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Oh, that classic Almond Joy vs. Mounds dilemma... Whether to go dark chocolate or milk chocolate with nuts. These bar cookies inspired by those sibling candy bars let you have it your way, or both ways.
Gilbert resident Jim Seaton can’t help but be thankful for his second chance for life, as it was a little more than a year ago when simply breathing was a labored pursuit.
Imagine a chocolate peanut butter cup, but instead of peanut butter the chocolate shell encases a gooey marshmallow filling. There's your Mallo Cup candy bar. And it turns out this decidedly retro treat happens to be delicious when transformed into a holiday cookie — our frosted chocolate drops. The result is similar to a fudgy brownie remade as a drop cookie and topped with a marshmallow buttercream frosting.
So what would you do with 100 Grand?
Is it even possible to eat a Kit Kat bar without triggering that "Give me a break!" earworm from the '80s? Seems not. So our cure to keep us from humming "Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!" for the rest of the day is to bake up a batch of these shortbread cookies inspired by that breakably delicious candy.
Zagnut candy bars are like a crumbly, coconutty Butterfinger, minus the chocolate. These cookies play off that crisp coconut texture, combining both coconut flour (often found with the gluten-free products) and shredded unsweetened coconut. You also can make your own coconut flour by pulsing unsweetened shredded coconut in a food processor until finely ground.
This cookie was all about packing an outrageous number of peanuts into one small, but so-very-delicious package. Inspired by the NutRageous bar, these drop cookies combine peanut butter, whole peanuts, chocolate and caramel into salty-sweet morsels you will find dangerously addictive.
NAPA, Calif. — Hot air balloons drifting in multicolored splashes against a blue heaven are a common sight in the Napa Valley. But lately, more than balloons have been taking to the wine country skies.
In this Oct. 15, 2014, photo, the Yamaha RMax unmanned helicopter sprays water over grapevines during a demonstration of it's aerial application capabilities at the University of California, Davis' Oakville Station test vineyard in Oakville, Calif. Researchers at UC Davis have been studying the effectiveness of the drone's ability for spraying pest control and nutritional materials on the test vineyard. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In this Oct. 15, 2014, photo, Katsu Nakamura, sky division manager for Yamaha USA, moves the RMax unmanned helicopter into position before a demonstration flight of it's aerial application capabilities at the University of California, Davis' Oakville Station test vineyard in Oakville, Calif. Researchers at UC Davis have been studying the effectiveness of the drone's ability for spraying pest control and nutritional materials on the test vineyard in California's Napa Valley. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
In this Oct. 15, 2014, photo, the Yamaha RMax unmanned helicopter sprays water over grapevines during a demonstration of it's aerial application capabilities at the University of California, Davis' Oakville Station test vineyard in Oakville, Calif. Researchers at UC Davis have been studying the effectiveness of the drone's ability for spraying pest control and nutritional materials on the test vineyard. (AP Photo/The Press Democrat, John Burgess)
Flu season is well on the way and doctors are urging everyone to vaccinate in order to be protected from the illness this fall and winter. Dr. Michael A. Kaplan, MD, national medical director for NextCare Urgent Care, cleared up some questions and confusion surrounding the vaccine.
Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
PHOENIX -- Facing a lawsuit they appeared to be losing, state prison officials have agreed to improve health care for the more than 34,000 inmates in their custody.
The stipulation filed Tuesday in federal court here requires the Department of Corrections to live up to more than 80 specific performance standards for how it handles medical issues. These range from staffing requirements and emergency response times to ensuring that inmates get their medications in a timely fashion.
Potentially more significant for those affected, the stipulation also requires the state to revamp its rules on solitary confinement of inmates -- the department calls it "isolation'' -- with serious mental illness.
Where current regulations keep those prisoners in their cells all but six hours a week, they will now have at least 19 hours a week elsewhere. And that time also must include mental health treatment and other programs.
And the Department has also agreed to use chemical agents like pepper spray on inmates classified as seriously mentally ill "only in case of imminent threat.''
That is defined as situations that jeopardize safety or security like an attempt to escape or active physical resistance. But it specifically precludes pepper spray for things like "passive resistance to placement in restraints or refusal to follow orders.''
Don Specter, an attorney with the Prison Law Office, said this deal, which must be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa, is more than just his organization and the American Civil Liberties Union accepting on faith that things will get better.
"We will be able to tour the prisons to check ourselves to see whether they're providing adequate care,'' he said. "And we will also get a lot of documentation.''
The deal comes four months after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the go-ahead for the case, alleging inadequate health care, to be handled as a class-action lawsuit.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the appellate court, said the attorneys for the inmates provided detailed allegations of everything from "outright denials of health care'' to improper isolation policies. And they also had information on how spending on certain services dropped by more than a third over a two-year period even as inmate population did not.
But Reinhardt, in refusing to require each inmate to prove his or her rights were violated, said the claims alleged "systemic failures'' in the prison's health care system "that expose all inmates to a substantial risk of serious harm.'' And if that is the case, Reinhardt said that would require a wholesale revamp of the agency's policies -- and not simply correcting the problems of the 13 inmates who filed the original 2012 lawsuit.
That paved the way for a trial to begin Monday.
No one from the Department of Corrections would agree to be interviewed about the decision to settle after two years of disputing the allegations. Instead, the agency issued a prepared statement from Director Charles Ryan calling the deal "positive news'' for his agency -- and essentially claiming victory.
"On the eve of trial, the plaintiffs in this case have essentially agreed that the department's current policies and practices, along with recent enhancements to programming opportunities, adequately addresses the plaintiffs' concerns relating to constitutional healthcare and conditions of confinement for maximum custody mentally ill inmates,'' the statement read.
But agency spokesman Doug Nick refused to detail what changes the department has made since the lawsuit was filed and why, if there were no problems, it took two years to settle.
The department's statement, however, suggests that money was a consideration in opting not to go to trial where a judge might have ordered some more extensive -- and expensive -- changes in inmate health care.
It says that California is spending nearly $18,000 per inmate for health care following two decades of litigation brought by the same organizations who are representing inmates here. "By contrast, Arizona spends nearly $3,800 per inmate in health care costs,'' the statement says.
The allegations made -- ones that Nick will not address -- were serious.
They include "lengthy and dangerous delays'' and "outright denials of health care,'' failure to provide necessary medication, a practice of "`employing insufficient health care staff,'' substandard dental care and denial of basic mental health care to suicidal and self-harming prisoners. The lawsuit also said that inmates in isolation units were denied adequate recreation and nutrition, constant cell illumination and inadequate mental health care staffing and treatment.
To prove their case, the inmates presented evidence of the agency's policies, internal communications and reports from four experts in prison medical care and conditions of confinement. And they provided specific incidents.
One involves an inmate who collapsed in his cell from a heart attack but where the lawsuit says officers told prisoners who asked for help to "wait and see what happens.'' While the inmate was taken, eventually, to the medical unit, he was told he had a medical appointment in a few days.
But the inmate, according to the lawsuit, had another heart attack the next day and died.
The legal papers also cite a prisoner, four months pregnant who experienced painful contractions and spotting blood. But a staffer at the medical unit told her it was nothing serious and "all in her head,'' refusing to allow her to see someone for evaluation.
She eventually miscarried.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona's barrage of rain storms in recent months has created an unlikely pest infestation for the desert region: mosquitoes.
The storms — including one that began Wednesday — have created a breeding ground for mosquitoes that some longtime Phoenix residents say are as bad as they can ever remember.
Maricopa County environmental officials say they have received more than 10,000 mosquito-related complaints so far this year. County Environmental Services Department spokesman Johnny Dilone said that is nearly double the number of calls from the same period in 2013.
"We're working a lot of hours and spraying in more places," Dilone said. "We've been seeing a lot of mosquitoes, a majority of them are floodwater mosquitoes. Those are the ones that have been generating most of the calls."
The uptick has left some residents scratching their heads — as well as arms, legs and other body parts — at having to deal unexpected insect bites. Jennifer Weller, a Scottsdale sales executive, said she feels like every day brings three to five mosquito bites more.
"I'm a native of Arizona and I can't remember getting eaten like this," she said. "So I'm wearing my OFF! right now instead of my perfume."
Other residents, like Leslie Meehan, are considering their own preventive measures. Meehan, of Maricopa, said nothing has worked to get them out of her yard and she is mulling a $149 mosquito trap.
"We're a smorgasbord for these heat-seeking missiles with wings," Meehan said. She compared it to a mauling — "I've got 32 bites on one arm."
Dilone says the county sets out about 640 traps each week. Most of them go to areas that the department monitors year-round as part of a more aggressive effort that began two years ago. But more will be deployed as officials come across new areas.
The county uses the trapped mosquitoes to test for West Nile Virus. Workers go to sites that test positive and conduct fogging measures.
More than 180 mosquito samples taken from traps this year have tested positive for the virus, Dilone said. The virus can cause severe illness in people and animals, although only about 20 percent of those infected will develop any symptoms. The flu-like symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and muscle weakness. More severe symptoms can include inflammation of the brain, which can lead to paralysis or death. There have been 44 cases of people infected with the virus this year in Maricopa County. Six people have died.
Standing water created by rain and flooding can lead to a surge in mosquito breeding. Hundreds of thousands of them can emerge in as little as three days if mosquito larvae are left in a pool of water.
That's why homeowners need to inspect their property after it rains, Dilone said. Clearing debris from swimming pools, draining pet water dishes and buckets or other containers are some ways to stop mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Many people still don't realize that mosquitoes can grow even in the desert, Dilone said.
"Most of us don't think we have a mosquito problem here or that there are many mosquitoes. Most of us don't know that even as little the water that may be in a bottle cap would be enough for a mosquito to breed," Dilone said.
Arizona's barrage of rain storms in recent months has created an unlikely pest infestation for the desert region: mosquitoes.
Once again, in November, school districts throughout the state will have overrides on the ballot. Most, if not all, districts do this because the funding formula from the state is over 30 years old and does not meet the cost of doing business in the year 2014. Think about it; can you get a gallon of gas for 95 cents today? Well, that’s essentially what they are asking schools to do today.
I wonder how many people are still paying attention to the calamity going on in Missouri?
Those darn zucchini! There’s an army of them occupying your garden right now and each one is as big as a blimp.
This is embarrassing, or at least it would be if I had any hope of pretending that I wasn’t doing a perfect impersonation of an ex-nun. But my feckless, impetuous youth has recklessly sailed and sunk in the harbor, so you may as well know the truth.
NEW YORK — Move over, studded bracelets and chandelier earrings. Right now, it's all about nails.
As the ground is disturbed and the land is changing, Ahwatukee Foothills residents say they’ve seen more rats in the area.
The meaning of Ike’s name is “he will laugh” or “laughter,” which perfectly describes this handsome, charming and friendly 1-year-old dalmatian mix. Ike wears a permanent smile on his face and always looks like he has just told the best joke ever and can’t stop laughing! He is a sweet, happy, energetic dog who loves to interact with people, greeting everyone with a wagging tail, a wiggling body, a few kisses, and of course, a big smile.
Zucchini bread is fine and all, but when you're staring down a mountain of summer abundance, how much of it can you really eat?
Those first few weeks when the kids head back to school can be among the most hectic for families. The lazy days of summer quickly give way to crazy schedules, homework and after-school activities. And don’t forget somehow managing to slip dinner into the middle of all that.