Autopsy finds rapper Mac Miller died from drugs and alcohol
By ANDREW DALTON
AP Entertainment Writer
Monday, November 5
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rapper Mac Miller died from an accidental overdose caused by a combination of cocaine, alcohol, and the powerful opioid fentanyl, a coroner’s report released Monday said.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s report named Miller’s cause of death as “mixed toxicity” of the three substances found in his system.
The 26-year-old Pittsburgh native, who frankly discussed his depression and addiction in his rhymes, died suddenly on Sept. 7. He was known to many as Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend, but had a devoted following that included some of the biggest names in hip-hop.
Miller’s personal assistant, making a daily visit to Miller’s home in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles, found him unresponsive on his bed at about 11:30 a.m., the report states.
The assistant moved the body to the floor and performed CPR at the direction of a 911 operator. Paramedics soon arrived and Miller was declared dead 16 minutes after the initial 911 call.
The report says a police investigator found an empty bottle of liquor and drug paraphernalia, including a $20 bill with white powder residue on it that was in Miller’s pocket.
The report notes that Miller’s many tattoos included one of an hourglass on his arm with the words, “Only so much time left in this crazy world.”
The rapper, whose real name was Malcolm James Myers McCormick, was generally healthy otherwise, the report stated. He had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but his mother told investigators he had not overdosed in the past to her knowledge, or been hospitalized for any reason.
Miller’s mother told a coroner’s investigator that she had spoken to him the night before his death, and that he had been in good spirits, seeming very excited about a new album and upcoming tour.
Miller’s assistant agreed, saying Miller was feeling positive about his projects, but said he had a tendency to slip into drug binges, and had such an episode three days before the one that left him dead.
The autopsy was performed three days after Miller’s death, but the cause of death was deferred while toxicology tests were performed.
He is the latest musician whose death has been linked in recent years to a national wave of opioid abuse and overdoses. Prince died in 2016 when he took counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl that looked like a generic version of the painkiller Vicodin.
Miller’s autopsy report did not address where he might have gotten the fentanyl or cocaine.
Matthew Roberts, guitarist for the band 3 Doors Down, also died of an overdose in 2016, and had fentanyl and hydrocodone in his system.
Miller’s death brought mourning and tributes from musical luminaries. Performers at a concert in his honor last week included Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott and John Mayer. The concert launched the Mac Miller Circles Fund in honor of the hip-hop star and raised money for arts education in underserved communities.
He was in a two-year relationship with Ariana Grande that ended earlier this year. She posted an affectionate video of him on her Instagram page weeks after his death, and released a new song, “Thank U, Next ,” on Saturday that mentioned Miller along with “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson, her fiance until recently. In the song, she pays tribute to Miller.
“Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm,” the song says. “Cause he was an angel.”
Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .
Study could help explain how childhood stress contributes to anxiety, depression
Research in animals illuminates important role of mast cells
SAN DIEGO – New research could help explain why stress early in life can create vulnerabilities to mood and anxiety disorders later on.
The study, led by researchers at The Ohio State University, was presented Nov. 5 in San Diego at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, and highlights the important role of mast cells.
“These are immune cells involved in allergic reactions that historically were largely ignored by neuroscientists, but now we’re finding in rodent models they could be responsible for some of the changes we see in neurodevelopment after a childhood trauma,” said Kathryn Lenz, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State.
Study lead author Angela Saulsbery said that she’s especially interested in how this research might begin to draw molecular-level connections between adverse childhood experiences and adolescent and adult depression and anxiety.
“Mast cells may also be a viable target for prophylactic drugs that help prevent these psychological disorders in children who experience these traumatic events,” Saulsbery said.
The researchers compared stressed rats to unstressed rats, and also compared animals based on sex. And they looked at the effects of prenatal stress, a single stressor after birth and chronic stress.
“We found that stress at different times had different effects – chronic exposure to stress is where we saw the significant differences in mast cell activity in the brain,” Lenz said, adding that those animals had 30 percent more of the immune cells than their unstressed counterparts.
Chronic stress in the animals included being left alone without their mothers for periods of time.
Male animals had more mast cells overall, which is interesting because there is evidence that, in humans, males may be more vulnerable to serious problems stemming from early childhood trauma, Lenz said.
This new work in the Lenz lab focused on determining if stress contributes to a more permeable blood-brain barrier, which might explain the surge in mast cells. These cells release histamine, a chemical usually associated with allergic responses, that could potentially alter brain development.
“Our lab is interested in early life stressors and how they impact mast cell function. We’re trying to better understand how exposure to adverse childhood experiences might lead to problems later in life,” said Lenz, who is part of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.
“These childhood traumas, such as living in an abusive home or being neglected, can contribute to a wide array of problems down the road, including drug and alcohol addiction, depression and anxiety and even cardiovascular disease,” she said.
Written by Misti Crane
Ohio Connections Academy Recognizes Ostrander Student
Star Student Award Recognizes Students for Achievement in and Out of the Virtual Classroom
COLUMBUS, OH (November 5, 2018) – Allison Riley of Ostrander was recently named one of Ohio Connections Academy’s (OCA) Star Students of the Month for November in recognition of her achievements and leadership in the virtual classroom.
Allison, a sophomore at the statewide online public charter school, was nominated by her Biology teacher Mrs. Passarelli for her tenacity and hard work. As the Star Student, Allison will be presented a certificate recognizing her achievement and be profiled in Ohio Connections Academy’s student newsletter and on the school’s web site.
Like her older sister, Allison enrolled in Ohio Connections Academy before her freshman year to have access to a challenging high school curriculum with an ability to learn from home where she would have a more flexible schedule. According to Allison, she likes that she can make connections with teachers and other students while working from home.
“OCA is a great alternative to a traditional public school and is a great transition after being home-schooled. OCA also lets you meet new people from around the state and make some friends,” she said. “I think OCA is a great environment in which to succeed.”
Each month OCA recognizes two students in each of the four grade bands for their achievements in and out of the classroom. The following Ohio Connections Academy students were also recognized as Star Students of the Month for November:
- Londynn Owens, 3rd Grade, Euclid
- Luci Arick, 3rd Grade, Milford
- Elijah-Atom Seyfried, 4th Grade, Marysville
- Akira Dockery, 7th Grade, Wakeman
- Miracle Smith, 8th Grade, Columbus
- Mona Said, 11th Grade, Columbus
“The faculty, staff and members of the board at Ohio Connections Academy are proud to recognize students like Allison and the commitment they demonstrate to our school and their community,” said Marie Hanna, OCA Superintendent said. “Each of our Star Students are leaders in the classroom and demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to learning – they truly deserve this recognition.”
Ohio Connections Academy is a free, fully-online virtual public school that students in grades K-12 attend from home. OCA delivers high-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers , a proven curriculum, as well as technology tools, and community experiences—online and in person—to create a supportive environment for children who want an individualized approach to education. More information about Ohio Connections Academy is available at www.OhioConnectionsAcademy.com.
About Ohio Connections Academy
Ohio Connections Academy (OCA) is a tuition-free, K-12 public eSchool that provides a fully accredited, high-quality and highly accountable virtual education experience for approximately 5,000 students from all over Ohio. OCA combines Ohio-certified teachers and a rigorous, individualized curriculum designed by national education experts and customized to meet the specific standards set by the Ohio Department of Education. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.OhioConnectionsAcademy.com Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO) www.Pearson.com.
Independent voters will decide Arizona’s historic female Senate race
November 5, 2018
Senior Lecturer at the School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University
Gina Woodall is a registered member of the Democratic Party.
Arizona State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
Throughout most of U.S. history, races for the Senate have featured two men.
This year is different. Twenty-two women are running for the U.S. senate. Six senatorial contests feature two women competing against one another.
It’s no surprise that gender is a vital theme in these midterms contests. The #MeToo movement and the contentious Supreme Court hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have emboldened sexual assault victims and advocates for the rights of the accused, social conservatives and progressives – and men and women. But, as we’ve seen here in Arizona, where I study and teach gender and political science, these categories are not mutually exclusive.
Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema are running to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake in one of the most competitive senatorial races in the country.
Both women are highly educated, have previous congressional experience and have been “trailblazers” in their own right. In 1991, McSally became the first woman to fly in combat, and she rose to the rank of colonel in the Air Force before retiring from the military. Sinema, who was homelessness for a time as a child, graduated from college at 18 and went on to get her law degree. A Ph.D. and MBA soon followed. She is the first openly bisexual member of Congress.
Whoever wins will be the first female senator from the state of Arizona.
And whoever wins will need independent voters.
No party dominates
That’s because no one party dominates in Arizona. Republicans make up 35 percent of all registered voters. Democrats are 30 percent. And people registered as “other” – the “independent” voters – make up 34 percent of the electorate.
So who are these independents – and are they more likely to back a Republican or a Democrat?
Traditionally, “independent” in Arizona has been code for “Republican.” To paraphrase Daniel Elazer’s classic “American Federalism: A view from the States,” Arizonans tend to “buck” traditional norms and established categories while hanging onto conservative principles. More recently however, journalists have noted a trend of independents not leaning toward one party or the other.
A recent New York Times poll suggested that the race is a dead heat – with 45 percent planning to vote for each candidate. Just a week before the election, an NBC/Marist poll showed Sinema ahead by 6 points, but the poll at a 5.4 margin of error.
If independents show up at the polls, the race will likely tilt toward Sinema.
If independents stay home, McSally – who was endorsed by President Trump and even received an enthusiastic presidential tweet – will likely win.
To me, one interesting wild card in the race is the Kavanaugh hearings.
When asked how she would have voted on Kavanaugh’s nomination during the race’s one debate, McSally offered a nuanced response: “I would’ve voted yes. I’m a survivor of sexual abuse. [Professor Ford] has been through trauma, [but] Arizona wanted a ‘yes’ vote. I can be for survivors, as [I was] one myself, and for Judge Kavanaugh.”
Sinema noted that she wouldn’t vote for Judge Kavanaugh, but didn’t speak to the issue with the same passion as McSally.
The debate point may have gone to McSally, but how the issue may impact voters is less clear.
A CBS poll (conducted by YouGOV) showed Arizona voters were split on Kavanaugh, with 41 percent supporting and 39 percent opposing his confirmation. The same poll suggested that among likely Arizona voters who said they might still change their mind about whom to support, 30 percent said Kavanaugh’s confirmation would make them more likely to consider voting for a Democrat, while only 10 percent said the same for a Republican.
Independents have enormous power to decide this race in Arizona.
And the dynamics of the race may soon become more familiar as generations that tended to identify with one of the major political parties are replaced by those who see themselves as independents.
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