tuna(CONSUMER REPORTS) – For pregnant women who eat tuna, it would be wise that not all tuna is safe.

This includes canned tuna and even sushi. These products contain high levels of mercury, which can damage the baby’s brain and nervous system. Many varieties have been known to contain high levels of mercury.

Consumer Reports analyzed the FDA’s research and can tell you which fish are safe and which you should avoid. The government advises young children and women who are pregnant, or breast-feeding to avoid the four fish with the highest mercury levels. These include: Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel, and Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico. The FDA is also considering adding Marlin and Orange Roughy to the list as well. Tuna is also a fish that has experts worried.

Tuna is responsible for 40% of our mercury exposure. Higher levels were found in canned tuna, fresh tuna, and sushi. Ways to avoid this exposure are that pregnant women not eat tuna at all. Anyone else who does eat tuna, should limit the amount they intake. Experts say that there are several other better choices for seafood: Wild and Alaska Salmon (canned or fresh), shrimp, sardines, tilapia, scallops, oysters, and squid.

This does not necessarily mean for people to skip the fish altogether. Food experts agree that, fish with lower levels of mercury can also be high in other health benefits, like protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

mcvay sentenceMEDFORD, Ore. — The man convicted in federal court of setting a bomb at the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office last November will also spend time behind bars for a series of burglaries committed before the bombing.

Alan McVay pleaded guilty in Jackson County Court Thursday to four counts of burglary and a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Those burglaries were committed at several homes in 2011 and 2012.

He was sentenced to three years in prison, which will be served at the same time as the 15 years he is serving for the bombing at the D.A. office. He is also ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution to the burglary victims.

“The likelihood of restitution is probably pretty slim given the federal sentence and state sentences, but one never knows,” said Donald Denman, who represents the estate of one of the burglary victims. “We could always hope that some restitution might be made.”

In court, McVay apologized to the burglary victims.

ROY LEE JONES JRROGUE RIVER, Ore. — Police in Rogue River are looking for a man who used some bad checks to con local businesses out of thousands of dollars.

Roy Lee Jones Jr. is accused of passing $3,000 worth of bad checks to several Rogue River businesses in the past three weeks.

The manager of the 76 gas station said he will have to sell about 38 hundred gallons of gas to make up for the lost profits. Main Building Supply and the Rogue River Pharmacy were also hit.

“That loss of revenue affects your payroll, every part of the running of the store,” said Julie Moran, manager of Main Building Supply, which lost $500 worth of items.

Rogue River Police said Jones is a local man who was well known around town, which is why those businesses accepted his checks. They said he may have left the area, and could be in California.

nathaniel scott thatcherGRANTS PASS, Ore. — Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division arrested a Grants Pass man on Thursday following an investigation into unlawful sexual contact with a female juvenile.

Nathaniel Scott Thatcher, age 29, was arrested at his home on the 700 block of Plumtree Lane in Grants Pass. Thatcher was booked into the Josephine County Jail on the following charges:

-Sexual Abuse in the First Degree (3 counts)
-Sodomy in the Second Degree
-Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the Second Degree (3 counts)

The investigation started August 12th, after OSP was given information of Thatcher’s alleged sexual contact with the 12-year old.

Cassandra Maureen Barondeau.ASHLAND, Ore — Police are searching for a 28 year-old missing Ashland woman by the name of Cassandra Maureen Barondeau.

Barondeau is known to be a transient and drifts from town to town. However, she has not been in contact with her family for over 10 days. This is considered unusual behavior by the family.

Barondeau is described as a white female, 5’4” tall and approximately 130lbs. She was last seen at the Ashland Municipal Court on August 12 wearing a black tank top with white & red lettering, tan Capri pants and light colored tennis shoes. She is believed to have a blue 1989 Mercedes Benz with an unknown Oregon plate.

If anyone has information her whereabouts, they are encouraged to call the Ashland Police Department at 541-482-5211.

cle hot noteMEDFORD, Ore. – Providence Hospital is now footing the bill for Crater High School’s athletic trainer and is looking to expand into more schools. Trainers help athletes with injury prevention at practices and games.

Tonight at 5 and 6, find out how student athletes benefit from having a medical expert on the sidelines.

helicopters groundedCAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — A helittack base in Cave Junction has sprung up to help fight the fires. It’s been establishing in Cave Junction because there’s clean air and it’s closer to fires.

Resources at the base stay committed to the fire until air resources aren’t needed anymore. Tune in tonight on NewsWatch 12 to find out how many air resources this base has and what fires they’re being used on.

Medical Marijuana DispensariesSALEM, Ore. — The November ballot may be a few months away but the Democratic party of Oregon is already showing which issues it favors.

The party announced the large majority of Democrats in the state now support the legalization of recreational marijuana. They also support a measure looking to regulate it.

The party also says it will support the measure requiring the labeling of GMO’s, and a measure granting driving privileges to people who can’t prove they are legal US citizens.

Protecting Water Fm West NileCENTRAL POINT, Ore. — After tracking West Nile in Jackson County, Vector Control biologists want you to protect your property’s water from mosquitoes. Sitting water in troughs or ornamental ponds can be a place where mosquitoes like to hang out. They are either born there, or returning to lay larvae creating the next generation.

So, Jim Lunders, Manager and Biologist at Jackson County Vector Control in Central Point recommends getting mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to get rid of them. These fish are related to guppies and get grow up to two inches long. They feed on the top of the water column where larvae are active.

“If there’s things in your backyard that you can get rid of that’s a permanent solution you don’t have to worry about. But some things, you know, livestock watering troughs, things like that, they need to hold water all the time and these are really a good solution you can control the mosquitoes in those without having to use pesticides,” said Lunders.

Jackson County Vector Control gives away mosquitofish for free. Other options for mosquito control in water is to buy products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) or methoprene.

Hemp ExpoGRANTS PASS, Ore. — One of Southern Oregon’s largest music festivals and educational Hemp Expo will kick off for three straight days.

Starting Friday, speakers, advocates, two stages of concerts, and vendors will be featured at the 5th annual Hemp Expo.

It’s located in Grants Pass off Highway 238 near Williams Highway. Tickets are $25 for the day on Friday and Saturday and $20 for the day on Sunday, and if you want to camp out for the weekend, tickets are $75.

This year will feature David Grisman Bluegrass Experience as a musical guest. 

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