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10/29/14 10:30am

Illinois Suburb Residents Protest Inpatient Rehab Center

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Residents of an Illinois suburb are outraged that a group of ex-drug offenders are moving into a rehab facility in their community, with some demanding that the entire operation be moved somewhere else.

Angry residents and parents in Englewood claim that Southwood Interventions didn’t notify them that 72 ex-offenders would be staying at the facility, which is located near an elementary school. Turkessa Cleaves, chairman of the school council, said nobody was given information on the nature of the crimes committed by the ex-offenders,

While most in attendance at a recent local school council meeting didn’t object to drug treatment programs themselves, they felt it should be placed in a more remote area and not in a residential neighborhood.

"All of this came to my attention by someone else and not Southwood Interventions and I have a problem with that," said Ald. Toni Foulkes. "There was no community meeting to let residents know anything and that was not right. I am not against drug treatment centers, but what sense does it make to bring people, who are trying to get off drugs, into a community with a drug problem?"

Walter Carlson, executive director of Southwood Interventions, reportedly told Foulkes that all the ex-offenders would be wearing ankle monitors during their stay. That didn’t seem sufficient enough for Foulkes, however, as she argued that "the guy accused of raping a Chicago State University student was wearing an ankle bracelet. That goes to show that a bracelet cannot prevent a person from committing a crime."

Other residents grumbled that they had been sexually propositioned by ex-offenders formerly housed at the facility and that they “suck up all the parking spaces on the block when they come for treatment.” But considering Southwood has been operating in Englewood for over 30 years, this is not a new issue that's being raised.

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By McCarton Ackerman

crazy but true

10/29/14 8:30am

Wife Accuses Wealthy Banker Ex of Embarrassing Drug-Related Behavior in Lawsuit

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The wife of a multi-millionaire investment banker is out for money and humiliation in their divorce proceedings, claiming her husband had a major drug and alcohol problem that led to some rather embarrassing end results.

Christina Di Mauro Kelly is the ex-wife of Sage Kelly, the global head of health care investment banking at Jeffries. She alleged that Sage would go on frequent drug and alcohol binges, after which he “urinated and defecated in the bed and on the floor at the couple's homes on Park Ave. and in Sag Harbor, L.I.,” according to legal documents. Their oldest daughter reportedly carried her drunken father to bed on more than one occasion and even once had to clean up his excrement.

The vengeful estranged wife also claimed that Sage abused a wide range of drugs including ecstasy, heroin, ketamine, and Molly. Cocaine was allegedly his drug of choice and he allegedly refused to have sex with her unless they were on it.

She also identified 20 of her husband’s banker friends that he reportedly did cocaine with, and gave detailed reference to a drug-fueled business party at the Ritz Carlton in which he “wife-swapped” with another client. Sage denied the accusations of drug use in a deposition and also humorously declared that he “never defecated or urinated in bed, on the floor or a wall.”

If The Wolf of Wall Street was any indication, however, cocaine and prescription drug abuse is hardly uncommon amongst high-powered bankers and others in the finance world. Research from the University of Pennsylvania released in June 2013 indicated that part of this is due to the high pressure of managing billions of dollars for their clients, with 60% of bankers reporting “serious stress” on a daily basis.

Faced with the real need to get sober while also maintaining their professional reputation to clients, many of these elite businessmen have been hiring secret sober companions to work for them around the clock, accompanying them to dinners and business meetings and even functioning as personal assistants in some cases. Dunes Rehab Center in the Hamptons went so far as to establish an Executive Treatment Program at the cost of $50,000-80,000 per month, which allows clients to leave the site with their undercover assistants in order to continue their day job.

“These guys can’t possibly conceive of burying themselves away somewhere for 30, 60, 90 days,” said Dunes founder Joe McKinsey. “They have empires to run.”

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By McCarton Ackerman

headlines

10/29/14 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Oct. 29, 2014

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By Shawn Dwyer

marijuana biz

10/28/14 7:30pm

Legal Pot Industry Could Outgrow the NFL By 2020

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The marijuana industry is growing fast, and if the drug becomes legalized on a federal level, its revenue could surpass the almighty NFL as soon as 2020.

Greenwave Advisors, a company that conducts research and financial analysis on the marijuana industry, estimated that legalized pot could pull in as much as $35 billion in annual revenue. Compare that to the NFL, which only generates $10 billion annually, and it’s clear to see the monetary potential of legalized pot.

In fact, legal marijuana could become so lucrative that its annual revenue would be on par with the newspaper publishing industry and the confectionery industry, which generate $38 billion and $34 billion respectively. While revenue from legalized marijuana is projected to skyrocket in coming years, it still has a long way to go in meeting estimates after making $1.53 billion in 2013.

But the money marijuana can generate is contingent upon its legalization. Currently there are 23 states that have legalized the drug’s use for medical purposes and two states that have legalized it for recreational use. However, Greenwave believes that DC will have legalized recreational marijuana use by 2020.

Meanwhile, national politicians like Hillary Clinton have recently warmed to the idea of legalized marijuana and could sign off on more clinical studies if elected president. But while the winner of the 2016 elections could put Greenwave’s estimations on course, they could also just as easily stop them in their tracks.

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By Brent McCluskey

new apps

10/28/14 5:30pm

New Breathalyzer App Calls Uber If You’re Over the Limit

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A new breathalyzer app is keeping drunk drivers off the street by automatically calling them a ride if they’re over the legal limit.

Users blow into a portable breathalyzer called Breeze, which pairs to a smartphone via Bluetooth. If Breeze determines it’s not safe to get behind the wheel, the app places a call to Uber, a transportation service that allows customers to request a ride right from their phones.

Vice president of marketing Brian Sturdivant said the device will help drinkers make the right decision. “This is really about consumer awareness and being able to make the right decision and learn more about yourself,” said Sturdivant.

Breeze, which will be available for $100 at Best Buy starting Nov. 1, measures blood alcohol content with an electrochemical fuel cell sensor. The results are transmitted to the app, along with an estimated time of how long it will take the user to metabolize the alcohol in their system. The app also syncs with Apple’s HealthKit platform and keeps tracks of the user’s BAC as well as other vital signs.

While similar products are currently on the market, Breeze stands apart by its ability to get the user home safely. The app can be programmed to automatically contact Uber, but it can also be set to use Yelp to find local cab companies. Or, if the user doesn’t want to go home, the app can locate a nearby hotel.

It can be easy to lose track of how much alcohol has been consumed, or how much time has passed. But Sturdivant said Breeze will let users know exactly where they stand and whether or not they should drive.

“It’s 10:30, do you really know how many glasses of wine you’ve had or where you are?” said Sturdivant. “This allows you and others to quickly check and [decide] should I Uber home, should I take a cab or am I good to go?”

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By Brent McCluskey

News

10/28/14 3:30pm

Army Ignored Underage Drinking to Win Over Football Recruits

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The U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. picked up a warning this month from the NCAA, spurred by an investigation that uncovered misconduct involving football recruits, primarily underage drinking.

West Point began investigating recruiting misdeeds in March, despite the incident in question taking place in January. On January 24, the Army football team hosted fourteen recruits. The recruits, high school athletes, were chauffeured in a charter bus with full police escort to the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, escorted by members of the Army football team designated as “cadet hosts” and two “Rabble Rouser” cheerleaders.

After the mall, the group descended on a bowling alley which the report, written by Lt. Col. Shannon Miller, noted was known for turning a blind eye to underage drinking. There, the recruits were allowed to drink using booster money allocated for the evening, which was used to purchase alcohol.

West Point claimed that it has no record of how much money was spent or how it was spent that night. Miller, an aviator assigned to West Point, was ordered to investigate the recruiting allegations by the school’s commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. Richard Clarke.

The party continued on the bus ride home, during which the bus driver allowed “the music to play very loudly,” there was “dancing in the aisles,” and “strobe lights flashing iPhones to reflect the club-like atmosphere,” according to Miller’s report.

The report also noted the presence of the two female cheerleaders, who began making out on the bus, also kissing a football player and a recruit. This is reportedly not the first time the academy has enlisted the help of women to woo recruits. No West Point officers were present on the night, according to the report.

Twenty cadets were disciplined for promoting underage drinking. The academy self-reported the violations to the NCAA and received a warning this month. A first-year coach involved in the incident, Jeff Monken—who the report found had known of the incident within days but did not inform West Point leaders or the NCAA of the misconduct—will be suspended if similar violations occur.

The report found that the outing for recruits to the Palisades Mall with full police escort started over a decade ago under former Army coach Bobby Ross. In September, the academy established new guidelines for recruit visits, including the rule that an officer must be present at all times.

“It is important that our service academies continue to focus on providing world class educations and developing the next generation of elite military leaders,” said U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, who serves on the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors. Lamborn encouraged other service academies, including the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy, to review their own athletic programs and the conduct of players.

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By Victoria Kim

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