Combatting Cold and Flu Season

Hydration is a key part of recovering from nearly any illness, and warm drinks like tea can help relieve a cough or sore throat….

(Family Features) When temperatures drop, the risk for illness, such as colds and the flu, rises. Each year, millions of Americans suffer from symptoms ranging from coughing, sneezing and congestion to aches, fevers and vomiting that can leave them feeling less than 100 percent.

While you may not be able to avoid illness entirely, you can take steps to protect yourself from the common cold and more serious bugs like the flu.

This cold and flu season, keep essentials on-hand from thermometers that can help you diagnose a fever quickly to humidifiers and heated blankets that can potentially help shorten your recovery time.

If cold or flu viruses happen to strike you or a family member this winter, it’s important to consult a medical professional with any health-related questions. Find more tips for fighting illness at

Easy, Accurate Temperature Readings

Many parents place speed, accuracy and ease-of-use at the top of their list when choosing the ideal thermometer. Consider the Vicks RapidRead Digital Thermometer, which consistently delivers a professionally accurate temperature reading in Fahrenheit or Celsius in only two seconds. To help interpret fever, the Precision InSight feature provides site-specific, color-coded guidance, since temperatures register differently between oral, rectal or underarm readings. Find more information at

A Warm, Comfortable Night’s Sleep

Sleep is essential for letting your body recover, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. A heated blanket or mattress pad can provide natural pain relief and help to relax sore muscles, ease tension, promote blood flow and increase body temperature to help fight fevers that often accompany colds and the flu. Often washer- and dryer-safe, featuring variable temperature settings and available in a variety of sizes to fit nearly any bed, a heated blanket can help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Combat Dry Winter Air

The cold, dry winter air is an ideal breeding ground for the flu virus. However, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, help fight cold and flu symptoms and aid in preventing dryness and irritation in many body parts, such as skin, nose, throats and lips. Available with a multitude of tank sizes and features to fit nearly any room in your home, some humidifiers even offer smart functions, rotating mist nozzles, programmable timers and automatic shut-off when they run out of water.

Reduce Airborne Germs

As the flu virus can survive for up to 48 hours outside of the body, good personal hygiene can play an important role in preventing the spread of germs. One way to do so is by coughing or sneezing into facial tissues, which can help reduce the amount of germs released back into the air. There are even antibacterial, aloe vera and eucalyptus varieties available, which offer added cold and flu fighting benefits while helping prevent dry skin from the excess nose blowing that often accompanies illnesses.

Warm Up with a Hydrating Beverage

Hydration is a key part of recovering from nearly any illness, and warm drinks like tea can help relieve a cough or sore throat by simulating salivation and secretions, which can help soothe and lubricate your throat. Having a high-quality tea pot on-hand that alerts you when your hot water is ready can ensure relief from a warm beverage is never more than a few minutes away.


BVHS Weekend Column: Contact Dermatitis on the Hands

…reduce the risk of contact dermatitis on the hands.

Contact Dermatitis on the Handsby Kelly Koenig, MD, FAAD , Blanchard Valley Medical Associates – Dermatology

Kelly Koenig, Dermatology Resident

Many people suffer from various rashes to their hands. We use our hands in countless ways throughout the day, so itchy, painful and sometimes blistering or cracked skin on our hands can have a huge impact on our daily activities. Fortunately, there are solutions.

Hand dermatitis can have several causes. For instance, some individuals suffer from ongoing chronic issues related to an existing skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. During the winter months with lower humidity, these conditions often worsen. Most commonly, however, newly onset dry skin on the hands is classified as “irritant contact dermatitis.” This condition can result in dry, cracked, painful skin anywhere on the body but is commonly found on the hands due to frequent washing and exposure to various chemicals in our environment.

Overly dry skin on the hands can result from the overuse of harsh soaps and cleaning agents, frequent hand-washing, dry heat and low humidity in the air, or lack of moisturizing to help repair the skin barrier after these insults. Washing hands with mild, moisturizing and non-foaming cleansers is one measure to reduce the risk of contact dermatitis on the hands. Additionally, using hand sanitizers, which are less irritating that soap and water, throughout the day when the hands are not visibly soiled and moisturizing the hands with a heavy emollient cream or ointment that is fragrance-free immediately after they become wet may also help. White petrolatum (plain Vaseline), CeraVe cream, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, Aquaphor, Vanicream, Eucerin cream and other similar products are favorable moisturizing options.

Less commonly, individuals can be affected by “allergic contact dermatitis.” This results when an allergen or chemical in the environment comes in contact with the skin and causes itchy, red, raised and sometimes blistering rashes that appear two to seven days or more after exposure. A common example of this type of reaction is poison ivy.

Many chemicals can also cause allergy including fragrances, metals such as nickel, gold and cobalt, preservatives such as formaldehyde, quaternium-15 and MI/MCI, or topical antibiotics such as neomycin and bacitracin. Because these reactions typically occur several days after exposure, it can be difficult to correlate and decipher the actual cause. If the hands do not improve by using gentle soaps and moisturizers listed above, then further allergy testing such as “patch testing” can be completed to help identify any chemical source contributing to the problem.

Overall, for dry, itchy skin, using mild and fragrance-free cleansers, hand sanitizers when appropriate and moisturizing immediately after washing and throughout the day can help reduce irritation. Prescription cortisone creams can also provide relief for extreme cases, and ultimately further testing is sometimes required. A board-certified dermatologist can provide guidance if despite these measures, individuals continue to experience severe contact dermatitis.  

NWSD “The District” Board Meeting Update – Jan 2019

Serving approximately 19,800 water and sewer customers in Wood, Hancock & Sandusky counties. 

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, – The Northwestern Water and Sewer District’s Board of Trustees approved officers for 2019 and selected a consulting firm to conduct a District-wide rate study at the Thursday, January 10 Board of Trustees meeting.

Mark Sheffer was reelected to serve as Board Chairman.  This will be his fourth consecutive year as chairman.  Mr. Sheffer resides in Weston and serves as a municipal appointment. His current board term will expire in December 2021.

Steve Arnold was elected to serve as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  Mr. Arnold lives in Bloom Township and serves as a township appointee. His term expires in December 2021.

Melinda Kale was elected to serve as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees.  Kale is a resident of Rudolph, Ohio, and is a township appointee whose term expires in 2020.

The board also adopted a resolution selecting the consulting firm of Raftelis, who have partnered with Greeley and Hansen and Jones & Henry Engineers, LTD., to provide services to conduct a comprehensive rate study.  The study will begin later this month and is scheduled to be completed by late 2019.

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District’s board members are appointed three each by the townships, municipalities, and Wood County Commissioners. They serve approximately 19,800 water and sewer customers in Wood, Hancock & Sandusky counties.

With over $230 million in assets, The District maintains over 440 miles of water distribution pipe, 8 water towers and over 3,800 fire hydrants.  Sewer maintenance includes 355 miles of collection pipe, 12 wastewater treatment facilities and over 5,000 manholes.

NB Schools Increase Safety Alert Communications

NB finding additional ways to bring peace of mind for parents and teachers in its district.

North Baltimore Schools Implement Product to Help Increase School Safety and Communication

January 15, 2019 – As schools across the country grapple with finding ways to keep students and teachers safe during the school day, one Wood county school is committed to finding additional ways to bring peace of mind for parents and teachers in its district.

Superintendent Ryan Delaney of North Baltimore Local Schools is partnering with the DriveMind Group of North Canton, Ohio, a school safety consultant, to implement a new communication product that will help to increase the safe operations of the school district.

The district has implemented the ‘Alertus’ program, available through DriveMind, to help with safety and communications efforts in an emergency. Delaney says the program is making a difference.

Communicating quickly with students, teachers and parents in the time of an emergency is vital. Alertus is an emergency response communication system that ensures everyone can receive critical information, regardless of where they are and what they’re doing, during an emergency. Notifications can be sent through traditional means of phone paging systems, email notification and text messages, but can also include pushing emergency messages to digital signage, desktop computers, PA systems, and fire alarm panels using equipment that the school already owns – something that is not available with many other products on the market.

After reviewing other systems for North Baltimore, Delaney chose Alertus for his district. “We knew it was important to be proactive in our communication approach. Families expect that we will communicate with them quickly in a crisis, and Alertus helps us to do that more effectively. And working with an industry leader, like DriveMind, helps us to implement it seamlessly into our current systems.”

Because school safety is so important, DriveMind has made it a focus of their business. In addition to schoolSAFEid and Alertus, DriveMind Group is also known for its promotion of the Bolo Stick door barricade system, a lockdown device can be deployed under the most stressful of situations, and by anyone at any age. From building safety to curriculum enhancement, DriveMind prides itself on recommending solutions that can empower and protect school leadership, teachers and students.

For more information, visit or call 330.614.7902.

NB Custom Cut Meats & Cheeses

We cut it FRESH – just tell us what you want!


From the farm to the freezer –
We’ll cut whatever you want!

Steaks – Chops or Roasts
Cut to your order!
Just tell us what you want & we’ll cut it FRESH!!

8 oz. USDA Choice
N. Y. Strip Steak
$5.00 each
Cut to YOUR order!

Ground Fresh DAILY!
85% LEAN Ground Beef
– $4.79# –

USDA Choice English Roast – $5.49
Beef CUBE Steaks – $4.99#

Ground Beef Patties

85% lean
3 to a pound / 4 to a pound

Boneless Pork Chops – $3.99#
Pork Cutlets – $3.99#
Asstd. Bone-In Pork Chops – $3.99#

Chicken Salad – $5.99#

Old Style Bologna – Reg – $5.49
                                         Garlic – $5.69

All NATURAL Boneless Chicken Breasts – $2.89

Walnut Creek Home Style Noodles
Thin – Medium – Wide

Walnut Creek Deil Cheeses
Swiss – Colby – Pepper Jack – C0Jack

Walnut Creek Natural Casing Hot Dogs – $5.99

Deer Processing
Tag & Deposit Required

We accept:

Credit – Debit – EBT

Residents Impacted by Government Shutdown, Call 2-1-1

Simply dial two, one, one to get connected to a resource specialist.

United Way of Greater Toledo (UWGT) encourages individuals who are employees of the federal government, or utilize government benefit programs, to call United Way 2-1-1 if the partial government shutdown is impacting their personal finances or ability to purchase food or clothing.

United Way 2-1-1 is a free, 24/7, 365-day health and human service resource available to all individuals UWGT serves across Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County.

Simply dial two, one, one to get connected to a resource specialist. Residents can also instant message 2-1-1 online at

Ohio Star Quilters of Findlay to Meet

Anyone interested in quilting is welcome to attend.

Ohio Star Quilters of Findlay will meet on Monday, January 28, 9:30 am in Findlay at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1701 Tiffin Avenue.  

The day begins with the business meeting followed by Show and Tell.

Anyone interested in quilting is welcome to attend.  

Questions regarding the Ohio Star Quilters Club may be directed to Tina Wood at 419-348-4247.  


2 HR Delay in NB Wednesday

Roads – sidewalks and other stuff outside are getting a layer of freezing precipitation!

Winter is back – get used to it!

Two-hour DELAY for North Baltimore Local Schools!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Roads – sidewalks and other stuff outside are getting a layer of freezing precipitation!

Take Charge of Your Child’s Vision Health

Regular eye exams very important as child’s eyes develop rapidly…

(Family Features) Although many children receive a vision screening at school or by their pediatricians, those evaluations aren’t enough to identify vision issues and manage overall vision health. Parents who take a proactive role in their child’s vision health can help identify and correct problems before they impact everyday life.

One common issue affecting children is myopia. Better known as nearsightedness, myopia is a condition in which close-up objects appear clear but, at a distance, everything becomes blurry and out of focus. If untreated, over time it can put the eyes at risk for serious vision-threatening conditions including retinal detachment, early cataract development, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

There can be significant short-term impacts, too. Nearly 50 percent of children with myopia experience difficulty in the classroom, and 41 percent of parents with myopic children claim their children struggle with everyday activities, according to a study conducted by MetrixLab on behalf of Essilor of America. However, recognizing those struggles as myopia isn’t always easy. Only 41 percent of parents in the study recognized their children were suffering from myopia.

If your child is suffering from myopia, look for symptoms such as squinting to see distant objects, like the board in the classroom; sitting too close to the TV or holding books and tablets close when reading; and experiencing eyestrain or headaches.

In addition to monitoring symptoms, you can also take proactive steps to protect your child’s vision health with these tips from Dr. Millicent Knight, a mother, optometrist and senior vice president of customer development for Essilor of America.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam: Regular comprehensive eye exams are particularly important during childhood when eyes are developing rapidly. The American Optometric Association recommends a first eye examination at 6-12 months of age, at least once between ages 3-5 then at least annually between ages 6-18.

Monitor screen time: While technology can be a great tool for learning, all that screen time can lead to digital eyestrain, resulting in tired eyes, headaches, itchy eyes, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. To help reduce eyestrain, have children take periodic breaks while using devices and remember to strike a balance between screen time and outdoor time, as studies have shown that kids who play outside may be at a reduced risk of developing vision issues.

Protect eyes from the sun: Parents tend to remember sunscreen when children are outdoors, but they sometimes forget eyes are just as important. Children are at heightened risk for retinal damage when outdoors because their pupils, compared to adults, are larger outdoors and the lens inside the eye is clearer, which enables more harmful blue light from the sun to enter into the eye. Encourage kids to stay inside during the sun’s peak hours, and when they do go outside, have them wear sunglasses with both blue light protection and UV protection that blocks UVA and UVB rays.

For more information on myopia and to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an eyecare professional, visit

Essilor of America

Hug More, Stress Less

Hugs increase serotonin, which is the body’s natural antidepressant

(Family Features) Whether circumstances are good or bad, exciting or stressful, there are several simple ways to improve emotional and mental fitness.

As one example, sharing a hug with a loved one has been found to boost immune system responses, help fight disease and increase overall health, according to an article published by “The Guardian.” Hugs increase serotonin, which is the body’s natural antidepressant, can be a natural sleep aid and help reduce stress and anxiety.

However, according to the article, hugs are on the decline. Among the reasons for this decline in hugging are busy schedules and the prevalence of technology extending the workday into time spent at home. It can be hard to focus on personal connections when work follows you home in your pocket. At times, it seems there are stronger connections to mobile devices than family members sitting in the same room.

There is a simple solution, though. In honor of National Hug Day, you can get back to showing love through the simple act of hugging.

With the help of its mascot, Seymore Good, Tree Top encourages everyone to “squeeze the day” and acknowledge goodness in others by sharing a meaningful, honest hug. The grower-owned fruit cooperative that uses simple ingredients and real fruit also introduced innovative clear apple sauce pouches that let parents “See the Good” in what their kids are eating before they eat it.

In the spirit of reducing stress and giving meaningful, memorable hugs, consider these tips:

Keep it real. Avoid superficial hugs or giving a hug just out of habit. Instead, try focusing on the hug and giving it with purpose, as an expression of friendship. Squeeze hard, but not too hard.

Take a breath. Once you are in the hug, pause for a moment and breathe. Just one breath. This is where you have the chance to squeeze a little longer. Go ahead and be a little vulnerable. In the moment, remember who you are hugging and why you are hugging him or her. This is a moment when the healing power of the hug can shine through, and a hug or squeeze is a sign of affection and trust.

Let it go. Be sensitive to the movements of the person you are hugging and be willing to be the first to let go. Leave the embrace with a smile on your face, even in the hardest moments of life. Always let the person you are letting go of know you are happy.

Visit for more information.

Tree Top

BVHS Weekend Column: Acne and Post-acne Treatments

Facial services are an option for every age and skin type….

Acne and Post-acne Treatments, by Mary Beth Brown, APRN, Beyond MedSpa

Acne and post-acne scarring can be troublesome for teens and adults of all ages regardless of gender. Active acne can be influenced by certain medical conditions or as a result of individual processes. These may include excess oil production, bacteria and/or hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells. It may also be influenced by excess activity of androgen hormones that are produced by both males and females.

Mary Beth Brown, APRN

Risk factors for acne development include age, hormonal changes, family history, stress, oily substances that encounter the skin, and/or friction or pressure to the skin such as with cellphones and hats. Unfortunately, active acne can lead to post-acne scarring and/or hyperpigmentation. Because acne and post-acne scarring can be damaging to our skin as well as self-esteem, there are an array of treatments available.

Facial services are an option for every age and skin type. There are many facial options that include cleansing with extraction of blemishes if needed as well as steam exfoliation, which is an important step in preventing acne lesions. Toner application to restore skin’s natural pH level as well as application of medical grade skin care products that are specific to skin needs are also viable treatments. These methods treat and help prevent new blemishes from forming.

Chemical peels are available in different strengths and types that are chosen by trained professionals and include agents such as alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids as well as retinol compounds to exfoliate and brighten skin. Exfoliation and brightening occur through the processes of cell renewal and collagen production, which are vital elements in preventing active acne outbreak as well as managing post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Microneedling is a valuable tool in treatment of post-acne scarring through the process of penetrating the skin with tiny sterile needles. This technology promotes the skin’s natural healing response by stimulating collagen production and by destroying keratinocytes (which layer to produce the outer surface of skin). Keratinocytes contain melanin, which is responsible for pigment in skin. Therefore, microneedling can effectively treat surface post-acne hyperpigmentation through cell renewal and skin turnover.

Laser services are an effective way to manage post-acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. It is also useful to encourage skin cell turnover, which can prevent further active acne lesions from forming. This includes treatments such as Clearlift and Photofacial that leave the skin’s surface intact while treating tissue underneath. Skin-resurfacing laser treatments, also known as “mini peel or weekend peel,” are also helpful in the treatment of acne.

Acne and post-acne scarring can be bothersome to people of all ages. There are many effective treatment options available to heal skin and help erase post-acne hyperpigmentation. Speak with a dermatologist or medspa physician for more information.

Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty – What Percent of my Benefit will my Spouse Get?

Social Security Matters
by AMAC Certified Social Security Advisor Russell Gloor
Association of Mature American Citizens

Ask Rusty – What Percent of my Benefit will my Spouse Get?

Dear Rusty: I have heard many different answers on this but there are so many scenarios I can’t seem to find an answer to mine. My wife and I were both born in 1959 and we both turn 60 next year. Both of us will be eligible for Social Security based on our work records to date, but my SS benefit is much larger than hers. Scenario: Say we both retire from work at 60. For simplicity let’s say neither of us works in retirement, my wife claims Social Security at age 62 and I claim at my full retirement age of 66 plus 10 months. What will her spousal benefit be, as a percentage of my benefit, when she starts receiving it when I claim at my full retirement age? Signed: Planning Ahead
Dear Planning: A spouse claiming benefits at full retirement age (FRA) can get 50% of the higher earning spouse’s FRA benefit, if that amount is more than she is entitled to on her own record. But if your wife claims her own Social Security retirement benefit early at age 62, her spousal benefit will be reduced even if it starts at her full retirement age. The reason is that her total spousal benefit will be the sum of her own age 62 benefit plus a “spousal boost” computed from both of your FRA benefit amounts – the spousal boost will be the difference between your wife’s own FRA benefit amount and ½ of your FRA benefit amount.
Let’s use an example: if your wife’s Social Security benefit at her full retirement age is $1000 and your benefit at your full retirement age is $2400, your wife’s spousal boost would be $200 ($1200 minus $1000). If your wife has reached her FRA when you claim benefits that amount would be added to her reduced age 62 benefit of $708 (70.8% of her FRA benefit amount), which would make your wife’s total spousal benefit amount $908 ($708 plus the $200 spousal boost).
So, in this example, your wife’s total benefit would be about 38% of your FRA benefit amount, rather than the 50% she would get by waiting until her full retirement age to apply for both benefits. You can apply that same formula using your currently estimated FRA benefit amounts as provided by Social Security to arrive at a more precise percentage, but it will be somewhere in the 38% range, reduced from 50% because she is taking her own Social Security retirement benefit at age 62.
Of course, your wife’s own full retirement age benefit must be less than 50% of your FRA benefit for her to even be eligible for a spousal benefit. And, since you were both born in 1959, if you both claim benefits some months before your wife has reached her full retirement age, her “spousal boost” amount will be actuarially reduced according to the number of months before she reaches FRA that you claim. The only way your wife can get the full 50% of your FRA benefit amount is by waiting until she has reached her full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits.
This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation’s staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website ( or email us at