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State vs. Local: A Texas Battle for Power in 2015 Session

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – Lawmakers convened at the state capitol in Austin Tuesday, January 13th, for the start of the 2015 legislature. Among the issues expected to be debated in this session is state versus local authority. Governor-elect Greg Abbott has proposed the elimination of what he calls a “patchwork quilt” of city […]

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Maternal Alcohol Use to Impact Thousands of Texas Babies This Year

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – It is completely preventable, but there will be some 40,000 babies born in the United States this year, including around 4,000 in Texas, diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The severity of the health issues related to maternal alcohol use depends on the timing and frequency of consumption, […]

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Dry, Seasoned Wood Means Best Blazes for Heating Home

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – Burning a cleaner fire in that woodstove or fireplace during the winter months is helpful to the health of residents across the state – and also to the state’s climate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A good way to burn the hottest and most efficient fire is to […]

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Back of the Pack: Texas Trails in Tobacco-Prevention Spending

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – The latest report on how well states are funding tobacco prevention and cessation efforts has Texas in the back of the pack, ranked 40th in the nation. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Texas will take in close to $2 billion in tobacco revenue this year, while spending […]

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One Last Indulgence Before  Your New Year’s Resolutions Kick In

(StatePoint) After weeks of yuletide indulgence, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions. Before jumping the gun on a regimen of deprivation, indulge one last time. Forget cronuts, cake pops and cupcakes. There’s another chic pastry that deserves its day — the madeleine! These classic seashell-shaped cakes were named after their creator, Madeline Paulmier, […]

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Foster Care to Adulthood: Smoothing the Transition in Texas

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – Success is being found in efforts to help the hundreds of Texas foster teens who are aging out of the system each year with the often tough transition into adulthood. The Preparation for Adult Living or PAL Program assigns case workers to help foster youth prepare for life on […]

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Tips for Families to Get Healthy this New Year

(StatePoint) New Year’s resolutions often focus on personal improvement. This year experts are encouraging entire families to consider making a pledge to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle. Parents have more potential than anybody else to influence their children’s behavior — including their eating habits — according to a study by the Academy of […]

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Dallas Schools Take Antibiotic-Fed Chicken Off Lunchroom Menus

by John Michaelson/TNS DALLAS – The menu is changing – some say for the better – at some of the nation’s largest schools, as chicken raised with antibiotics is getting the boot. The districts that are moving to “antibiotic-free” chicken are part of the Urban School Food Alliance. Its members include the Dallas Independent School […]

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Unwelcome Holiday Surprises: Fatigue and Family Stress

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – While the holidays are a happy time for many, the stress associated with family obligations and dynamics can be the “lump of coal” in some people’s Christmas stockings. According to the American Psychological Association, fatigue and stress are the top sources of negative feelings during this time of year. […]

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An Addiction Begins: Lottery Tickets as Gifts for Kids

by John Michaelson/TNS AUSTIN, Texas – As the available shopping time left before Christmas quickly slips away, the National Council on Problem Gambling is reminding Texas parents lottery tickets should not end up as stocking stuffers in the last-minute rush for gifts. Psychologist and family therapist Sharon Davern says it may seem like harmless fun, […]

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