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Massachusetts researchers make major discovery about IBS, fibromyalgia

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have made a groundbreaking discovery that could ease symptoms for millions of people suffering from conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.

>> Read more trending news

Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander said a good proportion of patients diagnosed with those health issues may actually have a disease called small fiber polyneuropathy, or SFPN.

This is a disorder in which nerve cells found under the skin are attacked by the body's immune system.

The resulting damage can cause numerous symptoms, including gastrointestinal discomfort and feeling like the skin is on fire. 

“The problem is their skin looks perfectly normal, and there's no evidence that anything's wrong,” Oaklander said.

Along with others, Oaklander recently published a study in which they found that drugs called immunomodulators can be effectively used to treat SFPN, though these drugs may not work in every patient because every presentation of the disorder is different.

She said patients who learn they have SFPN often feel liberated.

“It's pretty routine that I have patients who break down and cry when they get an answer for the first time to something that's been disabling them for years or decades,” Oaklander said.

One of those patients is MaryEllen Talbot, who had initially been diagnosed with fibromyalgia before learning she actually has SFPN.

“This diagnosis is from a biopsy, so it's not subjective, it's objective. It's something they see on the lab,” she said.

Talbot isn’t alone. Because of the varying symptoms from case to case, Oaklander said the number of people with SFPN could be huge.

“Maybe it's tens of millions of people around the world who have it, maybe it's hundreds of millions of people, but either way this is not a rare disease,” she said.

2 children die when hit by sheriff's vehicle at Los Angeles intersection

Two California children were killed when they were accidentally struck by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s vehicle Thursday night, CNN reported.

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Deputies were responding to a call involving a gunshot victim around 7:30 p.m. and were involved in a three-car collision at a street corner, Los Angeles police Capt. Alfonso Lopez said.

The sheriff's vehicle struck five pedestrians, including a child pronounced dead at the scene and a second child who died at a local hospital, Lopez said.

Three other people suffered injuries and were hospitalized, police said. The victims have not been identified CNN reported.

The two deputies involved in the crash are hospitalized and are in stable condition. They are expected to be released soon, Lopez said.

The drivers of the other two vehicles involved in the crash were not injured and are cooperating with police, CNN reported.

Oklahoma teacher accused of having sex with underage student

A married teacher in Oklahoma was arrested Wednesday and accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage student, KWTV reported.

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Hunter Day, 22, who teaches science at Yukon High School, was arrested by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department on complaints of second-degree rape, facilitating sexual contact with a minor and possession of child pornography, KWTV reported. She is reportedly married to the school’s football coach.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation began when they were reportedly contacted by the boy’s parents. The boy’s cell phone allegedly contained explicit text messages and nude photographs, the sheriff’s office told KWTV. Authorities did not reveal the age of the boy, except to note that he was underage.

“This is a classic case of a serious breach of public trust. School teachers are entrusted to protect and educate our children, not to engage in an unlawful sexual relationship with them,” Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said.

Investigators said Day and the boy had arranged a meeting on the day of the arrest, KWTV reported. When deputies arrived at the home, they sent Day a text message from the boy’s phone, saying, “I’m here.” Day allegedly responded, “The doors [sic] unlocked as usual.”

Authorities said when they entered Day’s house, they found her sitting on the living room floor with the lights turned off, wearing a Christmas cat T-shirt and workout shorts. She allegedly admitted to sending “bra and panty” photographs of herself to the boy, and also allegedly said she had received photos of the boy’s genitals, KWTV reported.

During a news conference on Thursday, the Yukon Schools Superintendent Jason Simeroth said he could not comment on Day’s status with the school, pending the investigation.

Day was booked into the Canadian County Jail. Her bond was set at $85,000.

Dog stolen from car sold at Oakland flea market

A dog that was stolen from a car last month has been returned home safely after the animal was bought at a flea market in Oakland, KRON reported.

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Biscuit, a 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier, was stolen from a car parked outside a Mexican restaurant in Oakland, KRON reported.

The dog was bought at the Laney College flea market in Oakland for $700. The woman bought Biscuit said she later realized that the dog might have been stolen.

The original owner says the dog was returned unharmed, KRON reported. Authorities are still looking for the person who took the dog.

NCAA champion South Carolina women decline White House invitation

South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley said the only invitation that interests her is one to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

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That was one of the reasons why Staley declined an invitation from the White House to attend a ceremony Friday to honor college sports’ championship teams, ESPN reported.

“We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow's event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley said in a statement. “As I've been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”

The White House did not provide a list of the teams attending, ESPN reported.

The Gamecocks won their first national championship in April. At the time, Staley said the team would go to the White House because “it's what it stands for. It's what national champions do.”

However, Staley told The Associated Press in September that the South Carolina squad had yet to receive an invitation.

“That in itself speaks volumes,” she said, adding that she was not sure the Gamecocks would accept an invitation after “some things transpired over the last few months,” ESPN reported.

President Donald Trump hosted the 2016 NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House in June. The University of North Carolina's 2017 national championship men's basketball team said earlier this year it could not agree on a date for a visit.

'Diva of the drive-thru' sings menu to customers

She is the diva of the drive-thru. And in the New Orleans area, which is noted for its music and its food, it’s the perfect combination.

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Cynthia Carter works in the drive-thru at a Popeyes fast-food restaurant in Kenner, Louisiana. For the past 30 years she has been singing the menu to customers, 

WGNO reported. She sings the entire menu, including the chicken, side dishes and desserts.

“She sounds like Patti LaBelle,” one customer told WGNO. 

But unlike the soul singer, Carter is no Lady Marmalade when it comes to singing the menu.

Carter began singing 30 years ago when a customer in line broke into song, WGNO reported. Carter responded by singing back.

She has been serenading customers ever since.

Major fire breaks out at Pennsylvania senior living community

A massive fire at a senior living community in Pennsylvania late Thursday caused the evacuation of residents, and the blaze reportedly injured at least 20 people, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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The fire was reported around 11 p.m. Thursday at Barclay Friends Senior Living Community in West Chester, the Inquirer reported. Residents were forced to evacuate outside into 40-degree temperatures. 

At a 6:30 a.m. briefing, officials would not provide information about casualties, including whether anyone was dead or missing. They only reported that the fire was declared under control at 1:22 a.m. and that the cause is under investigation.

There were no reported injuries among firefighters,

“All I can tell you is we have multiple alarms and multiple evacuations,” said a Chester County dispatcher told the Inquirer, who confirmed some of the basic details. 

The blaze climbed to five alarms in about half an hour, the Inquirer reported, and at one point flames rose above the tops of some of the buildings. The Barclay Friends facility offers offers various levels of care from memory care and skilled nursing to post-acute rehabilitation., Inquirer reported.

Fire officials said emergency responders were triaging patients on the lawn of the facility as the huge building burned with billowing, dense smoke.

Oklahoma will use automatic license plate scanners to nab uninsured drivers

Oklahoma is setting up a system of automatic license plate scanners on highway to catch uninsured drivers, KOCO reported.

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It is the first program of its kind in the country.

If a driver is uninsured, the license plate reader will scan their car, and automatically issue a citation for $184, KOCO reported. Drivers who pay the fee avoid getting charged with driving without insurance, which goes on the person’s\ permanent record.

According to the Oklahoma Watch, Gatso USA, the Massachusetts company behind the devices, expects the system to yield more than $1.6 million of revenue for the state.

The network of nearly 40 license plate readers are expected to produce 20,000 citations a month, KOCO reported.

Ohio pastor found guilty of trying to hire prostitute

An Ohio pastor, arrested in Dayton, was found guilty earlier this year for loitering to engage in solicitation, according to court records.

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Daniel P. Williams, 40, of Huber Heights, was found guilty in late August after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of loitering, according to Dayton Municipal Court.

Williams’ employer is listed as Arrowbrook Baptist Church in Xenia in both court record and the police report. The church’s website also lists Williams as its pastor.

Attempts to reach Williams by phone  were unsuccessful.

Williams was originally charged with a second count of loitering and a third count of soliciting. Both were withdrawn upon his guilty plea, according to Dayton Municipal Court. 

The violation happened at around noon Aug. 17, according to Dayton police.

Williams was sentenced to 60 days in jail, with all 60 days suspended. He will be on probation for one year, according to court records.

Tesla touts new Roadster as world's 'quickest car'

Tesla unveiled what it called “the quickest car in the world” late Thursday,

And the new Roadster is fast. Very fast.

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On its website, Tesla said that its Roadster production car, the newest version of its original sports vehicle, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds.

Tesla also said that the Roadster, which will be available in 2020, can go from 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds and can cover a quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds. The four-seater can hit speeds up to 250 mph. Tesla said.

“It will be the first time that any production car has broken nine seconds in the quarter mile,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told CNBC.

The “all-electric supercar” also has a 200-kilowatt battery pack that offers 620 miles of highway driving.

Suggested retail price is $200,000, Tesla said.

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