Health+Harvest

NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board identified the subject of food and health as important subjects for coverage in 2012. Health+Harvest provides for community engagement on health and food issues along with reporting on farm, field and fuel.  From seed to plate, from farmer's markets to GMOs, central Illinoisans need to know how to stay healthy and what they are eating.  In 2013, NPR Illinois joined a consortium of public media in the Harvest Public Media network.  The network provides broader coverage to Midwest food issues.

By examining these local, regional and national issues and their implications with in-depth and unbiased reporting, Health+Harvest fills a critical information void.

Support for Health+Harvest coverage comes from Central Illinois Farm Bureaus and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  If you'd like to support this initiative, please contact Nice Bogdanovich at 217-206-9847.

Presidential campaigns are in high gear with Election Day a week away. At the same time, Facebook stops political ads. And, European countries reinstate curfews and closures as COVID-19 cases spike.

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When Tiffany Qiu heard how much her surgery was going to cost her, she was sure the hospital's financial department had made a mistake. Qiu already knew from a breast cancer scare earlier that year that her plan required a 30% coinsurance payment on operations, so she pressed the person on the phone several times to make sure she had heard correctly: Her coinsurance payment would be only 20% if she had the procedure at Palomar Medical Center in Poway, California, about 38 miles south of where Qiu lives.

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Protests are growing against renewed coronavirus restrictions in Italy, which is seeing a surge in cases. Spain has declared a national state of emergency, and the government is enforcing a curfew.

Throughout her years as a working mother climbing the corporate ladder, Farida Mercedes tried to be home for dinner with her kids. But until recently, she never imagined staying home full time.

"I respect stay-at-home moms. But it wasn't part of my DNA," said Mercedes, who spent almost two decades working for the cosmetics company, L'Oreal. "I love the hustle. I love being hungry and passionate. And I love my children. But I just couldn't see myself out of that."

President Trump has tried to get rid of the Affordable Care Act since the first day of his presidency, but there's one part of Obamacare that he wants to preserve.

"We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions — always," Trump told a campaign crowd on Sunday in Londonderry, N.H. — a message he's shared repeatedly in the final days and weeks before the presidential election.

Eli Lilly & Co. is ending a clinical trial of its antibody drug bamlanivimab in hospitalized COVID-19 patients after federal researchers concluded the therapy produced no marked improvement.

An Orange County brush fire that ignited Monday morning has left two firefighters critically injured, ravaging more than 4,000 acres and forcing the evacuation of about 60,000 residents.

Strong winds gusts up to 70 mph moving up and down California fed the flames of the Silverado Fire in Irvine, which erupted in the Santa Ana Mountains around 6:45 a.m. local time.

Weekend snowfall granted a reprieve against the two largest wildfires in Colorado history, which together have spread over more than 400,000 acres.

But the fires continue to burn. The East Troublesome Fire spread 192,560 acres and jumped the Continental Divide. It is 15% contained.

The nearby Cameron Peak Fire, the largest blaze in state history, is now 64% contained. It has already burned over 208,600 acres.

Colorado is among the states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. In August, the state logged about 2,000 new cases a week. Last week, that number jumped to more than 8,000.

The state's Democratic governor, Jared Polis, warns that the situation could worsen in the coming months.

With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the U.S-Mexico border, are encouraged to stay home for two weeks as a judge imposes a mandatory curfew.

Noting that area hospitals are overrun and the positivity rate of residents has ballooned since the beginning of the month, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he was "left with no choice" but to impose a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

To make ends meet, Martha Tapia works 64 hours a week at two Orange County, Calif., nursing homes. She is one of thousands of certified nursing assistants who perform the intimate and physical work of bathing, dressing and feeding the nation's fragile elderly.

"We do everything for them. Everything you do for yourself, you have to do for the residents," Tapia says.

How The Pandemic May Be Influencing Voters

15 hours ago

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Japan has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, joining a growing list of countries aiming to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

Stay out.

It's what people are being asked to tell each other. Less than 10 days ago, London banned people who live in different households from meeting each other indoors, to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"Nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners' lives," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the London Assembly.

When COVID-19 forced New York City into lockdown in March, Harlem chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson had a choice: stay or go. Born in Ethiopia and raised by adoptive parents in Sweden, Samuelsson says leaving the city during the pandemic "would be the easier way out."

But he decided to stay.

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The Senate looks ready to confirm President Trump's third justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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With Election Day just around the corner, many Americans are on edge. Nearly 70% of respondents said the elections are a significant source of stress, according to a survey out this month from the American Psychological Association.

New regulations and social distancing rules are being introduced across multiple European countries in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus as a second wave of the pandemic accelerates across the continent. Europe reported more than 1.3 million new cases this past week, its highest single week count yet, according to the World Health Organization.

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is shutting off power for approximately 361,000 customers in Northern California on Sunday to help prevent sparking wildfires amid extreme weather conditions. The utility says the shutoffs are affecting customers across 36 counties as weather forecasts predict wind gusts over 70 mph in some areas combined with dry conditions.

Risa Calibuso, 34, wanted to give birth to her second child at home.

In the Philippines, where she lives, that's against the law.

In 2008 the country passed the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition Strategy policy — referred to as the "no home birth" policy. The goal was to reduce the country's high rates of maternal mortality, from 203 out of 100,000 live births that year to 52 by 2015.

It's a controversial law. Despite the good intentions, some local groups assert that it impinges on the rights of women.

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