Deal Signs ‘Amnesty’ Bill Aimed At Reducing Fatal Overdoses

first_img Related Stories Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party For Whom The Bell Rings 1:25 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List Share Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday signed into law a bill aimed at protecting those who report a drug or alcohol overdose.The bill protects those who call 9-1-1 to report a drug overdose and who may also have been using drugs from arrest or prosecution. The same applies to those under 21 years old who report an alcohol overdose. With Deal’s signature, Georgia joins at least 17 other states that have passed similar “Good Samaritan Laws.”As heard on the radio1:25Republican state Rep. Sharon Cooper of Marietta, the bill’s sponsor, hopes people will now make potentially life-saving emergency calls.“We’ve got to at least help people make the right decision to help somebody else.”Supporters pushed for the bill after a handful of Georgians died of an accidental overdose, some which they say may have been prevented had friends called for emergency help. Cooper said often people are too scared to call, fearing they’ll face criminal punishment.“It’s not that people are panicking or so stoned on drugs that they don’t know what they’re doing, because in several instances the people that survive would tell you they discussed it,” Cooper said.The governor signed the bill into law quietly in his office Thursday morning. It takes effect immediately.The new law also loosens restrictions on Naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug.Previously only available to licensed medical personnel, the drug will now be available to first responders, so-called harm reduction agencies or anyone with a prescription.  Critics say easier access could increase the likelihood someone uses drugs like heroin or prescription pain-killers, a criticism Cooper dismisses.“You’re trying to save a life so there’s a chance of turning somebody’s life around. If you’re dead, there’s no chance,” Cooper said.Mona Bennett, who heads the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, praised the new law.Previously, the coalition had been administering the drug illegally.“This is a huge victory, and we have a vital tool for the community to use to save themselves.The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Naloxone has reversed more than 10,000 overdoses since it was introduced in the mid-90s. last_img read more

UWF Volleyball Announces Three Newcomers for 2008 Season

first_img June 25, 2008PENSACOLA, Fla. – After a record-breaking 2007 season, UWF Volleyball lost three seniors who proved to be important in the road to the NCAA national tournament despite being defeated by Central Missouri. The 2008 season, however, brings three transfer newcomers to the Argos. Head Coach Melissa Wolter has added two middle hitters and one outside hitter to join the Argonaut volleyball squad in 2008. Patricia Gandolfo and Valissia Brathwaite will join as juniors, while Morgan Elyea will be a sophomore.Patricia Gandolfo is a middle hitter from Porto Alegre, Brazil, transferring from Missouri State University – West Plains, a DI NJCAA community college. Gandolfo helped lead her team to an overall record of 72-20 and a 3rd place finish at the NJCAA national tournament in 2006 and an 11th place finish in 2007. The 6’3″ middle hitter was named NJCAA and AVCA 1st Team All-American in 2006 and 2nd Team All-American in 2007. “We are very excited to have Patricia join our program. She presents great size, work ethic and experience at a high level. We anticipate her making an immediate impact to our program,” says Coach Wolter. Gandolfo is also excited for the opportunity to play at West Florida, stating, “This volleyball program makes sure that an athlete not only plays volleyball, but makes education a priority. I want to be challenged and that’s what UWF volleyball is all about!”Sophomore Morgan Elyea comes to UWF after just one season as a middle hitter at Northern Kentucky University. “Her experience playing high level club ball and seeing floor time already as a college freshmen will really help our depth in the Middle Hitter position,” says Coach Wolter. Elyea, hailing from New Castle, Indiana, helped NKU to a 26-9 overall record in 2007. She played 6 years for Muciana Volleyball Club and made 3 National appearances. When asked about why she chose West Florida, Elyea responded, “After meeting the team, practicing with them and spending time with the players, I just knew it was the right fit for me. They are a family and welcomed me immediately. They work hard, push each other and I’m very excited to be a part of this!”The only outside hitter newcomer to West Florida volleyball is a junior transfer from Palm Beach Community College. Valissia Brathwaite is a native of the British Virgin Islands, and played her first two years of college at NJCAA DI Palm Beach Community College where she helped lead her team to a 44-28 overall record and a third place finish at the State Tournament both years. “We are very excited to have Val joining our team this fall. She is a phenomenal athlete that is going to progress very well in our style of training. She represents a big, physical outside hitter which will help round out our roster,” Coach Wolter comments. In addition to attending State tournament, Brathwaite was named Athlete of the Year, Second Team All-Conference, and to the All-tournament team at the FCCJ tournament.In addition to new players, Coach Wolter also begins the 2008 season with a new staff of two graduate assistant coaches. Rafaella Maranhao joins the West Florida coaching staff after a three-year stint with GSC competitor University of West Alabama. Coach Wolter states “Rafa Maranhao is going to be a great addition to our coaching staff. She has 3 years of experience competing in the Gulf South Conference and understands what it takes to be successful in this league. Rafa was a great competitor on the court with an exciting energy about her. She’s anxious to get into the coaching profession and we are really looking forward to adding her experience, passion for the game and knowledge of what it takes to be a successful student athlete.” As a player Maranhao helped the UWA volleyball team to finish third in the GSC in 2007. She finished her senior season with a winning record of 27-6. She was third on the team in kills, with 3.20 point per game, and third in service aces with 45 aces. In 2005, she recorded 326 digs, including 39 against Ouachita Baptist on 9/3/05 making the 2005 Division II 30- Dig Club before a season-ending knee injury. Previously, Maranhao was an assistant coach for Magic City Thunder Club in Birmingham for 8th grade girls in the spring of 2007. She has also coached summer volleyball camps since 2005 for the University of Florida, University of Tampa, and Florida Southern College.West Florida graduate Marcela Cunha returns also as a graduate assistant for UWF volleyball this season. “We are very excited about bringing Marcela Cunha back into the UWF Volleyball Program. She’s been in the area and has never truly left the program as she’s attended almost all of our home matches. She is one of the smartest volleyball players that I’ve ever coached and has always seemed to look at the game from a coach’s perspective. The transition from player to coach should be an easy one for Marcela. I’m anxious to have Marcela on our staff, helping us break ground into new territory,” says Coach Wolter about one of her own. Cunha spent three years as an Argo and helped lead the team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2004, her 59 assists against Northwest Missouri (9/10) led to a number four ranking in school history for single-match highs. In 2007, she led the team in assists with 7.73 assists per game and was named to the All-GSC Second Team. As a coach, Cunha has coached summer volleyball camps at Northern Kentucky University in 2002 and at the University Of West Florida in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Print Friendly Version UWF Volleyball Announces Three Newcomers for 2008 Season Sharelast_img read more