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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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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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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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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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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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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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Lower prices, better access, stronger regulation lead prescription drug reform

Thetimesweekly.com As a legislative committee digs into the issue, Illinois House Democrats are pushing a package of bills this spring that aim to make prescription drugs more accessible, affordable and accountable. Led by state Rep. Will Guzzardi, chairman of the new House Prescription Drug Affordability and Access Committee, several lawmakers discussed their proposals for prescription drug reform Wednesday at a Statehouse news conference. Among the ideas being championed are:

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Letter: Joliet Noon Lion’s Club is on the move

The Joliet Noon Lions Club is one of over 43,000 Lions Clubs worldwide. The Lions’ motto, “We Serve,” describes what we do. Lions International recently celebrated its 100th Birthday and the Joliet Noon Club was chartered as one of the early clubs in 1921. In 1954, Lions International established a contest for a motto and received responses from over 6,000 members worldwide. The motto requirements were that it be enduring, international in character, easily translatable, not wordy, descriptive of our work, and no longer than five words. Of all the suggestions, there were eleven suggestions for “We Serve” from Lion D. A. Stevenson of Fonthill, Ontario, Canada.

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Silver Cross holding free program on lower back pain

Aches & Pains: Low Back Pain will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 31 at the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center in New Lenox.

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Semi-annual Shredding Event

Shorewood Township Supervisor Joseph D. Baltz, and Township Trustees Larry Ryan, John Theobald, Donald Walden and Brett Wheeler announce that Troy Township will host its semi-annual Shredding Event on Saturday, October 3, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

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Former Lewis Standout Signs Pro Contract

The Moncton Miracles of the National Basketball League of Canada announced on November 28th that they have drafted former Lewis University men's basketball standout Julian Lewis with the second pick of the third round.

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Dear EarthTalk: Protestors

Dear EarthTalk: The proposed KeystoneXL oil pipeline from Canada into the U.S. seems to get all the headlines, but shouldn’t we also be worried about the Energy East pipeline?

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Illinois Manufacturers applaud tentative agreement on USMCA

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) released the following statement regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement that House Democrats and the White House have reached a tentative agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

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Tips on staying young from The Doctors

Lift weights and eat low-fat yogurt. 
Not at the same time, of course, but both are key to protecting bones, which weaken as you age. According to current estimates, about 52 million adults older than 50 suffer from osteoporosis or low bone mass.

Muscle-strengthening exercises — with weight machines or elastic bands, for example — help slow bone loss.

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New Training Allows Pharmacists to Dispense Heroin Overdose Antidote

On-demand, web-based training is now available for pharmacists throughout Illinois seeking to dispense Naloxone, a drug widely utilized to counter the effects of overdose from narcotics such as morphine and heroin. By completing the Illinois State Opioid Antagonist Training Program, certified pharmacists will gain the ability to dispense Naloxone without a prescription to those that might benefit most, including, trained first responders, school nurses or any individuals at risk of overdose. The program is the result of a new law passed in September 2015, expanding access to the opioid antagonist drug Naloxone. “Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription pain relievers and heroin, has quadrupled in

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Chicago Film Festival: A VERY ORDINARY CITIZEN

Mr. Safari is an 80 year old pensioner in a Tehran suburb. Since his wife died a decade past, his life revolves around getting Sangak–traditional Persian bread, –from the bakery and sitting on his balcony. His son, Parviz, lives in Canada and cannot return to Iran for political reasons, so he pays Mrs. Parvin, a neighbor Mr. Safari’s senior building, to keep an eye on him. As Mr. Safari descends into Alzheimer’s and no longer answers his phone, the worried son enlists a travel agent friend, Sara, to get dad a passport, a ticket, and to accompany him to Canada where he can be looked after and get better care. However, Mr. Safari falls obsessively in love with the young woman, gives up travel plans and, before his memory goes completely, tells her he loves her and would do anything for her, including murder. The elegiac film is a strong statement about the solitude, loneliness and becoming invisible of old age – whether in contemporary Tehran, or anywhere else.

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Bolingbrook MD gets 18 months for fraud, illegal prescriptions

Dr. Sathish Narayanappa Babu pleaded guilty to bilking Medicare out of $500,000 and wrote prescriptions for unneeded pain killers, according to federal documents.

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Trump's anti-socialist rhetoric doesn't match HHS's price-control plans

President Donald Trump recently promised that America "will never be a socialist country." Let's hope! But some of his top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services apparently didn't get the memo. They’re forging ahead with a plan to impose price controls in Medicare. Many seniors, patient advocacy groups, and health policy experts strongly oppose the proposal, which would deprive American patients of lifesaving medications. President Trump should tell his officials to stand down. HHS's plan affects Medicare Part B, which covers medications that doctors administer in offices or hospitals. Part B currently pays more for those drugs than other developed countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. Those nations use price controls to cap the cost of prescription drugs. If a pharmaceutical company refuses to accept the government-imposed prices, those countries simply refuse to cover the company’s product.

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NL police release photo of Walgreens armed robber

The suspect demanded the pharmacist give him Fentanyl, which is a narcotic pain reliever, police said.

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Romeoville enters into pharmaceutical take back partnership

The program will accept prescription and nonprescription drugs.

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