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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

IL police working overtime to keep roads safe

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:25 Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State and local police officials will be working overtime during the New Year's holiday to ensure motorists are sober and buckled up.
   The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 250 law enforcement agencies across the state said Monday their aim is to prevent fatal motor crashes and ring in 2014 with a safe start.
   Hundreds of additional hours funded with federal money through IDOT will keep law enforcement officials on the road working overtime with roadside safety checks and seatbelt enforcement zones.
   IDOT crash data show from 2008 through 2012 during the New Year holiday, 38 people died in crashes on public roads. Forty percent of those died in accidents in which at least one driver had been injured.

More than 200 new IL laws take effect Jan. 1

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:18 Published in Local News
   More than 200 new laws will go into effect in Illinois tomorrow, including some new traffic rules.  A new 70 mph interstate speed limit kicks in on January 1.  The law allows high-population counties like Madison and St. Clair to post lower speed limits.  But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that neither county appears to be opting out.
   Also starting tomorrow, it will be illegal to use a hand held cellphone while driving.  Hands-free devices will still be allowed.
   Other laws that take affect at the first of the year will limit police use of drones, ban electronic cigarettes and tanning beds for minors, make tossing a cigarette butt on the ground a Class B misdemeanor, and make it a crime to use GPS to track someone without their permission.
   Controversial new laws on concealed weapons, gay marriage and medical marijuana will take effect later in the year.
 

"Stomach flu" on the rise in St. Louis area

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:09 Published in Health & Fitness
   Doctors say the flu shot has been very affective against this year's H1N1 flu strain.  And since the flu season doesn't peak in St. Louis until February, they're urging those who haven't gotten a flu shot yet to get it now.  
   But another illness is promising to bring misery to local residents.  
   Dr. Mark Levine, a physician in the emergency department of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, tells Fox 2 News that norovirus or "stomach flu" appears to be on the rise in the St. Louis area.
   Dr. Levine says a flu shot won't protect against the norovirus. "Although we call it the stomach flu, it's not the same bug," he said.  "It is a virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, and lots of it."
   Dr. Levine says this time of year is notorious for speading the virus.  ""Everybody's together. Everybody is hugging and kissing for the holidays and for the new year, and sharing all sorts of food.  And that's how all of these things get spread."
   Dr. Levine says norovirus is easily spread in close quarters like offices, schools and nursing homes.  He says the best protection is frequent hand washing, especially after using a restroom and before eating or drinking anything. 
 

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