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local govt & politics

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Amazing images of SF Bay Area wildfire

Man bites police dog during standoff with deputies

A man was hospitalized after stabbing himself in the chest multiple times and fighting with a police dog during a confrontation with Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies Monday evening.

The incident began around 7:45 p.m., when a deputy responded to a report of a family disturbance at a house on Raymond Avenue, near San Jose City College, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy arrived to find a man in his 30s standing outside, holding a kitchen knife, which he began waving at the deputy before charging him while he was still in his patrol car.

The attacker proceeded to go berserk on the patrol vehicle, smashing multiple windows and slashing a tire, a sheriff’s spokesperson said.

The deputy called for backup and several officers arrived, including a K-9 unit.

The man continued to be confrontational with authorities, and during this standoff, he stabbed himself three times, causing non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies deployed the police dog named Ski at the suspect, who began attacking the dog when it reached him by punching and choking it, and at one point the man reportedly bit the dog.

During the scuffle, deputies managed to grab the attacker’s weapon and detain him.

After being taken into custody, the suspect was hospitalized for his injuries, where he remained Tuesday evening. When released, he was expected to be charged with brandishing a weapon at an officer, injuring a police dog and vandalism.

Investigators said they believe the suspect, who has not been identified as of Wednesday morning, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

As for the dog Ski, he “had some minor bumps and bruises but is expected to return to work soon,” according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Facebook page.

Both the man and the police dog were expected to recover.

Deputies reported later that a crowd had gathered during the incident, prompting authorities to ask that anyone who had information or video footage of the incident to call sheriff's investigators at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

Boeing 777 crashes while landing at SFO

A plane crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning after its tail came off while it was touching down on the runway.

According to a witness, around 11:20 a.m. the plane was just about to land -- its landing gear had come down -- when the tail of the plane came off.

After wobbling for a minute, the aircraft flipped upside down, coming to a stop on runway on it's back.

The plane, reportedly a Boeing 777, was coming from South Korea, according to flight tracking information.

Check back for more updates.

APS cheating scandal as the AJC reported it

'The Invisible War' doesn’t win Best Documentary Oscar

“The Invisible War,” a documentary that highlights the story of Lebanon resident Kori Cioca, failed to grab the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Cioca, 28, was to attend the ceremony with members of the team behind Kirby Dick’s film about sexual assaults in the military.

The film also spotlights Congressman Mike Turner, R-Centerville, and his work against sexual violence in the military.

Cioca was 20 years old in 2005 when she enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. She left in 2007 after a commanding officer raped her, she said. Cioca was severely traumatized by the attack that caused serious injury to her jaw.

After “The Invisible War” appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received the U.S. Documentary Audience Award, Cioca began getting assistance for medical treatment through the Dobkin Family Foundation.

Cioca said “The Invisible War’s” producers worked hard to make the film a reality, and deserves the Oscar.

“It is an honor to stand next to them,” she said earlier this year.

Searching for Sugar Man won the Oscar for documentary feature Sunday.

Area fighters boxing to benefit vets

Medicare and the election: FAQ

Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate on the Republican ticket focuses new light on the congressman's plan to restructure Medicare -- the program that provides health care to 47 million elderly and disabled Americans. Although Democrats accuse President Obama of wanting to end Medicare, Republicans say that Obama's health reform law would add hundreds of billions in costs to the existing program.

In an effort to clear up the confusion, here are some answers to common questions about both plans and the future of Medicare.

Will Paul Ryan's budget plan really end Medicare?

Not now, but under Ryan's approach traditional Medicare will be just one option in a newly created competitive marketplace. Everyone aged 55 and older would be grandfathered into traditional Medicare.

How does Paul Ryan's plan work?

Seniors would get a fixed amount of money, called "premium support," to pay for their health care. One option for that care would include traditional Medicare. Other insurance plans would also bid for Medicare business, offering consumers other options for their coverage. 

Would seniors get the same amount of coverage?

Under today's Medicare, the government sets the premiums. Under Ryan's premium support plan, health plans would submit bids and the federal contribution would be based on the proposals.

If beneficiaries want more expensive coverage than the premium support amount, they would pay the difference. If they select a cheaper plan they could possibly get a rebate.

Would seniors pay more under Ryan's plan?

Experts differ on how premium support would impact the quality and cost of Medicare.

Opponents like Marilyn Moon, PhD, a former Medicare trustee who heads up the health program at the American Institutes for Research, says the approach will drive up premium costs.

Moon says Medicare will ultimately price itself out of the market. It will be "trivialized" as a last refuge for the sickest -- and costliest -- patients. Over time, for-profit plans are more likely to win most of the business, since premium support probably won't cover the increasing expense of traditional Medicare.

On the other hand, Ryan's plan could empower consumers to choose options best suited to their needs and their pocket books.

Gail Wilensky, who ran the Medicare and Medicaid program under President George H.W. Bush, offers Medicare's prescription drug plan as an example of how this system could work. It allows consumers to choose among different coverage plans, depending on their needs.

According to the House Budget Committee, chaired by Paul Ryan, costs per beneficiary in 2010 were 22% lower than the Medicare trustees originally projected.

Moon and Wilensky both say that today's Medicare must change.

Is it true that $716 billion will be cut from Medicare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

That all depends on the meaning of the word "cut." The law does slow the rate of Medicare growth by that amount, primarily by trimming reimbursement rates to medical providers like doctors, hospitals, and managed care plans. At the same time, the law encourages innovations that make care more efficient. A newly created institute will make high-level recommendations about which treatments work best for the money. So proponents argue some of the reduced funding will be offset by incentives to create a more efficient system.

Will the health reform law result in less coverage for seniors?

In the short run the ACA provides extra benefits, like shrinking the insurance coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug plan and covering preventive services like an annual wellness exam and mammograms. What happens over time depends on how successful the ACA's new cost control mechanisms rein in Medicare's current growth trajectory. Decreasing reimbursements may discourage some doctors from taking Medicare patients.

Will health care costs for seniors go up under the health reform law?

Even with the cost control measures built into the new law and the increased emphasis on prevention, Medicare's history suggests program costs and patient premiums will continue to go up over time. Although the health reform law puts much of the financial burden on providers, beneficiaries will share some part of the expense.

SOURCES: The Congressional Budget Office.The Kaiser Family Foundation.Kaiser Health News.The New York Times.Department of Health and Human Services.Web sites operated on behalf of the Obama and Romney campaigns.

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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