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President Barack Obama approved federal aid for 15 Illinois counties recovering from the deadly tornadoes that struck the state on Nov. 17.

The approval comes just one day after Gov. Pat Quinn submitted the request.

“Just days before Thanksgiving, this is good news for thousands of people in Illinois who have suffered so much,” Quinn said in a statement. “I thank President Obama for his swift approval that will bring much-needed federal relief to those who desperately need it in the wake of these deadly storms. I encourage everyone who suffered damage or loss from the Nov. 17 tornadoes to register for grants and low-interest loans that will help them rebuild their lives.”

At least 24 tornadoes were reported on Nov. 17. The counties that will receive federal assistance are: Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford counties.

Anyone impacted by the Nov. 17 tornadoes should register for the grants and low-interest loans they may be eligible for. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the assistance program, has a toll-free telephone number (1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for hearing and speech impaired) for victims to apply for assistance. Registration can also be done online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

For more information about disaster recovery resources, including shelters and ways to help tornado survivors, visit www.ready.illinois.gov.

November is National Adoption Awareness month. Here in Illinois there are currently more than 3,000 kids up for adoption.

For more information on adoption in Illinois, call:

(800) 572-2390

With holiday gift-giving, come concerns over toy safety for kids.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky joined forces with consumer safety experts to release their 2013 Safe Shopping Guide.

In it, you’ll find lists of household items, food, and toys that were recalled over the last year.

This year’s guide also includes a warning about the risks of shopping online at popular resale sites, where recalled toys and children’s products are still being sold in violation of federal law.

For more information, go to http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/2013_Safe_Shopping_Guide.pdf

Philanthropy expert Lisa Deitlin talked to WGN some tips on helping out the victims of Sunday’s tornadoes.

Plus, she explained how you can make Black Friday a more charitable experience.

Here are some of the websites she talked about:

Toys for Tots www.toysfortots.org

Bidding for Good www.biddingforgood.com

UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts Program  www.InspiredGifts.org

Heifer International www.Heifer.org

JustGive.org   www.JustGive.org

World Vision  www.WorldVision.org

Defenders of Wildlife   www.Defenders.org

Save the Children website www.savethechildren.org

Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog www.samaritanspurse.org

UNICEF catalog http://inspiredgifts.unicefusa.org

The American Red Cross is providing shelter and food to people affected by Sunday’s severe storms and tornadoes.

Two shelters are open in the Chicago area, one in southern Cook County and another in Grundy County. In addition, four more shelters are open in central Illinois where the communities of Washington and Pekin were hit hard. Locations include:

  • New Community Church14801 Lincoln Ave. in Dolton
  • Coal City High School – 655 W. Division St. in Coal City
  • Crossroads United Methodist Church – 1420 N. Main St in Washington
  • Evangelical United Methodist Church – 401 Main St in Washington
  • First United Methodist Church – 154 E. Washington St in East Peoria
  • Avanti’s Dome – 3105 Griffin Avenue in Pekin

A list of open shelters is updated regularly at www.redcross.org/nss.  Available shelters can also be found by downloading the free Red Cross Tornado App which also allows users to monitor weather reports.

Volunteers will also be out early tomorrow morning in emergency response vehicles to give food to families in affected communities.

 

Michelle Baert got the call no parent wants to receive.  An incident at her kid’s elementary school.

Her 6-year-old son Tate’s head had been slammed down to the ground in the school’s playground by another kid.

Tate would spend the next 8 hours in the ER and would be diagnosed with a severe concussion.

Baert and her husband have three boys. And the golden rule in their house is simple: Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Baert put her money where her mouth is. She got on her blog, 45thwardmom.com – a portal to connect with families in her Jefferson Park Neighborhood and, in early October, she started telling everyone about her new, glow in the dark bracelets. She says it’s a show of her stance against bullying.

Some local stores are joining with her, handing them out to kids for free

Michelle Baert she’s one of Chicago’s Very Own.

For more information, go to http://45thwardmom.com/

A company in California is recalling more than 180,000 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products that may be contaminated with E. coli.

Glass Onion Catering is recalling 16 products after reports more than two dozen people got sick eating them.

They all contain fully cooked chicken and ham.

The recalled products were produced between September 23 and November 6, and distributed to stores in eight states but not Illinois.

They are marked with USDA inspection code p34221.

Here’s a full listing of the products involved in the recall:

• 12 oz. packages of “delish pan pacific chop salad”

• 13.4 oz. packages of “delish California style grilled chicken salad”

• 9.9 oz. packages of “delish uncured applewood smoked ham & cheese wrap”

• 10.5 oz. packages of “delish grilled chicken caesar wrap”

• 10.9 oz. packages of “delish southwestern chicken wrap”

• 11.5 oz. packages of “delish greek brand low-calorie grilled chicken wrap”

• 9.9 oz. packages of “delish white chicken club wrap”

• 11.2 oz. packages of “delish asian style chicken wrap”

• 13.4 oz. packages of “atherstone Fine Foods Southwestern Style White Chicken Wrap with Chimichurri Sauce”

• 10.5 oz. packages of “atherstone Fine Foods Asian Style White Chicken Wrap with Mango Vinaigrette”

• 9.9 oz. packages of “atherstone Fine Foods Grilled White Chicken Caesar Wrap with Caesar Dressing”

• 10.7 oz. packages of “super fresh Foods California Grilled Chicken Salad, Low Fat Mendocino Mustard Dressing”

• 10.7 oz. packages of “Lunch Spot Southwestern Style Chicken Wrap, Chile & Lime Dressing”

• 9.2 oz. packages of “super fresh Foods Pan Pacific Chopped Chicken Salad, Ginger Soy Dressing”

• 10.7 oz. plastic containers of “TRADER JOE’S Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken.”

• 11 oz. plastic containers of “TRADER JOSÉ’S MEXICALI SALAD with Chili Lime Chicken.”

 

The Indiana Welcome Center is honoring the 80s classic movie A Christmas Story this holiday season.
Last month, the unveiled a statue of the infamous Triple Dog Dare. It depicts the character Flick sticking his tongue on an icy flag pole at the center.
Now, they are unveiling “A Christmas Story Comes Home Exhibit.”
Speros Batistatos, the CEO and president of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority spoke with WGN Evening News about the exhibit.
For more information, log on to http://www.southshorecva.com/achristmasstory/

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Whether those herbal supplements you’re taking actually work is only half the question.

Now you have to wonder if there are any herbs in them at all.

The New York Times reports recent DNA testing by Canadian researchers shows one out of three herbal supplements tested had no trace of the supplement at all.

Many others were mostly cheap fillers like powdered rice and weeds.

The study looked at 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies.

A nonprofit group that supports herbal supplements says quality control is an issue, but not as bad as in this study.

The findings were published in the journal BMC Medicine.

For more information, go to: www.biomedcentral.com

Most kids are not eating fruit on Halloween, but the candy packed holiday is especially tricky for diabetic children.

An online tool can help parents and kids navigate their way through Halloween while managing diabetes.

The app, an online diabetes calculator, helps balance carbohydrates and insulin.

It creates a printable chart and it’s free by visiting: www.nationwidechildrens.org

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