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Roundup: Inspectors Follow Up At Parkland

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Parkland Hospital is waiting word from state inspectors who arrived at the Dallas County Hospital Monday. They're assessing what Parkland has done to fix a list of problems.

Inspectors in July reported two areas were "serious and immediate" threats to patient health: infection control and emergency room procedures.

Dr. Jay Shannon, Parkland Chief Medical Officer, told KERA the hospital's plan to fix things is comprehensive and thorough.

Shannon: The focus will be on those things cited in our plan of correction. Is it in place? Is it being done by all of our staff all of the time? We think we're going to be able to show that it is.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says if Parkland fails this inspection in the two "serious and immediate" areas, Medicare and Medicaid funding will be cut off September 2nd.

If the "immediate" threats are removed, but problems remain, Parkland will have two more months to make additional corrections before federal funding would end. Medicare and Medicaid provide more than 50% of Parkland's annual budget.

September To Cool Summer Sizzle

This summer's heat wave appears to be on its way out.

Mark Fox, with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, says we'll have another couple days with 100 degree temperatures, but that should do it.

Fox: By Thursday and definitely by the weekend, we're going to see this upper level system move into southeast Texas, increase our cloud cover and possibly even give us a chance of rain. But one thing it's going to do is allow a lot of cool air to start coming back in. Now, by cool we're talking 92-93 degrees, but that's a heckuva lot better than 107.

Fox says September usually allows more "fronts" to come in and he sees the pattern changing from the very hot temperatures over the past couple of months.

AP source: Warren Jeffs in medically induced coma

Imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is in a coma in a Texas hospital after complications from fasting.

A person familiar with Jeffs' condition told The Associated Press on Monday that the 55-year-old prisoner's coma was medically induced and he's expected to survive. The person requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss Jeff's condition publicly.

Jeffs' attorney Emily Detoto says her client was taken to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler on Sunday night.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons says Jeffs hasn't been eating or drinking enough since being sentenced this month to life in prison for sexually assaulting underage followers. Lyons says Jeffs is in critical but stable condition. It's not clear how long he'll be hospitalized.

Texas to publish draft fracking rule for drillers

The Texas Railroad Commission has approved publication of a draft rule that would implement the nation's first law forcing natural gas drillers to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Gas drillers have kept under wraps the mix of water, sand and chemicals they use to extract once out-of-reach minerals from shale formations.

The hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling techniques were developed in Texas.

Texas was the first state to pass such a law when Perry signed the bill in June. The commission approved publication in the Texas Register Monday. Public comment will run until Oct. 11. A public hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress in Austin.

Migrating hummingbirds need help in Texas drought

Experts say the Texas drought has left behind parched conditions that could threaten hundreds of thousands of migrating hummingbirds.

The Valley Morning Star reported Sunday that conservationists are urging people to put out stocked hummingbird feeders.

Mark Klym, who co-wrote the book "Hummingbirds of Texas," says the drought has reduced the number of flowers that provide nectar and nutrition for the birds. He says at least 18 species of hummingbirds are expected to migrate through Texas, especially in the Rio Grande Valley.

Norma Friedrich with the Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society says maintaining a supply of food and water, during the September and October migration time, will help hummingbirds survive.