Cpl. Joshua T. Thimmesh, crew chief of a UH-1Y Huey helicopter assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269:

Cpl. Joshua T. Thimmesh, crew chief of a UH-1Y Huey helicopter assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269:

 Fires a GAU-17/A mini-gun during exercise Northern Strike 17 at the Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich. The joint exercise is hosted by the Michigan Air National Guard and emphasizes close air support and joint fire support to enhance combat readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Ohira/Released)

Centurion Labs Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ninjacof (Lot # 200N1601) and Ninjacof A (Lot# 201NA1601) Products Due to Potential Burkholderia Cepacia Contamination:

Centurion Labs Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ninjacof (Lot # 200N1601) and Ninjacof A (Lot# 201NA1601) Products Due to Potential Burkholderia Cepacia Contamination:

For Immediate Release

August 22, 2017



 (601) 852-3681


Centurion Labs is voluntarily recalling, as a precautionary measure, 1 lot of Ninjacof (Lot# 200N1601) and 1 lot of Ninjacof A (Lot# 201NA1601) manufactured by Vilvet (Dania Beach, FL) and distributed by Centurion Labs to the retail level due to potential contamination with Burkholderia cepacia. Centurion was notified by the FDA regarding the potential contamination as they discovered this product may have been manufactured in a Pharmatech, FDA registered facility, in Davie, FL. that was found to have a product that contained B. cepacia.

Use of a product that may contain B. cepacia, could result in infections in patients with compromised immune systems and in patients with chronic lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Some of these infections may be serious or even life threatening in the at-risk patient population.

Ninjacof and Ninjacof A are used to temporarily relieve symptoms due to the common cold, allergic rhinitis or other respiratory allergies and the products are sold in 473 mL bottles with the expiration date of 11/2018. The affected products are Ninjacof with Lot# 200N1601 (NDC 23359-032-16) and Ninjacof A with Lot# 201NA1601 (NDC 23359-033-16) and both were distributed within the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Centurion Labs is notifying its distributors and customers by recall letter. To date Centurion Labs has not found any B. cepacia or received any complaints for the products or lots listed. However, it is recommended that patients, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities that have the recalled product on hand stop their use immediately.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact the company at Centurion Customer Support: recall@centurionlabs.com or 601-852-3681 (M-F 8am – 5pm Central Standard Time).

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Product Photos

Ninjacof and Ninjacof A, 16 fl oz.

Page Last Updated: 08/23/2017 

The inside story about the Jenny Jones murder trial that you don’t know:

The inside story about the Jenny Jones murder trial that you don’t know:

A snippet from the cover of People Magazine about the Jenny Jones murder trial. People Magazine cover

I have never been a fan of trash or “reality TV” but in the fall of 1996 I sat through 13 weeks of the three-ring circus that was the so-called “Jenny Jones murder trial” in Pontiac, Michigan.

At the time I was a gay student activist at nearby Oakland University, and the publishers of Between the Lines asked me to monitor and write about the trial since it was so close to campus. The trial impacted the course of my life forever.

Today Jonathan Schmitz was released on parole. By now many people know the topline details. Scott Amedure, a gay man living in metro Detroit, had a crush on Schmitz who said he was straight. Scott’s friend, Donna Riley, arranged for him to confess his secret crush on Jonathan on the Jenny Jones show in Chicago.

Jonathan completely agreed to go on this trip, paid for by the show. All along, Jonathan suspected that a gay crush was going to be confessed. He allegedly didn’t want this to happen on TV, but the possibility was really no surprise.

The Jenny Jones program provided guests with alcohol and hoped for some good television. After all, what could go wrong? There was alcohol, a homosexual crush, hope for humiliation, and all of this was only a few years after Geraldo Rivera has his nose busted by a chair throwing Klansman. This was the formula. Red flag number one.

Scott confessed his crush. Jonathan acted surprised. The crowd got a laugh and they all dispersed. What didn’t make the headlines was that Jonathan was on antidepressants at the time. If I recall correctly, he decided to go off his medicine, without telling his doctor, in order to afford some nice clothes for the fancy trip to Chicago. Red flag number two.

The episode never aired which is critical because Jonathan was never “humiliated” in front of a national audience.

Another major piece of this testimony at trial, that didn’t make a lot of news because the jury was excused (and possibly the media – I don’t remember), was that something intimate happened a few days after the taping. At a minimum it was likely kissing, but some testimony at trial suggested that Scott, Jonathan and Donna all may have ended up in bed together.

The day after the encounter Jonathan was hungover and a bit ashamed. He confessed to his father who shamed him further for the intimate encounter. Essentially his father took what might have been a simple indiscretion and turned it into a major embarrassment. Jonathan, without his meds, humiliated by his father, and possibly doubting his own sexuality, began planning the murder of Scott Amedure. Red flag number three.

Scott left a note at Jonathan’s place, potentially referencing something about their encounters over the prior 3 days. The note may have played a role in exacerbating the drama. Red flag number four.

Jonathan got bullets from one location and a gun from another – plenty of time to think things through and calm down from a “heat of the moment” impulse. Instead, he went to Scott’s home and with a shotgun and pumped bullets into him – spraying bullet fragments all over his body, puncturing several major organs, and leaving him to struggle for several minutes before dying. We heard the 911 tape in trial and they were gut wrenching.

All Scott Amedure wanted to do was let his friend know that he had a crush. Granted it was on a grand scale, but who cares. At the time, few had heard of the “gay panic defense” but since this was the highest profile anti-gay murder since Harvey Milk, the world got lots of education. Jeffrey Montgomery, then president of the Triangle Foundation (and later my boss and best friend) attended every minute of the trial and most of the LGBT perspective emanating around the world came from his advocacy at trial.

In essence the gay panic defense was a tool of defense attorneys – a blame-the-victim defense strategy a la “she wore a short skirt so she was asking for it.” Montgomery blasted this line of reasoning as morally bankrupt and was incredibly successful in convincing many that being admired by a gay man was nothing to be embarrassed about. Countless murder trials in the future featured the gay panic defense and thanks to Montgomery, many judges refused to allow the defense in their courtroom! Montgomery passed away in the summer of 2016.

Over time, Montgomery would come to be seen as a leading expert in the gay panic defense. He was the eyes and ears for many anti-violence experts around the world at the Matthew Shepard murder trial, where he again educated the world that being the object of affection from a gay man deserved appreciation not humiliation. The Schmitz defense began a trajectory for our movement that has mostly ended that tactic.

But the gay panic defense reared its head right up until the penalty phase of the Schmitz trial. Only one juror didn’t want to give Schmitz life in jail. She admitted later that she thought the surprise gay crush would have been humiliating and held out for a lower conviction.

Because of that one juror, Schmitz got 2nd degree murder instead of 1st – punishable with 25-50 years in jail instead of life. Schmitz was released on parole yesterday, just 22 years after a blatantly homophobic murder.

I am a little sad today. Not because I am a “law and order” type who believes in the death penalty or maximum sentences. I am neither. I am sad because the worst crime in the land, a planned homicide out of pure animus, didn’t carry with it the consequences that it would have if Amedure had been heterosexual. Of course, this is common outcome for many minorities in our criminal justice system.

At the end of the Schmitz trial, I was transformed. I wanted to do this work full-time and Jeff Montgomery offered me a part-time position at Triangle Foundation where I began directly helping hate crime victims. Six months later, state representative Lynne Martinez introduced the first pro-gay hate crime bill in the Michigan state legislature. My role evolved into policy and then politics and I stayed with Triangle for 12 years. My life and career as a social justice advocate was born in the wake of the disappearing headlines of Amedure’s death.

Many tragic moments inspire people to activism. I am fortunate that Between the Lines gave me the chance to educate their readers about the trial. I am fortunate to Jeff Montgomery for setting my career in motion. But I remain sad that today I am reminded queer people are still battling public attitudes of shame and that huge segments of our community are not able to be out.

Since the inauguration of Donald Trumphomophobia has been climbing. Racist and xenophobic hate crimes have been on the rise since he launched his candidacy. He lied about protecting LGBT people and has already turned his back on our entire community.

The rhetoric coming from this administration and the far right have openly set a tone that hate and violence are now acceptable in public discourse. The marauding tiki torch-bearing racist mobs who take aim at Jews, Blacks, Latinos, Muslims and women have also set their sights on us.

But now the stakes seem so much higher because our own president is blessing this behavior. He is practically lighting the torches himself. Hate has always been with us, but the biggest red flag of all is being hoisted over the White House.

It’s a signal. It’s a dog whistle. It must end – for Scott Amedure, for James Byrd, Jr., and for every other victim of hate. It must end.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sean Kosofsky was the Director of Policy for The Triangle Foundation (now Equality MI) from 1996-2008. He has remained active in the LGBT movement since then, as co-chair of the 2012 campaign to defeat the anti-gay marriage ballot measure in North Carolina. Until recently, he was Executive Director for the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

Democrats on Trump’s voting commission iced out since first meeting:

Democrats on Trump’s voting commission iced out since first meeting:

Commissioners tell ThinkProgress it’s “unusual” that they’ve had virtually no communication with the panel.


When President Trump announced the formation of his Commission on Election Integrity in May, the White House said the group would “study vulnerabilities in voting systems” and “utilize all available data” in order to strengthen elections. But several Democrats serving on the bipartisan panel said they have had no voting-related communication and have been assigned no tasks since they first met in July.

“I have not received much information nor been working on much,” West Virginia county clerk Mark Rhodes told ThinkProgress on Tuesday, clarifying that by “much,” he meant anything at all.

Rhodes said commission chair Mike Pence and vice-chair Kris Kobach, Kansas’ Republican secretary of state, have given him no information about what he is supposed to be doing between meetings, and he has no idea if the co-chairs or Republican members are hard at work without Democratic input. “I honestly don’t know because I haven’t spoken to anybody else that’s on the committee,” he said.

Since the initial July 19th meeting, Kobach himself has been busy as commission co-chair. On July 26, he followed up his controversial letter requesting a massive amount of voter data from all 50 states — a request that was at least partially rejected by 44 states — with a second letter addressing the backlash and requesting publicly available voter information. Still Rhodes heard nothing.

“I’ve just been reading some articles and studies and things of that nature on my own,” he said. “Nothing assigned by the chairs.”

The only communication he has received has been regarding plans for the next meeting — Rhodes said the commissioners have been told to keep September 12th free. At that time, he hopes the co-chairs will have collected and analyzed voter data from the states so the panel can compare the numbers and begin its work.

Rhodes is one of 12 members of the commission that includes five Democrats and seven Republicans. Democratic member David Dunn also told ThinkProgress that the commission hasn’t “had a lot of communication.”

“The only information I have received was at the first meeting. Nothing else,” Dunn, a former Arkansas state legislator and government affairs lobbyist, said in an email Tuesday. “I did get an email that said to hold Sept. 12 open for another meeting. Nothing else.”

A third Democratic commissioner, Maine’s Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, told ThinkProgress that has received the same amount of information as Rhodes and Dunn. “I’ve had no more communication than them,” he said.

Dunlap also does not know if Republican members are studying any voting systems or data without input from Democrats. He said he finds it “unusual” that more than a month has gone by and he hasn’t been asked to do anything.

If any voting-related work is being conducted, it’s likely being done by Pence or Kobach, who worked without commission input when he sent a follow-up letter requesting voter data from states. Dunlap said at the time the second request for data went out that commissioners had not discussed the letter before Kobach sent it to all 50 states.

A representative for Kobach did not respond to a request for comment. Marc Lotter, the vice president’s press secretary, told ThinkProgress Tuesday that “the work continues,” but would not comment directly on why the Democrats haven’t received any communication other than logistical planning.

“I know information is going out,” he said. “There’s constant [mumble] to all the members, the work continues, and we will see them again at their next meeting here next month.”

Lotter clarified that he meant constant “communication,” contradicting the three Democratic members, and said the commissioners will “get updated on the work as it is continuing during its next meeting.” He would not say whether the co-chairs or Republicans had been conducting work without Democratic input.

“The next meeting is being scheduled as we speak,” he said. “We’ll get an update on all the relevant materials moving forward.”

It’s not difficult to imagine that Pence and Kobach are working without input from Democratic commissioners to push for voter purges or similar efforts to make it harder for people to vote. Both men have long histories when it comes to suppressing votes and advocating for policies like photo ID laws or the use of cross-check systems that result in qualified Americans being blocked from the polls.

Trump administration agencies are also working alongside the co-chairs to keep the commission’s work secret. After its Freedom of Information Act requests went unanswered, the Brennan Center for Justice announced Monday it had filed a lawsuit in federal court to compel the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Management and Budget to disclose information pertaining to the commission. The advocacy group argues that the public is legally entitled to know about the group’s operations, methods, and intentions.

“When the public is not able to oversee the work of a presidential panel like this, there is a risk of abuse, which could negatively impact voting rights across the country,” Wendy Weiser, director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, said in a statement.

According to the president’s May executive order, the panel will “spend the next year completing its work and issue a report in 2018.”


We are thrilled to welcome legendary TV personality and animal lover @KathieLGifford to our Board of Trustees!

We are thrilled to welcome legendary TV personality and animal lover @KathieLGifford to our Board of Trustees!

Kathie Lee Gifford Joins Board of Trustees at Largest Non-profit Animal Hospital in the U.S.

August 23, 2017

Celebrated television personality, singer and author Kathie Lee Gifford joins the Animal Medical Center’s (AMC) Board of Trustees. She will serve on the 32-member board for a three-year term.

Ms. Gifford is co-host of the fourth hour of TODAY alongside Hoda Kotb. A devoted humanitarian, she is a 3-time Emmy-winner, New York Times best-selling author, playwright, producer, singer, songwriter and actress.

Driven by technological and scientific breakthroughs and dedicated to pioneering effective therapies and treatments, AMC is recognized worldwide as a leader in providing compassionate and collaborative care and advancing veterinary medicine through novel research on naturally-occurring diseases and education.

Each year, AMC veterinarians handle nearly 50,000 patient visits and provide the most advanced treatments available in veterinary medicine today. AMC’s Intern and Residency programs are some of the most coveted positions within the veterinary community for specialty care training. Since inception, nearly 2,000 veterinarians have graduated from AMC’s education programs and are now practicing specialty medicine around the country and across the globe.

“As AMC continues to grow and looks to the future, we welcome Kathie Lee Gifford to our Board,” said Kathryn Coyne, AMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “By expanding our Board with members who align with our mission, AMC is assured of exceeding its strategic goals of bringing our organization to the next level of growth and becoming a valuable information resource for pet owners not only in New York but around the country.”

“The Animal Medical Center is one of New York City’s most beloved and vital institutions,” said Ms. Gifford. “As an animal lover, I’m especially proud to be part of such an extraordinary institution like the Animal Medical Center and I look forward to working with them.”

“We are fortunate to have Kathie Lee Gifford on the Board,” said Robert Liberman, AMC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “She brings a new dynamic and perspective that will inspire our efforts going forward.”

About Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford is co-host of the fourth hour of TODAY, alongside Hoda Kotb. In 2014, she penned the critically-acclaimed TODAY, the Musical, featuring the hosts and crew of the show, and each month she writes a new song for the popular segment, “Everyone Has a Story.” Prior to NBC News, Gifford served as the co-host of “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” for 15 years, where she received 11 Emmy nominations and was also a correspondent for “Good Morning America.” Ms. Gifford has starred in numerous TV programs and movies during her 40-year career and has written several musicals, including Broadway’s “Scandalous,” for which she received a Tony nomination for Best Actress. She also starred on Broadway in “Putting It Together” and “Annie.” Ms. Gifford has authored three New York Times bestselling books including: Just When I Thought I’d Dropped My Last EggI Can’t Believe I Said That, and the popular children’s book Party Animals. Her book, Good Gifts, A Year in The Heart of a Home, raised over $1 million for the Salvation Army. She most recently launched GIFFT, a line of wine with the Scheid Family Vineyards in Monterey, CA. Ms. Gifford has two children, Cody and Cassidy, and resides in Connecticut with her two dogs, Lola and Bambino.

About Animal Medical Center
Established in 1910, the Animal Medical Center is a non-profit animal hospital dedicated to providing compassionate and collaborative care to animals and to leading the advancement of veterinary medicine through innovative clinical research and education. For more information, please visit: http://www.amcny.org.