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Nine-year-old continues search for bone marrow donor


PEORIA (WEEK) – Last month, Heart of Illinois ABC was introduced to a brave 9-year-old who is searching for a bone marrow match.

Oskar suffers from aplastic anemia… A rare condition where bone marrow doesn’t produce enough new blood cells. Saturday, Oskar’s family teamed up with ‘Be The Match Peoria’ to find a bone marrow donor for Oskar. At the event, it was as easy as stopping by and swabbing spit to see if you could help Oskar.

Oskar’s grandfather, Donald Bell, is hopeful for a match, so Oskar can get back to being a kid again.

“He’s a St. Jude patient. He gets blood transfusion, chemotherapy, stuff like that. So, if we can find him a match, hopefully we won’t have to do that anymore and he can get out and play and fish and canoe like little kids should be doing out there,” Bell said.

If you didn’t make the event, you can still help. Just text ‘Team Oskar’ to 61474. Be The Match will contact you and send you a swab kit to find out if you could be the match for Oskar. Since Be The Match is a global effort, if you don’t match with Oskar, you could match with someone else in need.

The post Nine-year-old continues search for bone marrow donor appeared first on WEEK.

How much of Missouri is experiencing drought conditions


Nearly one-third of Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer, giving them first-hand experience into a future of extreme hurricanes, wildfires, storms, and floods caused by global climate change. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA both show rapid warming in the 21st century, with the past decade being the hottest on record. According to The Washington Post, the cost of responding to these weather disasters is more than $81 billion per year.

Among those disasters were several significant, costly, and deadly droughts. Droughts are among the most destructive forces in nature—only hurricanes are more economically damaging to the United States. Destroyed crops ripple through the economy, with animal feed prices increasing, which can indirectly raise the price of meats and animal products like milk and cheese. The annual losses due to drought are near $9 billion per year. Droughts also contribute to wildfires, increasing the likelihood of ignition and making them more extreme when they do happen.

Stacker ranked each state and Washington D.C., based on the average percentage of the state land that experienced drought conditions in the 20-year period from 2000 to March 2021, using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM). The USDM categories drought conditions using a five point scale ranging from “abnormally dry,” indicating some short-term crop dryness or a lingering water deficit, to “exceptional drought,” a serious condition involving a water emergency that leads to widespread crop/pasture losses.

Missouri by the numbers

– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 22,264 sq. mi. (31.9% of land area); 1,835,512 people (30.6% of population)
— Moderate drought: 10,948 sq. mi. (15.7% of land area); 886,968 people (14.8% of population)
— Severe drought: 3,964 sq. mi. (5.7% of land area); 294,314 people (4.9% of population)
— Extreme drought: 1,078 sq. mi. (1.5% of land area); 75,282 people (1.3% of population)
— Exceptional drought: 98 sq. mi. (0.1% of land area); 7,703 people (0.1% of population)

As of March 2021, 6% of Missouri was dry, creating problems with crop planting and growth. But from 2000 to 2010, rising temperatures caused an epic drought that depleted the Missouri River—the longest river in the U.S.—to historic lows. Snowpack melt from the Rocky Mountains, which feeds the river, fell to levels so low that the mighty Missouri was lower and drier than it had been in 1,200 years.

The entire national list, including descriptions of the conditions that led to or prevented drought in each state and the events leading up to the state’s change in drought status, can be found here. Continue reading to learn which states experience the worst droughts.

Most drought-ridden states

#1. Arizona
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 87,702 sq. mi. (76.9% of land area); 4,867,057 people (76.1% of population)
#2. Nevada
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 78,717 sq. mi. (71.2% of land area); 1,942,485 people (71.9% of population)
#3. New Mexico
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 84,806 sq. mi. (69.8% of land area); 1,455,107 people (70.7% of population)

Least drought-ridden states

#1. Ohio
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 6,631 sq. mi. (16.1% of land area); 1,815,050 people (15.7% of population)
#2. Alaska
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 95,420 sq. mi. (16.4% of land area); 159,582 people (23.2% of population)
#3. New York
– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 8,721 sq. mi. (18.0% of land area); 4,174,482 people (21.5% of population)

Nation’s first Flip’d by IHOP location opening in Lawrence


LAWRENCE, Kan. — IHOP will open the first location of its new fast casual restaurant concept in Lawrence next week.

Flip’d by IHOP is opening its first-ever location at 4661 Bauer Farm Drive, near 6th Street and Wakarusa Drive. The grand opening is set for Tuesday.

Flip’d will offer IHOP-inspired favorites that are portable and made to order. While there will be dine-in space, the focus will be on people looking for to-go and delivery options.

“Since we originally announced flip’d in 2019, a lot has changed. We wanted to ensure that we were evolving the concept to meet our guests’ needs,” Jay Johns, president of IHOP, said in a news release.

“While we know there is a pent-up demand for a return to dining in restaurants, we anticipate that our delivery and takeout business is here to stay … With flip’d, we can provide that on-the-go fast casual experience, making now the perfect time to bring this concept into the world.”

On the breakfast menu, customers can enjoy pancake bowls, a build-your-own pancake bar, egg combos and sandwiches, and made-to-order burritos and bowls. On the P.M. menu, guests can grab sandwiches, wraps and grab-and-go salads.

IHOP originally announced its Flip’d concept in 2019, but a lot has changed since then, especially for the restaurant industry.

A company spokesperson said another location is in the works for later this year in New York City. IHOP has more plans for 2022 but didn’t mention which markets.

Increased food assistance is here to stay; How much are you eligible for?


TOPEKA, Kan. — Increased food benefits in Kansas are now permanent, according to the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

The department announced this week that residents who receive food assistance will benefit from a permanent increase in the maximum benefit amount beginning Oct. 1.

Some residents that have benefited from the increase, like those at Topeka Rescue Mission, said it’s helped them keep afloat during the pandemic.

“It really has given me independence because before when I didn’t have that access to the SNAP program, it was hard getting food, and now I can get on the bus, and go to Walmart… go to Dillons,” said resident Jamie Chestnut.

Shelly Rothe, who’s also at the mission, said the increase can be a huge help to families and has also given her a wider variety of options to choose from.

“There’s plenty of places out there that accept the EBT card, and it’s very beneficial. You never have to go hungry for any reason,” Rothe said.

According to the department, the change is taking place due to the 2018 Farm Bill that directed the United States Department of Agriculture to re-evaluate the Thrifty Food Plan which is used to calculate benefits for food assistance. Through this year’s adjustment, the maximum allowable allotment increased to $250 for a household of one. The maximum allotment amounts for households the size of two or more also have increased.

Additionally, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service temporarily increased food assistance benefits by 15% from March 2021 through September 2021 due to the national public health emergency. The temporary 15% increase ends Sept. 30 and will be replaced with the new amounts. Taken together, food assistance recipients will see a 10% increase from pre-March 2021 benefit levels.ADVERTISING

The chart shows the Oct. 1 maximum benefits as well as gross income and net income limits for food assistance:

Household Size
October 1, 2021 maximum benefits
October 1, 2021 maximum gross income
October 1, 2021 maximum net income









Each additional person
+ $188
+ $492
+ $379

Other annual adjustments also have been made:

The gross and net income limits have increased this year
The maximum excess shelter deduction is increasing from $569 to $597
The standard utility allowance is increasing from $364 to $392
The limited utility allowance is increasing from $247 to $286
The telephone standard is increasing from $35 to $37
The Standard Medical Deduction remains the same $175

Gabby Petito: NewsNation Special Report


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The country is looking for answers after the death of YouTuber Gabby Petito. Her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, is missing after he was named a person of interest in her disappearance. How did we get here, and what could happen next?

NewsNation’s Marni Hughes, Brian Entin, Rich McHugh and Ashleigh Banfield dug into the case in a one-hour special report. You can watch it in the player above.

NewsNation’s Gabby Petito Coverage

5:19 Brian Entin walks us through the timeline — from Petito and Laundrie’s road trip to the latest developments — in a live report outside the Laundrie family home.

10:20 Marni Hughes remembered Petito’s life and the impact she made on those who never knew her.

11:43 Hughes interviews Maija Polsley, a Petito family friend.

16:57 Rich McHugh investigates the phenomenon taking place on social media as armchair detectives try to piece together the clues.

Gabby Petito case: Timeline of road trip with boyfriend, tragic end

24:40 Entin and former FBI Agent Jennifer Coffindaffer answer your questions about the case, including whether Laundrie is likely still alive and what could be next for his family.

32:11 Callahan Walsh talks about the search for Brian Laundrie. “In Pursuit with John Walsh” airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ID and is streaming on Discovery+. Callahan Walsh is the son of John Walsh, and Callahan’s brother was tragically murdered three decades ago.

36:40 Banfield weighs in on what could be in store for the Laundrie family.

38:52 Why did this case gain the national attention it did as opposed to any other missing persons case? Hughes and Entin discuss.

Stay tuned for NewsNation’s new segment: Missing in America, where we will profile a missing person whose loved ones are hoping for closure.

Here’s how to watch NewsNation on your channel line-up or online.

Federal judge delays vaccine mandate for NYC teachers


New York City schools have been temporarily blocked from enforcing a vaccine mandate for its teachers and other workers by a federal appeals judge just days before it was to take effect.

Workers in the nation’s largest school system were to be required to show vaccination proof starting Monday. But late Friday, a judge for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary injunction sought by a group of teachers pending review by a three-judge panel, which will take up the motion Wednesday.

Department of Education spokesperson Danielle Filson said officials were seeking a speedy resolution in court.

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“We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve,” Filson said in an email.

The New York Post reportedthat the department sent an email to principals Saturday morning saying they “should continue to prepare for the possibility that the vaccine mandate will go into effect later in the week.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that about 148,000 school employees would have to get at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 27. The policy covers teachers, along with other staffers, such as custodians and cafeteria workers.

It’s the first no-test-option vaccination mandate for a broad group of city workers in the nation’s most populous city. And it mirrors a similar statewide mandate for hospital and nursing home workers set to go into effect Monday.

As of Friday, 82% of department employees have been vaccinated, including 88% of teachers.

Even though most school workers have been vaccinated, unions representing New York City principals and teachers warned that could still leave the 1 million-student school system short of as many as 10,000 teachers, along with other staffers.

De Blasio has resisted calls to delay the mandate, insisting the city was ready.

“We’ve been planning all along. We have a lot of substitutes ready,” the Democrat said in a radio interview on Friday. “A lot is going to happen between now and Monday but beyond that, we are ready, even to the tune of, if we need thousands, we have thousands.”

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Residents fed up with monkey noises, racial slurs being played by neighboring home: ‘It’s disgusting’


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Several residents in the Virginia Beach neighborhood of Salem Lakes are fed up with their neighbor after they say he’s taunted them from behind his front door for more than a year.

In the past, Jannique Martinez said her neighbor blasted banjo music so loudly that it would shake her home. And recently, after alerting the police about the music, Martinez said her neighbor has retaliated by playing racial slurs and monkey noises.

“Whenever we would step out of our house, the monkey noises would start,” explained Martinez. “And it’s so racist and it’s disgusting.”

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Martinez, a veteran of the military, recorded some of the audio on her cell phone. She says the noises and slurs continue even when her school-age children are playing outside.

“My son is terrified of him. Terrified, terrified,” Martinez said about her child. “The N-word situation… They came to me and said, ‘Mom, what’s that?’ I didn’t subject my kids to that. I didn’t think they would ever have to learn what this means.”

Her family isn’t the only one feeling harassed by the neighbor’s antics. Other families in the cul-de-sac have songs played while their outside as well.

“He has played music to taunt the entire cul-de-sac,” said Martinez, who explained that her neighbors are antagonized with their own “specific song” as soon as they pull up in their driveways.

In addition to the sounds, neighbors are concerned about the home security cameras on his property.

“We are constantly under surveillance,” Martinez explained. “There are a total of eight cameras that we know of.”

A Virginia Beach police spokeswoman told WAVY that officers have responded to a nine complaints about the neighbor’s activity. Seven of those calls were for nuisance complaints, and another three were in reference to a parking or traffic complaints. So far, there have not been any criminal charges pressed against the neighbor in question.

Police tell WAVY the complaint would have to match certain criteria before the possibility of criminal charges is on the table.

Still, Martinez feels like nothing has been done to make her, or her neighbors, feel safe at their homes.

“I actually felt like… helpless a little bit. Because I’ve gone to the magistrate, I’ve gone to civil court, I’ve talked to a lawyer… I’ve done what I can to do it the right way.”

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Neighbors were told there’s a fine line of when police can actually step in — and having a racial slur played over a recording may not meet that line.

“According to the law, it’s just a statement or a phrase or he’s not doing enough or bodily harm or threats to my family,” said Martinez.

“Why does it have to go that far before something that can be done? People shouldn’t have to live like this. I spent 11 years in the military. My husband is also in the military. We fought for this country, but yet there’s no one to fight for us.”

Independence business puts new spin on laundry, allows customers to wash for free


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Put a new spin on your laundry this weekend by doing it for free.

A new laundromat is making it possible for people who live in Independence.

Clean Laundry opened a new location Thursday near East 23rd Street South and Missouri 291 Highway in Independence.

As a welcome to the neighborhood, Clean Laundry said it’s opening its doors and allowing anyone who stops by to use its washers and dryers for free through Oct. 3.

Read more local, state and national news on FOX4

The company said it has express machines that wash and dry a load of clothes in less than 10-minutes.

The laundromat also offers mobile-pay options and you can monitor your laundry from your cell phone. Clean Laundry also offers free high-speed Wi-Fi, TVs and USB charging stations for customers.

The location will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Oct. 3. After that, the laundromat will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Do I have fall allergies or COVID-19?


DENVER (KDVR/WATE) – Fall is officially here and with it, comes seasonal allergies. From coughing, to sneezing, and even that scratchy throat, how can you tell the difference between your allergies and COVID-19?

The answer might not be as simple as it seems. The easiest way to determine the difference is by getting a COVID-19 test.

According to Dr. Flavia Hoyte, an allergist with National Jewish Health, “Most people who have allergies know what their allergies feel like and when they tend to peak.”

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A fever does not accompany allergies, so if you have one it could be the first sign that you may want to get tested for COVID-19. Experts warn that you can also be sick with COVID-19 and not have a fever, however.

‘Almost identical’ symptoms

As we enter the fall, parents bracing themselves for the usual cold and flu threats now have to be on the look out for COVID-19 and spiking RSV cases in parts of the country.

“It’s really challenging for parents to tell the difference between seasonal allergies, common colds, and potentially the COVID virus and how it’s affecting kids,” East Tennessee Children’s Hospitals Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joe Childs, told WATE. “Symptoms between RSV and other viruses, even COVID, are almost identical.”

Dr. Childs said COVID-19 and RSV case numbers are remaining high, “we’re seeing all these other respiratory viruses we’re used to seeing in the winter right now because over the course of the winter we just didn’t see it. With people being much more separate, no worldwide travel, masks being used a lot more, it just protected us from having that kind of season while we were protecting ourselves against COVID-19.”

Now, the changing of seasons has some people concerned about whether their sniffles are from fall allergies or something more severe.

“As the fall pollen season starts, which is especially weeds that are pollinating right now, if you are especially sensitive avoid being outside as much as possible until your past that pollination period,” Childs said.

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As a first step toward protecting yourself and your children, Childs recommends testing when someone in the immediate family falls ill.

Childs said social distancing, masking, and washing your hands are always the best practices to keeping from getting sick, but if you do come down with a cough, “Anytime a family member is ill with respiratory symptoms, they need to avoid close contact with the very youngest of children.”

He adds that right now is the best time to get your COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t gotten it already, but getting your flu shot can wait. “The protection you want from the flu vaccine, it would be best to wait until it’s closer to when the flu is going to arrive here to get that protection.”

Lastly, he says if you feel sick, your first call should be to your primary care provider. Doctors say when it comes to allergies, antihistamines can be very effective. Monoclonal antibody infusions are also effective for people who find themselves with COVID-19, are at high risk, and older than 12.

Symptoms of allergies

These are the common symptoms of allergies, according to National Jewish Health:

Itchy, watery and/or red eyes
Nasal congestion
Runny nose
Postnasal drip
Itching of the skin

Some allergy symptoms, like nasal congestion or runny nose, also can be symptoms of viral infections such as a cold or COVID-19.

Allergies generally will not affect the lungs, but can trigger asthma in people with allergic asthma. Allergies also typically do not cause a fever or extreme fatigue, according to the National Jewish Health.

Symptoms of COVID-19

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

Dry cough

Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:

Loss of taste or smell,
Nasal congestion,
Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
Sore throat,
Muscle or joint pain,
Different types of skin rash,
Nausea or vomiting,
Chills or dizziness.

Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:

Shortness of breath,
Loss of appetite,
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,
High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are:

Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures),
Sleep disorders,
More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage.

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Tracking coronavirus in the Kansas City region

Who’s eligible for COVID-19 booster shots in Kansas? Here’s how to get your extra dose


TOPEKA, Kan. — Pfizer’s coronavirus booster shots are finally available, after Friday’s CDC approval.

All 2,000 health providers in Kansas are in the clear to start rolling out the booster shots right away.

Dr. Joan Duwve, the state’s Deputy Health Officer, told FOX4’s Kansas Capitol Bureau Friday that this is for people that have received the Pfizer vaccine, and meet the CDC’s eligibility requirements.

“If it’s been six months, and you are in one of those categories, you can go out and get your vaccine, you don’t have to wait.”

The CDC recommended booster shots for people six months after vaccination, in the following groups:

People ages 65 and older
Long term care residents
People ages 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions
People ages 18 to 49 with underlying conditions *should weigh their individual benefits with risks
People working in high exposure occupations (such as prisons and jails, health care workers, teachers, first responders). The list could also include store clerks and anybody who interacts with the public.

Duwve said prior to Friday’s approval, people who were immunocompromised or at “high-risk” of infection received a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as approved by health officials, not “boosters.” She said people under that category who have just received their third dose should wait, or check

“Those who just received their third doses wouldn’t be eligible for a booster shot, and I’m not sure what the recommendations for those individuals is going to be,” Duwve said. “We should know more about that later… and we’ll be sure to provide them with information in the next couple of months.”

Duwve said for those that are eligible, they can start checking in with their local health providers and physicians. Some have appointments right now and others could have it as soon as next week.

For people that have received their vaccines from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, they will have to wait until boosters for each vaccine are approved.

According to the state, eligibility for a booster dose based on an underlying medical condition will only require self-attestation – a prescription or assessment from a health care provider is not required. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most direct path to ending this pandemic.

To find a coronavirus vaccine clinic, click here.

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