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Pedestrian fatalities up in states with legal marijuana, study says

A report released Wednesday reveals the number of people being hit and killed by cars is on the rise, specifically in states where it’s now legal to sell marijuana.

In the past several years, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been aggressively targeting the number of pedestrian strikes in the city.

The initiatives seem to be working; the number of people involved in hits is down slightly, but new numbers just out seem to undo that trend.

>> Read more trending news 

In the seven states that have legalized recreational marijuana, pedestrian fatalities went up more than 16 percent in the first six months of 2017, versus the same time period in 2016.

That’s in direct opposition to all other states, which, collectively, saw about a 6 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities in that same time.

The study was performed by the Governor's Highway Safety Association.

They said what they found is cause for concern.

Of course, there are many factors that come into play when a pedestrian is hit, including time of day and walkers being distracted by cellphones.

But MassDOT has been investigating a lot of money in initiatives to protect pedestrians. Media campaigns, grants and programs have all been focused on safety.

And the GHSA said the connection in fatalities with the legalization of recreational marijuana is worth another look, even as Massachusetts approaches sanctioning the sale of pot in July.

Kate Middleton has emotional reunion with midwife who delivered Princess Charlotte

Duchess Catherine had a happy reunion with one of the midwives who reportedly helped deliver both of her children.

>> Duchess Catherine sparks outrage by not wearing black at BAFTAs

On Tuesday, the duchess visited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as a royal patron when she ran into Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who delivered her daughter, Princess Charlotte, and may have even assisted in the delivery of Prince George, according to E! News.

>> Read more trending news 

The duchess received a certificate from Professor Lesley Regan, the president of the college, during her visit and spoke with several nurses about women’s health issues, including the stigma surrounding mental health.

The day wasn’t finished after her visit to the college, as the duchess later received a warm welcome from the Nursing Now campaign. She was taken on a nurse-led tour of St. Thomas’ Hospital, where she met with several nurses and patients at the hospital.

The duchess addressed the crowd to mark the launch of the new campaign during the visit.

She said: “This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses. They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide.

“Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring. I have been struck today by the enormous range of responsibilities that nurses have, not only in providing access to healthcare, but also in terms of providing a holistic approach to caring for our physical and mental health. You also promote good health and disease prevention. In some parts of the world, nurses are perhaps the only qualified healthcare professionals in their communities, so your work is all the more vital.”

She continued: “I would like to congratulate and thanks all nurses everywhere on what you achieve on a daily basis. The difference you make should not go unrecognized.”

The duchess braved the weather for her day out in London, as it was a snowy day. The palace shared a few photos from the snow-covered estate Tuesday.

Clarence House, the official Twitter account for updates on Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, also shared a photo of their snowy view.

Nursing mom says she was kicked out of Walmart after taking stand on breastfeeding

A mother is fighting back after she said she was kicked out of a Walmart for taking a stand on breastfeeding her baby in public.

>> Watch the news report here

Sarah Olson, 22, said she was breastfeeding her 5-month-old daughter inside a Subway restaurant in the Monroe, Washington, Walmart store last Friday.

That’s when she said a Subway manager, someone she knows, asked her to cover up or breastfeed at the back of the store.

“He said if it’s my legal right then he could whip out his penis anywhere,” Olson said.

Shocked by what he allegedly said, Olson took her concerns to a Walmart store manager who later asked her to leave the store.

She recorded part of that conversation on her sister’s cellphone and shared it with KIRO.

“Where I am welcome, breastfeeding is welcome, that is state law,” Olson was heard saying on the recording.

To read the state law about breastfeeding, click here.

>> Read more trending news 

Then we heard the manager saying: “Understood, but if you are going to be a distraction or nuisance to people that work here, that’s going to be an issue.” 

Then Olson went on to say, “That’s not my problem; they can turn their heads like this.” Then the manager was heard saying, “Or we can ask you to leave.”

“I was very frustrated,” Olson said. “I wasn’t trying to make a scene, but he thought I was.”

We went to Walmart to get their side of the story. The manager there said she could not comment on the incident and referred us to their corporate office.

This was the statement sent to KIRO:

“We welcome nursing mothers to breastfeed their child in our stores. We apologize to the customer for her experience and appreciate her bringing this matter to our attention.”

KIRO also talked to the owner of the Subway restaurant inside the Walmart. He said he called Olson to apologize and that he gave the Subway manager a warning and educated him on the state’s breastfeeding policy: Women can’t be discriminated against for breastfeeding in public, and the act is not considered “indecent exposure.”

Olson said she has since gone back to Walmart and Subway.

“Yeah, the next day, actually, because I know my rights. I know what I am allowed to do legally,” Olson said.

5-year-old girl died hours after doctor turned her away for being late

A coroner’s inquest into the 2015 death of a 5-year-old British girl found that the child died just hours after a doctor refused to see her for being a few minutes late to her appointment, according to the BBC.

>> Watch the news report here

Shanice Clark has been searching for answers ever since her daughter, Ellie-May, died from bronchial asthma hours after arriving late to an appointment with Dr. Joanne Rowe and being turned away. On Monday, the coroner ruled that Grange Clinic in Newport, Wales “missed” the opportunity to “provide potentially live-saving treatment” to her child, the New York Post reported.

While the clinic has maintained that it operates under a strict “10-minute rule,” Clark insists she and her daughter were only five minutes late after arranging childcare for her infant and catching a bus. However, she claims she had to wait for a receptionist to finish a phone call and for other patients to be checked in, causing her to miss the 10-minute mark, Sky News reported. A clinic worker later indicated that she was 18 minutes late — something Clark disputes.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the coroner, the occasion was the first time the rule had been imposed in regard to an emergency appointment, and Clark was reportedly told to come back in the morning without the doctor even looking at her daughter’s medical records

“From the evidence before me, it is not possible for me to determine with certainty whether an earlier intervention would have altered the outcome for Ellie, but nonetheless Ellie should have been seen by a [doctor] that day, and she was let down by the failures in the system,” the coroner wrote, according to ITV.

Grange Clinic released a statement in response, saying, “Dr. Rowe knows that nothing can be said to Ellie-May’s family to make a difference, but she would like to say how truly sorry she is.”

The Clark family responded by acknowledging the apology and by expressing disappointment “that a finding of neglect was not reached,” saying in a statement via their lawyer, “The family acknowledge an apology from Dr. Rowe, especially as they have been waiting in excess of three years for an outcome and to receive answers to their questions.”

The coroner will now write a report to the clinic and local health board aimed at addressing the incident and preventing similar tragedies in the future. In the meantime, a spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said it would be “inappropriate to comment whilst we await the coroner’s report.”

Knock, knock! 9-foot gator removed from front doorstep of Florida apartment

Trappers removed a 9-foot-long alligator from the front doorstep of a Cocoa, Florida, apartment complex Monday afternoon. 

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

Cocoa police responded to the apartments around 3:30 p.m. at 1612 University Lane after residents called concerned about the large gator roaming about the complex. 

>> See the Facebook post here

>> On Woman fatally hit by bullet while trying to protect dog from being shot, police say

Police found the gator on the front doorstep of unit 903. 

A gator trapper arrived around 20 minutes after police and removed the gator

>> On Florida woman pays nearly $500 water bill with pennies

According to state wildlife officers, it’s common for gators to roam around during warm weather looking for water. 

If a gator is seen outside its normal habitat, experts advise not to feed it or attempt to go near it. 

>> Read more trending news 

Instead, officials said to call local law enforcement or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service to have the gator removed.

What is the DASH diet? Heart-healthy diet may also reduce risk of depression

People who eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains may experience lower rates of depression over time.

>> Read more trending news

That’s according to new preliminary research published Sunday in the journal American Academy of Neurology, for which scientists examined 964 participants with an average age of 81 for symptoms of depression.

Participants in the study were monitored for symptoms and asked to fill out questionnaires about their eating habits, including how their habits lined up with the traditional Western diet, Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.

>> On 5 signs you should ask your doctor about depression

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a plan developed to lower blood pressure without medication. The research involved in its development was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

According to, the lifestyle meal plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts and beans.

>> Related: People with depression are more likely to use certain words — here’s how they express themselves

With a high concentration of key nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, the diet has been shown to help lower blood pressure, as well as lower the risk of heart disease, bad cholesterol, heart failure, body weight, diabetes, kidney stones and some kinds of cancer.

Now, researchers say the diet can help reduce risk of depression.

"Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke," study author Laurel Cherian said in a news release. "Making a lifestyle change such as changing your diet is often preferred over taking medications, so we wanted to see if diet could be an effective way to reduce the risk of depression." 

>> On What you need to know before starting the keto diet

The participants involved in the study were divided into three groups based on how closely they adhered to the three types of diets. Researchers found those in the two groups that followed the DASH diet most closely were less likely to develop depression than people in the group that did not follow the diet closely.

The people who adhered to the DASH diet most closely were 11 percent less likely to become depressed over time compared to the lowest group, the study found. 

On the other hand, the participants who closely followed a Western diet, which is high in saturated fats and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables, were more likely to develop depression. 

>> Related: Why more US teens are suffering from severe anxiety than ever before — and how parents can help

But Cherian noted that the research shows only an association and does not prove that DASH diets lead to a reduced risk of depression.

"Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains healthy," Cherian said.

>> On Want to try the Mediterranean diet? Study finds it works only for rich people

Cherian and her team will present the research at the American Academy of Neurology's 70th annual meeting in Los Angeles in April.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, and it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Additionally, approximately 800,000 people die of suicide each year — that’s one person every 40 seconds. From 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate in the U.S. rose by 24 percent. Furthermore, according to recent data released Thursday by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled from 2007 to 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

5 tips for keeping a snake-free yard

Forget about "Snakes on a Plane”; we're more concerned with snakes in the yard. Even though snakes are nowhere near as prevalent as our irrational fears would have us think (assuming you don't live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory), if you're a homeowner with a bit of landscape or yard under your direction, you may encounter snakes on occasion.

>> Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches

That should be no biggie, according to experts at the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

"As a general rule, snakes are just as frightened of you as possibly you are of them and often they move as quickly as possible in the other direction," the extension noted. Venomous snake bites are rare and you can readily take steps to treat them. If you're an avid gardener, you may even want snakes in your slice of the great outdoors, since they dine on rodents and insects and can actually help protect you from garden pests.

Not buying it? You can try to keep snakes out of your home life. Just understand that even the best measures are not 100 percent foolproof, according to America's Wetland Resources, which is based in the South.

"There are no magic or absolute solutions," AWR asserted. "There are no poisons or repellents that work, though some new 'breakthrough' is occasionally advertised. Horsehair ropes and trails of mothballs have consistently tested negative, and pest control operators have no answers."

But there are still plenty of valid ways to limit, or possibly eliminate, a slithery presence in your yard, garden or home. Here are five tips from the pros on how to keep snakes out of your yard:

1. Seal crevices. Closer to your home, seal the openings where snakes like to set up house. "Check the clearance of door bottoms, weep holes, openings where pipes enter, cracks and spaces under eaves," AWR recommended. "Don't neglect storerooms and sheds."

AWR added that sealing enough openings to make a difference is much more difficult if you own a raised wooden home.

2. Tidy up the yard. Snakes might choose to live on your property or simply travel through, according to AWR. You want to make your property as inhospitable as possible, so concentrate on ridding it of any places snakes would consider good spots to hide. Remove debris, from piles of boards, tin, sticks and leaves to flat boats on the ground and piles of bricks or stone, AWR advised, and keep vegetation cut back.

3. Stop serving the snake's preferred menu. It's a win-win. When you take away potential hiding places for snakes, the spots where rat and mice families like to congregate are also eliminated. But take this one step further, AWR advised, and take further steps to get rid of the rodents that snakes like to snack on. You may want to involve a pest control agent, but you definitely want to practice anti-rodent hygiene, including not leaving pet food out for more than an hour or so, closing trash cans tightly and securing compost in a sealed container.

4. Combat the climbers. If limbs from a neighbor's yard hang over your fence, snakes may use them as an entry to your place. Consider working with your neighbor to get them trimmed.

5. Consider the snake-proof fence. If you live in an area where one or more venomous snakes are common, you may want to invest in a snake-proof fence, according to NCSU. "Small areas where children play can be protected from all poisonous and most harmless snakes with a snake-proof fence," it noted. "However, the cost of the fence may make it impractical to protect an entire yard."

Make a fence by burying 1/4-inch mesh wire screening 6 inches underground and building it up 30 inches, instructed NCSU.

"It should slant outward at a 30-degree angle from bottom to top. The supporting stakes must be inside the fence and any gates must fit tightly. Tall vegetation must be removed along the fence, both inside and outside."

It's costly, but you can snake-proof the entire yard with a concrete chain wall that extends six inches or so below the surface, noted AWR.

"If you already have a wooden fence and the boards are very close together, a good solution is to snake-proof the bottom."

>> Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

One fairly cheap way is to use 1/4-inch hardware cloth cut in strips wide enough to overlap the bottom of the fence so it can be tacked securely and extend down into a narrow trench six inches deep.

AWR added another word of caution for either snake-proof fence design. (Spoiler alert: It's nightmare inducing.) "Many snakes climb by looping over objects and the above described design may virtually eliminate their entry," it noted. "Others, however, can crawl up vertical surfaces if they are rough, such as the trunk of a tree or a brick wall (including the side of a house)."

To overcome this creepy climbing capability, you can place a foot-wide ledge made of wood or metal flashing along the outer side at the top. "This structure makes the snakes lean out away from the wall and it will lose its grip and fall."

>> Read more trending news 

After all this snake talk, AWR does have one bit of great news. "Snakes are rarely abundant in any one location."

And if all your efforts fail and snakes do make their way into your yard, AWR recommended the ultimate fail-safe.

"The best thing you can do for yourself and family is to teach everyone to respect snakes and to be on the lookout for them," according to the AWR website. "Remember, don't touch it with your hands. Use a shovel to place the snake in a deep bucket with a cover. The chances of your encountering a venomous species is remote, but possible enough to always by careful!"

Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

Do you love sipping teaBeware of the fruity flavors, because they could be bad for your teeth, according to a new report. 

>> On Drink up: Black tea helps you lose weight with gut bacteria

Researchers from King's College London Dental Institute recently conducted a study, published in British Dental Journal, to determine how certain foods and drinks can affect tooth wear. 

To do so, researchers examined a previous study that compared the diet of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear with the diet of 300 people with healthy teeth.

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found that eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, especially between meals, increased teeth erosion risk.

In fact, those who consumed acidic drinks, such as sodas, lemon water and hot flavored teas, twice a day were more than 11 times more likely to develop moderate or severe tooth erosion.

>> On The truth about green tea

Furthermore, scientists discovered that drinking hot beverages and sipping or holding acidic liquids in your mouth before swallowing can increase your chances, too.

While they noted some groups of people, such as wine tasters, are accustomed to swishing liquor around, the habit can still be dangerous. 

“It is well known that an acidic diet is associated with erosive tooth wear, however our study has shown the impact of the way in which acidic food and drinks are consumed,” coauthor Saoirse O’Toole said in a statement

>> On Cancer risk linked to hot tea among smokers, drinkers

Now analysts hope to continue their investigations to create preventative measures to combat the issue. In the meantime, they recommend a change in diet to delay teeth damage. 

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing, it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear,” O’Toole said. “While behaviour change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioural interventions may prove successful.”

Dunkin' Donuts introducing Girl Scout Cookie-flavored coffees

If you like flavored coffee and Girl Scout Cookies, you might be in luck.

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced that by Monday, Feb. 26, it will be selling three new flavored coffees inspired by Girl Scout Cookies.

>> Read more trending news 

Those flavors include Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie. These flavors will not just be limited to standard coffees.

Dunkin’ Donuts said in a Friday press release that iced and hot coffee, lattes, macchiatos, frozen coffee and frozen chocolate can all have Girl Scout Cookie flavors.

People on social media seem pretty excited about the news.

You’ll have to see for yourself if a Dunkin’ Donuts near you will be participating. If so, the coffees will be around through May.

#NationalChiliDay: These are the top 10 chili cities in the U.S.

Where should you celebrate National Chili Day? Cincinnati, of course.

A study by one of the world’s largest chili purveyors shows that residents of cities across the country love this classic comfort food as much or more than their Long Star State counterparts.

The internal analysis, conducted by Wienerschnitzel in honor of National Chili Day on Feb. 22, named the Top 10 Chili Cities in the United States. Residents in these markets eat more chili per person than residents of other cities, have access to more restaurants known for their chili and are more likely to enter or attend a chili cook-off.

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The survey ranked Los Angeles atop the list, followed by Dallas; Phoenix; Houston; San Francisco/Oakland; Chicago; Baton Rouge, La.; Springfield, Mo.; Cincinnati; and San Antonio who is credited with first popularizing chili in the 1890s, rounded out the top 10.

“Despite being the official dish of Texas, chili has grown to become America’s dish,” said Doug Koegeboehn, chief marketing officer for Wienerschnitzel. “At Wienerschnitzel, we’ve known that for years. In fact, we’d like to think that there are really only two types of people in the world: chili lovers and those who still haven’t tasted really great chili yet.”


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Move over, bitcoin. GE researching blockchain technology

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