Shataia Alicia Morris, 16, of West Hartford has been dancing since she was 6 years old, has won an abundance of awards and wants to continue dancing for years to come. As a young child, she would watch the TV show “Dance Moms.” She said those hour-long episodes sparked a fire in her that will never be put out. Morris has won over 20 dance awards, mostly for her solos in jazz, tap and lyrical dance. She recently won an award for a solo performance in lyrical dance.
Maren Sanchez, 16, a student at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, was stabbed to death in April 2014 by Christopher Plaskon, 19, after she refused his invitation to the school prom. He was convicted of murder in June 2016 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. While Plaskon’s conviction may have offered little comfort to Maren Sanchez’s loved ones, her death called attention to the issue of teen dating violence. Connecticut enacted a state law in 2014 requiring teachers, administrators and other school personnel to receive training in how to recognize teen dating violence and domestic violence. And the pain from the loss of her daughter prompted Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez to create the Maren Sanchez Home Foundation with the mission “to empower girls to defend themselves against emotional, psychological and verbal manipulation and physical violence.”
According to the 2017 Youth Behavior Risk Survey, about 10 percent of teens in Connecticut said they have experienced sexual dating violence in high school.
Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted and every eight minutes that victim is a child, according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. People ages 12 to 34 are at the highest risk for rape and sexual assault.
Detective Brendan Gibbs of the New York Police Department said he has investigated 40 to 50 sexual assault cases during his 13 years on the police force. He said the victims have usually ranged in ages from 15 to 17. The victims are mostly Hispanic females who have been assaulted by a relative or a person who is very close to the family, he said.
Connecticut hospitals ranked fourth from the bottom nationally for timely treatment of sepsis, new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show. Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection and occurs when an infection you already have triggers a chain reaction throughout your body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Without timely treatment, sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and even death, the CDC reports. In 2015, CMS decided to start assessing hospitals’ treatment for sepsis. The first treatment statistics were released recently. A high percentage score means that a hospital has been following sepsis treatment protocols; a low score indicates poor sepsis care. Connecticut’s average score was 43 percent, compared with a national score of 49 percent, the data show. C-HIT has updated its Hospital Infections easy-to-use searchable database to include the sepsis ratings for each hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 700 women in the United States die each year as a result of pregnancy or pregnancy-related complications, and the rate has more than doubled since 1987. Pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births rose from 7.2 nationally in 1987 to 17.3 in 2013, peaking at 17.8 in 2009 and 2011. In Connecticut, there were eight pregnancy-related deaths from 2011 to 2014. But there’s no data available yet for the years since 2014 and at the moment there are precious few dollars devoted to accessing it
For more on this story by Christine Stuart of ctnewsjunkie.com click here.
Lisa Chedekel was a treasure who found me. We launched the Conn. Health I-Team in 2010 after working together for over 30 years, first at the New Haven Register and later at the Hartford Courant. Today she leaves a rich and powerful legacy that touched so many of us in Connecticut. That legacy includes all the aspects of what a journalist is.
While the NCAA reports that African-American men’s basketball players are graduating in greater numbers, others say more needs to be done to support the players. The NCAA reported in 2016 that more than three quarters of Division I African-American men’s basketball players – 77 percent – earned their degrees, up five points from last year, 31 points over the past 15 years and the highest rate ever. African-American male college athletes earned a graduation rate 11 percentage points higher than African-American men in the student body (52 percent to 41 percent), the NCAA report said. African-American male student-athletes have increased their graduation success rate by 19 percentage points to 70 percent during this time, the report said. Dan Guest, a 2012 graduate of the University of Connecticut from West Hartford, was a guard on the Huskies team. He has since played basketball in Mexico and is hoping to play in Europe in August.
Students from low-income families in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury students do not perform as well as their classmates on the SAT. In 2015-16, only 9.3 percent of Hartford children who qualify for free or reduced lunch met or exceeded a passing score on the math portion of the SAT, according to date from the state Department of Education. In the same district, 27.2 percent of low-income students earned a passing score on the English section. By comparison, 32.7 percent of students from Hartford who are not eligible for free or reduced lunch received passing scores in math, and 50.9 percent of the same group of students passed their English SATs. In New Haven, 7.7 percent of low-income students passed math, compared to 20.7 percent of students from higher income families.
The University of Connecticut football team’s Academic Progress Rate ranks 4th out of 12 teams in the American Athletic Conference for the 2015-2016 season, according to the NCAA. The NCAA created the Academic Progress Rate (APR) in 2003 to measure the eligibility, retention and graduation rates of college sports programs. For a college to be considered well balanced in academics and sports, it must maintain a 930 or higher APR each year. If a college fails to maintain that level, there are penalties. Where does the UConn football program fall on this scale? For the 2015-2016 season, it scored a 975 rating, according to the NCAA.
For many students in Connecticut, graduating from high school is an expectation. But for many low-income students, it can be a struggle. According to the state Department of Education, the average 4-year graduation rate for the state for 2016 was 87.4 percent. However, school districts experiencing a higher rate of poverty have a lower graduation rate. Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury have the highest rates of poverty, in the latest ranking of districts published in 2006 by the state.