10 worst ideas of the week: Sunday, April 18, 2010 

Fear of lawsuits drives doctors to order tests, 8-year-old hands out drugs at school, football player desperate for a date, statue tricks cops, and a fisherman tries to fool judges.

 

1. Copycat racism


Teen arrested after second speaker incident


The details: For the second time in less than a month, a New Jersey teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a racist announcement over a store’s public address system. A 14-year-old girl, whose identity is undisclosed because of her age, has been charged with bias intimidation and harassment after she reportedly grabbed the microphone at Whole Foods Market’s courtesy desk and said, “All blacks leave the store.” The incident, in Edgewater, N.J., follows the case of a 16-year-old boy who was arrested after a similar incident at a Walmart in Turnersville.


2. Malpractice worries


Doctors order tests out of fear


The details: New research shows as many as one in four heart doctors say they order medical tests that might not be needed out of fear of getting sued. The researchers surveyed about 600 cardiologists from around the country to see whether doctors’ attitudes and practices might be playing a role in medical treatment. About 24 percent of the doctors surveyed said they’ve ordered an invasive heart test because of worries about ­getting sued. The study was released by the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.


3. Doctor nurse

Nurses trying for more power in 28 states

The details: With the growing U.S. shortage of primary care doctors, 28 states are considering broadening the scope of nurse practitioners. These nurses with advanced degrees want the right to treat patients without close doctor oversight. In a few years,
32 million more Americans will gain health insurance, and more money is going into nurse-
managed clinics. The American Medical Association wants to protect its turf, but the nurse practitioners insist they are fully qualified to diagnose illness during office visits.


4. Drugs for kids

Third-grader allegedly passed out 60 heroin baggies

The details: Pittsburgh-area police confiscated what they suspect were some 60 small bags of heroin from a third-grade student who was passing them out at his school. The 8-year-old boy was giving out bags stamped with the words “trust me” on them. The powder in the bags is being tested, but it would have a street value of about $1,000 if proven to be genuine heroin. No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.


5. Un-PC board game


Settlers vs. Indians rankles tribes

The details: “King Philip’s War” is a board game based on a bloody and violent clash of the same name between pre-Revolutionary War Native Americans and English Colonists in Connecticut. The game’s designer says he hopes to educate children and others about a war that cost thousands of lives but receives scant attention in history books. Some Native Americans want the game blocked from release, saying it trivializes the conflict and insensitively perpetuates a stereotype of Indian tribes as bellicose savages. But former major-league pitcher Curt Schilling, part-owner of the company producing the game, said historical events should not be whitewashed for fear of offending someone.


6. Wanted: A date


NFL star seeks female companion via Facebook

The details: You would think that if you are a high-profile NFL player, you wouldn’t really have a problem finding a date, right? Well, apparently New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey is in a slump. To try and change his luck, he’s holding a contest, asking ladies to post a video on why they “deserve” a night out with the 6-foot-5, 251-pounder. This is wrong on so many fronts.


7. ‘Toughen up’


NYC man charged in baby punching


The details: Prosecutors say Larry Greene of Queens yelled “toughen up” while fatally punching his crying 7-month-old son in the chest. Greene believed the baby preferred his mother. He was arraigned on a second-degree murder charge. Laquana Greene says her brother is “a good person” who could not commit such a crime. District Attorney Richard A. Brown says it’s the ninth time in five months that a family member or babysitter has been accused of killing or severely injuring a child in Queens.


8. Star power


Commissioner upset with resting key NBA players


The details: Just like the NFL encountered with the Indianapolis Colts as they sought to have a perfect regular season, the NBA has developed an issue with its star players sitting before the playoffs begin. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, most notably, sat out what were meaningless games for their teams. But with a limited schedule, those stars make only a couple of appearances in a visiting city each year, causing marketing-savvy NBA commissioner David Stern to say he would look into fixing the problem.

9. Fake emergency


Statue mistaken as possible jumper frustrates police

The details: Members of the New York Police Department rushed to the Empire State Building this week in response to a report of a possible jumper. But when they arrived, they realized it wasn’t a jumper at all, but a bronze statue. The life-size statue was perched there by the organizers of an art installation which placed humanlooking metal men across the city. Police said responding to the ruse wasted their time and prevented them from dealing with real emergencies.

10. Wrong name


Chinese paper identifies president as prisoner

The details: The South China Morning Post newspaper was in hot water this week when it accidentally described Chinese President Hu Jintao as jailed dissident Hu Jia in its Tuesday edition. Once the paper realized the error, it sold copies of the paper with the mistake blacked out and on Wednesday issued an apology on its front page. The jailed dissident is one of China’s best known activists and is currently serving jail time for sedition.


Dim bulb of the week

 

Man fakes fish weight

What: A suburban Dallas man stuffed a lead weight into a bass he caught during a fishing tournament in hopes of winning the award for nabbing the biggest fish. Officials at the bass-fishing tournament on Lake Ray Hubbard last October started to question the validity of the fish after feeling a lump inside of it.

What’s being done: The 45-year-old man admitted to the crime and must serve 15 days in jail. He also must surrender his fishing license as part of his punishment for faking the fish weight.

 

SinKing ship

 

Larry King is single — again. The CNN talk-show host and his wife of 12 years, Shawn, filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences” in the court filings. This is his seventh divorce. The pair also disagreed about custody of their two boys, ages 9 and 11.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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