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Health
6:29 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Reading A Backlit E-Book Before Bed May Be Harmful To Your Health

Credit Flickr user Pavel P. / "My Kindle I" (CC BY 2.0)

Curling up with an e-book for a bedtime read might damage your sleep and maybe your health. 

That’s according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers found back-lit e-readers led to less and poorer-quality sleep versus reading a paperback. 

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Health
6:22 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Whooping Cough Strains May Be Outsmarting Current Vacine

Credit Flickr user Mike Mozart / "Whooping Cough Shots Sign CVS Parking Lot, 8/2014 by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube" (CC BY 2.0)

Whooping cough might be evolving to outsmart the current vaccine. 

That’s according to a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Researchers says the changing strains may have serious consequences in future outbreaks, but stress the vaccine remains highly effective in protecting the most vulnerable babies.

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Politics
6:11 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Campaign Funding Advisory Question Approved For DeKalb County Ballot

Credit DeKalb County

Voters across DeKalb County will get to cast their thoughts about the influence of money in politics when they go to the polls in April. 

The county board approved a non-binding question that asks voters if they support measures to increase transparency for campaign funding.

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Illinois
5:57 am
Mon December 29, 2014

State Juvenile Justice Dept. Report Touches On Medication, Expansion

Credit Illinois.gov

The use of medication to control behavior has gone up in Illinois youth prisons over the past five years. That’s according to an annual report from the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Five years ago, youth prison staff weren’t using medication to control behavior at all.  Now so-called chemical restraints are used on about 1 out of every 100 youth inmates. 

But Illinois still ranks slightly below the national average.

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Politics
5:49 am
Mon December 29, 2014

State Senator Revises School Funding Bill

Credit ilga.gov

Illinois public schools are funded by two main sources--property taxes and state money. State senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Macoupin County, introduced legislation that would change that formula. 

It didn't make it through the General Assembly last session, but Manar feels confident the issue will be debated again by the new legislature.

“There's only a few people that believe that the state aid formula today, as it exists, works well. And those are the ones that benefit at the expense of the masses from today's system.”

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-Illinois
5:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Illinois Residents Can Check Flood Information Online

Illinoisfloodmaps.org showing changes in flood plain maps
Andrew Epstein WNIJ

Ever wondered why some areas of your community flood more than others? It might be because they are located in a flood plain. Kingsley Allan, a GIS Manager for the Illinois State Water Survey, who helped design a mobile friendly version of the website Illinoisfloodmaps.org, says residents can use their service to learn about flooding in their area.

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Illinois
5:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Winter Hunting Opportunities Available For People With Disabilities

Credit IDNR

The archery season for deer and turkey continues into mid-January for some counties.  

Since 1999, Illinois state parks where hunting is available have opened their gates to people with disabilities.

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Health
5:59 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Are You A Worrier? There May Be A Silver Lining

Credit Flickr user Joe Sampouw / "Worried life blues..." (CC BY 2.0)

Over-thinking and worrying has been linked to other health problems, but it could be a sign of higher verbal intelligence. 

That’s according to a study to be published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

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Demographics
5:54 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Less Than Half Of American Kids Come From 'Traditional' Households

Less than half of American kids live in a “traditional” home. That’s according to the most recent Pew Research Center analysis

Forty-six percent of children live with heterosexual parents in their first marriage, compared to 61 percent in 1980. A jump in kids born to unmarried mothers accounts for the shift.

Health
5:50 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Smartphone Users More Developed In Area Of Brain Related To Touch

Credit Flickr user Highways Agency / "09_2013_47" (CC BY 2.0)

Smartphones are changing our brains. That’s according to a study in the journal Current Biology

The trait is more pronounced in musicians such as violinists, but smartphone users are more developed in the region of their brains that is associated with touch, or movement of a thumb across a touchscreen.

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