needs to survive, which is why he plans to lobby for change with other families once the legislative session begins.
"We were put on this Earth, not to see how far we can advance, which level we can get to in life, we were here to take care of those who can't help themselves," said Bell, "so are we doing that?"
The legislative session begins Monday, February 4. At least two lawmakers have filed legislation in response to the decision to close NORCE and SORC.
Posted: Monday, January 21 2013, 09:42 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Pace slows in testing after Tulsa health scare
May 24, 2013 12:51 GMT
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Additional tests reveal no new cases of hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS among patients of a Tulsa oral surgeon accused of running dirty clinics.
The pace of people seeking testing has slowed. About 3,900 patients of Dr. W. Scott Harrington have gone to state clinics for testing. In March, health departments urged testing for 7,000 patients. Just 54 patients sought tests within the past week.
Inspectors said they found unsanitary conditions inside Harrington's clinics at Tulsa and Owasso.
So far, 70 patients have tested positive for hepatitis C, five for hepatitis B and three for HIV, but there is no indication the diseases spread at the clinics. Health experts say the spread of disease in dental clinics is extremely rare.
Harrington is cooperating with the investigation.
Sometimes the stories with the most impact come directly from the viewers. If you have a story that needs to be told, we want to hear it. Fill out the form below and let us know what stories need to be told.
From the FOX 25 First Forecast Center..It's Friday and the weather is looking good for the holiday weekend. We can't rule out isolated to random showers and storms from time to time but nothing organized. ...
Asia stocks extend losses after big sell-off
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks continued to retreat today after being routed the day before by unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing and fears the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its monetary stimulus.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.