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NEWS NOTES:

* The secretary of state said that, as of 4 p.m. today and with 56 of 75 counties reporting, almost 15,000 people voted on the first day of early voting. Almost 7,000 absentee ballots also had been recorded. The most populous counties had the most votes. In other words, little to divine from the figures so far. Far more were cast on the first day in 2008 — 36,000 early and absentee — but that was a presidential election year. A different sort of change was in the air. UPDATE: Republican political consultant Clint Reed is sending around an analysis in which he finds early vote is heavily concentrated in solidly Republican voting counties. If you're Democratically inclined, best tell your friends to get off their duffs. On the other hand, by the end of the day almost a third of the early vote came from Pulaski County, which typically votes Democratic.

* UAMS reports theft of a digital camera with photos of babies born at the University Hospital for a three-month period. The photos included some personal information, such as insurance information.

* KAIT in Jonesboro is promising webcast of a 6:30 debate between the 1st Congressional District candidates, Democrat Chad Causey and Republican Rick Crawford.

* A jury has been picked and arguments have begun in the federal trial of a Cabot man reputed to be tied up with a Northeastern mob figure in drug activities. Yet to come are trials tying him to nefarious activities with one current and one former North Little Rock alderman.

UAMS NEWS RELEASE

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and its police force are investigating the Oct. 12 theft of a digital camera that happened to contain photographs of babies born at UAMS over a three-month period this year.

The stolen camera contained photographs of some infants born at UAMS between July and October. The photos also contained identification labels for the babies and mothers. The labels included names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, insurance status, doctor’s name and medical record numbers. No clinical information was included. It is unclear exactly which babies born during that time had their photographs taken, and which babies’ photos remained on the camera at the time of the theft.

The photographs were taken as part of routine security measures recommended by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children should an infant abduction occur from the hospital nursery. The camera was stolen Oct. 12 out of a nurse’s lab coat.

Families who may have been affected are being notified.

“UAMS takes patient privacy and security seriously, and we are doing everything we can to recover the camera and investigate the incident,” said Vera Chenault, privacy officer for UAMS, “but we want parents to know, so that they may take any steps they feel are necessary to protect themselves in the event that their own or their baby’s information might be out there.”

Anyone who believes their or their baby’s personal information might have been compromised in this incident should contact the UAMS HIPAA Office toll-free at (888) 729-2755 or at http://www.uamshealth.com/Breach if they have questions or concerns.

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