• Updated

Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers. But it’s not quite so simple.

Personalized medicine, which involves tailoring health care to each person’s unique genetic makeup, has the potential to transform how we diagnose, prevent and treat disease. After all, no two people are alike. Mapping a person’s unique susceptibility to disease and targeting the right treatment has deservedly been welcomed as a new power to heal.

  • Updated

BEVERLY, Mass. —A former student at a small private college in rural Massachusetts, who served jail time after committing a series of violent attacks, has filed a lawsuit claiming the college is to blame for his actions three years ago.Dillon Destefano, now 22, pleaded guilty in 2014 to randomly punching three students in one night at Endicott College, in Beverley, leaving one student with a broken and dislocated jaw that had to be wired shut, another with a broken orbital bone and sinus, and a third with a split lip.During his sentencing hearing, Destefano blamed not only the alcohol he’d consumed that night at a party on campus but also the performance-enhancing drugs he was taking.He was sentenced to a total of four years in prison on assault and battery and witness intimidation charges. He was paroled last year and has returned to his hometown, River Vale, New Jersey.Now, Destefano is citing Massachusetts' social host liability law, which says it is illegal for anyone over the age of 21 to supply alcohol or knowingly condone underage drinking. Destefano is claiming that the school tacitly approved of underage drinking on campus, which goes against the law and the school’s duty of care to protect its students from harm.The suit says the failure of the college and President Richard Wylie to enforce the legal drinking age of 21 on campus caused Destefano to “become so extremely intoxicated that he lost the capacity to conform his actions to the requirements of the law.”The suit was filed by Salem, Massachusetts attorney Stephen Lovely on Feb. 1, three years to the day after Destefano’s crimes occurred, just as the statute of limitations was about to expire.His attorneys in the criminal case, Tom Kiley and Martin Weinberg, also suggested that Endicott was “not the bucolic campus” that had been portrayed to parents of prospective students.“Underage drinking is a real problem there,” Kiley said during Destefano’s sentencing in June 2014. “It was a real problem for Dillon Destefano and his friends.”In the lawsuit, Destefano and his current attorney focused the blame on the college and Wylie. Before the assaults, the lawsuit says, Destefano had an “exemplary record” at Endicott and was “widely known as a quiet, peaceful, sociable and caring individual.”But on the night of the incidents, Destefano and other students “consumed an inordinate amount of alcoholic beverages” at two dorm parties and campus police failed to intervene, according to the lawsuit.Drinking, the suit says, had lowered Destefano’s inhibitions and caused him to respond violently to several perceived provocations, including a snowball being thrown at him.The suit also says the school had a special duty to protect students, and that it was negligent in supervising them. Destefano’s roommate was 21, of legal drinking age, and was allowed to keep alcohol in his dorm room, the suit says, despite Destefano’s being 19 at the time.The suit seeks damages for the loss of Destefano’s reputation and for pain and suffering.The school and Wylie had not been served with the complaint and declined comment. Lovely also declined to comment.Leighton and Manganis write for the Salem, Massachusetts News.

  • Updated

Colin McDonough will be working in the kitchen at the restaurant he owns on Thursday while nearly his entire kitchen staff is out for the day. McDonough said that to keep his restaurant open, he and a co-owner will flip burgers and make chicken wings themselves, sticking to the basic menu items they feel confident preparing.

  • Updated

AUSTIN - Despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year overturning the state's abortion restrictions, Texas lawmakers rejoined a battle over the procedure in the state Senate on Wednesday.

  • Updated

On Feb. 8 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reversed course and issued an easement allowing the installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. That decision followed a presidential memorandum indicating that construction and operation of the pipeline would be in the “national interest,” and set the stage for a final showdown over the pipeline’s fate.

  • Updated

Questions about ties between President Donald Trump's team and Russian intelligence agents deepened Wednesday after new reports of extensive contacts between the two, which are sure to fuel Republican calls for a deeper look at Trump's links to the country.

Ah, processed foods. The term has become a sweeping generalization for anything that comes in a bag or a box. Even my nutrition advice usually includes the general statement "eat less processed food and choose fresh food instead." But that sentence really simplifies a more complex story.

  • Updated

BOSTON — Environmentalists want the state of Massachusetts to phase out fossil fuels by accelerating a shift to renewable energy sources such as hydropower, wind and solar over the next three decades.

  • Updated

Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Donald Trump, resigned late Monday over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials.

Out of fear that he would be persecuted for his bisexuality, Seidu Mohammed fled from Ghana in an attempt to find a new home in the U.S. The 24-year-old man was denied asylum in late 2016. Mohammed and another Ghanaian native, Razak Iyal, decided to illegally cross from the U.S. into Canada, as the AP reported recently. The two took a bus from Minneapolis to Grand Forks.