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9/17/12 5:00am

Morning Roundup: September 17, 2012

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Taking unorthodox orders Photo via

By The Fix staff

fetal alcohol sydrome

9/14/12 4:36pm

Cheap, Discreet Pregnancy Tests—At a Bar

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Crowe hopes his pregnancy test dispensers
will help women everywhere. Photo via

Pub 500, a bar in Mankato, Minnesota, is offering a startling new service: pregnancy tests. Mixing things-alcohol with things-pregnancy may seem jarring—but that's kinda the point. Using a pink and white dispenser in the ladies' room, women with room for doubt can spend $3—credit cards only—to check before they flood their abdomens with alcohol. According to Jody Allen Crowe, founder of Healthy Brains for Children, the non-prof behind the scheme, this bar is the first in the world to try such a thing. He hopes it will help reduce fetal alcohol syndrome: “It’s an epidemic,” Crowe says. “The amount of prenatal exposure to alcohol is really not something people talk about because it’s such a guilt-ridden type of discussion.”

Pub 500 may not seem a "party" enough place to necessitate on-site pregnancy tests, but experts say it's often professional women with disposable incomes who drink during pregnancy, rather than "party types." Crowe also hopes to install pregnancy test dispensers at sites like malls, gas stations and fitness centers, because women everywhere may not know they're pregnant: half of all US pregnancies are unplanned. At $3 each, a fraction of the cost of a drug-store test, checking discreetly is easy (embarrassment at publicly purchasing pregnancy tests makes them the most shoplifted item). Tom Frederick, Pub 500's proprietor, only took a little convincing: “We thought it was a strange idea at first but very quickly came to the realization that this could be beneficial." While not all his patrons see the benefit—"It just seems like something you should maybe already know before you're in a bar," says one—some love the idea: "It's putting awareness at the point of comsumption. I'm surprised it hasn't been done before."

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By Bryan Le

Sober Partying

9/14/12 3:43pm

Come Party With The Fix in LA

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This Sunday, Los Angeles-based Fix readers are cordially invited to party at My 12 Step Store, LA's go-to destination for recovery-related gifts, tokens, cards and books—including Party Girl, a novel written by Fix Executive Editor Anna David and published by HarperCollins. The sober celebration, in honor of Recovery Month and David, takes place this Sunday, September 16 from 6-8 pm at the lot in front of My 12 Step Store (8730 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood). Luminaries from the recovery world—including Fix columnist Nic Sheff, Howard Samuels from The Hills, Charlie Bentz and Kimberly James from Malibu Beach Sober Living, and Jennifer Gimenez and Seth "Shifty" Binzer from Celebrity Rehab and Sober House—will be toasting My 12 Step Store, David and a healthy lifestyle. Just RSVP here and come raise a glass (of water)!

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By Benjamin Fairway

Celebrity Busts

9/14/12 3:00pm

Amanda Bynes' High Driving Spreads Terror

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One LAPD officer ranks Bynes among LA's
top dangers. Photo via

Is Amanda Bynes just another in a long line of former teen celebs to crash and burn, or is she—as half the LAPD reportedly suggests—a particularly deadly danger to the whole of Los Angeles? Some people are even worrying that she'll become the next Lindsay Lohan. To be fair, Bynes is on quite a streak of vehicular violations: she was caught talking on her cell while driving in March, drunkenly sideswiped a police car in April, hit-and-ran twice in a span of five months, and finally got her license suspended in September. Then earlier this week TMZ spotted her driving on a suspended license, smoking pot from a pipe disguised as a car cigarette lighter. 

But if the cops who lined up to speak with TMZ are to be believed, Bynes represents the physical manifestation of Death Race 2000 and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. "She's on the same road as my wife and kids and I'm scared about getting a call in the middle of the night that my little one is dead,” says one experienced patrol officer. "She's addicted to something and she's driving a deadly weapon and is going to kill someone. It scares the shit out of me." In a city that's been ravaged by earthquakes and wildfires, one veteran motor cop calls Bynes "easily" a perfect 10 on a one-to-10 scale of dangerousness. "The public should be afraid of her. From looking at the photos, and what she's smoking, she has no sense of reality,” declares another cop. Bynes may still be hoping her July Twitter request for a presidential pardon gets through: “Hey @BarackObama... I don't drink. Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don't hit and run. The end."

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By Bryan Le

mexican drug war

9/14/12 2:17pm

Mexican Cartels: And Then There Were Two?

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El Coss on display Photo via

Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez—otherwise known simply as "El Coss"—was presented to the public yesterday, following his arrest by Mexican marines as the suspected leader of the Gulf drug cartel. The cartel reportedly controls some of the most valuable and violently-contested smuggling routes along the US border, and has smuggled and distributed tons of cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana into the US. Charges against the 41-year-old in this country include drug trafficking and threatening US law enforcement officials, and $5 million was on offer for information leading to his arrest. "This is a very, very important arrest," says Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, chair of the Department of Government at the University of Texas, Brownsville. "It consolidates this new configuration of organized crime in Mexico. This disintegration of the Gulf Cartel will be impacting in a very serious way the levels of violence in Tamaulipas and probably in the whole country." Correa-Cabrera believes we'll now see an increase in violence between the Sinoloas and the paramilitary Zetas—the two dominant remaining cartels. Authorities say that despite controlling the Gulf cartel's daily trafficking activities, El Coss kept a low profile—only two photographs of him had ever been made public. Five of his guards were also arrested Wednesday morning in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, while another five fled when marines tried to arrest them in Tampico—ultimately leading the marines to Costilla's hideout. 

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By McCarton Ackerman

Sober stars

9/14/12 1:10pm

The Fix Gets Some Love on Fox

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Sober talk between Friel and Johnston

In a recent interview with Fox 11 entertainment reporter Courtney Friel, Emmy-award winning actress Kristen Johnston talked about her passion for recovery, her hilarious and disturbing memoir Guts, her mission to create New York City's first sober high school and her love for The Fix. "[The Fix is] young, it's interesting, it doesn't have one theory," Johnston told Friel—who described us as "a hip new sobriety website." Johnston said of her addiction, "I was the red wine mustache lady with the purple teeth. Everyone else would have their two or three glasses of wine and I would have my ten. I was jobless and fired by my agency and so broke I was selling shoes." The Third Rock star, who's been in recovery for almost six years, added that now that she's cleaned up, "My life is better in every single way I can imagine. I'm grateful, I'm happy. I don't need to escape all the time." When Friel asked Johnston why she came clean about her addiction after first managing to keep it a secret, she replied that she's not publicizing her book because she wants more money. "I'm publicizing it because I really want the people who need to read it to read it."

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By Anna David

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