As gun violence is rises to epidemic levels, many traumatized Americans now live in fear

Photo: Kerttu/Pixabay
by Liz Szabo
KFF Health News


A majority of Americans say they or a family member has experienced gun violence, such as witnessing a shooting, being threatened by a person with a gun, or being shot, according to a sweeping new survey.

The national survey of 1,271 adults conducted by KFF revealed the severe physical and psychological harm exacted by firearm violence, especially in minority communities.

Nearly 1 in 5 respondents, including 34% of Black adults, 18% of Hispanic adults, and 17% of white adults, said a family member had been killed by a gun.

The survey “confirms that firearm-related injuries are ubiquitous,” said Dr. Selwyn Rogers, a surgeon and founding director of the UChicago Medicine trauma center. “For every person killed, there are two or three people harmed. These are people who have had fractures, who may have been paralyzed or disabled.”

Beyond causing physical injuries, gun violence has left many Americans living with trauma and fear, Rogers said.

Just over half of adults say gun-related crimes, injuries, and deaths are a “constant threat” or “major concern” in their communities. Black and Hispanic adults were more likely than white adults to describe gun violence as a constant threat or major concern. About 3 in 10 Black or Hispanic adults say they feel “not too safe” or “not safe at all” from gun violence in their neighborhoods. (Hispanics can be of any race or combination of races.)


Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay

Women also reported high rates of concern about firearm violence, with 58% saying gun-related crimes are a constant threat or major concern, compared with 43% of men. More than half of intimate partner homicides are committed with guns.

Parents are worried about their children as well.

About 1 in 4 parents of children under 18 say they worry daily or almost daily about gun violence, the KFF survey found, and 84% of adults report having taken at least one precaution to reduce their family’s risk from gun violence. More than one-third of adults say they have avoided large crowds, such as at music festivals or crowded bars, for example.

Gun violence surged during the pandemic. There were a record 48,830 firearm-related deaths in 2021, an increase of 23% from 2019, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. The increase among children was even sharper. Firearm deaths among Americans under 18 — which include those due to homicide, suicide, and gun-related accidents — increased 50%, from 1,732 in 2019 to 2,590 in 2021.

Guns have become the leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 1 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The pandemic also coincided with a huge increase in gun purchases, which grew an estimated 64% from 2019 to 2020.

According to the KFF survey, 29% of adults have purchased a gun at some point to protect themselves or their families, with 44% of parents of children under 18 keeping a gun in the home. Yet 78% of parents in gun-owning households fail to follow safety recommendations, such as locking guns and ammunition, storing guns unloaded, and storing guns and ammunition separately, practices that have been shown to reduce the risk of thefts, accidents, and suicides.

Photo: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

Dr. Abdullah Pratt, an emergency physician at the UChicago Medicine trauma center, has lost a dozen close friends to gun violence, including his brother. His father never recovered from that loss and died about seven years later, at age 64.

“As soon as my brother got killed, he stopped taking his medications and started chain-smoking out of nowhere,” Pratt said.

Gun violence also wears away communities, Pratt said.

In neighborhoods with high crime rates, the daily drumbeat of loss can lead residents to conclude there’s no point in voting, going to school, or trying to improve their lives. “They think, ‘What am I voting for if I can’t have basic access to safety on a day-to-day basis?’” Pratt said.

And while mass shootings and homicides grab headlines, Rogers, the surgeon, noted that suicides account for more than half of firearm-related deaths in the U.S. and cause ripples of grief throughout a community. Researchers estimate that every suicide leaves at least six people in mourning.

Pratt said he feels guilty he wasn’t able to help a close friend who died by suicide with a gun several years ago. The man had recently lost a job and had his car repossessed and came to Pratt to talk about his troubles. Instead, Pratt spent the visit asking for parenting advice, without realizing how much his friend was hurting.

“There were no red flags,” Pratt said. “A couple days later, he died.”

Gun violence has also shaped the trajectory of Bernice Grisby’s life.

Grisby, now 35, was shot for the first time when she was 8, while playing on the swings at her school in Oakland, California. She was shot a second time at age 15, when she was talking to friends after school. One of her friends died that day, while another lost an eye; Grisby was shot in the hip and experiences chronic pain from the wound.

Two of her brothers were fatally shot in their 20s. Her 15-year-old daughter was recently robbed at gunpoint.

Rather than leaving Oakland, Grisby is trying to save it. She works as a street counselor to young people at high risk of gun violence through Oakland’s East Bay Asian Youth Center, which aims to help young people living in poverty, trauma, and neglect.

“My life is a gift from God,” Grisby said. “I am happy to be here to support the youth and know that I am making a difference.”


KFF Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF—an independent source of health policy research, polling, and journalism. Learn more about KFF.

Tigers blanked in home match against Morton

Photo:PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Tigers' Ian Peters hits a serve while playing doubles with Luke Pankau during their team's home match against Normal West last Wednesday. Peters and Pankau were edged out of a win last week to West's Brian Bach and Alex Lamboley at #2 doubles after forcing a third-set tiebreak, 1-6, 7-5, 10-12.

URBANA - Despite windy tennis conditions, Ian Peters fell in singles and doubles action at Blair Park during Urbana High School's home meet against Morton.

Playing in the #6 singles spot, Peters gave his all in his first set against Potters' Asa Olden. After narrowly losing the first set 7-6, he could only muster just two wins on his way to dropping the second set 6-2. Once again teamed-up with Luke Pankau, the duo suffered a double-bagel at #2 doubles at the hands of Morton's Carter Kendall and Joe Campbell.

After picking up conference wins over both Normal West and Centennial 6-3 last week, the Tigers' tennis team lost the non-conference match to Morton, 9-0.

Box Score

Urbana - 0, Morton - 9

Singles:

No. 1 - Carter Kendall, Morton def. Parker McClain, Urbana (H.S.), 6-1, 6-0
No. 2 - Aiden Belsly, Morton def. Elijah Walker, Urbana (H.S.), 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 - Joe Campbell, Morton def. Joe Solava, Urbana (H.S.), 6-4, 6-2
No. 4 - Blake hoemaker, Morton def. Xander Ashley, Urbana (H.S.), 6-0, 6-1
No. 5 - Seth Klopfenstein, Morton def. Jack Perry, Urbana (H.S.), 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 - Asa Olden, Morton def. Ian Peters, Urbana (H.S.), 7-6, 6-2

Doubles:

No. 1 - Aiden Belsly, Morton - Blake shoemaker, Morton def. Parker McClain, Urbana (H.S.) - Elijah Walker, Urbana (H.S.), 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 - Carter Kendall, Morton - Joe Campbell, Morton def. Luke Pankau, Urbana (H.S.) - Ian Peters, Urbana (H.S.), 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 - Seth Klopfenstein, Morton - Asa olden, Morton def. Xander Ashley, Urbana (H.S.) - Joe Solava, Urbana (H.S.), 6-7, 6-3, 11-9

If your contact lenses are becoming a problem, here are 5 tips to make things better

Photo: Ave Calvar/Unsplash
(StatePoint Media) - If you’re one of the 45 million Americans who wear contact lenses, you know what a great choice they can be, whether you play sports, want to avoid the nuisance of foggy glasses or simply find yourself feeling more confident in them. However, it may be time to give your contact lens care routine a makeover, particularly if your lenses feel dry or uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, one in five contact lens wearers find lenses to be less comfortable by the end of the day. Consider the following tips for all-day comfort:

1. Practice healthy tech habits: Long hours on screens can be a contributing factor to eye discomfort, mainly because of less blinking; however, making a few adjustments can help. The experts at Bausch + Lomb recommend following the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20 second break to look at something 20 feet away. If you work with computers all day, you should also remember to blink regularly. It can be surprisingly easy to forget to blink when you’re focused on the next deadline! Finally, adjust the brightness and text size on your devices to reduce eye strain and optimize comfort.

2. Insert and remove contacts with care: The order of steps you follow as you insert and remove your contacts matters. In the morning or as you’re getting ready to go out, insert contact lenses with clean hands before applying makeup. Before bed, wash your hands, remove your contacts and clean your lenses before going to sleep. One-third of contact lens wearers have fallen asleep in their lenses, but doing so increases the risk of infection.

3. Follow lens care directions: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40-90% of contact lens wearers do not properly follow their contact lenses’ care instructions. It is recommended to follow the complete recommended lens rubbing and rinsing times in the product labeling to adequately disinfect your lenses and reduce the risk of contact lens contamination. Reduced rubbing or rinsing time may not adequately clean your lenses. And never “top off” or reuse solution. Fill the lens case with fresh solution every time you store your lenses – don’t cut corners!

4. Clean and moisturize: One in three contact lens wearers experiences dry lenses, and one in five find lenses to be less comfortable by the end of the day. Show your eyes some love by using a contact lens solution recommended by board-certified optometrists, one that is uniquely-formulated for dry, uncomfortable contact lenses. Biotrue Hydration Plus Multi-Purpose Solution not only offers exceptional cleaning and disinfection and dissolves protein build-up, it’s also formulated with your eyes’ biology in mind to promote all-day comfort. It contains naturally-inspired ingredients found in tears such as hyaluronan, a moisturizer, and potassium, an electrolyte. It keeps more moisture on your contacts (for 12 hours compared to original Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution, based on a laboratory study) as well as provides up to 20 hours of moisture (based on a laboratory study). For more information and complete use instructions, visit https://www.biotrue.com.

5. Recycle: While not directly related to the comfort of your eyes, you can sport your contacts with more ease knowing you’re doing so with the environment in mind. You’re likely already recycling contact solution bottles and eye care product cartons through curbside recycling. Now, thanks to a collaboration between Bausch + Lomb and TerraCycle, there’s a way to properly recycle the smaller plastic components within these products. Pop off the caps of your solution and eye drop bottles and place them in any shipping box, along with old lens cases, empty eye drop bottles and single dose eye drop vials. When the box is full, print the prepaid label and mail it to TerraCycle. These components are combined with other recycled materials and turned into new products. To learn more, visit terracycle.com/biotrue.

Stop chalking up dry, uncomfortable lenses to being a regular part of wearing contacts. With a few tweaks to your routine, you can experience comfort throughout the day. Biotrue is a trademark of Bausch + Lomb Incorporated or its affiliates.


Photo of the Day | April 19

Junior Luke Landrus with teammate Braxton Waller
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

St. Joseph - Junior Luke Landrus (right) celebrates his three-run homer in the fourth inning with teammate Braxton Waller on his way to the dugout at Meier Field. St. Joseph-Ogden tallied at least three runs in four of their five innings against visiting Normal University High School last Friday to win 17-7. Landus, who appeared at the plate three times, drove in five runs on three hits. SJO plays its next two contests on the road, starting with Pontiac on Thursday and a doubleheader at Illinois Valley Central on Saturday.



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Spanish dancers introduce Sevillanas to Urbana

Flamenca dances at Lincoln Square Mall
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
URBANA - Flor Quiroz and members of the La Fuerza Flamenca perform at Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday during this year's Boneyard Arts Festival. Earlier, she and dancers from the University of Illiniois student dance troupe taught Sevillanas to workshop participants at the mall. Quiroz, a sophomore at the UofI, has studied the cultural dance form for just under a year. Influenced by Flamenco, Sevillanas is a style of dance from the Sevilla region in Spain.


Sentinel Summary | What you missed this week

PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
URBANA - Tajal Patel puts her soul into her rendition of a Flamenco ballad while performing with Brian Stark's Flamenco-Jazz Collective at Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday. The band gave a one-hour show during the Boneyard Festival and accompanied the University of Illinois La Fuerza Flamenca dance group, which performed two numbers and provided a free workshop.
Get off to a healthy start and keep your golf season injury-free

With warmer temperatures starting appear more frequently in central Illinois, it means with the arrival of Spring another golf season is upon us. And that has many golf enthusiasts racing off to area courses.

The bugs are on their way back, three ways to prepare for unwelcomed insects in your home

It is easy to believe that bugs simply disappear during the winter and colder months in the Midwest. The truth is that many bug species have evolved to survive all year long, sometimes hiding in the warm nooks and crannies in and around homes. Others go into a hibernation-like state.

Recipe | Bacon-wrapped chicken with goat cheese

This is a very easy dish to make and can be prepared in advance, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge ready to cook later. Delicious, serve this dish with crispy garlic and lemon roasted potatoes.

Seeds online; just because they're easy to buy doesn't mean they’re safe

Online shopping and e-commerce have opened new doors for gardening enthusiasts, offering unprecedented access to rare and exotic plants and seed products from around the world at the click of a button.

Learning the right moves, Flamenco workshop at Boneyard Festival draws local dancers

Alyssa Teijeiro-Ficht leads a Flamenco dance workshop at Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday during the Boneyard Arts Festival.


Pumping on the job, new Federal law goes in effect this month for mothers nursing infants

Mom holding a baby
Sarah Chai/PEXELS

by Tim Ditman
OSF Healthcare

URBANA - Have a plan.

It’s something you’ll hear OSF HealthCare Mission Partners Heather Ludwig and Stephanie Kitchens say over and over.

Ludwig, an international board certified lactation consultant, and Kitchens, a registered nurse, are helping new mothers navigate pumping breast milk at work as a federal law on pumping takes effect.

"If you feel like your employer is going to support you with pumping, you’re going to be extremely loyal to that job," Ludwig says.

Laws protecting moms

In general, Illinois, Michigan and federal laws allow moms to pump at work and in a private space better than a bathroom stall until the child is 1 year old. But on April 28, 2023, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (the PUMP Act for short) goes into effect. The law expands the number of mothers who are protected and strengthens a mother’s ability to get relief in court if their employer is not following the law. It also says mothers can stay on the clock while pumping if they keep working, for example simply answering emails.

But moms still need to be their own best advocate, Ludwig says. It starts before you return to work. Three to four weeks prior, build up a supply of breast milk at home. Talk to your boss, coworkers and human resources representative about your needs. Be firm but fair in setting the expectations. Keep the conversation going during your months of pumping. Have allies like a lactation consultant in your corner.

"Think about where you’re going to pump and what supplies you need to bring," Ludwig says. Make sure your pump fits you and is working. Ideally, your workplace will provide a space where you can leave the equipment and come and go to pump for a few minutes. That won’t empty the tank, but it will "reset the clock" for a while before you feel the physical pressure of needing to pump again.

"Full and uncomfortable is one thing. But if you wait too long, you can end up with clogged ducts, mastitis and other nasty things," Ludwig says. "An emptied breast is a breast that’s going to continue to make milk and a mom that’s going to stay comfortable."

Kitchens’ experience

Having a dedicated pumping space is crucial for professions like nursing, law enforcement or restaurant workers. For example, a waitress can’t abandon her tables for a half hour and still expect a big tip.

Kitchens, too, couldn’t afford to be away from her cardiac patients for a long time. Her first child came into the world in March 2020, and she returned to work that June – all during the height of the pandemic.

"I was a little unsure about how pumping would work," she admits. "I was more into trying to please everybody and be the better nurse."

Now with the task of producing milk for her second child, born in April 2022, Kitchens has been taking some of Ludwig’s advice to heart and having a smoother experience.

"I’m very open with my patients now," Kitchens says with a smile. "I say ‘listen I’m a breastfeeding mother. I have to go relieve myself. When I’m done with that, I’ll come back and meet your needs.’ And they are totally fine with that."

For other high stress jobs, options exist too. Police officers could be temporarily assigned to office work so they are not in a squad car all day. Truck drivers can hook up a hands-free pump before they turn on the engine and let the machine do its work underneath their clothes. Yes, hands-free pumping and driving is legal, Ludwig says.

Navigating the day

Ludwig says moms can expect to pump several times during a typical eight-to-10-hour shift. Staying on schedule and staying stress-free about it all is important. "If you’re stressed out and your cortisol levels are high, it’s hard for your body to let your milk come out," Ludwig says. "So having a good location is going to help mom feel supported. She can take care of business quicker so she can get back to work."

Some mothers will bring their baby to work to feed at the breast. Having a good home support system is key for this option to work. Milk can be stored in any cold, sanitary place, like the break room refrigerator. "A lot of moms will just have a little lunch bag cooler with some freezer packs," Ludwig says.

Bottom line advice

Kitchens agrees with Ludwig that mothers returning to work need to be their own best advocate. Stand up for yourself, even, Kitchens says. Make it clear that a pump break and a lunch break are separate, for example.

To view it another way: "Would an adult ask to use the bathroom or would they just go?" Kitchens says slyly.



Illini knock off Cornhuskers, Ozolins leads Illinois with two wins

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
URBANA - Karlis Ozolins crushes a forehand during his match against Nebraska's Roni Hietaranta on Sunday. The Illinois sophomore from Latvia, who is ranked No. 46, rolled to 6-1, 6-1, victory in his singles match against Hietaranta. The Fighting Illini tennis team won their last home match of the season over the visiting Cornhuskers, 4-2. Ozolins also picked up an earlier win with doubles partner Hunter Heck. The pair defeated Nebraska's William Gleason and Leo Linquet, 6-2.

Box Score

Doubles Results

1. No. 50 Hunter Heck Karlis Ozolins (ILL) def. William Gleason/Leo Linquet (NEB), 6-2
2. No. 52 Mathis Debru Oliver Okonkwo (ILL) vs. Calvin Mueller/Lars Johann (NEB), 3-3 UF
3. Gabrielius Guzauskas William Mroz (ILL) def. Roni Hietaranta/Shunya Maruyama (NEB), 6-1


Singles Results

1. No. 46 Karlis Ozolins (ILL) def. Roni Hietaranta (NEB), 6-1, 6-1
2. Leo Linquet (NEB) def. Hunter Heck (ILL), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
3. No. 88 Alex Petrov (ILL) def. Shunya Maruyama (NEB), 6-4, 6-3
4. Lars Johann (NEB) def. William Mroz (ILL), 6-4, 6-3
5. Oliver Okonkwo (ILL) def. William Gleason (NEB), 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
6. Nic Meister (ILL) vs. Nic Wiedenhorn (NEB), 6-3, 6-7, 4-1 unfinished


Traveling with your pet? 6 things you will want to remember

Pets
Photo: Bruno Cervera/Unsplash
by Kim Salerno
TripsWithPets


Wake Forest - Pet parents increasingly want to take their furry family members with them wherever they can. This has led to an uptick in pet travel, whether around town, on business, or across the country. In response to this demand, more hotels are taking steps to accommodate four-legged guests.

While there may be an increase in accommodations that allow pets, taking a trip with a pet still requires you to look under the hood. Taking a closer look at hotel pet policy details is essential to ensure you and your whole crew are welcome.

“Just because a hotel indicates that they allow pets, doesn’t mean that they will accept all pets." says Kim Salerno, CEO/Founder of TripsWithPets.com, a website that provides online reservations for pet-friendly accommodations. “It’s important to do your homework before booking. Reviewing specific hotel pet policies is a “must” to ensure it can accommodate your pets.”

Salerno notes that there are a number of specific pet policy details to check for when looking to book a pet-friendly hotel.

1. Pet Fees
There is a waning number of hotels that allow pets to stay for free. Most pet-friendly accommodations charge an additional fee for pets. Fees can range from $10 to around $100. It is most common for hotels to charge per night. However, some charge per stay, while others may charge per pet/night. In rare cases, pet deposits may also be required. It’s important to be aware of these added costs and factor them into your trip budget.

2. Pet Weight Limit
You’d be hard pressed to find a hotel that does not have a pet weight limit. If you have a large pet, it’s important to know before booking whether an establishment is willing to accommodate him, or whether you need to keep looking.

3. Number of Pets Allowed
The majority of hotels only allow one or two pets at most per room. If you’re traveling with human companions and 3+ pets, you might consider renting two rooms to accommodate everyone. If you need help finding space for a crowd, TripsWithPets can assist you.

4. Types of Pets Welcome
Pet friendly doesn’t automatically mean “all pets.” All pet-friendly hotels allow dogs, and many also allow cats. Some hotels, like Kimpton, are open to whatever pet you happen to bring, regardless of species, size or breed, but these are uncommon. Bottom line: Because a hotel says they allow pets, don’t assume they allow all types of pets.

5. Unattended Pet Policy
During your travels, you may want to attend an event or visit a place where your pet won’t be welcome. Some hotels will allow you to leave your pet unattended in your room, and others will not. If the hotel you choose has a “no unattended pets” policy, you may have to either modify your plans so that you can bring your pet along, or make arrangements for your pet’s care in your absence.

6. Breed Restrictions
Although not prevalent, dog breeds such as bully breeds, German Shepherds, and Dobermans, are restricted by some accommodations. It is more commonly found with vacation rentals and B&Bs.

“What sets TripsWithPets.com apart is that we provide detailed pet policies for all the properties on our site. This allows pet parents to know before booking.” says Salerno. “There are plenty of accommodation options out there. And if you need us, we’re happy to help.”

While some hotel chains are reliably “pets allowed” across the board, most individual hotels have their own specific pet policy, and policy restrictions can vary widely, even within brands and chains. Policies are also subject to change. Never assume a hotel’s pet policy – always know before you go.

Kim Salerno is Founder and Chief Executive Officer for TripsWithPets. TripsWithPets is a leader in the pet travel industry – providing online reservations at pet-friendly hotels across the United States and Canada.

Summer camp for young burn survivors in Illinois June 18-24

MT. PROSPECT – For the last 32 years, Camp I Am Me has provided a place of acceptance and healing for young burn survivors throughout Illinois at its yearly Summer Camp, held at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside. This year’s camp will be held June 18 – 24.

A signature program offered through Camp I Am Me, Summer Camp offers a range of activities for camper ages 8-20, in addition to specialized therapeutic sessions and support groups that empower them to be able to say, "I am me", despite physical and/or emotional scars that can result from receiving a burn injury.


Photo provided

In this judgment-free environment, survivors can feel more open to sharing their challenges with others who have had similar experiences. Campers enjoy activities such as wall climbing, horseback riding, fishing, a high ropes course, a talent show, crafts and more – that bring them together to be supportive of one another.

"Due to a generous network of sponsors, donors and volunteers, we are able to offer this unique and empowering experience free of charge to survivors of burn injuries due to fire, electricity, chemicals and even scalding water," said Jim Kreher, the Camp I Am Me President and Fire Chief of the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District. "We invite anyone who wants to support our mission to get involved with this special journey of healing."

An overarching goal of Summer Camp, as well as other Camp I Am Me programs, is to help burn survivors build back their self-esteem and confidence. Over the last three+ decades, Summer Camp has positively impacted hundreds of lives, evidenced by campers coming back year after year, and the fact that more than a fourth of its volunteers are survivors who previously attended camp as a young person.

"It’s truly heartwarming to see how camp can positively impact these young people. It provides them with a strong support system filled with people who understand their experiences, which can change their lives for the better – both emotionally and psychologically," said Philip Zaleski, Camp I Am Me Executive Director.

Members of Illinois’ fire service and medical community, along with educators and individuals from the private sector, volunteer at the Summer Camp, where there is always a goal to have a one-to-one, volunteer to camper ratio. While Camp I Am Me has met its volunteer needs for this year’s Summer Camp, there are other ways to get involved with the organization’s mission, which can be found at campiamme.org/get-involved.

For more information about Summer Camp and other burn injury survivor support programs, as well as fire safety and burn prevention resources provided by Camp I Am Me, please visit campiamme.org.

Guest Commentary | Walmart can't take the losses, retailer closing stores around the country

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator


If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall. This principle applies to us all, even Walmart.

Walmart has been the largest company in the world by revenue since 2014, but they are closing 20 stores this year. Is your town on this list? Most likely, you hope not as most Americans shop Walmart at least occasionally. For many it’s their go to destination weekly for groceries, electronics and much more.

Here are the latest store closings provided by Yahoo.com:

Arkansas:
3701 SE Dodson Road, Bentonville
(Pick-up only concept)

DC:
99 H Street NW, Washington

Georgia:
1801 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta
835 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW, Atlanta

Florida:
6900 US Highway 19 North, Pinellas Park
(Neighborhood Market concept)

Hawaii:
1032 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu

Illinois:
17550 South Halsted St, Homewood
12690 S. Route 59, Plainfield
840 N. McCormick Blvd, Lincolnwood
1511 Camp Jackson Road, Cahokia
8431 S. Stewart Ave, Chicago
4720 S. Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago
2844 N. Broadway, Chicago
2551 W. Cermak Road, Chicago

Indiana:
3701 Portage Road, South Bend

Minnesota:
1200 Shingle Creek Pkwy, Brooklyn Center

New Mexico:
301 San Mateo Blvd. SE, Albuquerque

Oregon:
4200 82nd Ave. SE, Portland
1123 N Hayden Meadows Dr., Portland

Texas:
24919 Westheimer Pkwy, Katy (Neighborhood Market concept)

Washington:
11400 Hwy. 99, Everett

Wisconsin:
10330 W. Silver Spring Dr, Milwaukee

Walmart plans to close half of its stores in Chicago. This is a reversal of the retail giant’s high-profile commitment in 2020 to expand in the city as part of its corporate racial justice initiative.

Walmart recently announced that it will close four poor-performing stores out of the eight it operates in Chicago. Three of the locations are located in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods, which are predominantly minority and have long struggled with grocery and retail access. One of the stores is in Chicago’s North Side, which is predominantly White and more affluent.

The announcement comes after Walmart highlighted its efforts in Chicago as a “critical part” of its broader $100 million pledge to advancing racial equity in 2020. (CNN)

Walmart said the closings are due to a lack of profits, theft and security issues. (CHICAGO (WLS)

Walmart is not the United States government. They can’t keep pumping money into a store or city that is losing millions of dollars every year. Walmart is a business that has become the largest company in the world by making a profit. Communities who steal more from their Walmart or any store, than they pay for at the register can most likely expect to see their store closed.


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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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Get off to a healthy start and keep your golf season injury-free

Quincy's Cooper Larson hits his opening shot off the tenth tee during second-round action at the Class 3A IHSA State Golf Finals at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington, IL, on October 14, 2016. Now that Spring is making its way into the Midwest, it is that time of year when golfers begin their annual pilgrimage to area links for exercise, socializing, and competitive play. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks)


by Paul Arco
OSF Healthcare
ROCKFORD - With warmer temperatures starting appear more frequently in central Illinois, it means with the arrival of Spring another golf season is upon us. And that has many golf enthusiasts racing off to area courses.

Before tossing the clubs in the trunk, however, the first priority is getting your body ready for the long season. Hopefully, you’ve maintained some level of fitness during the winter. But if you spent the past few months watching Netflix from the couch, experts have some important advice in order to keep your body injury free, especially to start the season.

“I would just start a stretching routine," says Matthew Davidson, a physical therapist with OSF HealthCare. "Start there, work on flexibility a little bit, range of motion, try and do what you can to counteract that stiffness that you seem to get over the winter months. Cardiovascular exercises are really good because they can not only build up that system, but improve blood flow and help with weight loss for those who might have gained a few pounds over the winter."

For the most part, golf is a relatively safe sport, but injuries can happen, especially as a result of not using proper form or technique. Most golf-related injuries involve the lower back, shoulders, wrists, and elbows. Walking nine or 18 holes can be challenging, especially if you’ve been mostly sedentary for the past several months. Even carrying a golf bag can cause back and shoulder pain. That’s why it’s important to start making changes immediately. Flexibility is the key. It will promote mobility, which helps joints throughout the entire body.

"First of all, depending on your fitness level you might want to start with nine holes before 18," says Davidson. "You might want to go to the range and walk between the range and the putting green. As far as a walking routine, start with five or 10 minutes. Walk your dog around the block and increase the distance and ramp it up from there."

Before starting any round, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to properly stretch your back, hamstrings, abdominals, arms and shoulders to stay flexible. And make sure to get plenty of practice swings in before you head over to the first tee.

Jenna Dombroski sinks an easy putt during the Champaign Central Class AA golf sectional. The Centennial High School junior finished in second place qualifying for the girls' state golf tournament. She finished the par 76 course in Savoy, IL, with an 80 back on October 8, 2007. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

"One of the main things we do is sit," says Davidson. "We sit at our desk, we sit and watch TV, and we sit to relax. Golf is all about maintaining really good posture. Get to the golf course early, try a few swings, and go to the putting green. If you have time, go to the driving range and start with the smaller irons and work your way up to the driver and not just on the first hole with the first swing."

And remember to swing properly. The keys of a good swing include good posture, a stable lower back, and a slow relaxed swing. Most injuries that happen on the course are a result of poor form and an incorrect swing. An early-season injury, especially during cooler temperatures, can really set back a golfer for a period of time.

"Muscle strains, if they’re simple, can take anywhere from a few days or if they’re severe a month or longer, it just depends on the person," says Davidson. "My advice is to use pain as your guide. If you’re feeling something isn’t right don’t try and go out there and be a hero. Rest up, ice, use heat, whatever you need to do to manage it. And if it doesn’t improve, certainly go see your physician."

For more information on preparing for the golf season, click here.



The bugs are on their way back, three ways to prepare for unwelcomed insects in your home

StatePoint Media - It is easy to believe that bugs simply disappear during the winter and colder months in the Midwest. The truth is that many bug species have evolved to survive all year long, sometimes hiding in the warm nooks and crannies in and around homes. Others go into a hibernation-like state.

With much warmer temperatures and sporadic unseasonably warm days during the past week in central Illinois, household pests like ants, roaches, and centipedes are making their way back into homes or coming out of hibernation.

"Bugs can be a lot smarter and more resilient than you may realize. Even if you don’t see household pests right now, some may still be waiting in your home for those first warm days to signal them to become active, search for food and find a mate," says Emma Klingman, senior products research at Zevo, a maker of pest control products with naturally-inspired ingredients you can feel good about.

To prep your home for bug season and outsmart pests, follow these three steps:

1. Tidy up: Household pests love snacking just as much as people do, but you don’t need to play host to them. After meals, wipe down tables, counters and other kitchen surfaces. Be sure to regularly sweep and vacuum crumbs, as well as mop up to eliminate sticky food residue. Keep a tightly-fitting lid on your garbage bin, and rinse cans and jars before recycling them.

2. Be ready: Even an immaculate home will face pest problems at some point. That’s why it is important to have tools on hand to catch a problem early, before it becomes a much bigger one. Zevo’s Instant Action sprays target and shut down biological pathways found in insects, not in people or pets. Likewise, the brand’s traps use a UV and blue light system to attract and capture flying insects, and they have a discreet design that can serve as a bouncer at your home’s entry points. It’s also smart to use these traps in potential problem areas, such as near trash cans and fruit bowls and near toilet bowls and drains.

3. Safeguard the yard: Defending your yard from pesky pests will not only improve the comfort of your home’s outdoor spaces, it will help prevent insects from finding their way indoors. Be sure to eliminate standing water by properly tending to your lawn and by periodically clearing downspouts of debris. Any water feature in your garden should use running water. If you have a patio or deck, consider screening it in. If you don’t love the look of screened walls, installing ceiling fans can be an effective alternative. Run the fans whenever you entertain to deter unwanted guests, such as mosquitos, from crashing the party.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to apply bug repellant when spending time outdoors. Find a formula that will be easy to use, such as the new on-body products from Zevo, which include a pump spray, aerosol and lotion. They offer eight hours of protection from mosquitoes and ticks and are lightweight, odorless and not sticky.

For more usage tips and more information, visit https://zevoinsect.com and follow on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram (@ZevoInsect).

"As we usher in gorgeous spring weather, it can be an especially challenging time of year to keep bugs at bay at home. But with the right tools and strategies, you can help prevent and combat infestations as they arise," says Klingman.

Recipe | Bacon-wrapped chicken with goat cheese


Seeds online; just because they're easy to buy doesn't mean they’re safe

NAPSI - Online shopping and e-commerce have opened new doors for gardening enthusiasts, offering unprecedented access to rare and exotic plants and seed products from around the world at the click of a button. But before you buy plants or seeds online from overseas sellers, you should know they could pose a significant risk to U.S. agriculture and natural resources, because they can carry harmful plant pests and diseases.

It’s The Law

It’s illegal to import plants and seeds from overseas into the U.S. without the appropriate paperwork indicating they’re pest-free. Just because it’s easy to buy them online, does not mean they’re safe and you, the buyer, are responsible for checking the origin and import requirements.

The Problem

Invasive pests and plant diseases are often not visible to the buyer and, if left unchecked, can easily and rapidly spread. Plant diseases, for example, can be carried in common garden staples grown outside the U.S., such as tomato and pepper seeds. Not only do invasive pests cost the U.S. an estimated $40 billion a year in damage to trees, plants, crops and related eradication and control efforts, they can have a significant effect on America’s food supply.

An Answer

Fortunately, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has put together clear guidance on the steps online buyers should take to protect U.S. gardens, landscapes, agriculture and forests from this threat.

Six Steps To Safe Seeds And Plants

Here’s what you need to do when buying plants or seeds online from another country:

1.Check whether you need an import permit for the plants or seeds you wish to bring in. If required, apply for and get an import permit from APHIS, which specifies the import requirements before the plant or seed species is allowed entry into the country.

2.Request shipping labels from APHIS, if required under the permit conditions.

3.Inform the seller about the labeling and shipping requirements detailed in the permit.

4.Instruct the seller to include an invoice detailing the scientific name and quantity of plants or seeds in the shipment.

5.Ensure the seller has a phytosanitary certificate from the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the country of origin. This means the NPPO has inspected the plants or seeds and found them free of plant pests and diseases.

6.Instruct the seller to use labels provided by the buyer to ensure plants or seeds are delivered to an APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Plant Inspection Station.

Everyone plays an important role in protecting U.S. food, gardens and trees. If you’re planning to buy plants or seeds online from foreign sellers, take the appropriate steps to make sure you are following U.S. import laws.

Learn More

For questions about importing and exporting requirements, call APHIS at (877) 770-5990 or e-mail plantproducts.permits@usda.gov. To discover how to stop the spread of invasive plant pests and diseases, visit www.HungryPests.com.

Learning the right moves, Flamenco workshop at Boneyard Festival draws local dancers

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
URBANA - Alyssa Teijeiro-Ficht leads a Flamenco dance workshop at Lincoln Square Mall on Saturday during the Boneyard Arts Festival. Teijeiro-Ficht, a senior in Education at the University of Illinois and the dance director, with members of the La Fuerza Flamenca, taught Sevillanas to participants, who later performed the introductory dance steps with Brian Stark's Flamenco-Jazz Collective. Influenced by Flamenco, Sevillanas is a style of dance from the Sevilla region in Spain.


Price is on the money, picks up pitching win for Spartans

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
ST. JOSEPH - St. Joseph-Ogden senior Adam Price unloads a pitch at the top of the third inning during St. Joseph-Ogden's home game against Normal University High School at Meier Field on Friday. Despite giving up 10 hits and six runs on the hill, the Spartans' mighty offensive plated 17 runs in five innings to win 17-7. Price 1-4 at the plate and scored one run for SJO. The Illini Prairie Conference front runners are back at Meier Field on Monday and Tuesday, hosting Prairie Central and Oakwood respectively. First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m.

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