A program affiliated with Vanderbilt Hospital says Christmas gifts of bicycles and skateboards need to be accompanied by helmets. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt notes that about 135 children die in the U.S. each year in bicycle accidents and 267 thousand are injured.
Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is encouraging residents to spend some time this holiday season helping curb hunger. Simon wants to highlight volunteering time, giving money or donating food to help children, seniors and families access nutritious food while the economy continues to recover.
A spokesman for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus will be the state GOP’s executive director starting in January. Brent Leatherwood of Chattanooga succeeds Adam Nickas, who left the position to run the Tennessee office of the Mississippi-based lobbying firm Capitol Resources. Leatherwood is a former congressional staffer and has worked on several U.S. House and Senate campaigns. He joined the state legislative staff after running Republican Scott DesJarlais' successful campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Representative Lincoln Davis in 2010.
Kentucky's secretary of state is planning to explore whether the state should permit early voting. Alison Lundergan Grimes says she plans to hold meetings statewide next year to discuss whether the Commonwealth should change its election laws to allow early and unexcused absentee voting.
A new study shows drug overdose deaths in Kentucky rose 282 percent between 2000 and 2010. The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center analyzed information from emergency rooms, in-patient hospitalizations and mortality records.
A new guide and smartphone app is now available to help people pinpoint Kentucky tourism hot spots. The Travel and Tourism Department has made its 2013 Kentucky Official Visitor’s Guide available at welcome centers throughout the state, and the Kentucky Historical Society has released its latest installment of its free smartphone app Explore Kentucky History guiding people through historical markers all over the Commonwealth.
Illinois officials are reminding older adults to get ready for the approaching cold weather. The state’s Department on Aging says people should have their furnace checked to make sure it’s in good shape before colder temperatures roll in. They also advise older adults to set their thermostats above 65 degrees. Lowering the thermostat to reduce heating bills carries a risk for older adults, who are more susceptible to hypothermia.
Republican Kentucky State Rep. Sara Beth Gregory will replace former State Sen. David Williams after winning a special election for his southern Kentucky seat. Gregory defeated Democrat Bill Conn by more than a 4 - 1 margin. Gregory was elected last year to represent the 52nd House District and won a second term last month.
Kentucky is joining a national campaign to help end drunken driving deaths and injuries. Governor Steve Beshear launched the HERO Campaign yesterday, encouraging people to drive sober and participate in designated driver programs.
The Tennessee Department of Education is planning a statewide School Safety Summit for next month. Department spokeswoman Kelli Gauthier says the meeting is a result of concerns following last week’s deadly elementary school shooting in Connecticut.