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Cotton, Kaine introduce bill to study effects of cellphones in schools on children


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) today introduced the Focus on Learning Act, legislation that would require the U.S.

Department of Education to complete a study on the effects of cellphone use in K-12 classrooms on students’ mental health and academic performance.

“Widespread use of cell phones in schools are at best a distraction for young Americans; at worst, they expose schoolchildren to content that is harmful and addictive. Our legislation will make schools remain centers of learning,” said Senator Cotton.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in our recovery from the depths of the pandemic. But there’s much more work to be done to help students overcome learning loss and excel in the classroom. That includes looking into how cellphone use in schools is impacting students’ mental health and their ability to learn. This bill would help us do that, by gathering information and providing it to schools as they grapple with students’ use of cellphones in class and how to best set them up for success,” said Senator Kaine, who serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Text of the legislation may be found on Sen. Cotton’s official web site (cotton.


• The study would include insights from a pilot program, also established by the legislation, to provide schools with secure containers for students to store phones during school hours.

• The bill authorizes $5 million annually for the next five years for that pilot program.

• In the selection of pilot programs, ED will gather input from parents, students, and educators.

• The pilot program will allow exceptions for students with health conditions, disabilities, and non-English speakers.

Schools participating in the pilot program will have a communication system in place that allows teachers, administrators, and staff to communicate with local emergency responders. ***

NEA healthcare network announces security breach

JONESBORO — St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc. contracts with Welltok, Inc. to provide an online contact-management platform to provide patients with important notices and communications through its subsidiary Tea Leaves Health, LLC. On May 31, 2023, and again in June 2023, Progress Software Corp. publicly disclosed zero-day vulnerabilities that impacted the MOVEit Transfer tool. As a user of that tool, Welltok, Inc. moved quickly to apply available patching and undertook recommended mitigation steps. Welltok, Inc. promptly launched an internal investigation, with the assistance of third-party cybersecurity specialists, to determine the potential impact of the vulnerabilities’ presence on the MOVEit Transfer server on the security of data housed on the server. The investigation determined that an unknown actor exploited vulnerabilities, accessed the MOVEit Transfer server between May 30, 2023, to May 31, 2023, and exfiltrated certain data from the MOVEit Transfer server during that time. Welltok, Inc. subsequently undertook a time-consuming and detailed review of the data stored on the server at the time of this incident to understand the contents of that data and to whom that data relates. On

See STATE, page A10 STATE

From page A3

September 14, 2023 Welltok, Inc. notified St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc. that certain patient data stored on the server at the time of this incident was breached.

The information accessed by the unknown actor may have included, depending on the individual, their name, address, date of birth, social security number, email address, phone number, patient identification number, health insurance information, provider’s name, and medical treatment or diagnosis information. Welltok, Inc. has assured St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc. it is reviewing and enhancing existing policies and procedures related to data privacy to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event.

St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc. takes the privacy of its patients very seriously. On behalf of St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc., Welltok, Inc. will begin notifying affected patients by mail on November 13, 2023. Post-incident support is being provided including access to twenty four (24) months of complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services provided by Experian for all St.

Bernards Healthcare, Inc. patients affected. St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc. encourages patients to review their account statements and explanation of benefit forms and to monitor their free credit reports for suspicious activity.

On behalf of St. Bernards Healthcare, Inc., Welltok, Inc. is providing a dedicated tollfree inquiry line at 1-800-6282141 which potentially affected individuals may contact for additional information. The line is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Central Time, Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Motorcyclist nailed for meth possession

JONESBORO — A police chase landed a man on a motorcycle more trouble than just a speeding ticket.

The man had 68 grams (2.4 ounces) of methamphetamine and was wanted for a felony parole violation.

On Thursday, Craighead County District Judge David Boling found probable cause to charge James Lee Burns, 46, of Jonesboro, with possession of meth with the purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, felony fleeing and misdemeanor resisting arrest and reckless driving. He set bond at $50,000, though Burns told the judge “I ain’t going nowhere.”

Craighead County Deputy Sheriff Cody Ladner spotted a motorcycle traveling “at an extremely high rate of speed” northbound on North Church Street on Wednesday, Agent David Willy of the 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force said in an affidavit.

After Ladner turned on his blue lights, the driver looked back at him then accelerated quickly onto Easy Street.

Willy said the pursuit went from Easy Street to French Street, then through a field and onto North Culberhouse Street.

“Once on Culberhouse, the driver quickly turned onto Forrest Street,” Willy wrote.

“The driver disregarded every stop sign it approached and continued fleeing at a high rate of speed through a neighborhood.”

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