ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
72°
Sunny
H 88° L 64°
  • clear-day
    72°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 88° L 64°
  • clear-day
    82°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 88° L 64°
  • cloudy-day
    65°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 81° L 66°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

News

    New data show that the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year. They showed their biggest drop in 25 years. The decline comes amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction. A health data firm released a report Thursday showing a 9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent. The U.S. is estimated to consume roughly 30 percent of all opioids used worldwide. The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year, showing their biggest drop in 25 years and continuing a decline amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction, new data show. Health data firm IQVIA's Institute for Human Data Science released a report Thursday showing an 8.9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent. Declines topped 10 percent in 18 states, including all of New England and other states hit hard by the opioid overdose epidemic, such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania. 'We're at a really critical moment in the country when everybody's paying attention to this issue,' said Michael Kleinrock, the institute's research director. 'People really don't want them if they can avoid them.' There was an even greater drop in total dosage of opioid prescriptions filled in 2017, down 12 percent from 2016. Reasons for that include more prescriptions being for a shorter duration, a 7.8 percent decline in new patients starting on opioid prescriptions and far fewer high-dose prescriptions. Opioid doses are measured in 'morphine milligram equivalents.' (A standard Vicodin pill has the equivalent of 5 milligrams of morphine.) Prescriptions for dosages of 90 morphine milligram equivalents per day or more, which carry the highest addiction risk, declined by 16 percent last year, according to the report. The U.S. is estimated to consume roughly 30 percent of all opioids used worldwide. Opioid prescriptions and daily doses rose steadily starting in the 1990s, fueled by factors including marketing of new opioid pills such as Oxycontin. Use peaked in 2011 at levels far above those in other wealthy countries where national health systems control narcotics more aggressively. The U.S. decline began after overdoses and deaths from prescription opioids and illicit narcotics soared, and multiple groups pushed back. The federal government and about half the states have enacted restrictions, such as limiting the dose or duration of opioids that can be prescribed. Insurers and drug stores began imposing similar limits on opioid use for acute pain, as opposed to cancer and chronic pain patients. The Drug Enforcement Administration increased prosecution of heavy prescribers. And numerous medical groups have issued guidelines urging prescribers to offer other pain-management options when possible and to limit doses and duration of opioid prescriptions. Despite those measures, deaths from drug overdoses have continued to increase in the U.S. and emergency rooms saw a big jump in overdoses from opioids last year, according to government data. Doctors have been heeding the messages from medical groups, and some worry they'll be arrested or lose their license if they provide too many opioids, said Bob Twillman, executive director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, which represents doctors and others who treat pain patients. 'We get a lot of phone calls from patients whose primary care doctors have said they won't prescribe opioids at all,' and want referrals to other doctors, Twillman said. The opioid data are part of IQVIA's annual report on U.S. drug-spending trends. It noted that last year the total spent on prescription drugs, after multiple discounts and rebates drugmakers give to middlemen, was $324 billion, up 0.6 percent. The report forecasts that after such discounts, drug spending will rise by 2 percent to 5 percent annually for the next five years. ___ Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma
  • The wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has died. She was 67. The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich's death Wednesday. The team didn't provide further details. 'We mourn the loss of Erin,' Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a team statement. 'She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us.' The Popovichs have two children and two grandchildren. They met at the Air Force Academy in the 1970s when he was an assistant coach for the Falcons. Erin's father, Jim Conboy, was Air Force's head athletic trainer. Gregg Popovich has coached San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five NBA titles. San Antonio will face Golden State on Thursday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. Popovich ran the Spurs' practice Wednesday. The Warriors lead the series 2-0.
  • Investigators in northeast Florida said an officer with the New Smyrna Beach Police Department was meeting women in public parks while he was on duty. >> Read more trending news Officer Beau Estrada resigned in January while the internal investigation into his activities was going on. Investigators got a tip from a citizen who claimed he saw the officer having sex on the job, so they began following Estrada to different parks. They said they discovered Estrada was meeting women at a park, which prompted the investigation.  When investigators started following him while he was on duty, they captured photos of him meeting and kissing women.  One day, they observed him meeting three different women at three different parks while on duty. None of them was his wife.  One of the women told investigators she had sex with Estrada while he was on duty. They said Estrada admitted to meeting women, but denied having sex with them while on the clock. During another incident, investigators found Estrada neglected to take a domestic violence report on a case in which a man was seen bleeding from his left eye. Around the same time as the call, Estrada's body camera video showed him texting two different women, investigators said.  Estrada resigned before the investigations into the incidents were complete A police lieutenant released a statement saying the New Smyrna Beach Police Department, “Take(s) incidents like this seriously, and Estrada's actions don't reflect the majority of great work done by others in the department every day.”
  • Third-seeded Alexander Zverev has reached the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals where he could face his brother. Mischa Zverev was to play Richard Gasquet later Thursday. 'Hopefully my brother will win and it will be an amazing day tomorrow,' the younger Alexander Zverev said. He made hard work of closing out German countryman Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Zverev was broken to love serving for the match at 5-2 and wasted a first match point when Struff served at 30-40 in the next game. Struff could have made it even harder for Zverev, but he missed an easy volley at the net at 30-30. Instead of giving him break point, it gave Zverev a second match point. He took it when Struff hit a powerful forehand narrowly wide, and let out a yell of relief. Defending champion Rafael Nadal was to play Karen Khachanov and two-time winner Novak Djokovic was facing No. 5 Dominic Thiem later Thursday. Second-seeded Marin Cilic advanced without hitting a ball after Milos Raonic pulled out with a right knee injury. It was not immediately clear how Raonic injured his knee. Cilic, the Australian Open runner-up, will play Kei Nishikori or Andreas Seppi. Sixth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium made it through after beating Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 7-5. After dropping his serve to trail 4-1, Bautista Agut cleared a ball from the back of the court just as the ball boy was sprinting across the court. The ball was travelling slowly, bounced and clipped the ball boy on the head. Bautista Agut raised a hand up in apology. Bautista Agut had apparently not seen him, because he was looking down at the ball when he swiped at it. Goffin was confused by what happened. 'I just saw the ball directly hitting the ball boy. I was surprised to see he only got a warning,' Goffin said. 'For me, if you send a ball onto the ball boy's head, you're (kicked) off. I don't know what the rules are exactly, how he only got a warning. He said the ball bounced and the ball boy just happened to be there. Bad luck for him. But in any case, it's just an incident.' Serving for the match at 5-2, Goffin wasted two match points, lost the game, and then the next two for 5-5. Goffin, a semifinalist here last year, plays either No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov or Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last eight.
  • German pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck says it has agreed to sell its global consumer health business to Procter & Gamble for 3.4 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in cash. The deal means Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, whose over-the-counter brands include Pepto-Bismol and NyQuil, acquires a business that saw 6 percent organic sales growth in 2015-2017. P&G CEO David Taylor said that the company 'liked the steady, broad-based growth' of the over-the-counter health care market and that the acquisition would bolster the company's geographic reach and product portfolio. Products include nutritional supplements for pregnant women, cod liver oil capsules and back pain balm. Merck, based in Darmstadt, Germany, said it would use the money from the sale to reduce debt. Germany's Merck is different from U.S-based Merck & Company, Inc.
  • The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local): 8:05 a.m. A U.S. ambassador says his country is maintaining a 'maximum pressure campaign' to convince North Korea to denuclearize even as Washington prepares a summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Robert Wood is the top U.S. envoy to the U.N.-hosted Conference on Disarmament. Wood says the U.S. believes the ongoing pressure campaign 'has had an important impact in the North's decision to return to the table.' At a news conference Thursday ahead of a meeting next week on nuclear nonproliferation, Wood said the U.S. welcomed Pyongyang's willingness to talk about denuclearization. He called the summit planned for late May or early June a 'momentous time.' Asked by a reporter, Wood said he has received 'absolutely no instructions' about possibly easing the pressure on Pyongyang so as not to scuttle the summit. ___ 12:45 a.m. President Donald Trump says a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un is not a sure thing. He says he could still pull out of a meeting if he feels it's 'not going to be fruitful.' Trump says a summit with Kim could take place by early June, although the venue has yet to be decided. It would be the first such leadership summit between the two nations after six decades of hostility following the Korean War. CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Kim secretly met more than two weeks ago.
  • A California woman chasing her dog in a San Diego shopping center was killed Tuesday after she was hit by an armored truck, KNSD reported.  >> Read more trending news Mikaela Jones was chasing her dog, who had gotten away from her, at the La Jolla Village Shopping Center when she was hit, according to the San Diego Police Department. Tuesday was Jones’ 22nd birthday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner. Shortly after 5 p.m., a Garda armored truck was making a right turn when it hit Jones, dragging her a short distance, KSWB reported. The woman's boyfriend, Hunter Chenier, said he saw the accident. 'This (Garda) truck comes around the corner kind of fast and she was worried about the dog so she was waving her arms and then the truck just kind of slammed her and she went under the front and back wheels,' Chenier said. 'I ran up to her and was just making sure she was talking and she was talking, so that was a good sign.' Jones was taken to a hospital to be treated for major trauma, police said. She later died of her injuries, KNSD reported. The driver of the armored truck, whose name was not released, remained at the scene and was cooperative with the investigation, KSWB reported. Alcohol was not suspected as a factor in the collision, police said.
  • Greece's highest court has imposed severe restrictions on the movements of one of eight Turkish servicemen who have applied for asylum in Greece after fleeing Turkey following a failed 2016 coup there, while he waits for a decision on his asylum application. The Council of State ruled that the officer will remain at an undisclosed address, must appear daily at a local police station and cannot obtain travel documents until his asylum application is determined in May. Courts had initially granted him asylum, but suspended the decision following a Greek government appeal. The eight helicopter crewmen, who deny involvement in the attempted putsch, have become a bone of contention in increasingly souring Greek-Turkish relations. Turkey demands they be returned as coup plotters, but Greek courts have rejected the extradition requests.
  • Rashon Nelson initially brushed it off when the Starbucks manager told him he couldn't use the restroom because he wasn't a paying customer. He thought nothing of it when he and his business partner, Donte Robinson, were approached at their table and were asked if they needed help. The 23-year-old entrepreneurs declined, explaining they were just waiting for a business meeting. A few minutes later, they hardly noticed when the police walked into the coffee shop — until officers started walking in their direction. 'That's when we knew she called the police on us,' Nelson told The Associated Press in the men's first interview since video of their April 12 arrests went viral. Nelson and Robinson, black men who became best friends in the fourth grade, were taken in handcuffs from the Starbucks in Philadelphia's tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, where Robinson has been a customer since he was 15. The video, recorded on a white customer's cellphone video, galvanized people around the country who saw the exchange as modern-day racism. In the week since, the men have met with Starbucks' CEO and have started pushing for lasting changes to ensure what happened to them doesn't happen to anyone else. 'We were there for a real reason, a real deal that we were working on,' Robinson explained. 'We put in a lot of time, energy, effort. ... We were at a moment that could have a positive impact on a whole ladder of people, lives, families. So I was like, 'No, you're not stopping that right now.'' Robinson said he thought about his loved ones and how the afternoon had taken such a turn as he was taken to jail. Nelson wondered if he'd make it home alive. 'Anytime I'm encountered by cops, I can honestly say it's a thought that runs through my mind,' Nelson said. 'You never know what's going to happen.' Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney, who is white, said what happened at the Starbucks 'appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.' Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who's black, said in a Facebook post that arresting officers 'did absolutely nothing wrong,' and added that Nelson and Robinson were disrespectful to officers. Ross said officers did what they were supposed to do and were professional in their dealings with the men, 'and instead they got the opposite back.' Nelson and Robinson originally were supposed to meet Andrew Yaffe, a white local businessman, at a Starbucks across town. But the plan changed, and they agreed to meet at the Rittenhouse Square location, where they'd met several times before on a potential real estate opportunity. The black men arrived a few minutes early. Three police officers showed up not long after. Nelson said they weren't questioned but were told to leave immediately. Yaffe showed up as the men were being handcuffed. He can be seen in the video demanding an explanation for the officers' actions. Nelson and Robinson did not resist arrest, confused and unsure of what to think or what might happen next. 'When you know that you did nothing wrong, how do you really react to it?' Nelson said. 'You can either be ignorant or you can show some type of sophistication and act like you have class. That was the choice we had.' It was hardly their first encounter with police, a rite of passage that becomes a regular occurrence for many black men their age. But neither had been arrested before, setting them apart from many of their peers in the gritty southwest Philadelphia neighborhood where they grew up. Robinson briefly wondered what he might've done to bring the moment on himself. 'I feel like I fell short,' he explained. 'I'm trying to think of something I did wrong, to put not just me but my brother, my lifelong friend ... in this situation.' Attorney Stewart Cohen, representing Nelson and Robinson, said the men were illegally profiled. He pointed to Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in hotels, restaurants, theaters and other public accommodations. Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. has said the location where the arrests occurred has a policy that restrooms are for paying customers only. Nelson and Robinson spent hours in a jail cell with no outside contact and no sense of what would happen next. They were released after midnight, when the district attorney declined to prosecute them for trespassing. They had no idea the video of their arrests was making the rounds on the internet. The day after their arrests, they thought about what to do next. 'You go from being someone who's just trying to be an entrepreneur, having your own dreams and aspirations, and then this happens,' Nelson said. 'How do you handle it? Do you stand up? Do you fight? Do you sit down and just watch everyone else fight for you? Do you let it slide, like we let everything else slide with injustice?' Robinson, still focused on the previous day's business deal, called Yaffe to reschedule. Yaffe told him about the video and the traction it had gotten. Over the weekend, attention and outrage over the video grew, prompting a protest at the local Starbucks restaurant and a national boycott. By Monday, the men were set to meet with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to discuss what happened. Johnson has responded quickly to public outcry around the arrests, calling them 'reprehensible,' apologizing and ordering stores closed for mandatory training to tackle unconscious bias. Nelson and Robinson said they're looking for more lasting results and are in mediation proceedings with Starbucks to implement changes, including the posting in stores of a customer bill of rights; the adoption of new policies regarding customer ejections, racial profiling and racial discrimination; and independent investigations of complaints of profiling or discrimination from customers and employees. Robinson said he appreciates the public support the men have received but anger and boycotting Starbucks are not the solution. 'We need a different type of action ... not words,' he said. 'It's a time to pay attention and understand what's really going on. We do want a seat at the table.' ___ Whack is The Associated Press' national writer for race and ethnicity. Follow her work on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous
  • A Michigan woman put some of her children in a suitcase and placed them next to the garbage at the road, then fled before Child Protective Services personnel arrived, WEYI reported. >> Read more trending news The incident took place in Flint shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday, Flint Police said. Police came to the residence to assist CPS officials, who were coming to take custody of the children. It was not clear whether four or five children were involved, but the youngest was 11 months old, WEYI reported. Police said the woman stuffed at least one child on a suitcase and brought the luggage to the curb. She ran away from the scene, but police caught her, WEYI reported. She was taken to a hospital, as were all of the children.