Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman/TNS

Idaho police department pulls the plug on divisive autism awareness patrol car

Health / Lifestyles /

The Caldwell, Idaho, Police Department abandoned an idea to unveil a new autism awareness patrol car at the Dec. 2 Treasure Valley Night Light Parade, just four days after announcing it.

“We want to respect the autism community and the symbols used to represent them,” said Char Jackson, spokesperson for the city of Caldwell, in a news ...Read more

National Drought Mitigation Center/University of Nebraska-Lincoln/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Celebrating the All-Stars of the Drought

Health / Lifestyles /

Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday my area was fluctuating with a 78 to 90-plus percentage chance of rain. Indeed, it was overcast and dreary with mist over the three-day period. But there were no drought relieving downpours at The Garden Guy’s house.

With rains being almost nonexistent for much of my region this past summer, many of us have ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How do these atheists work out 'how to be a good human'? It starts with an unexpected adventure

Health / Lifestyles /

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — In the cold dark of a November night, beneath the jagged cliffs of Zion National Park, Dani Hsia posed a question that mystics and religious thinkers have pondered for millenniums.

"Why are we here?" she asked, a headlamp illuminating her handwritten notes as the first stars began to emerge in the sky. "Why are any...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Steve Lopez: The five keys to a long and healthy life? Check out this 'Blue Zone' community

Health / Lifestyles /

In Loma Linda, California, the other day, 85-year-old Loida Medina played a couple of hours of take-no-prisoners pickleball (she's got a wicked backhand), while Glenn and Jodee Nichols, 94 and 78, went to the gym for a workout.

These sorts of activities are the norm in this region of San Bernardino County, particularly among the several ...Read more

Ask Anna: Post-breakup family dynamics -- and ways to deal during the holidays

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Anna,

I'm a 28-year-old guy who recently broke up with my girlfriend (25) of three years. The problem is that during our relationship, she became an integral part of my family, and even after our breakup, my family still considers her to be one of us. With Christmas coming up, my family has extended an invitation to her for the festivities...Read more

Living in my memory: the music of the Christmas season

Health / Lifestyles /

The way I see it, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who experience Christmas music as commercial pap to be avoided and those who queue up Bing Crosby as soon as the last trick-or-treater has left the building

With 21 Christmas playlists and albums on my Spotify, a wide repertoire of Christmas songs in my head and a sheaf of ...Read more

K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

Finding a home: Families get help from Las Vegas nonprofit

Health / Lifestyles /

LAS VEGAS — Upon fleeing an abusive relationship, Victoria Mike and her teenage daughter packed into a 1992 Nissan Maxima they called home for months.

They kept few possessions — clothes and hygienic products — worried about finding low-traffic and well-lit neighborhoods. Their sleep would be disturbed by police who would tell them they ...Read more

Courtesy Steinway/TNS/TNS

Now in Steinway's Hall of Fame, she created her own method for piano students

Health / Lifestyles /

PITTSBURGH — Major symphony orchestras like the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra may pay six-figure salaries, but they are the golden exception and not the rule. The economics of arts careers are tough — most musicians don't earn enough from performing alone to live comfortably.

To make up the gap, some players take on side gigs coding or in ...Read more

Denise Crosby/The Beacon-News/TNS

Column: Father recalls anonymous donation of $50,000 that helped save his son's life: 'Miracles really do occur'

Health / Lifestyles /

When the email came in from Juan Romero asking that I give him a call, I have to admit I did so with some apprehension.

The last time I had spoken with him, in February 2017, the Aurora, Illinois, father was desperate: His then-9-year-old son, Carlos, was battling a rare and deadly bone cancer that tends to hit children and young adults. And he...Read more

Eq Roy/Dreamstime/TNS

Erika Ettin: Is minding the gap just for subways?

Health / Lifestyles /

Whether you’ve been to London or not, you’re probably familiar with the phrase commonly associated with the city’s underground subway system: “Mind the gap.” While you should absolutely be careful about the void between the train and the platform, minding the gap is much less of a worry when it comes to ages and dating.

During my ...Read more


Lori Borgman: Pie contest judged on taste, crust and Heimlich

Health / Lifestyles /

The pie contest from Thanksgiving would be completely forgotten by now were it not for the Heimlich incident. Nobody actually needed the Heimlich, but that is a minor detail.

It was our second annual pie competition with bakers as young as 10 and as old as, well, let's just say a woman of a certain age since I'm the one telling the story.

Pie ...Read more

Trent Sprague/Chicago Tribune/TNS

South Side gets Christmas lights, cheer at My Block, My Hood, My City holiday celebration: 'It's inspiring hope'

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO -- Before the lights strung upon a 20-foot Christmas tree off South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive began to shine, Jahmal Cole had a message for the crowd at My Block, My Hood, My City’s holiday celebration.

There are always decorations up on the roads of neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater and Greek Town, Cole said. But such ...Read more


Biting, kicking, hurling blocks. Preschools struggle with California law limiting expulsion

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- Kristin Hills is at her wits' end with how to handle the chaos in her preschool classrooms.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, behavior among the children at the state preschools she oversees in Mendocino County has gotten out of hand. Biting has become more frequent among the 3-year-olds. Hitting and kicking is commonplace. A few ...Read more


Ex-etiquette: Ex wants her back at the holidays

Health / Lifestyles /

Q. My ex cheated and broke up our family, which we worked hard to blend for more than 20 years. By the time I left, I was pretty disgusted with his antics. My ex was awful during the breakup and made our adult children choose with whom they would spend Christmas. This holiday is different. He is texting me things like, “I want you in my life ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Chicago high schooler among 6 area activists who will give young people a voice at global climate summit in Dubai

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO — Danica Sun, 17, recalls the first moment she felt the call to do something for the environment was a bit cliché: As an elementary school kid, she was unnerved by one of the many viral photos of bedraggled, emaciated polar bears floating on melting slabs of ice.

But the issue really hit home a few years later when she was working on...Read more


The Kid Whisperer: How to curb tardiness with middle school students

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Kid Whisperer: I have a seventh-grade student who saunters into class at least 5 minutes late every day. I actually have him for two different classes. It just drives me crazy. No matter what I say or even how angry I get, he doesn’t show up on time. Before you ask, there is no reason for his tardiness. His last class is 10 feet from mine...Read more

Anthony Amini/TNS/TNS

Jerry Zezima: Withering heights

Health / Lifestyles /

All my life, I thought I would end up in the gutter. And last week it almost happened. So it’s a good thing I have gutter guards.

I got them because leaves, twigs and acorns had clogged the gutters so much that there was barely room for my mind, which was in there too.

When my wife, Sue, and I moved into our house 25 years ago, the gutters ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

He died training for LA teen crisis hotline. His parents want all to know the number

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- Among the first things 16-year-old Donald "Trey" Brown III picked up while training at Teen Line in the spring was how to ask another child if they were contemplating suicide.

This question is crucial, counselors at the youth-run crisis hotline say. Asking it directly saves lives, by naming the intense and often unspeakable ...Read more


When your world feels out of control, can forest therapy help?

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- It was a particularly chaotic time. As the war in the Middle East raged on, sparking relentless and horrific news headlines, a family member unexpectedly landed in the hospital here in California. Visits to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, doomscrolling and sleepless nights left me drained.

Perhaps that’s why an invitation to ...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Program to teach tourism workers language skills expands

Health / Lifestyles /

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Graduates of a pilot program to teach English to hospitality workers in Orange County are raving about the impact of the lessons on their lives and jobs, encouraging supporters to offer the classes to businesses outside the tourist district.

Multilingual teachers will work next year not only with hospitality workers at hotels ...Read more