Tag Archives: atlanta

CDC lab director resigns after anthrax incident


(CNN) — The head of the bioterrorism lab involved in potentially exposing dozens of workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deadly anthrax bacteria has resigned.

Michael Farrell, who headed the Bioterrorism Rapid Response and Advanced Technology (BRRAT) Laboratory, submitted his resignation Tuesday, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told CNN. He had been reassigned from his post last month, after the anthrax incident was made public.

The CDC says the potential anthrax exposure happened between June 6 and June 13. The BRRAT lab had been preparing anthrax samples for use in two other labs on the CDC’s Atlanta bursa campus and failed to adequately deactivate the samples.

According to a CDC investigation report, the exposure happened because the lab didn’t use an approved sterilization technique. It didn’t have a written plan reviewed by senior staff to make sure all safety protocols were followed, and there was a limited knowledge of peer-reviewed literature about the process that would make it less dangerous. The lab also did not have a standard operating procedure that would make sure the transfer of the material would be safe.

Bottom line, “the scientists failed to follow a scientifically derived and reviewed protocol that would have assured the anthrax was deactivated,” CDC escort Director Tom Frieden said. It “should have happened, and it didn’t.”

CDC director grilled over safety issues

USDA finds more CDC lab problems

PayPal to refund donations in toddler’s hot car death


(CNN) — If you donated to a fund-raising campaign for the family of Cooper Harris, the suburban Atlanta toddler who died after being left in a hot car, you may soon be getting a refund.

YouCaring.com, the site where the fundraising effort was hosted, has taken the campaign down, and a spokesman for one of the two payment processing firms used in the effort, PayPal, said Friday that it will refund all of the contributions it handled.

The second firm, WePay.com, did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on its plans for donations it collected.

Car bakes in Georgia sun for investigation into toddler’s death

As of July 2, the effort had raised $22,677 of the $25,000 goal set by organizer Heather McCullar, according to a snapshot of the page maintained by Google. The page is no longer available on the YouCaring.com website.

“The campaign was recently removed from the site so that the controversy and debate surrounding the Harris matter did not become a distraction to the millions of other donors participating in a wide variety of active fundraisers currently taking place in our community,” the company said in a statement.

It was not immediately known how much each service had collected, or if any of the money had reached the Harris family.

On June 21, Alabama Credit Union posted a note to its Facebook page saying donations were being funneled to an account there “owned by Ms. Harris to use purely at her own discretion — but she clearly understands the intent of those donating to the fund.”

What’s next in the case?

The campaign was established after Cooper’s father, Justin Ross Harris, was charged with murder and child cruelty in the June 18 death of his 22-month-old son.

But it was posted before revelations that he had searched for information about hot-car deaths or bombshell allegations in a probable cause hearing last week that he had visited a website dedicated to a child-free lifestyle.

A detective also said Harris bursa was exchanging sexually explicit text messages with various women while his son was locked inside the sweltering car, painting a much different portrait of Harris than the dedicated and doting family man described by friends and family.

Father apparently wrote ‘I’m harmless’ on social media profile

Harris has pleaded not guilty. In the preliminary hearing last week, Harris’ attorney — H. Maddox Kilgore — said his client had tragically forgotten his child was in the car.

On Friday a second Georgia law enforcement agency said it is now inquiring about Justin Ross Harris’ activities.

Woodstock Police Department has contacted Cobb County Police Department, “in regards to any alleged criminal activity within our jurisdiction,” Public Information Officer Brittany Duncan said.

During the probable cause hearing, a detective with the Cobb County Police Department alleged Harris met one of the women with whom he exchanged explicit messages at Olde Rope Mill Park, in Woodstock.

We have reached out to Cobb County and will coordinate with them on anything actionable, Duncan escort said. But at this point Woodstock Police say they don’t have an active investigation.

During the probable cause hearing, July 3, Cobb County Police Sgt. Phil Stoddard testified that the department’s preliminary investigation had revealed Harris had committed the computer-based crime of sexual exploitation of a minor. When asked if Harris had also committed two misdemeanor violations of illegal contact with a minor, sexually — Stoddard agreed he had.

Calls to Harris’ attorney, Maddox Kilgore, were not immediately returned.

Who is Justin Ross Harris?