Huffpost Impact

Road Rage Blamed On Layoff

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As part of our Bearing Witness 2.0 project, the Huffington Post is rounding up compelling local stories about the victims of the recession.

A lawyer defending an accused road rage assailant in Harrison, Ohio, attributes his client's behavior to the recession, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer's Sharon Coolidge. Brian Clark, 35, lost his job the day before he allegedly attacked William Scudder, 51, for honking his horn in traffic backed up behind a car accident on Wednesday. Clark broke Scudder's headlight, kicked his car's front grill, and hit him in the arm with a hammer, according to the Enquirer.

Clark's lawyer, Hugh McCloskey Jr., attributed the attack to Clark's mental distress due to his job loss. "This is a product of the economy," he said.

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A hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., is blaming staff cuts on a 44 percent increase in uninsured patients, reports Amy Hamilton for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The layoffs, which will begin next month, will not affect patient care, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

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When his father lost his job in June, Jorgito, a six-year-old in Fort Worth, Texas, gave his toys to his parents to sell at the pawnshop, reports the Star-Telegram's Yamil Berard. Since then, the family has had trouble paying the bills on time, and they went on food stamps to feed Jorgito and his 17-month old sister.

For Christmas, the Goodfellow Fund charity is giving Jorgito a $50 gift card to J.C. Penney, though he's hoping Santa comes through with something else:

Although Jorgito will get new clothes, what he really wants is a red Nintendo DS. He has asked Santa a million times, his mother said. When they visit Walmart, he bounces up and down in front of the glass display case that holds the game system. "That's the one I want, Mama!" he tells her. "Do you think Santa will bring it?"

"Our heart breaks because we don't know how to buy it," she said.

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A large number of technology manufacturing jobs in Oregon have been cut or sent overseas in the recession, reports the Oregonian's Mike Rogoway. State-wide, jobs making computer chips and other tech products have decreased by a third since 2001.

Bruce Klein, 52, worked in the field for 25 years, and was making a six figure salary before he lost his job in January. Since then he has worked only a few intermittent contract jobs. Klein has applied for lower-paying junior positions, but has had no luck. He felt like "a salmon going up river," he said. "There's a lot of waterfalls, and I'm trying to get past that."

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Homeless shelters in St. Paul, Minn., are filling up at a rapid pace, prompting the city to consider emergency shelter options, reports Madeleine Baran for Minnesota Public Radio. City social service providers said that the shelters have been filling up for months due to the poor economy and state budget cuts, according to Baran's report. Officials are trying to come up with options for temporary shelters.


HuffPost readers: Seen a compelling local story? Have a neighbor going to bizarre lengths to get through the recession? Tell us about it! Email julian@huffingtonpost.com.


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