Man Arrested For Carrying Knife On Plane

TAMPA, Fla., July 31 (UPI) — An airplane passenger was arrested Sunday after a security breach allowed the man to carry a knife onto a plane in Tampa, airport officials said.

Philippe Francois Martinez, 43, of Clearwater, Fla., was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

Transportation Security Administration personnel noticed the knife while Martinez was going through security screening and alerted airport police, said airport spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan.

Martinez was able to reach his plane because police officers first detained and searched the wrong man, then had to shut down security screenings at the terminal.

Police later found Martinez aboard an American Airlines flight to Miami. They searched the man’s carry-on and found the knife.

“This was a very unintentional incident,” Geoghagan said.

Martinez was set to travel from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The incident caused a 10-minute delay for the American Airlines flight, and 15- and 40-minute delays for two US Airways flights.

TSA does not permit knives in carry-on luggage, except for plastic or butter knives. Other kinds of knives are permitted in checked luggage.

Back-to-school Adjustment Should Begin Now

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 31 (UPI) — Since summer break ends in August in the South, parents and children should begin adjusting to back-to-school routines now, a U.S. researcher says.

“Returning to the routine of the school year can be overwhelming for adults and students,” Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, says in a statement.

“During the school year there’s a sleep schedule, a tighter timeframe for performing household chores and the sense of fewer hours in the day. Altogether, this can lead to debilitating anxiety.”

Throughout the summer months, parents and children develop new habits and routines, and breaking those is extremely difficult to accomplish in a day, Klapow says.

“But if you don’t try to go cold turkey, the transition should remain pain-free,” Klapow says.

“This means adjusting bed times and morning alarms starting now. If they already haven’t been reading through the summer, have the children pick up a book for at least 20 minutes a day, to mimic homework time. This helps everybody re-adapt.”

More U.S. Kids On Government Healthcare

DURHAM, N.H., July 31 (UPI) — With unemployment staying high and parents losing health insurance, more U.S. children are being covered by public health insurance plans, researchers say.

“When people become unemployed, not only do they lose their employment-based private insurance, but, with the loss of income, families may become newly eligible for public plans,” researchers at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire say in a statement.

“In addition, the generally poor economy and expanded eligibility for public plans may also play less direct roles in the shifting rates of health insurance among children.”

Public health insurance for children is provided principally via Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but Congress is considering budget cuts with proposals ranging from cutting $100 billion over 10 years to $1 trillion over the same period.

The researchers also say:

— Health insurance coverage among children increased 1.3 percentage points from 2008 to 2009, with the most growth in central cities and rural areas.

— The Northeast has the highest rate of coverage, with more than 95 percent of children covered, the South the lowest at 89 percent.

— Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had a significant increase in the number of children covered by public health insurance.

— Twenty-seven states saw a decrease in private health insurance coverage for children.

Concrete Slab Tumbles From Montreal Tunnel

MONTREAL, July 31 (UPI) — A nearly 50-foot slab of concrete fell near one end of a highway tunnel in Montreal Sunday, forcing closure of the road’s eastbound lanes, police said.

No one was hurt in the incident on the Ville-Marie Expressway and no motorists were stuck in the tunnel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

It wasn’t known how long the eastbound lanes would remain blocked. The highway’s westbound lanes were partially closed, as well.

Police said the chunk that fell was designed to block light so motorists entering and exiting the tunnel are not blinded.

Construction workers told the CBC they believed vibrations created while they were working on the tunnel’s walls may have caused the slab to fall.

Transport Quebec spokeswoman Caroline Larose said the department’s engineers were inspecting the 39-year-old tunnel structure.

Body Parts Found On Canada Tribal Reserve

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, July 31 (UPI) — Authorities in Canada say they are investigating the death of a female whose body parts were found scattered at Sandy Bay First Nation.

A large area of the tribal reserve on the western shore of Lake Manitoba was cordoned off as the investigation was being conducted by investigators from the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The body parts were discovered Saturday in a ditch and another site on the reserve, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday.

The victim had not been identified and the manner of death had not been determined.

1 Dead, 2 Wounded After Toronto Parade

TORONTO, July 31 (UPI) — A shooting incident involving Toronto’s police just after the city’s Caribbean Carnival parade left one man dead and two other people wounded, officials said.

The names of the 30-year-old man who died, and the woman and man who were wounded, had not been released, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit told the CBC Sunday that while city police officers had “interacted” with three men just prior to the Saturday night shooting, it was unclear whether the officers fired the bullets that led to the fatality and other injuries.

A festival organizer said the shooting “sad” and “shocking,” but noted it took place after the parade had ended.

3 Die In 3 Shootings In 4 Hours In Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif., July 31 (UPI) — A man, a woman and a teenage boy were killed in three separate shootings in Oakland in a span of less than 4 hours ending early Sunday, police said.

City police officer Kevin McDonald said the 16-year-old boy was the first victim. He was shot several times on a street corner shortly before midnight Saturday and died about 3 a.m. Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Shortly after 3 a.m., a 26-year-old woman shot in West Oakland died at a hospital. Details of that shooting were unavailable, the newspaper said.

Then at 3:25 a.m., a 21-year-old man was found shot on a street.

The victims’ names had not been released, the Chronicle said.

Workers Asking For More Time Off

MELVILLE, N.Y., July 31 (UPI) — Since the recession, U.S. workers focused on keeping their jobs, but this summer there is a shift toward family, a survey indicates.

The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Adecco Staffing US, a workforce solutions provider, indicates the desire for time and work flexibility this summer cuts across gender lines.

Fifty-nine percent of women are choosing “extra vacation days” as one of the three workplace benefits they’d most want, while 47 percent of men say the same. Sixty percent of men show a greater interest in having the ability to leave work early.

“In the last few years, American workers have had more of a focus on keeping their jobs and perhaps less on other elements, including taking vacation and time off from work to spend with family and friends during the summer months,” Joyce Russell, president and EVP of Adecco Staffing US, says in a statement.

“This summer we’re seeing a bit of a shift from this way of thinking with survey respondents showing that maintaining one’s personal life and a more relaxed work environment is valuable to them.”

In addition to time flexibility, 42 percent of U.S. workers also want the option for casual workplace attire this summer, although 80 percent of women say mini-skirts are inappropriate at work compared to 61 percent of men, the survey says.

No survey details were provided.

Recession Increasing Burn Out In Employees

CHICAGO, July 31 (UPI) — Nearly half — 45 percent — say they think workers at their organization are currently burned out on their jobs, a U.S. survey indicates.

The national survey, by CareerBuilder.com, was conducted May 19 to June 8, included more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals and nearly 5,300 employees.

Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, says employers who saw a rise in worker productivity during the recession primarily attribute the increase to the fear of losing a job and the effects of downsized staffs on individual workloads.

In addition, 73 percent are seeing the increase sustain today, while 14 percent state productivity has increased even more.

“The recession produced consequences for not just those who were laid off, but for those who were asked to work harder as a result of leaner staffs,” Rasmussen says in a statement.

“While getting more out of a smaller workforce is a sign of organizational agility during unpredictable times, it’s hard to see such yields in productivity holding forever. Headcount will be needed to meet increasing demands.”

Looking at burnout from the worker’s perspective — 77 percent of workers say they are sometimes or always burned out in their jobs and 43 percent say their stress levels on the job have increased during the last six months, while only 8 percent say their workloads decreased.

The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive. No margin of error was provided.

Companies Spending On Picnics, Again

TREVOSE, Pa., July 31 (UPI) — After the economic downturn, many U.S. companies scaled back morale boosting pursuits, but a survey indicates that at least the company picnic is back.

A survey by the Advertising Specialty Institute of 400 individuals working at companies indicates 41 percent say they’re planning a company picnic this summer and 8 percent say they are hosting a picnic for the first time or the first time in recent years.

“Companies that are finally making money again are rewarding their employees for all their hard work and boosting morale with big employee picnics this year,” Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI, says in a statement.

“Whether you do it with pony rides and barbecue or competitive tournaments and beer, it’s clear from our survey that companies are having fun again.”

The company picnic survey indicates that:

— 50 percent of employees generally attend.

— 63 percent say family is always or sometimes invited.

— 41 percent always give away promotional products to attendees, while 28 percent sometimes do.

— Of those who give items, 51 percent give away t-shirts; 44 percent give away recreational items like Frisbees, games and toys; and 32 percent give away caps and headgear.

Picnic offerings include: bouncy houses, inflatable slides, crafts, games, races, carnival attractions, raffles, water guns, hot dog eating competitions, medical testing, jousting and drinking games.

Companies spend an average of $4,116 on their company picnic, the survey says.

No survey details were provided.