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    “So what is this like for you Greg when you are boxing ? Tiring.”    Carrying my tape recorder, I get into the boxing ring with Greg Eggert, a Cobb County resident who has Parkinson’s Disease. He wears his shiny red boxing gloves as he pounds a black punching bag like a champ. At 72 years young Greg has great stamina despite a tremor in his right hand.    “My neurologist tells me exercise exercise whether you want too or not. Exercise since I retired has not been top of the list to do, but with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, if you’re going to do well and have a good life for the rest of the time you have left, and you see some results, exercise just becomes part of the day.”    Greg was diagnosed three years ago, and takes medication, but he and his team of doctors are finding exercise, specifically boxing classes at the YMCA in Kennesaw are helping to build strength in his muscles and keep his balance in check when he walks.    Greg tells WSB Radio “The Parkinson’s classes have done wonders for me, the boxing is good strength movement, it teaches you different numbers, and the different numbers go with certain punches, so the boxing instructor will say, give me a one, four, five, seven and you have to remember that and tie it to movement which helps your balance, and it’s a lot of fun too.” The verbal commands in conjunction with the physical activity appear to really help, “you have to put both together, and my biggest problem is balance, so this helps me work and concentrate.”   Abby Price, Wellness Director at the Northwest YMCA in Kennesaw watches Greg work out during our interview, “it’s a great feeling, I love to see the progress. It’s amazing, there is no better feeling when you get to see someone be successful that maybe had lost hope when they were first diagnosed, and then they come and find this whole community, people who are struggling just like they are, and they are able to be successful through the classes that we offer here at the Y.” Price says, “It’s very inspirational, if somebody like Greg, who is diagnosed with Parkinson’s is able to come and be committed to the classes they are taking, then it gives us the ability to let all our other members know who aren’t struggling with this disease, that they are able to succeed as well.”   Director of Program Management at Metro Atlanta YMCA, Jennifer Rewkowski tells WSB Radio the Y has a variety of activities Parkinson’s patients can do depending on the progression of the disease, “we started about five years ago with basic movement classes, stretching, strength work with dumbbells, small balls, bands, a little bit of cardio work, just things to get our participants up and moving.” From there a Parkinson’s cycling class was added, and then in just the past three months the Parkinson’s boxing program offered. Rewkowski says the feedback has been tremendous “it not only works on hand-eye coordination, and motor skills, but also the brain, remembering movement patterns and punching patterns. It’s a great workout and the repetitive motion appear to be key in preventing the disease from progressing.” The YMCA welcomes Parkinson’s patients who are newly diagnosed to people who are in wheelchairs. Rewkowski say patients in wheelchairs are able to participate in a Parkinson’s movement class designed to use the upper body.  Greg says “exercise, absolutely is part of my daily life and I have grown to enjoy it, it’s become fun.” Greg says the Instructors and other Parkinson’s patients in his classes are his support group, “there are people in the classes who have the same diagnosis, and we talk about it and discuss symptoms, it’s important for motivation, knowing there is support here at the Y, it’s good to know there are other folks out there just like yourself.”   The classes including Boxing are free with a YMCA Membership.
  • Almost 25 years ago I had testicular cancer, it's very emotional, I'm humbled by this experience,' Fayetteville Resident George Joseph who participated and volunteered Friday night for the 2019 'Relay for Life” tells WSB radio 'doing the Relay for Life is something I've been doing since I've been cancer free and I will continue as long as I am able too.
  • There is a plan to build a new military monument in Patriot Park on Redwine Road in Fayetteville, to honor the families of those who have served in all wars.  The woman behind this effort, Fayette County resident Fairy Wortham, a military wife and mother, tells WSB Radio, 'we're about faith, family, and freedom.” The black granite memorial will cost an estimated $45,000.  Worthham says 'we're erecting a monument to honor all families and children of our military heroes and we're taking it back from 1821 to present - that’s 198 years. The women and children of our military have never been honored.” Wortham is in the process of raising the money by selling bricks so local military families can have their names engraved on them. The bricks will surround the black granite “homefront families of military heroes monument.” You can buy a brick for $100 dollars or donate to the monument fund by clicking on non-profit organization www.homefrontfamilies.org. Wortham first presented her military monument concept to the Fayetteville city council back in February of 2018, and is currently working with local veterans groups, churches and politicians to raise the money.
  • “We’re absolutely excited for her!” Dan Roberts, owner of Mike & C’s Family Sports Grill in Peachtree City, tells WSB Radio. Roberts says he was thrilled to watch Kelly O’Hara play in France and beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the Women’s World Cup final Sunday.  “We have her jersey here, because she was a staple here at Mike & C’s for a long time – former Starr’s Mill graduate (Fayetteville native), just a great person in general…we’re super excited.”   O’Hara’s signed jersey is framed and hangs underneath a large American flag in the restaurant. Roberts tells WSB Radio, “we have it sitting down under our large American flag here in the restaurant, and that’s because she really is a patriot.”   
  • Atlanta is now the third city in America where Mercedes Benz will offer a pilot program for you to subscribe and drive off in a luxury car. It follows in the footsteps of Amazon Prime and Netflix, which offer subscription services you can cancel at any time without penalty. Mercedes Benz is now offering a subscription service to drivers, with no long-term commitment, as the company looks to lure younger drivers to the brand. While more expensive, this new option allows flexibility so drivers don't have to get locked down in a long term lease or purchase. You sign up with your credit card, the company runs a credit check and you can drive off in a luxury car. You can trade for a different model as many times as you want and cancel your subscription at any time. Adam Chamberlain, Vice President of Sales for Mercedes Benz USA based in Atlanta, Georgia, tells WSB Radio “for example you can be driving a two seater convertible for the weekend, the sun is out and it’s nice and warm but then you realize you need to pick up a big parcel from home depot during the week, so you simply schedule it with in the app that you would like a bigger car, an SUV, the app will then provide you a date and time that’s convenient for you, and one of our concierge drivers will come out and meet you either at work or at home, change the car over, you’re all set, and off you go to home depot to pick up your parcel.”  There is a one-time $495 fee for the credit check and to sign up for the subscription service. Then, once approved, you pick the tier of service you want. Currently there are three tiers, starting with the entry level tier of $1,095 a month. The fee includes the car, title fees, insurance, 24-7 road service, and all maintenance costs.  Chamberlain tells WSB Radio 'what we have seen so far for the new subscription service is the average age of customers who have signed up is 42 years old, which is significantly lower than our traditional customer for purchase and lease, and 85 % of those drivers are new to the Mercedes Benz brand, so this is bringing is a different younger demographic.'  Mercedes Benz is also testing this program in Philadelphia and Nashville.   
  • For the past six months 10 and 11-year-old girls, members of Girl Scout Troop 17129 in Cobb County collected thousands of plastic grocery bags. As part of a service and recycling project the girls then weaved the bags into braids to make soft mattresses for homeless people. Girl Scout leader Kimberly Heiple says this took many months to execute, “It took from October all the way to April, the girls collected the bags, people donated the bags, it showed commitment.” Heiple says each plastic mattress is made from approximately 800 to 1,000 plastic grocery bags. Heiple telling WSB Radio “I’m super overjoyed and proud of the girls, to see kids this age 10 and 11 years old with a selflessness to give to others like the homeless, that are in need, who are deserving, and at the same time recycling for the world, we are moving a generation to become adults, to carry these qualities and ethics with them into their adulthood.”
  • “You have Cancer.” Georgia Resident Brenda Sims tells WSB Radio she remembers the exact moment in time she hears these three horrible words. It was five years ago. The telephone call from her Doctor confirming she has breast cancer. “When I got that call, you have Cancer, the thought of having to tell my husband, you immediately think, I’m going to die.” Sims deciding to get treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. When she first arrived at the facility in Newnan she was determined on day one to fight the potentially deadly disease. She spotted a wall near the lobby with names of Cancer survivors on plaques. “I stood in front of this wall with names on it, I had my picture taken in front of that wall, and I said one day, I’m going to have my name on this.” Sims accomplished her goal. As part of National Survivorship Day her name has been added to the new Line Creek Mural. The design painted by artist Ed Buonvecchio, inspired by the Line Creek Nature Area located on the Coweta-Fayette County line, honors and celebrates patients reaching the milestone of treatment at CTCA for 5 years. Trees are also planted in their honor. Brenda Sims takes nothing for granted and believes it is her calling to inspire and pray with other cancer patients including her daughter who has been fighting kidney cancer for the past two years. Sims remains strong and determined, she tells WSB Radio “today that tree has my name on it, I am a 5 year survivor, this morning was very emotional for me.”
  • Allan Sweat continues treatment for his injuries at the “Share Military Initiative” at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center.The program has more than 700 success stories for treating Veterans with TBI Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a record of zero suicides.Sweat who is 34, says the Share center has changed his life. Sweat who lives in Locust Grove, was injured in Iraq back in 2007 by multiple I-E-D blasts. He has a spinal injury and back pain, as well as TBI and PTSD.
  • Rescue dogs 'Peaches and Cream ' are healthy now and looking to be placed in a good home.For the past 2 years, Vets, Kennel Techs, and Volunteers at The Royal Animal Refuge in Peachtree City have been nursing back to health dozens of abused dogs, but the facility is out of money, as it runs solely on donations for things like medical supplies, dog food, and wee-wee pads. Kennel Tech Alyssa Jordan tells WSB Radio none of the dogs brought here are ever euthanized, 'right now we have about 30 dogs in the building that's not including puppies, with puppies we probably have an equal amount, we have over 60 dogs in foster homes, so we have lots, they rotate constantly, we pull from other shelters who do euthanize.
  • “The dictator Maduro he needs to leave.” Atlanta resident Linda Lopez tells WSB Radio “he is illegally occupying power he is literally killing the Venezuelan people.” Lopez a dual U.S. Venezuelan citizen for the past twenty years says she would like the United States to get involved. “I would love for President Trump to intervene in Venezuela because the people have no power to fight against criminals who have guns, high caliber, the military has been kidnapped they are part of the narco drug dealing business they are not going to let the people be free.” About 100 people with ties to Venezuela turning out for a peaceful demonstration outside he Georgia State Capitol, many carrying red yellow and blue Venezuelan flags. They shout in Spanish “Venezuela what do we want ? Liberty, freedom.” 

News

  • Workers at an Indianapolis Dairy Queen have had enough with people doing illict things in the shop’s parking lot, so they’re sending a message in lights -- “Parking lot - not for drug sales.” WISH stopped by and saw the sign but reporters there don’t know when the message was first displayed and how long it will stay posted.
  • Update 8:14 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2019: After more than 14 hours of debate on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, abruptly adjourned the hearing, saying the historic vote would be taken on Friday morning. The decision to adjourn before voting to send the articles of impeachment to the full House for a vote next week came just shy of midnight. Republican committee members were shocked and angered at Nadler’s actions, with Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, the committee’s ranking member, shouting as the gavel fell. 'Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was,' Collins said. He and other Republicans said the move was a complete surprise. The committee adjourned after five amendments to the articles of impeachment were introduced. Each amendment was debated and all were voted down. The committee is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. for the votes on the articles. Each article will be voted on separately. Democrats have 24 members on the committee and Republicans have 17. Update 11:15 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Nadler stunned Republican members of the committee late Thursday by calling a recess to let members take time to make a “sober decision” on the matter of impeachment. Throughout the day it had seemed that the committee was headed toward a late-night vote on both articles. Ranking Member Collins strongly objected to the recess saying Nadler had not consulted with minority leadership about recessing Thursday night. Collins asked Nadler why he was ok with “blowing up everyone’s schedule.” One Republican committee member said the move smacked of “Stalinism.” Nadler said the hearing would reconvene Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET to cast the votes on the two separate articles of impeachment against Trump. Live updates will continue Friday morning to cover the votes. Update 10:35 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Fox’s Sean Hannity, that there is no way that Trump will be removed from office if he is impeached by the House next week. “We all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office,” McConnell told Hannity Thursday night. Update 9:48 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The debate has resumed. Rep. Sensenbrenner is speaking. He commends Nadler for the way he ran the hearing, then says he and the other Democrats are “dead wrong.” Update 8:59 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The amendment to remove the words “impeachment of Donald J. Trump” from the articles of impeachment is defeated 23-17 vote on party lines. Chairman Nadler has called for a 30-minute recess. Update 8:57 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: From Jamie Dupree: Update 8:52 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Ranking Member Collins and Rep. Eric Swalwell get testy after nearly 12 hours of debate. Update 7:48 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Trump is hosting a congressional holiday ball at the White House tonight. He said it was a “very exciting month in Washington, DC,” and that 'We’re going to have a fantastic year. Update 7:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Reschenthaler’s amendment to strike the second article of impeachment fails. The vote was 23-17 along party lines. A fifth amendment is offered by Rep. Jordan. The amendment takes the words “Donald Trump should be impeached” out of both of the articles. Update 7:06 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: CNN is reporting that the Justice Department has published on its website internal legal opinions that could help Trump block congressional requests. According to CNN, the Justice Department said the release of the opinions was connected to a recent opinion by the Office of Legal concerning former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn. Some of the opinions date back to the 1970s. Update 6:54 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The debate over the articles of impeachment has been going on for around 10 hours now. Soon, there should be a vote on the fourth suggested amendment to the articles of impeachment. Update 6:01 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Lisa Desjardins, a correspondent with PBS Newshour, is reporting that the vote whether or not to impeach Trump will likely be held on Wednesday. Update 5:58 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania, breaks it down for you. Update 5:20 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Biggs’ amendment about an OMB report that explained the withholding of military aid to Ukraine is defeated along party lines. Another amendment has been proposed. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pennsylvania, is moving to strike (kill) the second of the two articles of impeachment. The second article alleges Trump obstructed Congress. Update 5 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, says the timing of the vote on articles of impeachment in the full House will be announced tonight. 'Today, the House Judiciary Committee is continuing its mark up of two articles of impeachment. Following Committee action on these articles, the Judiciary Committee will make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives. A path forward on the Floor will be announced following the Committee’s mark up. Update 4:16 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-Louisiana, compared the Republicans to Judas for their support of Trump. “Today I’m reminded of Judas — because Judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus; for 30 positive tweets for easy reelection, the other side is willing to betray the American people … the future of our great country,” Richmond said. Update 4:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Gaetz suggests that Democrats who represent Republican majority districts in their states will not be coming back to serve in the House. “Rent, don’t buy, here in Washington,” Gaetz said. Update 3:39 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The committee has voted down Gaetz’s amendment to remove Joe Biden’s name from the articles of impeachment and insert Hunter Biden’s in its place. The vote was along party lines. Another Republican amendment has been proposed. The amendment from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona calls for the inclusion of a statement from the Office of Management and Budget explaining why the military aid to Ukraine was held up. Update 3:26 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: According to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday, 45% of Americans surveyed said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 50% said he should not be impeached and removed. Update 3:16 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: White House counsel Pat Cipollone is meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, ahead of the expected impeachment of Trump next week, according to the Washington Post. Should Trump be impeached in the House, a trial will be held in the Senate to determine if he is guilty of wrongdoing and if he will be removed from office. White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland accompanied Cipollone to the meeting. Update: 2:51 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: President Trump has tweeted again. Update 2:40 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The hearing has resumed. Update 1 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The hearing is in recess for members to take votes on the House floor. Update 12:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Matt Gaetz puts forth an amendment to drop former Vice President Joe Biden’s name in the articles of impeachment, leaving only Biden’s son Hunter in the document. Gaetz introduces the amendment then describes Hunter Biden’s struggle with drug addiction by reading from a New Yorker Magazine story that described a car wreck Hunter Biden was in and a description of how he allegedly asked a homeless man where he could buy crack cocaine. Update 11:58 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: A vote is called on Jordan’s amendment to strike the first article of impeachment. All the Democrats present, 23, vote no, all the Republicans present, 17, vote yes. The amendment fails. Update 11:46 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has come up several times during the hearing. Republicans have slammed him as unreliable as a witness because he revised his original testimony. Jordan said that Sondland had repeatedly said during his deposition that he did not recall key facts. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado, chided Democrats saying, “Ambassador Sondland is your star witness? Really? You’re basing an impeachment on Ambassador Sondland’s testimony?” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, answered Buck saying, “They don’t like him now because he clarified his testimony to say that yes, there was definitely a quid pro quo at the heart of this whole thing,” Raskin said. Update 11:30 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, indicated in her weekly press conference Thursday morning that the House will wrap up the impeachment inquiry next week. “Next week we’ll take up something” in the full House, Pelosi said, after being asked about the timetable for the impeachment inquiry. Update 11:20 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The committee has now spent two hours debating the amendment by Jim Jordan to delete the first article of impeachment. Update 11 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: President Trump weighs-in. Update 10:20 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, accuses the Republicans of hypocrisy. She references former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, asking, why “lying about a sexual affair is an abuse of presidential power but the misuse of presidential power to get a benefit doesn’t matter? “If it’s lying about sex, we could put Stormy Daniels’ case ahead of us,” she said. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, answers Lofgren, saying Clinton was impeached because he lied to a grand jury. That, Sensenbrenner says, is something Trump has never done. Update 10 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Democrats introduced an amendment to spell out Trump's middle name. The articles of impeachment reference Donald J. Trump. Nadler introduces an amendment to change the article to read Donald John Trump, the president’s full name. Rep. Collins responds to the amendment saying it shows the “absurdity” of the whole process. The debate takes off from there with several members arguing about the articles and what has been testified to. Rep. Joe Neguse, D, Colorado, wants Republicans to “dispense with these process arguments” and 'stay true to the facts.” “I understand that we’re going to have a robust debate about the legal standards that govern the inquiry that is before us, the decision we make on these articles,” Rep. Neguse said, “but let’s stay true to the facts, and let’s dispense with these process arguments and get to the substance of why we’re here today.” Update 9:33 a.m. ET Dec. 12: Rep. Jim Jordan introduces an amendment to the articles of impeachment. The amendment is to strike the first article. He is explaining why Article One “ignores the facts.” Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, speaks in opposition to Jordan’s amendment. He lays out why the article was drafted saying, “There is direct evidence” of Trump being involved in a 'scheme to corrupt the American elections and withhold military aid” from Ukraine. Update 9:05 a.m. ET Dec. 12: The hearing has resumed and been called to order. The clerk of the Judiciary Committee is now reading the two articles of impeachment. Original story: The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote Thursday on two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. >> Read more trending news  The vote will mark only the third time in the country’s 243-year history that Congress will consider impeachment charges against a sitting president. The charges allege Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s connections with a Ukrainian energy company in exchange for military aid and a White House meeting for the newly-elected president. In a second charge, House Democrats say Trump obstructed Congress by blocking testimony from witnesses and refusing requests for documents during the impeachment inquiry that was launched in September. The decision to open the inquiry came after a whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that a phone call made by Trump to Zelensky on July 25 tied military aid and a White House meeting to personal political favors. On Tuesday, House Democratic leaders introduced the two articles of impeachment saying Trump presented a “clear and present” danger to not only the 2020 presidential election but to the nation’s security. In an unusual evening session on Wednesday, the committee began debate on the articles. The session saw the two parties argue over the charges against Trump, the Constitution’s meaning when it comes to impeachment and why the inquiry was undertaken instead of leaving Trump’s fate to the voters in next year’s election. What happens next? The committee is expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. ET Thursday. If the committee passes the resolution Thursday to send the articles of impeachment to the full House, a vote to impeach Trump will likely take place next week. It takes a simple majority vote of members of the Judiciary Committee to move the articles to the House floor for a full vote. The Democrats have a 24-17 majority in the committee. The vote is expected to fall along party lines. Follow us here for live updates on Thursday as the committee debates the articles of impeachment and moves to a vote. [Summary]
  • The remains of six victims of a deadly volcano eruption in New Zealand have been recovered. Sixteen people were killed on White Island when a volcano there unexpectedly erupted Monday, The Associated Press reported. Eight military specialists recovered six of the eight victims believed to be on the island, and the bodies will be taken to Auckland for identification, CNN reported. Due to toxic gases still being released from the volcano, the team had to wear protective suits and breathing gear to be on the island, the AP reported. The search had to end as air supplies ran low, the New York Times reported. An additional recovery mission is planned to find a tour guide and boat captain who had taken tourists to the island. At least one of them is expected to be in the water, but the other person’s location is unknown, the AP reported. Forty-seven tourists, many from a Royal Caribbean cruise, and guides were on the island when the volcano exploded. Many of the people who survived were burned. Fifteen tourists not from Australia are in burn units across the country with 11 listed as very critical. Thirteen Australians who were part of the tour have all returned to their home country, the AP reported. Skin banks are sending tissues to hospitals to help treat the burns, as medical teams from Australia, Britain and the U.S. travel to New Zealand to help treat patients, the AP reported.
  • A Minnesota man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 24 years in prison in the death of his 13-day-old son. Michael Herkal, 33, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, nearly 16 months to the day after Apple Valley police responded to an Aug. 12, 2018, medical call for an infant not breathing, WCCO reported. The child died two days later, after doctors determined he had suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain. Herkal was charged initially with felony assault and malicious punishment of a child, but three additional charges of murder were filed after authorities received the autopsy report, KARE11 reported. According to WCCO, Herkal initially told authorities his toddler pulled the newborn off the couch twice but later claimed the baby slipped from his hands and fell onto a coffee table during a diaper change. During his plea hearing, however, Herkal admitted he also shook the infant violently and slapped him, the TV station reported.
  • Major League Baseball announced substantial changes Thursday to its drug use and testing policy, multiple news outlets reported. In addition to removing marijuana from its “drugs of abuse” category – making it the first major US sports league to do so – the organization announced mandatory testing for the presence of opioids, cocaine, synthetic THC, LSD and fentanyl, ABC News reported. Per the policy revisions, players will still be tested for “natural cannabinoids” such as THC, CBD, and marijuana, but punishment for violations will now be treated similarly to those of the alcohol and violence policies, ABC News reported. 'Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties’ Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player’s Club or the Commissioner’s Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids,” the league, in association with its players union, stated. According to NPR, the policy changes will take effect during 2020 spring training.  “The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said in a prepared statement, adding, “It is our hope that this agreement - which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education - will help protect the health and safety of our Players.” Read more here and here.
  • Seeking emergency mental health assistance could soon be as simple as dialing 988, federal regulators announced Thursday. The Federal Communications Commission formally began the process Thursday to designate 988 as a nationwide suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. “The three-digit number is really going to be a breakthrough in terms of reaching people in a crisis,” Dwight Holton, CEO of suicide prevention nonprofit Lines for Life, told USA Today. “No one is embarrassed to call 911 for a fire or an emergency. No one should be embarrassed to call 988 for a mental health emergency.' According to The Wall Street Journal, the new hotline is intended to simplify access to services available currently by dialing 1-800-273-TALK, the existing National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Once operational, dialing 988 would connect callers to the existing hotline and then route them to nearby crisis centers equipped to provide assistance. “We believe this historical and critical effort will turn the tide on reducing suicides and promote mental wellness in the United States,” said a statement from Kimberly Williams, chief executive of Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit that administers the lifeline, The Journal reported. Read more here and here.