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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

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. 
 

2 dead, 5 injured in series of Sunday shootings

Monday, 30 December 2013 03:57 Published in Local News
   Two people are dead and five others injured after a series of shootings in North St. Louis Sunday afternoon.
   St. Louis Police say 32 year old Robert Parker and two other people had been sitting in car in the 4000 block of Peck Avenue around 1:45 p.m., when someone in a dark sedan pulled alongside and began shooting.  Parker was killed.  A 24 year old man is in critical and unstable condition with a gunshot wounds to the head and back.  A 24 year old woman was grazed by a bullet.  
   Police say a stray bullet struck 51 year old Clara Walker inside her apartment.  She was also killed.   
   About 15 minutes later, one person was wounded in second shooting at Interstate 70 and Kingshighway.
   Moments later, a third shooting injured two in the 5300 block of North Euclid.  
   Police say they don't believe the incidents are related, but are still investigating all three.

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