Top Headlines March 21

By: Kitty Capelle
By: Kitty Capelle

These are the three most viewed headlines on Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

JMU Students Celebrate Dukes NCAA Tournament Victory


HARRISONBURG -- The crowd was loud at O'Neill's restaurant during the James Madison University vs. LIU Brooklyn game.
It was standing room only. All eyes were fixed on TVs for their hometown Dukes. When halftime came, some were a little worried. JMU was only up by one point.

"They started out hot. It was looking pretty good, they played some good defense. Definitely missed Rayshawn on the inside. Towards the end of the half, they stumbled a little bit but the second half will be good," said JMU junior Dillon Fail.

Once the second half started, it was all JMU. Students and fans cheered on their team as hard as they could.
In the end, the Dukes were able to top the Blackbirds.

"Well they had me worried for a little while. But per-usual with this team, we were able to pull it out in the end. We got some great senior leadership. Some great freshmen, and we were able to find a way to get it done," said JMU junior Connor Butler.

"You know it's an exciting win for the program. I know everyone here has been waiting for it for 19 years. It's awesome that we can get on this national spotlight and get the win," said JMU junior Matt Butta.

Students and fans are really excited to see what's going to happen against Indiana on Friday. It will be the number 16 seed vs. the number 1 seed.
If the Dukes win, it could be the first time a 16 seed beats the number 1 seed.



USDA, Virginia Cracking Down on Food Stamp Fraud


HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Social Services is cracking down on food stamp fraud. A new partnership between the USDA and Virginia and Maryland was announced Wednesday to help strengthen the fight against fraud.

Locally, Social Service employees have an online system that shows them where people purchase their groceries.

They are also able to compare records with retailers, if there's something that doesn't seem right.

Lyn Wright with Social Services said because everything is moving to electronic there are more ways things can be handled inappropriately.

Some merchants have video and they have records that can be compared with records at the Social Services office.

When the alleged fraud hits a certain level they take it to the Commonwealth's Attorney.

There have been incidences where people lose their EBT card to buy groceries. If it happens more than two or three times, they start monitoring the money.

Under the state partnership, Maryland and Virginia will share information with the USDA to develop other tools to detect fraud.

"Where they're seeing some trafficking that direction, people were posting the cards on e-bay which means they're giving the card out selling it out they have to give the PIN number that goes to it so someone else can purchase groceries," Wright said.

They think that could be a reason some people ask for multiple replacements.

Wright wants to stress that up front, they want to k



Parent of Child with Autism Responds to New Government Survey


HARRISONBURG, Va. -- A new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1 in 50 children has autism.

That number is up when compared to other estimates, but it doesn't necessarily mean that autism is happening more frequently.

Marybeth Clarke, with the Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership said that these new numbers feel more accurate to her.

This new estimate would mean at least 1 million kids have autism.

Clarke has been following the statistics since her daughter was diagnosed three and a half years ago and the numbers keep growing.

The earlier government survey estimated 1 in 88 children, and that was based on medical and school records.

This survey was from a national phone survey, with people interviewing more than 95,000 parents.

In Clarke's opinion, the phone survey could be more accurate because it's not limiting data to a specific age group.

Her daughter goes to Stone Spring Elementary School and has access to speech therapy and other resources.

Clarke said the new estimate also shows how much of a need there is in schools and other areas.

"There's one in 50 right now. Hello, there are a lot of people in need. So you know we need the infrastructure, we need the funding, we need the research, we need the services," Clarke said.

Clarke said these new statistics help to get the word out about autism in general.

Clarke said the phone survey could be more accurate, because it's not limiting data to a specific age group

Diagnoses vary, so that can mean age eight or older and can include kids who have Aspergers Disorder or milder forms of autism.


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