— The community mourning the loss of a teenage boy with autism is also calling for a change to prevent any more tragedy.
13-year-old Max Benson died a day after being restrained at the Guiding Hands School in El Dorado Hills.
The California Department of Education is now saying it appears the school violated state rules.
It is an emotional time for the community who came out to support young Max and his family. Many are demanding that California shuts down the school.
Melissa Lasater did not think twice before removing her son from the Guiding Hands school last week. She says her son is the same age as Max, just 13-years-old.
READ: Caltrans Worker Fighting For His Life After Being Hit On I-80
This comes after the death of Max who died a day after losing consciousness while being restrained inside his classroom. It’s a practice that Lasater says is all too common. She claims her son was restrained four times in one month for minor behavior issues.
“They are using this not as an emergency, but as a punishment. Which is not what it’s designed to be,” Lasater said.
According to a letter obtained by CBS13, in a preliminary investigation, the California Department of Education found that Guiding Hands violated multiple state rules in regard to Max’s death including using an emergency restraint in a non-emergency situation, using the restraint for longer than necessary with unreasonable force, as well as failing to use intervention strategies that were required in Max’s individual education plan.
ALSO: Authorities Investigating Incident That Left Man With His Throat Slashed
Advocates for those with disabilities joined parents and former students of the school, including Katie Kaufman who says she was also restrained often.
“They throw the person on the floor in a body slam,” Kaufman said.
She and others say it’s time to shut down the school.
The department of education is still working on a further investigation into Max’s death. That information will not be released until the investigation is complete.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Early results of a new study show kids who spent more than two hours a day on screens scored lower on language and thinking tests. And for those with even more screen time — the red flags are there.
Angela Sotgui is already trying to decide how much screen time is okay when her 5-month-old daughter Natalie grows up.
“I would like to stall as long as possible because I can sense that addiction,” Sotgui said.
60 minutes profiled researchers at the National Institutes of Health who found proof that increased screen time is impacting brain development. Brain scans of nine and 10-year-olds, who used screens for more than seven hours a day, show premature thinning of the cortex which speeds up the so-called “maturation process.”
READ: First Responders Reflect On Devastation From The Camp Fire
The study also found children who have more than 2 hours of screen time a day scored lower on thinking and language testing.
“I think there’s a recognition from the makers of these successful devices that perhaps there are issues with too much screen time,” said Connie Guglielmo, Editor in Chief of CNET.
Guglielmo says most people working in the tech industry limit the amount of screen time their own children are exposed to —herself included. She says Apple’s new screentime report that allows you to set limits for your kids is an important step for the industry.
ALSO: Caltrans Worker Fighting For His Life After Being Hit On I-80
But if you’re still wondering how much is too much, Connie says go with your gut.
“Don’t abdicate parenting to any advice, including a smartphone or a tablet,” Guglielmo said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you avoid using devices with children between 18-24 months, except for video chatting. Children between 2 and 5 years old should not use devices more than an hour a day.
WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13)
— A Caltrans employee is fighting for his life after being hit while doing roadwork on the interstate. The unthinkable happened Friday morning on Interstate 80 after a van began spinning out of control.
“The van, it didn’t hit Gary head on, but it hit him sideways,” said his fiancé Madeleine Ison. “Gary took most of the impact. He flew about 30 feet and slammed into a concrete wall. The van also hit a light pole and the light pole fell onto Gary, which badly broke his legs.”
Gary Morin, 32-years-old, was filling potholes when a driver bailed off the 50 Interstate interchange onto 80 eastbound at the last second, which caused the car to clip a semi. It’s left Morin in critical condition.
READ: Authorities Investigating Incident That Left Man With His Throat Slashed
“We did hear that Gary knew it was coming, but there just wasn’t enough time to get out of the way,” Ison said.
His family is now waiting patiently to find out his prognosis after breaking several bones and fracturing his skull.
“Last night they did put him in a medically induced coma, so it has just been a real struggle,” Ison said.
It’s a dangerous job that’s killed 52 Caltrans workers since 1971. That’s not including independent contractors.
“The number is actually higher,” said Dennis Keaton with the department, who says speed and distracted driving is the leading cause. “It’s really a big issue for anyone working on the side of the highway.”
ALSO: High School Football Player Destroys Opposing Team’s Furniture With Sledgehammer
Ison says Morin just wrapped up work in Tahoe and came home to an early morning shift in West Sacramento.
“Honestly I knew the dangers of the job, but I never ever thought this would happen to us,” Ison said. “The job is so important that they’re doing, fixing the roads for us, the least that we can do is just slow down to ensure their safety,”
The couple got engaged earlier this year, now the wedding has been postponed.
“I can’t even imagine if I lose him, he’s my everything,” she said.
READ: First Responders Reflect On Devastation From The Camp Fire
The department urges drivers to pay attention and slow down in road work areas. And as a reminder, the “move over” law is designed to give emergency personnel a buffer and also applies Caltrans workers. Drivers can be ticketed if they fail to comply.
As for Morin, he had been Caltrans less than 6 months and isn’t eligible for healthcare, but his family is hoping workers compensation will take care of the medical expenses.
His friends set up GoFundMe
to help with expenses.
TURLOCK (CBS13) — A Turlock woman known for her elaborate Halloween decorations is now taking on Christmas in a major way. CBS13 took a look at the dazzling display she calls “Paris Noel’s Winter Wonderland.”
With its twinkling lights and festive holiday music, Stephanie Valgos has had a love for Christmas ever since she was a little girl.
“I used to beg my Mom to sleep by the Christmas tree and then when I went away to college, I instantly started decorating with lights,” Valgos said.
Her hobby intensified with the birth of her now-teenage daughter, Paris Noel, on Christmas Day. She says Christmas quickly became her passion.
READ: Young Adults Who Aged Out Of Foster Care Get Surprised With New Furniture
It’s a passion that now brightens Merchant Lane in Turlock and brings smiles to the faces of those who stop by “Paris Noel’s Winter Wonderland.”
“I feel like if people can come by here and just for a few minutes escape the reality and fall back to a time before innocence was lost… then I’m happy,” Valgos said.
She said she begins to set up her magnificent display well before Thanksgiving and typically recruits a few friends to help.
ALSO: See More Christmas Light Displays With The 12 Daves Of Christmas
Her display features carolers, penguins, an Eiffel Tower, and even some red, white and blue to honor the troops. There are thousands of twinkling lights, enough to light up the entire neighborhood.
The public is welcome to visit Valgos’ display and see the work of several of her neighbors on the 4200 block of Merchant Lane in Turlock. And if Turlock is too far out of the way, check it out on her Facebook page, Paris Noel’s Winter Wonderland.
BUTTE COUNTY (CBS13)
— This weekend marked one month since the massive and fast-moving flames tore through Paradise and surrounded communities in Butte County, burning over 153,000 acres and leaving death and destruction in its path.
As crews start to clear out the toxic debris and rubble in Butte County, first responders are telling their stories about the moments between life and death during the deadliest fire in California history.
Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy Palmer Lee activated his body camera unsure if he would even survive the flames that surrounded him.
“He honestly believed that he was recording the last moments of his life. And in his mind, he thought he thought that perhaps the video would survive,” said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.
READ: FEMA-Supplied Trailers For Displaced Camp Fire Evacuees Arrive In Tehama County
But somehow through the deadly fire, all first responders survived and helped the city of 27,000 evacuate or shelter in place, surrounded by blowing flames on gridlocked roads without any water.
Cal Fire Captian Rick Manson shared one of his stories saying he found an elderly woman standing on the side of the road because he got tangled in some power lines that he had to cut.
“As I opened my door, the embers are blowing inside my truck and [I’m] thinking my truck’s going to catch on fire. Shut the door. Run to the screaming I hear. It was an elderly couple cuddling each other,” said Cal Fire Battalion Cheif Sims Hawkins.
ALSO: California Utilities To Cover Power Lines, Expand Weather Monitoring
There are thousands of stories like this, making Paradise a symbol of community sacrifice and survival.
Many firefighters and sheriff’s deputies lost their owns homes in the fire and still continued to go back to work and help with recovery efforts.
Meanwhile, the biggest cleanup in state history is underway, and when the power lines are up and safe, neighbors will be back helping each other sift through what’s left.
Three people remain unaccounted for in Butte County.
BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – A homeless encampment located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way near Adeline Street in Berkeley is turning a few heads this holiday season.
Solar panels are powering Christmas lights on a tree and lighting up a decorative tent. They are also being used to charge phones and computers.
“We are trying to be the leading camp in the sense that we want to show people that something different can be done,” said camp organizer Stacey Hill.
A community is home to about 20 people ranging in age from 20 to 60. There is also a tent stocked with food, and a communal table where homeless people drink coffee every morning.
Stacey Hill helped organize what he calls the “Here There” encampment. Homeless people have been staying at the site for the past two years. They say Berkeley Police has not cleared them out.
The city has agreed to clean Porta Potties the encampment bought. It also picks up the trash.
Berkeley homeless encampment (CBS)
“I think it’s pretty clean as far as camps go, you see other camps around town and they got trash everywhere,” said Kent Dull.
Dull has Parkinson’s and has parked his trailer at the camp for the past two weeks without any problems. Overall, the organizer says there are few reports of violence, which can be expected at other encampments.
Hill says what makes the camp work is the rules.
“We have a collective body that keeps the rules,” said Hill. “No drinking. that’s probably the primary thing that keeps this camp together.”
Campers must also respect a 9 p.m. bedtime rule.
Hill hopes the encampment continues to grow and other Bay Area cities will get on board with its approach to living on the street.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks had been frequent flyers in recent weeks, playing all but one of their eight previous games on the road. Finally back at home on Monday night, they celebrated with a convincing victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Timo Meier scored twice, Joe Pavelski added his 20th goal of the season and the Sharks beat the Devils 5-2 for their fourth win in five games. Radim Simek scored his first NHL goal, Tomas Hertl added a late power-play score and Martin Jones stopped 22 shots for the Sharks.
“I feel like we’re playing better, we’re on a good streak now,” center Logan Couture said. “We haven’t had the easiest schedule. We’ve been going across time zones recently.”
Andy Greene and Drew Stafford each scored his first goal of the season for the Devils, who are a league-worst 3-11-2 on the road.
“It’s tough to win when you keep finding ways to beat yourselves. We just miss consistently in some areas of the game and that hurt us tonight,” said Devils center Travis Zajac. “We keep finding ways to hurt our game. We can’t consistently string together any momentum.”
Stafford gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, but the Sharks responded with goals by Meier and Pavelski in a 2:12 span later in the period. Meier’s 15th goal came on a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid, and Pavelski gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead by pouncing on a rebound that Kinkaid failed to handle.
Simek, playing in his fifth NHL game, made it 3-1 midway through the second period on a shot from just inside the blue line past a screened Kinkaid.
“It was maybe a little bit lucky, the goalkeeper maybe he not see anything. But I am happy for it,” said Simek, who joined the Sharks earlier this month. “It is a great feeling, I’m very happy for my first NHL goal and I will enjoy it with my girlfriend.”
Greene put a loose puck past Jones less than two minutes later to again pull the Devils within a goal. But Meier’s second goal of the game, on another sailing wrist shot, came with five minutes left in the second period to make it 4-2.
Hertl’s goal with 5:37 left in the game was the Sharks’ first power-play score since Dec. 5.
“We had a really good start for the first 10 minutes or so,” the Devils’ Greene said. “We came out pretty well. We had really good spurts, and all of sudden things begin to happen and we wilt.”
Notes: It was the 10th time that Pavelski has scored at least 20 goals in a season. … The Sharks didn’t get their first shot on goal until 10 ½ minutes into the game, by which time the Devils already had seven shots. By the end of the first period, though, San Jose led 11-9 in shots. … The Sharks have a league-leading 41 goals in the first period this season. … The Devils won the only other game between the teams this season, defeating the Sharks 3-2 in New Jersey on Oct. 14. … Ottawa (3-9-1) is the only team in the league other than the Devils with just three road wins this season. … The Sharks, who entered the game third in the league in penalty killing, held the Devils scoreless on both of their power plays.
Devils: Host Vegas on Friday.
Sharks: Host Dallas on Thursday.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry had 38 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Golden State beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 on Monday night in Draymond Green’s return to the Warriors’ lineup.
Klay Thompson scored 26 points and Kevin Durant had 22 as Golden State prepared for Wednesday’s showdown with Toronto by earning its fourth straight win. Curry went 7 for 14 from 3-point range.
Green, the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, had seven points, 10 rebounds and seven assists after being sidelined for 11 games with a right toe injury. He made his first shot, a 3-pointer, and then playfully challenged the Timberwolves to come guard him.
Karl Anthony-Towns had 31 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota. Derrick Rose added 21 points.
Curry, who only recently returned after sitting out 11 games himself with an injured groin, got going after missing six of his first nine shots. He made a pair of 3s and scored 14 points in the third quarter, including Golden State’s final nine of the period, and then made consecutive shots from deep after the Timberwolves closed to 101-93 in the fourth.
Thompson and Durant provided plenty of support. It’s the fourth time this season that the trio has scored 20 or more points in the same game.
The Warriors led 12-0 early and got a spark from Green.
After making his 3-pointer, Green had a second bucket on a goaltending call against Gorgui Deng, and then scored on a driving layup. The excitable Green also picked up a foul for setting an illegal screen and jawed at a referee while walking down the court.
Timberwolves: Robert Covington scored seven points on 2-of-7 shooting in his return after sitting out Saturday’s loss in Portland. … Rose scored 11 points in the second quarter, and then made an outstanding play to block a 3-point attempt by Jonas Jerebko near the Minnesota bench in the third. … Minnesota has lost six straight to Golden State.
Warriors: Curry is averaging 31.4 points in five games since coming back from injury. … Thompson made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first half. … Andre Iguodala did not play because of tightness in his right hip. … Curry, Durant and Thompson have each scored 20 or more points in the same game 35 times as teammates.
Timberwolves: Play at Sacramento on Wednesday night.
Warriors: Host Toronto on Wednesday night. The Raptors beat Golden State 131-128 in overtime on Nov. 29.
© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A Chicago mom says she never expected to fight with her insurance company about getting a safe wheelchair for her son.
Keisheya Spencer’s son has Cerebral palsy and has been using a wheelchair all of his life, but it’s fallen into disrepair and he needs a new one.
Ice and snow make it particularly difficult to get around. Spencer’s 19-year-old son, Keyshawn Griffin, has recently been counting on a donated scooter to get to and from school, but it limits his mobility at school.
“It’s basically my life, so I have no other choice,” Griffin said. “Other people can walk—and I can’t.”
Spencer’s plan covered most of their health care needs until a few months ago when she started receiving pushback from her insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Spencer has been fighting to get the insurance company to pay for the wheelchair repairs for months.
“There’s nothing to prevent him from falling,” Spencer said.
Spencer believes she’s getting the insurance company run around.
“This is private insurance—this is something I pay for,” she said. “So it really upsets me that he can’t get what he needs. And I pay my money to them every two weeks.”
The claims submitted to repair or replace Keishawn’s wheelchair were rejected, and the company requested cost comparisons.
So Spencer submitted a comparison, only to have the claim for a new chair denied based on the company’s claim that the old one could be repaired.
In one letter, a spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield stated a need for more physician information, which she attempted to get by phone.
But the rep called the phone wait time excessive, so she hung up after two minutes.
There’s now an appeal process expected to last between 60 and 90 days.
Spencer’s emotions took over when she thought about her son’s struggles, which could worsen when snow covers the ground.
“Just trying to make sure he has what he needs so that he can do what he needs for himself,” she said. “Those are his legs, and he can’t get around without them, and I think it’s so unfair,” Spencer said as she fought back tears.
Despite having all of Spencer’s information and an offer of a consent form, a Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson cited privacy concerns and refused to comment on her claims.
She’d only say the company is committed to helping members access quality, medically-necessary health care within plan benefits.