********** HOST: On Thursday, the New Jersey Senate's oversight committee will hold a hearing on the state's Board of Nursing. Some lawmakers and advocates say it’s improperly funded and under-staffed to the point of "crisis." For WHYY, Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: Keith Hovey says the New Jersey Board of Nursing is broken. He's an attorney who represents nurses who face disciplinary charges, from fraud to negligence. The problem, he says, is the Board is backed up with so many cases that it can take months or even years to get a hearing.
HOST: A hidden camera program designed to catch elder abuse in New Jersey is reaching new territory. The state Attorney General's "Safe Care Cam" program was launched last fall, and originally loaned cameras to families who've hired live-in caretakers. Now, the state says the cameras can be used in nursing homes. For WHYY, Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: When Rich Allegretti's mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia in her '60s, he knew he needed to get help.
Trenton Water Works Alerts Homeowners of High Lead levels, Gives Tips for Avoiding Contamination | 08.20.2017
AUDIO STORY: Listen on Soundcloud. | August 20, 2017.
HOST: This week, thousands of people across Mercer County, New Jersey found a lead level advisory in their mailbox. Trenton Water Works was required by law to warn its customers of a recent water test. Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: The Trenton Water Works test found dangerously high lead levels in more than 10 percent of the homes it sampled. Hamilton Township Health Officer Jeff Plunkett says the utility didn't tell anyone in his office about the advisory. Not even the Mayor.
Christie: Doctors Key to Cutting Through Opioid Epidemic — Yet Some Share Blame | 05.02.2017
HOST: President Trump recently tapped New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to lead a new federal commission on combatting addiction, with a focus on the opioid crisis. Today, he spoke about these issues at the New Jersey Hospital Association's annual summit. For WHYY, Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: Governor Christie cited last year's overdose numbers. More than 50,000 overall and more than 30-thousand from opioids. He says that rivals the HIV/AIDS epidemic at its height as well as car crashes and gun deaths combined. Christie says despite a lot of candid talk, those fighting addition still feel stigma.
'Labeling Error' Leads South Jersey Distributor to Announce FDA Recall of Phenobarbital | 04.27.2017
HOST: The FDA has announced a nationwide recall for Phenobarbital, a drug prescribed to young children and pets to treat epilepsy. The company, Truxton Incorporated, is based in Bellmawr, South Jersey. For WHYY, Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: The nationwide recall is for 15 milligram bottles of Phenobarbital. One batch was filled with pills that were twice as strong. Paul Devine owns Truxton, Inc. The family-owned company is a distributor, not a manufacturer. He says he doesn't know yet how many bottles had the stronger pills.
HeroCare Connect Aims to Hasten the Healing for New Jersey Vets | 04.24.2017
HOST: Veterans and military service members in South Jersey have another option for getting healthcare when the V-A system is too slow. For WHYY, Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: It’s called HeroCare Connect. Even after the V-A offered options to see private doctors, some vets still struggle to get timely appointments. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says it’s time for veterans to feel in control of their own healthcare, to be in charge.
At Historic Trenton Church, Rev. Barber Calls Out for Moral Movement in NJ | 03.10.2017
HOST: The charismatic leader of a social justice movement that’s gained national attention addressed a packed crowd in Trenton, New Jersey last night. At Shiloh Baptist Church, Reverend William Barber urged for his ‘Moral Mondays’ movement to spread to New Jersey. WHYY’s Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: From the stage, Reverend Barber said he came to Trenton as a pastor to preach social justice. At Shiloh Baptist, which calls itself the ‘Church of the Open Door’, the Barber's voice boomed out into the street. He called for a new wave of action as powerful as the Civil Rights Movement.
Amazon Planning 2,500 Hires in N.J. as Part of Overall Expansion | 02.09.2017
HOST: Amazon plans to hire 100,000 people in the next year and a half, with 2,500 new hires in New Jersey. These are not minimum-wage jobs, but WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports the pace of work can be very demanding.
JEANETTE BEEBE: As a business, shipping is like real estate: location is everything. That's why Amazon has 8 fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania, and 7 in New Jersey: to deliver to your door as quickly as possible. But John Carr, a spokesman for the Machinists Union, says the fast, "free" shipping from Amazon comes at a cost.
New Jersey Sports Painter’s Wildlife Watercolors to Benefit Conservation | 09.30.2016
HOST: A major traveling art exhibit has opened at the D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton. James Fiorentino debuted 25 new wildlife paintings, with proceeds benefitting the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.
WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports Fiorentino has a second specialty.
JEANETTE BEEBE: James Fiorentino is best known for his portraits of sports stars. At 15, he became the youngest artist to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum for his rendering of Yankees right fielder Reggie Jackson. He says there's a lot more stress painting a famous ballplayer than the natural subjects on display in this show.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s $94 M Upgrade to World’s Most Powerful Fusion Experiment | 05.23.2016
HOST: It took nearly four years and tens of millions of dollars, but the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory celebrated a milestone in its research on fusion energy. WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz just toured the upgraded research facility.
JEANETTE BEEBE: What if we could build our own star? The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab's National Spherical Torus Experiment — NSTX-U — is a man-made star. Like the sun, it's powered by fusion. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz dedicated NSTX-U after a $94 M upgrade. He said to counter-act climate change, we must research new, clean energy sources.
Trenton Makes, the World Drives: N.J. Historian Lauds 'Magic' of America's First Sports Car | 04.30.2016
HOST: Back in its heyday, Trenton, New Jersey was famous for manufacturing wire, pottery and sinks, among other things. But you probably didn't know it also made cars in the early 20th century. WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: Trenton makes, the world drives. In the start-up days of the car industry, one company got to market first: the Mercer Automobile Company.
It was founded by two industrial families, the Roeblings and the Kusers.
Finley Porter was Mercer’s chief engineer. In 1910, he designed the Mercer Raceabout. His innovation lit the spark plug that exploded the car industry.
Girls Find a Voice and Mentors at Plasma Physics Lab STEM Conference | 03.25.2016
HOST: For 15 years, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has been gathering students for its Young Women's Conference in STEM — that stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. We sent WHYY's Jeanette Beebe to the event — where, she says, she saw science "up close."
JEANETTE BEEBE: It was a loud, busy day. The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab packed the conference with science booths and STEM groups.
Nearly 600 seventh- to tenth-grade girls lit bubbles on fire, dug into evidence with the F.B.I., and watched super-fast cameras in action. They also met female scientists, potential mentors.
Matawan Aberdeen Middle School science teacher Patricia Hillier brought ten girls. She remembers feeling "different" for loving science when she was a student.
Princeton Poet's Debut Novel Features Disappearing 'Translator Superhero' | 02.12.2016
AUDIO STORY: Listen on Soundcloud. | February 12, 2016.
HOST: Today, poet and translator Idra Novey will celebrate the debut of her first novel, Ways to Disappear, at a book launch in New York City.
Novey, who teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University, is building connections between poetry, fiction and translation. WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: Idra Novey's Ways to Disappear is about Beatriz Yagoda, a Brazilian author, who just — vanishes. Emma is her American translator. She vows to find Beatriz, and sets off on an adventure.
A Sneak Peek of 'Mercy Street' Premieres on PBS | 01.15.2016
HOST: As the final season of Downton Abbey plays out on WHYY TV, PBS is rolling out another period drama, Mercy Street. It's set in a Civil War hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, and it premieres this weekend. WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports the show's creator — a Princeton graduate — is a stickler for medical accuracy.
JEANETTE BEEBE: Mercy Street is bloody. It's a hospital drama — where the patients are soldiers, and the doctors are inventing modern medicine. Sometimes the wounds need wrapping; sometimes the limbs must be amputated.
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab Offers 'Science on Saturday' Lecture Series | 01.09.2016
HOST: Rising heroin use has public health officials in New Jersey worried for a new reason. A recent study shows it’s leading to more Hepatitis C cases. WHYY’s Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: Call it collateral damage. This study from the inpatient facility Princeton House says 44 percent of new patients tested positive for Hepatitis C. And almost two-thirds were younger than 35.
Dr. Neal Schofield, Chairman of Psychiatry at Princeton House says while his facility’s patients are older, they often start using heroin in early teens.
Building Supplies? Jewelry? Babysitting? Kidney Transplants Get Creative with Craigslist | 12.09.2015
HOST: Last week, doctors at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital canceled a kidney transplant surgery under unusual circumstances. The donor, Glenn Calderbank, was diagnosed with liver disease on the operating table. WHYY's Jeanette Beebe reports the case was also part of a growing trend: organ donations born online, not through traditional channels.
JEANETTE BEEBE: This transplant began on Craigslist. After waiting a year for a kidney, Nina Saria posted an ad asking for an organ. Glenn Calderbank clicked on it. Joel Newman, of the United Network for Organ Sharing, says families going the traditional route often wait four to seven years for a donor.
New Jersey Mall Workers Petition Stores to Opt Out of 'Black Friday' | 11.26.2015
AUDIO STORY: Listen on Soundcloud. | November 26, 2015.
HOST: Today (Sunday) in Princeton, New Jersey, LGBT activists will hold a state-wide vigil of remembrance to honor transgender men and women killed in the past year.
From Princeton, WHYY’s Jeanette Beebe reports.
JEANETTE BEEBE: This afternoon’s service in the Princeton University Chapel will, as usual, be solemn. It might take longer, since there are more names to read.
Mara Keisling, founder of the National Center for Transgender Equality, says it’s difficult to accurately count the lives lost to anti-transgender violence. However, she says the number is definitely growing.
In the 1960s, Gloria Steinem was on the front lines of the second-wave feminist movement.
Last week, she brought her credo — a simple belief in the equality of men and women in all areas of life, and on social, economic, and political levels — to bear on eating disorders.
Steinem, who delivered the keynote address at the Renfrew Foundation's 25th Anniversary Conference, said many women struggle with eating disorders because they feel social pressure to be "perfect."
Philadelphia Chosen to Compete in White House Healthy Communities Challenge | 11.11.2015
AUDIO STORY: Listen on Soundcloud. | November 11, 2015.
HOST: Yesterday was the first open enrollment day for Healthcare.gov, the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. This year, the Obama administration is giving an extra incentive to boost enrollment for 20 cities nationwide — including Philadelphia. For WHYY News, Jeanette Beebe has this report.
JEANETTE BEEBE: It’s called the “Healthy Communities Challenge,” and the prize is a visit by President Obama. To win, Philadelphia needs to sign up the most people for health care in the Marketplace by the end of the open enrollment period. That’s January 31.
Philadelphia currently has a 12% uninsured rate. Julia Cusick, the Pennsylvania Communications Director for the advocacy group Enroll America, says the goal, of course, is 0%.
Philadelphia Mayor Nutter Charged Up About PowerCorps PHL, and Says Kenny Should Be, Too | 11.06.2015
CUT-SCRIPT #1 (read during newscasts) | November 4, 2015.
Philadelphia Mayor Nutter spoke at City Hall today about the attention his administration has given to boys and men of color. His loudest and most enthusiastic guests sat several rows deep, in matching black and gold jackets. They chanted and cheered for PowerCorps P-H-L, a jobs training program. With a glimmer of emotion, the Mayor addressed the young men directly.
“I can’t do anything about what happened yesterday. But we can all do something about what’s going to happen tomorrow. And a part of that is steppin’ up — which you are — and it’s our duty and responsibility to open that pathway up and give you an opportunity to come into city government or some other job with a salary with benefits with a paycheck every two weeks so that you’re not doin’ something else. All right?”
There’s more work to be done in the fight for racial and social equity, Mayor Nutter said. He added that the city’s in good hands — but Mayor Elect Kenney must step up, too.
CUT-SCRIPT #2 (read during newscasts) | November 6, 2015.
Philadelphia Mayor Nutter spoke at City Hall on Wednesday. Now near the end of his term, he spoke about the fight to combat racial inequity and to improve the lives of young men of color. He called out several successful city initiatives, including My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia.
But there’s still much more work to do, said Mayor Nutter. He had some advice for his successor, Mayor Elect Kenny.
“And I would expect that he will be a great champion for this program, for PowerCorps Philadelphia, for young people moving their lives along. Because he understands that if we don’t do these things, he will not be able to make the kind of progress, he will not be able to fulfill many of the items of his own agenda without supporting this population.”
My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia is holding a two-day summit this December. Mayor Nutter says that Mayor Elect Kenny is on the guest list.
Going to Bat to Treat, Identify Devastating White-Nose Syndrome | 10.30.2015
CUT-SCRIPT (read during newscasts). | October 30, 2015.
Halloween is a time when bats get a bit more attention than usual.
Bat researchers are excited about promising work to combat White Nose Syndrome. 98 percent of cave-hibernating bats have died from the deadly fungal disease. In Missouri, a research team has successfully treated 75 bats infected with White-Nose Syndrome, and then released them into the wild.
Travis Lau, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, says that this research is encouraging news, but won't change things overnight.
"So when you're talking about these huge, devastating losses - even if White Nose were to go away tomorrow, it would take decades and decades to restore that population to the levels it was pre-White Nose."
Lau says the goal is to prevent extinction and heal sick bats. In addition, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has developed an ultraviolet light that can quickly diagnose damaged spots on a bat's wing, out in the field.