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EDITORIAL: Look out for Lyme

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne infectious disease in the United States. It infects about 300,000 people a year, roughly 10 times more Americans than previously reported. The number of cases reported annually has increased nearly 25-fold since national surveillance began in 1982, making it a huge public health problem. So what should we do about it? To start, we should educate ourselves about the problem.

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EDITORIAL: Protect your pets and your family from rabies

As you’re spending more time outside this summer, make sure you keep yourself and your pets safe from rabies. There is no treatment for this virus, which is transmitted by the bite of a rabid mammal, but luckily, rabies is preventable.

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EDITORIAL: Stay safe in the sun

As you enjoy some fun in the sun this Fourth of July, it’s important to protect your body’s largest organ: the skin.

Guest column: Local urgent care provides insight on the rising concern of tick-borne illnesses 

Spring is finally here and summer is just around the corner bringing longer days, warmer weather and, unfortunately, tick bites. With a number of tick bite cases already being seen across all of Five Star Urgent Care’s Upstate New York facilities, transmission of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme and Powassan, are becoming a concern. The best means of handling tick-borne infections is through preventing a tick bite from happening in the first place.

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EDITORIAL: Better screening is needed for postpartum depression

About 80 percent of new moms experience the so-called "baby blues" after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings and crying spells that fade quickly. But one in seven women experience symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD).

GUEST COLUMN: Add exercise to your new year

You’re making a pledge to get healthier this New Year. You found your sneakers and dusted off the treadmill you were using as a closet. Your yoga pants are no longer just a fashion choice — they are ready to do actual yoga. Now you’ve got to find the time in your day — 30 minutes minimum for heart health — to get physically active. The American Heart Association says there are plenty of easy, no-cost ways to do it.

Lights on the Lake opens Nov. 14

Starting Friday, Nov. 14, Central New Yorkers can visit Onondaga Lake Park and take in one of the biggest light shows in the Northeast. Lights on the Lake kicks off its 25th anniversary season next week. The event draws somewhere around 35,000 cars each year.

Help me help the MDA

I need your help to make bail. No, not that kind of bail. I’ve never been arrested. But I am going to “jail.” I’ve been recruited to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) with their annual Lock-Up fundraiser. Such events occur nationwide all year long. Business owners and community leaders (and, apparently, weekly newspaper reporters) agree to be “put behind bars for good.” We’re asked to raise money from friends, family, co-workers and, in your case, readers to help make “bail,” which will then benefit the MDA’s research, medical clinics and summer camp experiences.

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As testing regulations increase, more and more parents choose to homeschool their children

As controversies over Common Core and mandated standardized tests become more and more prevalent, many parents are choosing a new option in educating their children: homeschooling. Once the sole province of the very religious, homeschooling is becoming more popular every day, with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Nationwide, about 2 million children learn at home instead of in a brick-and-mortar school, up from about 1 million in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure and general safety.

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Team Believe raises money for area charities through running

Running a 10-mile race is a tremendous challenge. But if you’ve got the right motivation, those 10 miles can feel like nothing at all. That’s the idea behind Team Believe, a grassroots organization that brings together local runners to help the Central New York community. The group, which got its start in 2009, asks participants to help raise money for local children’s charities while training for the Dunn Tire Mountain Goat Run in Syracuse in May.

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Friends of Poke-O seek funds for Ranger Trail

Friends of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine have started a fund raiser called, “Sum(m)it Up for Poke-O,” focused on making needed repairs and renovations to the Ranger Trail, a steep, one mile path leading to the top of the mountain located in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest area.

Kicking off the New Year right

It is that time of year again — time to “set New Year’s resolutions,” “get in shape,” “work on the waist line,” “go on a diet,” “start fresh,” whatever you want to call it, most people feel the need to reevaluate their habits in January after all the holiday hoopla is over. Usually diet and exercise habits rank high on the list of “needs improvement.” On Jan. 1 (or maybe Jan. 2), the “hard core dieters” and the “gung-ho gym members” begin their quest. They sweat, grunt, groan, “give up carbs” and step on the scale every day. A month later, most of them find themselves exhausted, sore, injured, hungry, deprived, miserable and frustrated (maybe even a few other adjectives). They may or may not be in better shape or weigh less. If you plan on trying this approach, please reconsider. If you want long lasting success and really want to feel better emotionally and physically, please try this approach…

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LHS junior conducting toy drive for Rescue Mission

Amanda Hebblethwaite was literally woken from a sound sleep one night by a drive to help others. “I woke up in the middle of the night one night and thought about how awful it would be not to be able to have your parents be able to give you gifts for Christmas,” Hebblethwaite said. “The next morning I talked to my mom about it, and she suggested I start a donation drive for some place like the Rescue Mission.” Hebblethwaite ended doing just that. The Liverpool High School junior is conducting a toy drive for the Rescue Mission, collecting new and gently used toys for children in need.

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Zoo to welcome original ‘Wild Kingdom’ host Jim Fowler Oct. 3

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will host, “Twilight at the Zoo Special Edition: A Life in the Wild with Jim Fowler.” The evening lecture begins at 6:30 p.m., and is sponsored by Mutual of Omaha.

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LBE students plant Pinwheels for Peace

In a world where the drums of war seem to beat louder every day, peace seems like a far-off dream. But at Long Branch Elementary in Liverpool, students made it clear it’s a dream worth reaching for. Students observed International Day of Peace Monday, Sept. 23 (the actual date was Saturday, Sept. 21), by planting hundreds of pinwheels on the school’s front lawn in the shape of a giant peace sign as part of Pinwheels for Peace, an international art installation project started by two art teachers in Florida. The LBE project was guided by art teacher Jennifer Matott, who learned about the effort from its website, pinwheelsforpeace.com.

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