January 23, 2013

Charles Oliver: Working five days a week too intense

French teachers have gone on strike over the government’s plans to extend the school week to five days from four.

The Michigan Civil Service Commission reports that state workers took an average of 9.4 to 11 sick days a year during the past five years. By contrast, private workers took an average of four sick days a year, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, citing federal Bureau of Labor statistics.

Boulder, Colo., police officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow have been charged with suspicion of forgery, tampering with physical evidence, attempting to influence a public official, unlawful taking of a trophy elk, conspiracy, killing an elk out of season, unlawful use of an electronic device to unlawfully take wildlife and first degree official misconduct. Carter, while on duty, allegedly shot an elk that had been roaming a local neighborhood. Curnow, who was not on duty, and an on-duty Boulder County sheriff’s deputy allegedly picked up the carcass. The deputy has not been charged.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway has been indicted for fraud to avoid $600,000 in mortgage debt. Hathaway, a former Macomb County assistant prosecutor, resigned earlier this week.

The United States ranked 12th in the world in total prosperity in 2012, according to the Legatum Institute, a London, England-based think tank, down from sixth in 2008. Last year was the first year the United States did not rank in the top 10 of the index, which includes measures such as economic growth, wealth and personal freedoms.

Officials at Maryland’s White Marsh Elementary School suspended two 6-year-old boys for pointing their fingers at each other like guns. The two were playing cops and robbers during recess.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered emergency room doctors in the city's public hospitals not to prescribe long-lasting painkillers such as Oxycontin or methadone. And he says they can prescribe no more than three days worth of other painkillers. Bloomberg says the new rules are aimed at cutting prescription drug abuse. Critics say the rules will keep patients with legitimate needs from getting adequate pain relief.

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