- - Thursday, May 5, 2011

GEORGIA

U.S. could see most measles cases in decade

ATLANTA — The United States seems to be on track to have more measles cases than any year in more than a decade, with virtually all cases linked to other countries, including Europe where there’s a big outbreak.

Already there have been 89 cases reported so far. The U.S. normally sees only about 50 cases of measles in a year thanks to vaccinations.


Health officials are reluctant to make predictions, but acknowledge the pace of reports is unusually brisk.

“It’s hard to say, but we’re certainly getting a lot,” said Greg Wallace, who leads the measles, mumps, rubella and polio team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Europe, especially France, has been hit hard by measles, with more than 6,500 cases reported in 33 nations. International health officials are blaming it on the failure to vaccinate all children.

MASSACHUSETTS

More teens plead in bullying-suicide case

HADLEY — Three teenagers admitted Thursday that they participated in the bullying of a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl who later committed suicide, with one lawyer complaining the girls had been unfairly demonized as “mean girls.”

Sharon Chanon Velazquez, 17, and two 18-year-olds, Flannery Mullins and Ashley Longe, were sentenced to less than a year of probation after they admitted to sufficient facts to misdemeanor charges in the bullying of Phoebe Prince, a freshman at South Hadley High School who hanged herself in January 2010.

Prosecutors said Prince, who had recently immigrated from Ireland, was hounded by five teens after she briefly dated two boys. Her death drew international attention and was among several high-profile teen suicides that prompted new laws aimed at cracking down on bullying in schools.

By admitting to sufficient facts, they acknowledged that prosecutors could win a conviction if the case went to trial. The charges against the girls were continued without a finding and will be dismissed if they successfully complete their probation.

MINNESOTA

Pro-gay speech a YouTube hit

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