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Guest Commentary: Would Roosevelt have a chance if he was running for office today?

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

One of the greatest Presidents of all time was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He served from 1933 to 1945. He led this country and saw us through some of our toughest years. Many say he stands as the greatest President of all time. Ironically, he had a difficult time standing.

Photographs of Roosevelt in a wheelchair are rare but you can find one on the Internet.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, was our 32nd President but he began experiencing symptoms of a paralytic illness in 1921 when he was 39 years old. His main symptoms were fever; symmetric, ascending paralysis; facial paralysis; bowel and bladder dysfunction; numbness and hyperesthesia; and a descending pattern of recovery. He was diagnosed with poliomyelitis and underwent years of therapy, including hydrotherapy at Warm Springs, Georgia. Roosevelt remained paralyzed from the waist down and relied on a wheelchair and leg braces for mobility, which he took efforts to conceal in public. In 1938, he founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, leading to the development of polio vaccines. Although historical accounts continue to refer to Roosevelt's case as polio, the diagnosis has been questioned in the context of current medical science, with a competing diagnosis of Guillain–Barré syndrome proposed by some authors.

We could talk and write about Franklin D. Roosevelt all day. However here are a few of his noted accomplishments from his 12 years of service – longer than anyone. Creation of the emergency banking act to counteract the Great Depression. Establishment of FDIC. Unemployment rate reduction. Setup many institutions to support the New Deal. Created institutions as part of the New Deal. Created the U.S. Social Security System. Established the minimum wage and 40-hour work week. He took action to prohibit discrimination in employment, led America to victory in World War II, and, took part in the creation of the United Nations. He also aided water pollution control and more. (Wikipedia)

However, would Roosevelt even have a chance today? Can you imagine him trying to conceal his wheelchair or his leg braces? Not in this age. Would The Press and the opposition tear him to sheds as being physically incapable of holding down the job?

Disabled Americans and people worldwide can point to Roosevelt as someone who dealt with tremendous physical obstacles to accomplish much for our country and the world.

Americans with disabilities should not be excluded from running for public office. We vote for who we want to vote for but in a free country all citizens should be able to try.

John Fetterman of Pennsylvania is trying. He has had a stroke, but he’s trying. It has been amazing to witness the amount of support Pennsylvania has given Fetterman. He is in a dead heat race with national celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz whose star power as a long time TV doctor star has surely greatly boosted him in his race with Fetterman for the United States Senate.

Tragically, Fetterman’s health apparently prevents him from articulating clearly. His mental ability to quickly process what he is hearing is obviously impaired. This has to make it tough for him. Roosevelt did not have this problem. His mind appeared to be sharp and his speech clear and convincing during his years as President. This is where Roosevelt’s situation and Fetterman’s is different.

Fetterman needs and deserves time to heal. He obviously needs continuing medical treatment and therapy to recuperate from his stroke. He is still a young man. In a year, or two he may be fully recovered and more able to serve. This is unfortunate for Fetterman and his supporters but only makes sense for his personal health. The fact that he is running for such a demanding job in his current state demonstrates that his mental clarity is somewhat impaired. It also demonstrates that people close to him are mentally impaired to have encouraged him to continue in this political contest. He needs time to get well so that if elected he can serve effectively.

The bottom line is that voters will decide who represents them. This is one right we must continue to cherish, protect and be mentally clear about.


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Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

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This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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Candy-clone Fentanyl warning issued by the DEA

Provided/DEA

by Libby Allison
OSF Healthcare

PEORIA -- Just ahead of Halloween the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is alerting the public about an alarming new influx of colorful fentanyl that is surging across the United States.

Since August of this year, the DEA has reported brightly-colored fentanyl and fentanyl pills dubbed "rainbow fentanyl" in 26 states. These potentially deadly pills are highly addictive and are made to look like candy.

Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

"It’s 100 times more potent than a milligram of morphine," says Jerry Storm, the senior vice president of Pharmacy Services for OSF HealthCare.

The DEA calls the colorful pills a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults, and with Halloween and trick-or-treating right around the corner, the emergence of these candy clones has some parents on edge.

Storm says parents shouldn’t panic at the thought of their kids getting fentanyl in their candy bags. He points out – drug users are not likely to give away narcotics that have cost them money or are worth money. Storm does say parents should remain vigilant, however, and look through kids’ candy to make sure all pieces are wrapped and undamaged.

"What I would recommend is a parent go through your kids’ Halloween treats if they go out trick-or-treating and inspect them just like we did years ago with [the threat of] razor blades in apples or razor blades in some other types of hard candy. Inspect it and make sure that they haven't been tampered with. If they tried to slip, say [drugs that look like] Skittles into a Skittles package, the package is going to be torn or there's going to be some type of defect in that package," he says.

More concerning than trick-or-treating, according to Storm, is kids coming across this brightly colored fentanyl in their day-to-day lives, believing it’s candy and consuming it. He says the best way parents can protect their kids is by having open communication about drugs, their dangers, and the importance of never consuming anything without knowing exactly what it is.

"Be aware of it and have those conversations, with not only the younger child but also the older siblings, because there is a risk that if they do use it and they buy it, then they drop it on the ground, a small child may pick it up thinking it's a Skittle candy and actually consume it and that could be fatal," warns Storm.

Additional resources for parents and the community can be found on DEA's Fentanyl Awareness page. Brightly-colored fentanyl is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk. If you encounter fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911 immediately.

Agriculture tour businesses eligible for new tax credit

SPRINGFIELD -- Businesses focused on agritourism are now eligible to receive up to $1,000 back on liability insurance costs in 2022 and 2023 under recently-passed legislation.

The goal of the Agritourism Liability Tax Credit is to reduce the cost-of-doing-business for farm operations open for the public to enjoy. Businesses like pumpkin patches, apple orchards, petting zoos, hayrack rides, corn mazes and more may apply for the funding.

"As we continue to build back our state's tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this tax credit program will provide our agritourism businesses with the aid they need to sustain operations," said Governor JB Pritzker. "From spooky hayrides and corn mazes this Halloween season to educational exhibits and guided tours, it is our longstanding agricultural tradition that attracts visitors from around the nation and world. Thanks to the leadership and hard work of the IDOA, our agribusiness partners will have the support they need to show more and more people what makes Illinois, Illinois."

The deadline to apply for the 2022 tax year is February 28, 2023. Farm operations can check eligibility and apply here.

Slideshow | SJO advances to IHSA football playoff second round

Ty Pence celebrates SJO TD
Ty Pence celebrates after scoring on a 22-yard pass from Logan Smith to give St.Joseph-Ogden a 49-27 lead in the fourth quarter. The team's marquee receiver, Pence finished the game with 13 catches for 314 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also nabbed a interception on the second half to help the Spartans win their first first-round playoff game under head coach Shawn Skinner.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

ST. JOSEPH -- With a plethora of offensive weapons at their disposal, the SJO football team (7-3) lit their side of the scoreboard at Dick Duval Field to its highest total this season en route to a 55-39 romp over visiting Robinson (6-4). The first-round IHSA playoff victory marked the first playoff win since St. Joseph-Ogden head coach Shawn Skinner took over the program seven seasons ago.

"I would be lying if I didn't say it was time for us to get a playoff win under my regime," Skinner said after the game. "I am so proud of these seniors because they made it a point not to be 5-4. They made it a point to get a home playoff game. They made it a point to win a playoff game."

In his 10th start behind the center, junior Logan Smith completed 17 of 30 passes for 383 yards and threw three touchdowns. He scored twice on two of his seven carries and finished with 35 yards rushing.

Sophomore Coy Taylor made three catches for 60 yards and with one ending as an SJO touchdown. Justice Wertz, another weapon in the Spartan quiver, ran for 165 yards with his 21 touches. In addition to his solo TD this week, Alex Funk and Tyler Burch also contributed to the team's high-scoring finish with one touchdown a piece.

"I've said this all year, yes, we can run routes. Yes, we can throw the ball. Not enough credit is given that we don't drop the ball that often."



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Recipe: Grilled lemon chicken

Photo provided

NewsUSA -- The last few weeks of fall are just around the corner and winter weather is on the way. Even as the days get shorter and the temperatures lower, it is still a great time to be outdoors and grill. Add a little zest the next time you throw some chicken on the grill with lemons.

“With their sunny zest and refreshing juice, lemons aren’t just delicious, they also pack a healthy punch,” says Karen Brux, managing director for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. Lemons are a good source of many key nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. “You could say that lemons from Chile are the unsung heroes of summer,” Ms. Brux adds.

Lemons are versatile. Try adding lemon juice to marinades, lemon slices to creamy pasta sauces, or featuring fresh lemons in lemon custards or meringues for an ultimate end-of-summer dessert. When cooking with lemons, you can use their zest or juice, but try them grilled, says Brux.

Grilling intensifies the flavor of the lemon juice. Just put some slices on the grill along with your fish, beef or chicken. Grilled lemon wedges work in cocktails, too!

Try this easy recipe for grilled chicken with lemon:


Grilled Chicken with Lemon

Ingredients:

  • zest of two lemons

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 6 cloves chopped garlic

  • 5 sprigs rosemary

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • coarse black pepper to taste

  • 4 large chicken thighs

  • Instructions:

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a large shallow baking dish, whisk together the juice and zest of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup olive oil, 6 cloves chopped garlic, 5 sprigs of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and plenty of coarse black pepper.

    Add 4 large chicken thighs to the mixture, toss to coat and let the chicken rest for 45 minutes at room temperature.

    Before cooking, be sure the chicken thighs are skin-side up. Cut the remaining zested lemons into halves or quarters, and nestle them among the chicken. Add a final grind of black pepper on top.

    Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until the juices run clear. If you would like extra browning, briefly place the baking dish under the broiler.

    Visit fruitsfromchile.com for more tasty recipes, and look for lemons from Chile at your local retailer through early October.

    St. Joseph-Ogden to hold parent-teacher conferences, parents encouraged to make appoints

    ST. JOSEPH -- St. Joseph-Ogden High School will host Parent-Teacher Conferences next week on Thursday, November 3, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm and 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Parents with children attending the high school should have received a mailing via the post office or email announcement.

    The parent-teacher conferences are a good opportunity for parents to discuss their student's grades and address any concerns they might have. First-quarter grades were sent out on October 21.

    Parents who have not made appointments should contact Nicki Falls either by email at fallsn@sjo.k12.il.us or by phone at 469-7321 no later than November 1 to make appointments with their child's teachers and counselors.

    Photo Gallery | Urbana wins regional volleyball match over Danville

    Kenzie Sprague (left) and Sammi Christman
    Urbana's Kenzie Sprague (left) and Sammi Christman encourage Tiger spectators to cheer for their team during a lull between points in their Class 3A regional quarterfinal game against Danville on October 24, 2022. The Tigers defeated the Vikings after three sets, 25-18, 17-25, 25-16. See slideshow below for more photos. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    RANTOUL -- The Tigers have won their first-round match in their last five postseason appearances. Monday's opening playoff match was no different when the Urbana volleyball team eliminated the Danville Vikings from the Illinois High School Association's state championship series, 2-1.

    In their earlier meeting in the season during their Big 12 Conference contest, the Vikings cruised past the Urbana, 2-0. Their second clash of the season was a different affair.

    Urbana took the first set 25-18 after riding a momentum shift that started with a response to a 4-1 deficit on the scoreboard. Scraping their way to a 5-all tie, the Tigers grabbed the reigns and never let the Vikings any closer on the scoreboard than a couple of points.

    Set #2 action was evenly-matched between the two rival teams until Danville reeled off six unanswered points to go up 19-13. Urbana added three points to their score before the Vikings closed out the set with a five-point run finishing 25-17.

    When the action resumed at Rantoul Township High School, host for the Class 3A regional, Urbana jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third set. Energized by their fans, The Tigers never let their opponent within two on the scoreboard advancing to Wednesday's semifinal, 25-16.

    Here is a look at the action on Monday.


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    Expecting a newborn soon? Be flexible with your birth plan

    by Tim Ditman
    OSF Healthcare

    URBANA -- "If you’re ever gonna find a silver lining, it’s gotta be a cloudy day.”

    No one may epitomize that song lyric more than Erin Purcell.

    OSF patient Erin Purcell

    Photo Courtesy OSF

    In July 2020, the Bement, Illinois, woman gave birth to her first child, Adalyn, via Cesarean section (commonly known as C-Section). Long story short, it did not go well.

    "I was in a lot of pain afterward,” Purcell says.

    Two years later, Purcell found herself at OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana, Illinois, preparing to deliver her second child.

    "I was terrified to do another C-section,” Purcell recalls.

    But a C-section became necessary, and her son, Elliott, was brought into the world without major issues.

    "It restored my faith in doctors,” Purcell says.

    Now, part of a happy and healthy family of four, Purcell is telling other parents-to-be to be flexible with their birth plan. And the woman’s care team is educating mothers about what to expect if a vaginal birth is not possible.

    What is a C-section?

    A C-section is when a doctor removes a baby through an incision the mother’s abdomen. The naming is a matter of historical dispute and may be tied to Julius Caesar, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

    Kelli Daugherty is a certified nurse midwife at OSF HealthCare in Urbana and was a member of Purcell’s care team. She says while a small amount of women will choose a C-section long before birth, health care providers prefer to perform them only when medically necessary.

    "Baby is in the wrong position - maybe breach instead of head down,” Daugherty lists as a need for a C-section. "Maybe we’ve seen fetal distress that’s concerning enough that we need to deliver quickly. It could be that mom has an infection.”

    Or, if labor is not progressing, doctors may consider a C-section, Daugherty says.

    Regardless, Daugherty says providers will have a conversation with the mom-to-be about the risks and benefits. She says risks are like any other major surgery. There’s a chance for organ damage, blood loss (blood is on standby for every birth for a possible transfusion) and the rare need for more surgery later, like a hysterectomy.

    The benefits of a medically necessary C-Section: the baby comes out quicker, and there’s less risk to the mom and baby’s health.

    The procedure

    Daugherty says a mother will start out in the labor room with antibiotics and an IV for fluids. Then, she goes to the operating room.

    "She would sit on the operating table, and the anesthesiologist would place a spinal anesthesia,” Daugherty explains. "We always attempt to do a spinal. We try to avoid general anesthesia for a C-section unless it’s a true emergent situation.”

    The mother lays down, and Daugherty says the anesthesia should have its intended numbing effect very quickly. The care team cleans and preps the skin, and the surgeon makes incisions layer by layer until they reach the baby in the uterus.

    "We get the baby out usually in less than five minutes,” Daugherty says. "We hand the baby to the neonatal team. Then we start suturing everything back up in reverse. We start with the uterus, go layer by layer and do the skin last.”

    Typically, moms stay at the hospital two days after a C-section to manage pain, Daugherty says. There are the standard follow-up appointments, and the new parents will have to keep mom’s incision site clean and dry to avoid infection or other issues. The incision usually takes six weeks to heal, Daugherty says.

    "C-sections are not really as scary as you might think,” Daugherty says. "It’s certainly concerning because it is a major surgery, but it’s also a very common surgery. [Providers] are very confident that we can complete these surgeries safely, and you and your baby will be well taken care of.”

    Daugherty agrees.

    "I always tell my moms to please bring in your birth plan. We will follow that as closely as we can,” she says.

    "But, you have to understand that sometimes labor just doesn’t go the way you planned it. We may have to veer from that birth plan,” Daugherty adds. "But if we do, we will always have the discussion with you. It will always be shared decision making.”

    You can prepare physically and mentally, too.

    "I just kept telling myself in my head ‘It’s only temporary. This pain is going to go away. You can get through it,’” Purcell says. "You have your nurses, too, in your ear saying ‘You got this. You’re so strong.'”

    For more information on OSF HealthCare's pregnancy and child birth resources visit the healthcare facilities website at https://www.osfhealthcare.org/heart-of-mary/ .

    The Giving Place seeks donations

    TOLONO -- The Giving Place seeking donations of cereal, canned fruit, canned beans, canned tomato products, canned spaghetti sauce, canned meats, 64 oz. 100% juice, mac & cheese, and other pasta meals for their ministry.

    Located at 113 North Bourne in Tolono, TGP is a Christian ministry serving families in need in the Unit 7 School District on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:00.

    The Giving Place is also looking for fall and winter clothing donations.

    "If you have any gently used clothing - especially jackets/coats, they would be greatly appreciated," Mike Williams said. He added: "If you know of any families in Unit Seven that are in need, please encourage them to visit The Giving Place."

    The local charity organization will host a Free Clothing Giveaway on Saturday, November 5, from 9 am to noon.

    Savoy church to hosts Thanksgiving basket fundraiser this Saturday

    SAVOY -- The Savoy United Methodist Church will host its annual Chicken & Noodles Dinner fundraiser on Saturday, October 29, from 4:30 to 7 pm. Proceeds from the event will be used to assemble and distribute Thanksgiving food baskets to area families.

    Every Thanksgiving season since 2007, the church has distributed food baskets to over one hundred individuals and families.

    Chicken Noodle Dinner Flyer "On average, we give out around 100 baskets or so each year. Last year was our largest in memory. We were able to feed 201 families," said Angela Hancock, who is co-chairing the Thanksgiving Basket committee at the church with her spouse. "It has grown and changed as the need and the vision have changed over the years."

    Hancock said that prior to last year, it cost $45 to assemble each basket which contains a full meal for a family of four to six. The meal consists of a 14lb turkey, 5lbs of russet potatoes, milk, butter, eggs, dinner rolls, stuffing mix, gravy mix, canned vegetables, pumpkin pie, cool whip, cranberry sauce, a foil pan for baking, and recipe cards for first-time cooks.

    "Inflation has hit all of us hard. Basket prices have jumped to $60 each, she explained. "This year, our goal is to feed 125 families. If we can do more, we will."

    Every member of United Methodist contributes what they can to the program. From making donations and fundraising to distributing baskets, and all things in between, it is a complete effort by the congregation.

    The Thanksgiving basket program is also a cooperative effort that receives support from local businesses with transportation trailers, forklift equipment, a refrigerated truck, and local grocery stores for bulk ordering.

    "Some (members) can sponsor half a basket, others can do a full one. Others do multiple baskets. It's what we are able to afford at this time of year. God and fundraising efforts ensure the rest," Hancock said. "Funds play a major role in how many families we can feed."

    A successful fundraiser on Saturday will ensure the church can help more area families enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday.

    "We do this in His Name so that His people don't forget they are Seen," Hancock pointed out. "This is truly a community response to a need so many have. No one should have to be without at Thanksgiving time. And with God, no one ever will.

    "God ensures that we hear about the needs of our community and our congregation steps up with donations and fundraising."

    The dinner menu includes Chicken & Noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, dessert, and more. The cost is $12 per adult and $5 for kids between the ages of five and 12. Children under five years of age can eat free. The meal will be served at 3002 W. Old Church Road in Savoy.

    For those unable to attend the dinner but would like to make a financial contribution, UMCS welcomes donations. Donors can make a contribution online via the savoyumc.org website. Choose Food Pantry from the menu and enter Thanksgiving Baskets as your Memo. Hancock pointed out that this ensures that donations goes directly to the Thanksgiving Basket program.

    The food baskets are distributed either by pickup or delivery the weekend before Thanksgiving to church members, individuals/families referred by Empty Tomb, families from the International Prep Academy, our year-round Food Pantry recipient families, or friends of church members. Individuals and families on the list are contacted via phone and USPS mail with the date and time of the pickup sessions.

    "We also take the opportunity to provide some literature or small devotionals that helps remind all of our families that they are loved and not forgotten by our Great God," Hancock added. "This is truly a community response to a need so many have."


    Chicken Noodle Dinner Flyer

    Spartans start postseason run with a victory over the Cornjerkers

    St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Williams tips the ball over Hoopeston Area's Tobi West during second set action of their Class 2A semifinal volleyball match at Bismark-Henning-Rossville-Alvin High School on Tuesday.
    PhotoNews Media

    BISMARCK -- The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team opened their postseason run with a 2-0 win over Hoopeston Area at the Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin Class 2A regional on Tuesday. SJO won the first set 25-18 and took the second by two points, 25-23.

    Senior Shayne Immke barely missed posting a double-double for the Spartans tallying 11 kills and nine digs against the Cornjerkers. Addie Roesch posted nine kills and led the team on defense with ten digs.

    Mikyla Haley and Peyton Williams contributed six digs a piece to help put SJO in the regional championship game against the host BHRA on Thursday. Senior Taylor Hug recorded 26 assist and two digs in the squad's first postseason contest.


    Top left: SJO libero Mikyla Haley passes the ball to the front row during first set action against the Cornjerkers. Top right: Spartans' Addie Roesch attempts to put the ball away between Hoopeston Area blockers Kaitlynn Lange and Charissa Johnson. Bottom left: Shayne Immke takes a big swing at the ball for one of her 11 kills in the IHSA regional match through Cornjerkers' Logan Watson. Bottom right: Taylor Hug, Josey Frerichs and Peyton Williams wait for an HA player to serve during set two of their match. Photos: PhotoNews Media

    Guest Commentary: The Halloween this year is really on November 8

    the real Halloween will be on election day
    Photo:Szabó János/Unsplash
    by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator



    Halloween is coming but the real trick or treat may be November 8, the mid-term election. November 8 may feel more like Halloween this year than the traditional October date.

    Who knows what will happen. Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania all have Senate races that could tilt the balance of Congressional power depending on who is elected. All three races are going down to the wire. In probably each state it will most likely be the next day before a winner is determined – if not longer.

    The 2022 midterm election is shaping up to be one for the history books.

    According to a new analysis from pollster Echelon Insights, an estimated 125.6 million Americans are expected to turn out in November’s midterm contests. Such a figure would shatter the record set in 2018’s midterms, which saw 53.4% of the eligible voting-age population cast their ballots, according to the Census Bureau.

    Already voters are starting to come out in full force: As of Tuesday, Oct. 18, at least 2.8 million people already cast their ballots in the midterms, according to the United States Elections Project. That includes the more than 131,000 Georgia voters who cast their ballots early on the first day of early voting on Monday, Oct. 17, handily beating the previous first-day record for a midterm of 72,000, per state election official Gabriel Sterling.(Spectrum News NY)

    Issues are driving Americans to the polls. Pewresearch.org found the following to be priority concerns of registered Americans. The numbers with each issue represent a percent of primary concern of those surveyed

    Economy. 79, Healthcare 68, Supreme court appointments 64, The coronavirus outbreak 62, Violent crime 59, Foreign policy 57, Gun policy 55, Race and ethnic inequality 52, Immigration 52, Economic inequality 49, Climate change 42, Abortion 40. Of course, you could conduct a poll in your community and the level of interest on any of these issues would probably be in a slightly different order. In almost every scenario the economy and inflation are paramount with voters.

    Inflation has knocked on every American’s door and has not been satisfied by a treat. Inflation at the rate of 8.2 percent, has been one hungry monster that has devoured American paychecks and pushed seniors back into the workforce. Available part time jobs are now being sought by seniors who need the money.

    A recent poll shows a dead heat between Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Republican candidate Adam Laxalt in the Nevada Senate race. In In Pennsylvania, it’s Lt. Governor John Fetterman and R. Mehmet Oz who are now very close. In Georgia the Senate race has Raphael Warnock leading Herschel Walker but the Governor race between Governor Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams remains close according to a Quinnipiac University Georgia poll.

    Save some of your leftover Halloween candy for November 8. Have a bowl of popcorn for a real evening of trick or treat.


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    Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

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    This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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    Urbana advances in volleyball regionals

    Urbana's Sydni Uher, Valentina Gonzalez-Ahuerma, Kenzie Sprague and Sammi Christman celebrate with fans after winning the team's quarterfinal match against Danville at the Class 3A Rantoul regional on Monday. The Tigers, who fell to the 2-0 earlier in the season against the Vikings, advance to Wednesday's semifinal action after posting a 25-18, 17-25, 25-16, victory.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Search the PhotoNews Media archives for more photos:

    Search by athlete's name, team, school and more


    Easy-Peazy recipe: Enjoy classic Buffalo Chicken Wings at home

    StatePoint Media -- It is time for the Illinois high school football playoffs, and there’s only one thing to make game day a bigger win: delicious game day food!

    Looking to add some kick to kick-off before or after St. Joseph-Ogden or Unity's first-round home playoff game this Saturday? Take flavor and heat off the bench and put them into the game with these recipes from Frank’s RedHot, America’s number one hot sauce. Whether you’re tailgating at the game or hosting a postgame party at home, Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce, made with a premium blend of aged cayenne peppers, is a must-have ingredient.

    Photo provided
    Make your own delicious chicken wings for your next game day feast.

    Classic Buffalo Chicken Wings

    If you’re someone who agrees that no tailgate or watch party is complete without wings, you’re in good company.

    According to Chef Jordan Carfagno of Frank’s RedHot, chicken wings are the brand’s most searched recipe during football season. And it’s no wonder, Frank’s is the original Buffalo wings sauce flavor. Anyone looking to kick their wings up a notch can try this mouthwatering recipe for a classic take on wings, and it can be made in the oven at home, or in an air fryer if you’re tailgating.


    Ingredients:
    • 1/3 cup butter, melted
    •1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
    • 2 and 1/2 pounds chicken wing pieces


    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix butter and RedHot Sauce in medium bowl; set aside.

    2. Arrange wings on large foil-lined pan. Bake on lowest oven rack for 30 minutes or until crispy, turning once.

    3. Toss wings in sauce mixture until well coated. Serve with blue cheese and celery, if desired.


    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Chef Carfagno says dip recipes are gaining popularity this year, and this spicy creamy Buffalo chicken dip is the MVP of them all. Make it in the oven at home or plug in an instant pot or slow cooker for on-the-go prep.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cups Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
    • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles


    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into a shallow 1-quart baking dish.

    2. Bake 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Sprinkle with green onions, if desired, and serve with chips, crackers and cut up veggies.

    Check out franksredhot.com for more game-day recipes and inspiration.

    This football season, bring your A-game to your tailgate spread by adding the perfect blend of flavor and heat to classic fan favorites.

    SJO win over PBL punches playoff ticket

    St. Joseph-Ogden's Carson Sarnecki, Davin Alverez, and A.J. Wells are all smiles after a big stop by the Spartan (6-3) defense during Friday's home game against Paxton-Buckley-Loda. SJO cemented their spot in the 2022 IHSA playoffs after defeating the visiting Panthers, 34-20. The trio, along with the rest of the team, will return to Dick Duval Field on Saturday to face Robinson in a first-round playoff game. The opening kick is scheduled for 3:00 pm. PBL, who also made the playoffs, will face the undefeated Illini Prairie Conference champions of Prairie Central in their first-round matchup. More photos from this game coming soon.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


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    Health experts say it is okay to get your flu and COVID shots at the same time

    Lee Batsakis
    OSF Healthcare

    EVERGREEN PARK -- It happens every year: flu season, which typically peaks between December and February. This year will mark the third flu season with another virus also circulating: COVID-19. With an updated safe and effective COVID-19 booster shot now available, health experts are urging people to get both the flu and COVID vaccines in order to protect themselves this fall and winter.

    Doctors recommend patients get both their flu and Covid booster by the end of this month for maximum protection against the two viruses.
    Photo: CDC/Upslash

    Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended annual flu vaccines for everyone six months and older, with few exceptions. New this year is an added recommendation for a higher dose for those 65 and older. The CDC has also recommended the use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.

    If you have not yet received your COVID-19 booster shot, or if you still have yet to receive an initial dose, it’s not too late.

    "I urge everybody who is eligible to get a COVID booster to do so, and the reasons why are multifactorial. Number one is because your immunity wanes and you need to protect yourself. Number two is that the virus has changed slightly and the newest booster is most effective at protecting against those changes, " says Dr. Bill Walsh, an OSF HealthCare chief medical officer.

    Dr. Walsh adds that it is important to get the seasonal flu shot as well as a COVID shot because they protect against different viruses.

    "Please understand that the recommendation is for both the flu shot and the COVID shot. There is no cross reactivity even though the symptoms might be similar between COVID-19 and influenza. The influenza shot will not help against COVID, and the COVID vaccination will not protect you against influenza, " Dr. Walsh explains.

    The timing of when to get your flu shot and COVID booster can be confusing. The CDC says if you haven’t yet gotten your initial recommended dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, to get one as soon as you can. Health experts typically recommend getting your seasonal flu vaccine by the end of October for best protection during the peak of flu season, and say it is safe to get both vaccines during the same visit.

    "There are many times when you get more than one vaccine. Most of the time when you get a tetanus shot, it also includes pertussis. Many of the vaccinations pediatricians give to children have more than one vaccine in each shot. So, it is standard and normal for more than one vaccine to occur at a time, " Dr. Walsh says.

    Dr. Walsh adds getting both shots done at once alleviates having to make multiple trips to your doctor’s office or local pharmacy. But this route may not be for everyone.

    As with all vaccinations, there are mild side effects that both vaccines can cause, such as joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and chills. If you have experienced side effects from vaccines in the past and it took a couple days for them to subside, you may opt to get the vaccines at separate times.

    "You know yourself best. If you are certain that you will get them both despite not getting them at one appointment, then that is completely fine, too. You may want to space them out because sometimes you have side effects. There have been a lot of questions about whether to get them both in one arm or in different arms so you have different injection sites. That really boils down to personal preference, " advises Dr. Walsh.

    The important thing is making sure you do get both of these vaccinations to protect both yourself and your loved ones. Because the holiday season is approaching, you may have holiday gatherings on your calendar over the next few months. If you get your flu shot in October but choose to wait to get your COVID-19 booster at a later date, Dr. Walsh recommends getting it at least two weeks before any large gatherings in order to ensure the best protection against the virus.

    To schedule your seasonal flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster, make an appointment with your primary care provider or local pharmacy. Talk to your primary care provider if you have any questions about either vaccine.

    Rockets and Spartans ready to tackle postseason opponents

    Unity's Brock Suding flexes after the Rocket's homecoming game against Rantoul Township on October 7. The Rockets will host Harrisburg as their first-round opponent in the 2022 IHSA football playoffs. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    URBANA -- Unity (8-1), who earned a first-round home playoff game, will host Harrisburg at Hicks Field. Kickoff will be announced early next week. This is the fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the 2021 Class 3A runner-up team. The Rockets have lost just two of their last 20 football games in the past two years.

    The Bulldogs finished third in the Southern Illinois River-to-River conference and is making their first playoff appearance in Class 3A since the 2011-2012 season. Last fall, the team finished 5-5 in the 4A bracket.

    Meanwhile, St. Joseph-Ogden guaranteed their spot into the 2022 playoffs picking up their sixth win with a 34-20 win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda. The Spartans will host Robinson, who also finished the regular season, 6-3. The school's official Twitter feed announced a game time of 3pm on Saturday, October 29.

    The survivor advances to face the winner of the contest between #2 seed Benton and Olympia in the second round the following week.

    Six of the nine football teams in the Illini Prairie Conference made the first-round cut. In addition to SJO and Unity, Bloomington Central Catholic, Prairie Central, Monticello, and Paxton-Buckley-Loda are all in the hunt for a state football title game appearance at Memorial Stadium in November.

    Guest Commentary: You won’t get rich collecting Social Security

    by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

    You won’t get rich collecting Social Security, not even close. However, you don’t want to mess it up either. The system was never intended to be your total retirement income but to many it’s their only source of retirement income. You don’t want to make it your only source of income for your senior years but you definitely want it in your income portfolio.

    Social Security recipients will receive an 8.7% increase in their monthly income starting in January. The average increase will fall between $150 to $250 per month. This will buy you a tank of gasoline or a sack of groceries. The increase will help about 70 million retired Americans.

    Inflation has devoured Americans’ paychecks as groceries, fuel, rent and now interest rates have skyrocketed. By the time the January increase comes around you probably will have lost most of your increase to these and medical costs associated with Social Security.

    Pay all you can into Social Security. Too many young adults buy into the rationale that Social Security doesn’t pay much or won’t be around when they retire. On some level it will be around and you’ll need it when you retire.

    Business persons, farmers, hospitality people, clergy and others make a big mistake in finding ways to only show a small income when they file their taxes. This reduces the amount of taxes owed and lowers how much paid into Social Security. When retirement comes these people become very sad when they find out they will only receive a minimal amount of Social Security income.

    One minister friend opted out of paying into Social Security because of religious objections.

    When he was 70, he had almost zero retirement and worked up until his death. Another ministerial friend claimed very little salary and received very little in Social Security payments when he retired. He spent his last couple of years cleaning hotel rooms and working at Kentucky Fried Chicken trying to survive. A farmer acquaintance worked hard for many years but doesn’t collect a penny in Social Security benefits. You have to pay into it to collect it so don’t short-change yourself.

    The average Social Security payment in 2022 is $1,614. Many people who worked less years and paid less collect less than this amount. Some Americans who worked longer, earned more income and paid more into the system are collecting $3,345 per month. Again, these numbers will increase in 2023 by 8.7%.

    Sometimes people retire too early. A friend retired at 62 and received $1100 per month in Social Security income. At that time, he would have collected several hundred more if he could have worked just three more years.

    Pay into an Individual Retirement Account, 401k and anything else you can. You can’t live big just on a Social Security check, but pay as much as possible into the system now because it will be helpful later.


    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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    Area volleyball teams start postseason competition next week

    Urbana -- With regular season play ending today, four Sentinel area volleyball teams will compete for a regional volleyball title starting next week. St. Joseph-Ogden, Unity, Urbana and University High each have the opportunity to bring home a championship plaque.

    PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
    Mikyla Haley pass the ball to the setter in St. Joseph-Ogden's home volleyball match against Teutopolis earlier this season. The Spartans are the #1 seed in their regional when the IHSA state series starts next Monday.

    Earning a #9 seed, Urbana (3-21, 2-8) will open their postseason play against fellow Big 12 Conference foe Danville. The two teams will square off on Monday at Rantoul Township High School in the regional's solo quarterfinal match scheduled to start at 6pm.

    The winner advances to face Normal University in the Class 3A regional semifinals. Earlier in the season, Tigers fell in straight sets on the road, 25-20, 25-21, to the Vikings (6-25, 3-7) in conference action on September 29.

    U-High (5-19, 1-4) will take on Armstrong on Tuesday, October 25, at 7:00 pm to start their postseason run in the St. Thomas More regional. Should the #11 Illineks defeat the #5 seed Trojans, they will face the winner between LeRoy and Schlarman in the Class 1A bracket on Wednesday.

    Unity (12-15-2), who finished 4-4 in the Illini Praire Conference, will also take the court in Arthur to face #7 seed St. Teresa. Earlier in the season, despite five kills from JJ LeFaivre, and six apiece from teammates Kaitlyn Schweighart and Emmalee Atkins, the Rockets dropped the regular season meeting between the two teams 2-1.

    The winner advances to Tuesday's 6pm semifinal against the host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond. The Lady Knights boast an impressive 23-4 record and won the Lincoln Prairie Conference title with a perfect 9-0 record.

    Earning a bye into the semifinals in the Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin regional #1 seed St. Joseph-Ogden plays their first postseason match against the winner of Monday's contest between Hoopeston Area and Oakwood. The SJO program outscored both teams by a combined 100-65 points during the season.

    A win on Tuesday, will then pit the Spartans against either Paris or BHRA in the regional title match.

    Don’t cook your chicken in NyQuil, its probably not a flocking good idea

    Lee Batsakis
    OSF Healthcare

    Evergree Park -- If you do not have the social media app TikTok on your phone, chances are you know people who do. In fact, a recent poll showed that about 80 million Americans use TikTok, with the age of users ranging from kids and teens to adults over 50. While the popular app is mainly used for entertainment purposes, some videos masquerading as wellness content have prompted responses from health experts.

    Alleged health "hacks” – ranging from storing avocados in water to mouth taping – have gone viral on the app since its inception. These videos, which are not created by medical experts, become a concern when the alleged hack is deemed dangerous or unsafe. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the Benadryl Challenge, where teens were overconsuming the drug to the point of hallucination. Now, another "hack” involving over-the-counter medication has prompted the FDA to issue a warning once again.

    If you are experiencing cold-like symptoms, it is important to read the labels of any over-the-counter medications

    The so-called "NyQuil Chicken Challenge,” where people cook their chicken in at least half a bottle of NyQuil, is causing some people to believe this to be a safe and effective way to take the medication when you are sick. Medical experts like Anne Orzechowski, an OSF HealthCare family medicine APRN, say otherwise – and are urging individuals to avoid participating.

    "Sometimes more is more, but more is definitely not more when it comes to medication. You want to stay within the right dosage. It won’t necessarily work better for you. So if you were to eat half a chicken with half a bottle of NyQuil, I don’t know that would necessarily do anything other than be extremely toxic and possibly send you to the emergency room,” Orzechowski says.

    She doesn’t recommend avoiding NyQuil altogether. In fact, there are many benefits to taking the medication.

    "I recommend it for people who have a viral syndrome. If you’ve got a cough, congestion, or body aches it covers all of those three things, which is nice, instead of having to take Tylenol and cough medicine and a decongestant separately,” advises Orzechowski.

    If you are experiencing cold-like symptoms, it is important to read the labels of any over-the-counter medications before consuming them. A typical dose of NyQuil is 30 mL (about two tablespoons or two liquid capules) by mouth every six hours, and it is only recommended for adults and children 12 years and older. You should not have more than four doses in a 24-hour period.

    The problem with this particular "hack” is not the NyQuil itself, but rather the way it is being consumed because there is no way to know for certain just how much you are ingesting.

    "It’s hard to dose it. I don’t know if you even could, because it’s being evaporated by the heat. The Tylenol in it would be way over the recommended dosage so it would be very bad for your liver. As it cooks, there would be fumes of the medication, which can’t be good for your lungs. You would be breathing in that medication as it boils in the pan, which has to be extremely unhealthy. The toxicity of it is just pretty dangerous,” Orzechowski explains.

    Because it is not possible to know how much NyQuil is in each bite of the chicken, the smallest amount can have damaging effects on the body.

    "It could range from having a bite and being fine to having liver failure and needing to head to the ER right away, especially if a kid found it and ingested it because their livers are so much tinier. They could absolutely be very harmed by it, if not killed,” warns Orzechowski.

    The bottom line? Don’t cook your chicken in NyQuil. And if you have teens at home who use TikTok, Orzechowski recommends talking to them about the dangers associated with viral videos like this one and others that are deemed to be health "hacks.”

    Talk to your primary care provider if you have questions about any over-the-counter medications. Your provider can tell you which ones they recommend for you and your family, in addition to how much should be taken and when. If at any time you think you or a loved one might be having a negative reaction to NyQuil or any over-the-counter medication, go to the nearest urgent care or emergency room, or call 911.

    Guest Commentary: I don’t understand why anyone in our government would want to do business with the Saudis

    by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

    Reports are pointing to an 8.9% raise for Social Security recipients. While it won’t feel like enough, it may buy you a sack of groceries or a tank of gasoline. This is a big maybe on the gasoline as California reports prices of over $8 per gallon.

    Some of our government leadership is crying because Saudi Arabia is cutting their oil production by 2 million barrels a day. This means less oil for everyone in the grand oil supply pool. I don’t understand why anyone in our government would want to do business with the Saudis.

    Buying oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or any foreign entity is crazy. Why don’t we use our own oil? I’m all for green energy but we aren’t quite there yet. Make electric cars and drive them. Utilize solar energy and else anything that we can to help preserve this planet and its resources. Regardless, our country still needs oil. As long as we need oil, it would be wiser and much more cost effective to use our own oil. Put Americans back to work drilling our oil and selling it to foreign countries.

    Our government has been draining our own oil reserve to try to keep the price of gasoline down. This doesn’t seem to be working very well. Plus, it puts our country at risk. When China and Russia decide to attack us, we need to be able to put fuel in our jets and ships. That would not be a good time to have to go back to Saudi Arabia and beg for oil.

    We should utilize a full arsenal of energy from electric cars and a grid to supply the power. Utilize our oil, wind, natural gas and coal. Once our country can do everything without oil or coal, then we can move on from those resources. Being dependent on getting them from foreign nations doesn’t make sense, especially when we have the resources.

    A loaf of bread will eventually cost Americans their 8.9% Social Security increase. Ukraine has been one of the world’s leading providers of wheat. Having Russia in control of Ukraine, a major source of the bread supply, along with their major supply of natural gas is bad news for the world.

    The Crimea bridge that was recently bombed between Russia and Ukraine should have been bombed on day one by Ukrainians. Ukraine must do whatever it takes to thwart Russia’s ongoing destruction of their country. The news has been filled with fear that Russia will go nuclear in their efforts. When the nations start hurling nuclear bombs you won’t need to worry about gas, groceries and cost of living adjustments because this planet can only take so much.

    Keep in mind there is still something you can do to make a difference – vote. Clear your calendar for voting. If you don’t vote then don’t complain about our government, inflation, rising interest rates, gasoline prices and more. I know it doesn’t feel like your one vote matters, but it truly counts. The only way you can bring about change is to clear your schedule, take the time, and vote.


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    Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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    Got a bug problem in your house? You don't have to move away from the problem

    StatePoint Media -- As the leaves turn more colorful and tempertures begin to drop. Little critters are going to be looking for somewhere warmer to avoid the fall chill. If you hate the idea of bugs in your home, you’re in fine company -- 1 in 3 Americans have seriously considered burning down their own home after experiencing a bug infestation, according to a new survey.

    The study, commissioned by Zevo and conducted by OnePoll, found that 66% of respondents are willing to do “nearly anything” to get rid of bugs at home -- including fumigating their entire home (51%), throwing the nearest thing at it, no matter what that nearest thing is (43%) and even DIYing a flamethrower (35%). Others have changed their diet and lifestyle to avoid sightings at home, with 59% saying they will even refrain from keeping fresh fruit in their homes or buying houseplants out of fear that it will attract flying insects.


    Photo:Pexels/Francisco Sanchez

    In fact, some people would rather just leave it all behind and start over somewhere new. More than half of respondents (52%) have considered moving because of bug infestations, and of those who considered that option, 69% actually followed through and packed up their things.

    When it comes to putting up with bugs, there are a number of home woes people would prefer to live with, including broken appliances (29%), creaky floors (26%), broken windows (26%), not having television connections (25%) and even rodents (24%).

    Giving how bugged by insects people are, it’s no wonder that they have come up with some pretty creative and expensive ways to try to deal with the problem, with 48% of survey respondents having turned to DIY “hacks” and the average person spending $177 on creating homemade methods to deal with bugs. Some of the methods mentioned by respondents include using cinnamon, coffee grounds and even maple syrup to get rid of bugs. One person even recalled pouring gasoline on bugs to drown them.

    Of course, many of these homemade solutions produce iffy results at best or are downright dangerous. The bug biology and behavior experts at Zevo say that if you want to rid your home of pests, there are much easier and more effective ways to go about it that don’t involve putting your home on the market and relocating. Here’s an effective two-pronged approach you can try for killing bugs and preventing future infestations:

    1. Go worry-free. Most traditional insect sprays on the market today use synthetic pyrethroids as their active ingredients, which can have a noxious smell and make a room uninhabitable after spraying. For a solution that’s safe for people and pets when used as directed, check out Zevo Instant Action Sprays, which rely on essential oil to target and shut down biological pathways found in insects. The brand carries four different sprays to target everything from cockroaches and ants to yellowjackets and crickets.

    2. Safeguard entry points. Pests enter the home most typically through windows, doors and the garage. Check screen doors and windows for tears, and patch or replace them. You can also plug Zevo Flying Insect Traps into outlets in areas where bugs typically gather in your home, like kitchens, bathrooms, garages and entryways. The traps use a combination of UVC and blue light to attract and trap flying insects, offering continuous defense for up to 45 days or until the trap is full.

    To learn more about defending your home against insects, visit zevoinsect.com.

    The next time you spot bugs, put down the gasoline can and the flamethrower. Simple, worry-free solutions exist that can help you maintain a bug-free home and your sanity.

    Reporter panics at diagnosis, then discovers simple, no-cost solution

    Photo: Shane/Unsplash
    Sleeping on your back contributes to snoring and blockages, especially as you age and the muscles in the throat become looser. Sleeping on your side could help improve your sleep quality.

    by Jay Hancock
    Kaiser Health News

    I woke up in a strange bedroom with 24 electrodes glued all over my body and a plastic mask attached to a hose covering my face.

    The lab technician who watched me all night via video feed told me that I had “wicked sleep apnea” and that it was “central sleep apnea” — a type that originates in the brain and fails to tell the muscles to inhale.

    As a journalist — and one terrified by the diagnosis — I set out to do my own research. After a few weeks of sleuthing and interviewing experts, I reached two important conclusions.

    First, I had moderate apnea, if that, and it could be treated without the elaborate machines, mouthpieces, or other devices that specialists who had consulted on my care were talking about.

    Second, the American health care system has joined with commercial partners to define a medical condition — in this case, sleep apnea — in a way that allows both parties to generate revenue from a multitude of pricey diagnostic studies, equipment sales, and questionable treatments. I was on a conveyor belt.


    As a journalist who spent years covering the business of health care, I found there was more motivating my expensive testing cascade than concerns about my health.

    It all began with a desire for answers: I had been feeling drowsy during the day, and my wife told me I snored. Both can mean obstructive sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, the mouth and throat relax when a person is unconscious, sometimes blocking or narrowing the airway. That interrupts breathing, as well as sleep. Without treatment, the resulting disruption in oxygen flow might increase the risk of developing certain cardiovascular diseases.

    So I contacted a sleep-treatment center, and doctors gave me an at-home test ($365). Two weeks later, they told me I had “high-moderate” sleep apnea and needed to acquire a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine, at a cost of about $600.

    Though I had hoped to get the equipment and adjust the settings to see what worked best, my doctors said I had to come to the sleep lab for an overnight test ($1,900) to have them “titrate” the optimal CPAP air pressure.

    “How do you treat central sleep apnea?” I worriedly asked the technician after that first overnight stay. She said something about an ASV (adaptive servo-ventilation) machine ($4,000). And one pricey lab sleepover wasn’t enough, she said. I needed to come back for another.

    (Most procedures and devices mentioned in this article were covered or would have been covered by insurance — in my case, Medicare, plus a supplemental plan. Unnecessary care is a big reason Americans’ insurance costs — premiums, copays, and deductibles — tend to rise year after year.)

    As a journalist who spent years covering the business of health care, I found there was more motivating my expensive testing cascade than concerns about my health.

    The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, or AASM, a nonprofit based near Chicago, decides what is sleep apnea and how to treat it. Working with sleep societies around the world, it publishes the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, relied on by doctors everywhere to diagnose and categorize disease.

    But behind that effort lie considerable conflicts of interest. Like so much of U.S. health care, sleep medicine turns out to be a thriving industry. AASM finances its operations in part with payments from CPAP machine manufacturers and other companies that stand to profit from expensive treatments and expansive definitions of apnea and other sleep disorders.

    Zoll Itamar, which makes the at-home testing device I used, as well as implantable nerve-stimulation hardware for central sleep apnea, is a $60,000, “platinum” partner in AASM’s Industry Engagement Program. So is Avadel Pharmaceuticals, which is testing a drug to treat narcolepsy, characterized by intense daytime sleepiness.


    Almost everybody breathes irregularly sometime at night, especially during REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movement and dreams.

    Other sponsors include the maker of an anti-insomnia drug; another company with a narcolepsy drug; Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which makes CPAP machines and masks; and Inspire Medical Systems, maker of a heavily advertised surgical implant, costing tens of thousands of dollars, to treat apnea.

    Corporate sponsors for Sleep 2022, a convention AASM put on in Charlotte, North Carolina, with other professional societies, included many of those companies, plus Philips Respironics and ResMed, two of the biggest CPAP machine makers.

    In a statement, AASM spokesperson Jennifer Gibson said a conflict-of-interest policy and a non-interference pledge from industry funders protect the integrity of the academy’s work. Industry donations account for about $170,000 of AASM’s annual revenue of about $15 million, she said. Other revenue comes from educational materials and membership and accreditation fees.

    Here’s what else I found. Almost everybody breathes irregularly sometime at night, especially during REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movement and dreams. Blood oxygen levels also fluctuate slightly.

    But recent European studies have shown that standards under the International Classification of Sleep Disorders would doom huge portions of the general population to a sleep apnea diagnosis — whether or not people had complaints of daytime tiredness or other sleep problems.

    A study in the Swiss city of Lausanne showed that 50% of local men and 23% of the women 40 or older were positive for sleep apnea under such criteria.

    Such rates of disease are “extraordinarily high,” “astronomical,” and “implausible,” Dr. Dirk Pevernagie, a scientist at Belgium’s Ghent University Hospital, wrote with colleagues two years ago in a comprehensive study in the Journal of Sleep Research.

    “Right now, there is no real evidence for the criteria that have been put forward to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and rate its severity,” he said in an interview.

    Likewise, 19% of middle-aged subjects in a 2016 Icelandic study appeared to have moderate to severe “apnea” under one definition in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders even though many reported no drowsiness.

    “Most of them were really surprised,” said Erna Sif Arnardóttir, who led the study and is running a large European program to refine detection and treatment of apnea.

    Nevertheless, the official AASM journal recommends extremely broad screening for sleep apnea, looking for patients who have what it defines as illness. Everybody 18 and older should be screened every year for apnea if they have diabetes, obesity, untreated high blood pressure, or heart disease — even if they have never complained about sleep problems, the group says.

    AASM “continually evaluates the definitions, criteria and recommendations used in the identification of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders,” Gibson said in the statement. Meanwhile, routine screening by primary care doctors “is a simple way” of gauging whether a high-risk patient may have obstructive sleep apnea, the statement said.

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an authoritative body that reviews the effectiveness of preventive care, takes a conservative view, more like that of the European researchers, concluding there is “insufficient” evidence to support widespread screening among patients with no symptoms.

    Many insurers refuse to pay for CPAP machines and other treatments prescribed for people at the outer edges of the AASM’s apnea definition. But AASM is pressuring them to come around.

    After all my reporting, I concluded that my apnea is real, though moderate. My alarming reading in the overnight lab — diagnosed quickly as central sleep apnea — was a byproduct of the testing machinery itself. That’s a well-described phenomenon that occurs in 5% to 15% of patients.

    And when I looked closely at the results of my at-home diagnostic test, I had an epiphany: My overall score was 26 breathing interruptions and blood-oxygen level declines, on average, per hour — enough to put me in the “high-moderate” category for apnea. But when I looked at the data sorted according to sleeping positions, I saw that I scored much better when I slept on my side: only 10 interruptions in an hour.

    So I did a little experiment: I bought a $25 pulse oximeter with a smartphone app that records oxygen dips and breathing interruptions. When I slept on my side, there were hardly any.

    Now I sleep on my side. I snore less. I wake up refreshed. I’m not daytime drowsy.

    None of my specialists mentioned turning on to my side — known in medical parlance as “positional therapy” — though the intervention is recognized as effective by many researchers.

    “Positional patients … can sleep in the lateral position and sleep quite well,” said Arie Oksenberg, a sleep researcher formerly at Loewenstein Hospital in Israel.

    But it’s not easy to find this in the official AASM treatment guidelines, which instead go right to the money-making options like CPAP machines, surgery, central apnea, and mouth appliances.

    Dealing with apnea by shifting slightly in bed gets little more than a couple of paragraphs in AASM’s guideline on “other” treatments and a little box on a long and complex decision chart.

    A third or more of patients wear CPAPs only a few hours a night or stop using them. It turns out people don’t like machines in their beds.

    “Positional therapy is an effective treatment option for some patients,” said the AASM’s Gibson. But she said there are concerns about whether patients will sleep on their sides long term and whether trying to stay in one position might cause sleep interruptions itself.

    It’s true that And it often takes practice. (Some people tape a tennis ball to their pajamas to keep them off their backs.) Even conservative sleep doctors say CPAP machines are the best solution for many patients.

    But there is a largely overlooked alternative.

    “Are we missing a simple treatment for most adult sleep apnea patients?” was the name of a 2013 paper that Oksenberg and a colleague wrote about positional therapy.

    In my case, the answer was “yes.”


    Jay Hancock is a former KHN senior correspondent.

    KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

    Subscribe to KHN's free Morning Briefing.

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    Considering joint replacement? You might want to wait a little longer

    by Tim Ditman
    OSF Healthcare

    Urbana -- More than seven million people are walking the Earth with a new knee or hip.

    And if you’re suffering from debilitating pain, the thought of becoming total joint replacement patient seven million one is probably appealing. But James Murphy, MD, says try not to think about it until your mid-60s.

    And Dr. Murphy, an orthopedic surgeon at OSF HealthCare in Urbana, Illinois, should know. He comes from a long line of orthopedic surgeons and has been immersed in the field for decades.

    Joint injuries

    Generally speaking, a joint is where two bones meet in the body to allow movement.

    Dr. Murphy explains that joint injuries can come suddenly, like one during a basketball game, and those are often treated with a brace or surgery. Joint injuries can also develop over many years – the wear-and-tear injuries. Treatments for those include medication, injections or surgery.

    Replacement

    Every person has unique joint health circumstances, but Dr. Murphy advises you wait until at least age 65 before considering a total joint replacement. He says if you get the surgery at, say, age 40, you may just have to do it again in 15 or 20 years.

    Dr. James Murphy
    Photo provided
    Dr. James Murphy
    Orthopedic Surgeon
    OSF HealthCare

    Until then, try the aforementioned treatments: medication (over-the-counter or prescription), braces or injections by a health care provider. Losing weight helps, too. Dr. Murphy says dropping five pounds equates to taking 25 pounds of pressure off your knees.

    Dr. Murphy also says holistic remedies like black cherry juice or turmeric have been proven to help.

    “Black cherry juice is something I’ve had patients swear by. They’ve taught me about it,” Dr. Murphy says. “So, I don’t think you need a doctor’s advice for [holistic remedies] like that. But, seeing a doctor in conjunction with all that is a good idea because there might be some things that can be added.”

    When it’s time for surgery, here’s what you can expect.

    First, your doctor will want to know about anything that may complicate the procedure. This includes a history of urine infections or recent or upcoming dental work (beyond a normal checkup).

    “They’re drilling into the tooth, and there could be bacteria from your mouth that can get into your bloodstream. If that makes its way to a total [replaced] joint, it could be devastating,” Dr. Murphy says, because our immune system can’t fight bacteria when it attaches to metal.

    “So that can be avoided with a simple antibiotic prescription around the time of the dental work,” he says.

    On surgery day itself:

    “What a joint replacement entails is making an incision and safely dissecting all the way down to the joint,” Dr. Murphy explains. “Then, shaving away the arthritic joint and replacing it with an implant that’s made of metal and plastic.

    “And that becomes your new knee, hip or ankle.”

    Recovery

    Dr. Murphy says what used to be a five to seven day stay in the hospital is now two to three days thanks to advances in the field.

    “It’s better for the patient, for their experience and their outcome, to get out of the hospital quickly,” Dr. Murphy says. “There are different things we do as far as pain control and therapy to get people in and out of the hospital as quick as is safe after surgery.”

    Dr. Murphy advises patients to work on range of motion in the first couple weeks post-surgery. That’s at home and with a physical therapist. After week three, most patients start to notice a difference. By two months, they feel like they have a normal life again.

    And it’s important to define “normal life,” Dr. Murphy says.

    “[New joints] are meant to walk. They’re meant to walk as far as you’re willing to walk,” Dr. Murphy says. “They’re not meant for the cutting aspect of basketball, tennis or those kind of sports.

    “Golf is perfectly fine. Swimming is great. Riding a bike is perfect. Rowing is great. It’s just the pounding on the knee that you want to avoid.”

    St. Joseph-Ogden tumbles at Central Catholic, slideshow & recap

    BLOOMINGTON -- Late in the second quarter of their road football game at Central Catholic, the St. Joseph-Ogden football team had the ball inside the five-yard-line poised to score. The Saints repelled at one-yard dive play and then a fourth-and-goal pass attempt by the Spartans. It was a palatable moment in the game that supercharged both the BCC offense and defense on their way to a 42-20 win over SJO.

    Taking possession on the two-yard line, Central Catholic marched down the field 98 yards with ease to take the lead on an 18-yard pass from Central's Colin Hayes to Ryan Hoeferle to break the tie on the scoreboard with 31 seconds left in the half.

    Colin Wayland and Aiden McCorkle bring down Central Catholic's ball carrier.

    Spartans' Colin Wayland and Aiden McCorkle bring down Central Catholic's ball carrier. The St. Joseph-Ogden defense gave up 455 yards in the team's 42-20 loss on Friday.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

    Unable to regain their first quarter swagger and precision when action resumed after halftime, the St. Joseph-Ogden offensive effort against an embolden and confidenet BCC defensive unit yielded just 22 yards in the second half.

    Junior Justice Wertz led the Spartans' ground attack with 66 yards. Coy Taylor was held to just 15 yards rushing, and Tyler Burch ran the ball in on 4-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

    SJO's passing game faired better against BCC. Taylor caught 12 passes for 132 yards, including one for a 25-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Burch, a senior, caught a 19-yarder in the first quarter.

    Logan Smith finished the game 13-for-24, passing for 151 yards and had a negative seven yards rushing.

    In stark contrast, the Saints, who moved to 4-2 overall, finished contest with 455 total yards against SJO's 170.

    The Spartans, now 3-3 overall and 2-3 in IPC, hosts Pontiac this Friday. For a quaranteed playoff berth, SJO has to win this week's game and beat the last two teams on their schedule, which include Rantoul and Paxton-Buckley-Loda.


    Game Slideshow

    St. Joseph-Ogden at Bloomington Central Catholic
    September 30, 2022


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