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Pet Talk—Safely Medicating Spot

When it comes to the health of your pets, medications play an important role in preventing disease, increasing longevity, and making for a healthier, happier pet. Whether it’s antibiotics, pain meds, or flea and tick prevention, there are various things to keep in mind when choosing the right medication for your furry family member.

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Will County and the security of election results

Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots believes strongly in the integrity of the voting process and takes great pride in the diligent testing of Will County's voting equipment. "We follow all the laws and mandates given to us by the State of Illinois," says Voots. The Will County Clerk's Office performs internal testing using Logic & Accuracy (L&A). Next, a Public Test is performed with Republican and Democratic chairmen and the State's Attorney present. The same test deck of ballots are run through the ballot counters that will be used on Election Day. The results are then compared to the results from our internal tests. Both numbers must match in order to show the machines are consistently reporting properly. While voting is conducted by mail, Early Voting or at the Polling Place, a voter must sign a ballot application before receiving their ballot. The number of applications and ballots cast on the ballot counter must match at each location. There is only one system in Will County that tabulates votes. The AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal darkens the oval for the voter, who then inserts their ballot into the ballot counter where it is tabulated.

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Metropolitan Youth Symphony winners

The Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) has announced Roydon Tse as the winner of the 2017 Student Composition Competition. His winning composition, titled “Jest,” will be performed by MYSO on March 15 at 7:30 pm (Lewis University) and March 19 at 4 pm (Joliet Junior College) under the direction of Lawrence Sisk. Born in Hong Kong, Tse studied in the UK for five years before completing degrees in composition at the University of British Columbia (B.Mus) and the University of Toronto (M.Mus). He is currently completing his D.M.A at the University of Toronto, and is an associate of the Canadian Music Center. A composer of symphonic, chamber and vocal works, his music has been performed internationally including Australia, China, Portugal, Canada, and the US.

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Dear EarthTalk: How does Canada’s newly released “Food Guide” differ from the food recommendations offered up by the U.S. government?

These days, many countries around the world produce food guidelines periodically to help improve nutrition and encourage healthy lifestyles among their populaces. The most recent update for Americans came in 2013 when the Obama administration released its MyPlate guidelines suggesting that a healthy diet consists of 30 percent grains, 40 percent vegetables, 10 percent fruits and 20 percent protein, the latter including some dairy. In unveiling the MyPlate guidelines, First Lady Michelle Obama suggested that Americans need not measure out exact proportions but instead simply make sure to exercise portion control and fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables and the other half with lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. But earlier this year Canada came out with its own new set of more detailed food guidelines which public health advocates are praising as an improvement over America’s relatively simplistic standards. Indeed, Canada’s new Food Guide incorporates specific recommendations for eating the right foods according to an individual’s age and gender, and also offers tips regarding serving size for each food and preferred cooking methods, as well as suggestions for maintaining a wholesome lifestyle and body weight with daily physical activity. Based on input from some 20,000 Canadians, Canada’s new Food Guide encourages the intake of plant-based proteins like legumes and soy products rather than meats and dairy (although still advises to give whole milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese to young children). "There’s no more dairy food group, a win not only for public health but also cultural inclusivity, given that up to 90 percent of some non-European ethnicities are lactose intolerant,” says Anna Pippus, an animal rights lawyer and director of Farmed Animal Advocacy at the non-profit Animal Justice. “It’s also a huge win for the cows who really don’t want us to kill their babies so we can steal their milk.” Pippus adds that instead the new guidelines “sensibly advise people to drink water.”

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Dear EarthTalk: Seafood Consumption

Dear EarthTalk: What are some basic guidelines about seafood consumption, especially for women and in light of all the pollution threats to our oceans and waterways?

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First Day of School at Salk

Third grader Anija Bowers and kindergartner Shaniya Samuels

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Metropolitan Youth Symphony to feature The Sorcerer’s Apprentice concerts

The Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra will perform two concerts in March. The first performance is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. March 15 at the St. Charles Borromeo Convocation Hall on the Romeoville campus of Lewis University. The program will be repeated at 4 p.m. March 19 in the Fine Arts Auditorium at Joliet Junior College. Admission is $10 at the door for the JJC performance. Dr. Lawrence Sisk, professor of music at Lewis University, will conduct the orchestra in a program that includes Paul Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Procession of the Princes from Mlada, Ippolitov-Ivanov’s Procession of the Sardar from Caucasian Sketches, and selections from Grieg’s Peer Gynt. The orchestra will also perform JEST by Roydon Tse, the winner of the 2017 Student Composition Contest. MYSO received over 70 student submissions, with entries from all around the world--from Illinois and Canada to Italy and Norway. Tse is a rising composer of symphonic, chamber and vocal works, and his music has been performed internationally including in Australia, China, Portugal, Canada, and the U.S.

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Regulator warns Halloween colored contacts could permanently damage your eyes

With the Halloween season upon us, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is reminding the public that purchasing colored contact lenses from anyone other than a licensed eye care professional or pharmacist is dangerous. In recent years, illegally-purchased colored contacts have flooded the retail market during Halloween and are most often found at malls, beauty supply stores and via online websites. These lenses are often made overseas in non-FDA approved facilities with tinting materials that may be toxic to the eye. Without a proper examination and fitting, colored contacts can cause damage to the eye, including blindness.

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Residents urged to signup for healthcare plan during open enrollment

Sign up for the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) will begin on November 1 and runs through December 15 this year.

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JCHS student places first in Joliet and 14th in State for Stock Market contest

Joliet native Lizbeth Avilés volunteers through the Spanish Community Center to teach her Intro to Investing lessons at Joliet Central and West High School. She provides her expertise in a stock market simulation contest where students place real time stock orders online and compete with students all over the state.

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Foster to host Opioid abuse discussion

On Monday, February 8, 2016 at 10:00 am, Congressman Bill Foster will host a second annual discussion on progress made in the fight against opioid abuse over the past year. Foster will bring together representatives from local governments and nonprofit groups who have been working to counter the epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse throughout the Eleventh Congressional District. The participants in the discussion are Congressman Bill Foster, Armando Rios, Will County Health Department State’s Attorney Dr. Richard A. Jorgensen, DuPage County Health Department, State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow, Will County States Attorney, Mark Piccoli, DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Brian Hazard, Southwest Coalition for Substance Abuse Issues.

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Mayors weigh in on proposed extension of stay-at-home order

As COVID-19 cases in Will County continue to rise daily, Gov. J.B. Pritzker late last week an-nounced he will be extending the stay-at-home order through May 30th once the current order ex-pires on April 30. An online poll by The Times Weekly revealed that 56.52 percent agreed with Pritzker’s plan to extend the order. Area mayors, also agree with Pritzker’s plan to extend the order. However, there are some concerns about its impact on the local economy. On Tuesday, the Will County Health Department reported a total of 2,267 confirmed COVID cases, an increase of 87 over the previous day. Deaths from the virus in Will County in-creased by nine over Monday to a total of 145 and deaths in Illinois from the virus increased by 144 to 2,125. That’s the highest one-day increase in the number of deaths from the virus in Illinois since the start of the pandemic, officials said. The total number of confirmed cases reported in Illi-nois also continued to rise, increasing to 48,102 on Tuesday, an increase of 2,219 over Monday’s total of 45,883, according to the IDPH.

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Canada’s Postal Service Issues 2 Stamps Celebrating Black History Month

Canada Post, the equivalent of the United States Postal Service, has issued two stamps celebrating Black History Month, including one with a photo of rock and roll legend Jimi Hendrix’s paternal grandmother, Nora Hendrix. The stamps, issued on January 30, feature a photograph of Nora Hendrix and Fielding William Spotts, Jr., both of whom lived in Hogan’s Alley, a four-block area that was located near modern-day Chinatown in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Romeoville Parks and Recreation deliver birthday surprises

If you’re looking for a special way to celebrate your little one’s birthday, look no more! The Village of Romeoville Parks and Recreation Department is surprising boys and girls all over Romeoville with Birthday Celebration Boxes. Each box comes customized with a child’s name and is packed with lots of goodies, including a custom coloring booklet, candy, cake mix, frosting, balloons, birthday coupons and more! Celebration boxes can be delivered to your home by some of our Recreation Department staff, who will be sure to make it a BIG deal!

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Check, credit or cash?

Cash and checks will soon no longer be the only acceptable methods of payment at Plainfield Village Hall. Trustees Monday authorized accepting credit card payments to pay for services as Traci Pleckham, director of management services, indicated that residents have inquired about the change for years. According to Pleckham, residents would prefer to complete transactions using credit or debit cards, both at the counter and online. An act was passed in the state in 1997 that allowed municipalities to collect payment for fines, fees and other charges via the credit card. But the act also requires any community considering the acceptance of credit card payments to hold a public hearing, which was held prior to Monday's board meeting.

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Keep Canadian drugs out of U.S. medicine cabinets

The Trump administration recently proposed two rules that would allow states, pharmacies, and drug wholesalers to import non-FDA approved medicines from Canada. No administration, Republican or Democrat, has ever allowed Canadian drug importation – and for good reason. First, experts agree that such a scheme wouldn’t reduce by one penny the co-pay of a single American. Second, it would expose Americans to dangerous counterfeit medicines. Here's what the administration is proposing. The first of the two rules would allow states, pharmacies, and manufacturers to develop their own importation programs, which the federal government must then review. The second rule would allow U.S. drug manufacturers to import their own drugs and sell them domestically. Each of the administration's schemes would require various safety tests and regulatory screenings that would negate any savings generated by buying Canadian drugs at a lower cost.

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“Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine” by Kelley Fanto Deetz

Book review of “Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine” by Kelley Fanto Deetz.

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Feds issue warning on income tax refund fraud

The Times Weekly documented in a story two weeks ago that many local residents, including nearly two dozen in New Lenox, had been victims of criminals filing income tax returns in their name to obtain refund checks.

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Amazon hiring seasonal workers in Romeoville and Joliet

Amazon will hire more than 120,000 seasonal employees across the U.S. during the holiday season this year with some of those workers based right here in Will County. Amazon’s new fulfillment centers in Joliet and Romeoville began operations and shipped their first customer orders recently, just in time for the holiday season. The fulfillment center in Romeoville, which specializes in larger items like big-screen televisions, sports equipment or kayaks shipped its first order – a decorative cylinder planter set to a customer in Naperville, Illinois.

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