Weekend Reads: Judge in upstate New York dies after a heart attack on the bench - PressFrom - Canada
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Weekend ReadsJudge in upstate New York dies after a heart attack on the bench

23:50  16 june  2019
23:50  16 june  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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Judge in upstate New York dies after a heart attack on the bench© Putman County

A judge in upstate New York died after suffering a heart attack in his courtroom.

Putnam County Court Judge James Reitz had just finished a case on the bench Friday morning when he asked a court officer for help.

"They were getting ready to call the next case when Reitz said to the court officer that was with him, 'John, I think I need you to help me here,'" Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell told CNN.

Reitz then collapsed. The officer performed CPR on the judge until he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Odell said. The hospital worked on him for about 30 to 45 minutes before he was pronounced dead. He was 57.

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Reitz had been a judge in Putnam County since 2007, according to the New York Law Journal. Before that, he was a lawyer with a private practice.

Reitz was known for his drug court program, which offered people whose crimes were related to addiction an opportunity to seek treatment and avoid prison.

Terrence Murphy, a former New York state senator, told CNN he worked with Reitz often on the drug court. Murphy was chair of the New York State Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction.

"He ran the best drug court in New York state," Murphy said. "He literally saved people's lives. He's an iconic person and will be sorely missed. Our professional relationship went beyond, into personal friendship, with him and his wife Barbara. I'm still in shock."

Odell said the death of Reitz was a loss to the community.

"He was a giant among men in this community. We will be feeling his loss for a very long time," Odell said. "I personally lost a dear friend and Putnam County lost a dedicated public servant whose passion was helping anyone who needed help."

Mennonite teen dies waiting for heart transplant in Toronto.
A girl whose Mennonite family moved from rural eastern Ontario to Toronto so she could undergo a heart transplant has died before a donor could be found. In April, CBC told the story of 14-year-old Amanda Horst, who had been diagnosed with a heart-weakening condition called cardiomyopathy the month before. Her family of nine sold much of their livestock and moved from their farm on the outskirts of Bancroft to a rented house in Toronto in early June to be close to the transplant unit at Sick Kids Hospital in case a donor was found. She had only recently been added to the waiting list.

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