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  • Chronicle Telegram/Kristin Bauer(LORAIN, Ohio) -- Amy Price was not planning to feed more than 100 kids when she woke up on Wednesday morning.The mother of three from Lorain County, Ohio, was thinking of her eighth-grade son who would be spending the day at home due to schools closing for cold temperatures when she had an idea.“I was happy for my son to have the day off and the kids who didn’t have to walk in the freezing cold, but then I started thinking about the kids who may not eat,” Price, 41, an attorney and real estate agent, told ABC News. “I remember being a child services prosecutor and caseworkers mentioning sometimes that kids may not eat on snow days when they’re home from school.”Price took to Facebook and posted a short message, which she shared on her own page and local community pages.“If you live in the Lorain County area and your kids depend on school-provided breakfast and lunch to be able to eat today and they do not have school please inbox me,” she wrote. “Someone from my company will drop some items off to you. Please feel free to share.”Price thought she would go to the grocery store and buy some meat for sandwiches and chips and fresh fruit to put in lunch bags but the overwhelming response changed her plan.“Some people even contacted me for their neighbors and grandchildren and nieces and nephews,” she said. “They just kept pouring in.”Price received so many messages that she instead called a local McDonald’s and place an order for more than 100 cheeseburgers and French fries.Price, her husband, with their 13-year-old son in tow, and her adult daughter, with her 4-year-old in tow, then hand-delivered the lunches to homes across five cities.“We knocked on every door,” Price said. “Some kids were home alone and were taught well and wouldn’t open the door and we’d leave it there and I know they got it because the parents would private message me with their thanks.“One parent wrote, ‘You would have thought you gave my kid $100 he’s so excited,’” she recalled. “Everyone was just so appreciative and thankful.”Price’s good deed quickly spread through the community. With schools closed for the rest of the week, other community members organized lunch runs for Thursday and Friday.Some people donated money while others came in person to help, often bringing along their own kids who were home from school.Another 100 lunches were delivered on Thursday and Friday, according to Price.Price, a Lorain County native, said she expected on Wednesday to receive about 20 messages. She called it “heartbreaking and heartwarming” to see both the need in the community and how the community stepped in to help.“I’m amazed by how much the community came together and I realized how naive I was to the need,” she said. “This was never my intention but I think it brought a lot of awareness in my community to the need out there.”Around 45 percent of public school students in the state of Ohio are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, according to the most recent figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.Price said the response from people needing help and wanting to donate help fills her with hope that her work for kids can continue.“We’ve talked about possibly keeping donations in reserve for future snow days or doing something more large-scale,” she said. “I hope this will lead to something more permanent.”“The momentum is there,” Price said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- Washington state will allow residents to change the sex on their birth certificates to a nonbinary option called “X.”“Social norms are changing,” state registrar and Center for Health Statistics director Christie Spice told ABC News on Friday. “When a person’s gender designation on their birth certificate doesn’t match how people present themselves, it opens the door to harassment and intimidation.”The new rule, announced Thursday and effective Jan. 27, also removes the need for medical approval from a primary physician for adults who want to change the sex status on their birth certificate.Minors who don't identify male or female and want to change their sex designation still need written consent from a parent or legal guardian and medical input. The difference now is that the list of health care professionals who can approve the change has expanded for minors to include primary physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health counselors, according to the state Department of Health.People interested in changing their sex classification must complete a request, have it notarized and submit it to the health department.Washington state has allowed residents to change their sex designation from male to female and vice versa for the past 10 years, Spice said, adding that the movement toward a third option stemmed largely from changing social norms.“We received a couple of requests from residents but we were already in the process of discussing the new rule,” Spice told ABC News.The Department of Health put the process in motion in August, followed by a public hearing in December. “[The hearing] was a packed house,” Spice said. “There were people on both sides of the issue but a majority supported the change.”Some who argued against the rule said a birth certificate should only reflect information available at birth.Other attendees discussed what some see as positive aspects of the new rule, such as freedom of expression and speech, as well as destigmatization.The Department of Health also received about 1,000 written comments, Spice said. “We took every comment into consideration when we drafted the language for the rule,” she added.The rule was signed by Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman and officially adopted Dec. 27, but not publicly released until Thursday, a state official said.Washington will be the second state to enact the third sex rule, after Oregon. California is also adopting the law, effective in September.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sub-zero wind chills are gripping the East Coast in the wake of the "bomb cyclone" snowstorm that hammered states from Florida to Maine this week.With wind chills expected to dip to as low as 50 below zero in some areas, how can we protect our beloved furry friends from the extreme cold?You've probably seen the little booties and coats people put on their pooches, for example. Do these actually help? And is there anything else animal lovers should know about for keeping their animals safe?A jacket is a mustGinger Zee, chief meteorologist at ABC News, gave viewers some tips on Friday's "Good Morning America." She said dogs' fur alone isn't enough to keep them warm according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). This is especially true for dogs with no undercoat.The ASPCA adds that you should also never shave your dog down to the skin in cold weather, "as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls.""You might want to add a sweater, especially if your dog has shorter fur," Zee said.Furthermore, the booties and shoes you see on dogs aren't just for warmth, but to protect dogs' paws from the chemicals and salt used to thaw ice on the ground."One more tips for dogs," she said. "You can wash them less in the winter, so they don't need to be as clean. That avoids stripping their skin of those essential oils and drying out their skin."Monitor time outsideKathleen Lynn, spokeswoman for North Shore Animal League America, tells ABC News don't be afraid to take dogs outside in winter as they still need daily exercise, but be mindful about time. If you are cold and shaking, chances are your pooch is too."Thirty minutes is too long," she said, adding that studies have shown hypothermia can start to develop in animals in that long of a time span. Instead, 10 to 15 minutes is preferred, but if your dog looks to be cold or shivering, keep them out for even less time and bring them in right away."Also, if they are wet [from the snow or ice], wipe them dry," Lynn said. "And most important, any time you take a dog outside, have them leashed, for both you and the dog."Lynn also pointed to an in-depth Animal League advice blog that gives other tips such as about dogs' food and water intake during winter months."Heated houses are usually drier houses, and indoor dogs can easily become dehydrated ... So keep that water bowl full and clean," the article advises, adding that older dogs, especially those with medical conditions, need extra care during the winter. "Conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, asthma, hypothyroidism, and heart disease can compromise a dog’s ability to regulate her body temperature. In addition, ice can be as hazardous for your dog as it is for you, especially for an older dog who’s a bit unsteady on her feet."What about cats?Winter isn't dangerous only for pups. Feral cats living outdoors are in some of the worst situations.Lynn says if you interact or take care of a stray, buy a Styrofoam ice chest, tape the top on and cut a hole out on the side so maybe the cat can come and cuddle inside when it's incredibly cold."Maybe lure them in with some food," she added.For cats or dogs living inside a home, watch out for them cuddling up to the fireplace. If they get too close, that could get burned from sparks and flames.One thing is for sure no matter what pet situation you have."Please never let any animal outdoors to let it go," Lynn said of people who feel they can no longer keep a pet. "Surrender it to a shelter," she said.
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  • Courtesy Canyon Ranch(NEW YORK) -- If two of your New Year's resolutions are to get fit and travel more, taking a wellness vacation might be the best way to get a jump-start on keeping true to your word.We've rounded up a few of the best places to drop a few pounds and get a little R&R in the process.Canyon RanchA staple in wellness travel, Canyon Ranch has resorts in Tucson, Arizona, and Lenox, Massachusetts. Programs geared for moms and fitness buffs are offered.For those looking to jump-start a healthier lifestyle, the 7 Days to Change program in Tucson is a good option. It includes daily fitness and addresses nutrition and stress. Other week-long programs include: Weight Loss Program, Focus on Mindfulness, Renew Your Spirit Week, Focus on Brain Health, Encore: Flourishing in the Second Half of Life and Women’s Health and Wellness Summit. A day might include a water workout, hiking, pilates, seminars and more.Canyon Ranch is all inclusive, rates start at $1,000 per person, per night.BodyHolidayThis all-inclusive resort on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia is dedicated to well-being and allows guests to design their own getaway. Yoga, spin, pilates, Zumba and beach volleyball are available.New this year, however, is the addition of the Villa Firefly and customized-themed getaways. The four-bedroom villa can accommodate up to 10 guests. Retreats are Cleanse & Detox, Yoga, Mindfulness, Weight Loss and Verdic, which is "designed to restore guests who are mentally, emotionally, or physically drained by a demanding work or home life. The retreat uses a 360 degree approach, which aims to rejuvenate and re-balance mind, body, and soul." Dates for retreats vary by theme; check with the resort for details.Prices are from $550 per person, per night.Biggest Loser ResortsYou've heard of the show and some of the amazing transformations that have taken place. If you're hoping for a major weight loss of your own, check out one of the three Biggest Loser Resort locations in Amelia Island, Florida, Niagara, New York, or Palm Desert, California.A typical day at the resort starts with an early yoga class and includes several other activities -- like spin and circuit training -- in the afternoon and evening. There are classes on emotional versus intuitive eating, interactive cooking demonstrations and three calorie conscious meals each day. Prices vary depending on length of stay and room type, but a stay generally runs about $2,000 per person, per week.The RanchWith 4, 7 and 10-day options and locations in both Malibu and Westlake Village, California, The Ranch has an option that fits your scheduling needs. Each day starts with an hours-long hike and several hours of low-impact strength training. Plan on yoga, cooking classes and massages during your stay.Prices vary, the popular 7-day program is priced at $7,800.The Fitness CruiseUnlike our other recommendations, you'll only have one shot at The Fitness Cruise in 2018. The 7-day cruise departs on Oct. 28 from Miami and goes to various ports in the Eastern Caribbean. Guests onboard the Norwegian Getaway can take cardio classes, dance classes, yoga, cooking seminars and more.The Fitness Cruise is priced from $1,066 per person for an inside cabin.
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  • Maria Esperanza Flores Rios(LOS ANGELES) -- A set of twins in Southern California were born in two different years.Although they were born just 18 minutes apart, Joaquin Ontiveros was born a year earlier than his sister, Aitana de Jesus, at the Delano Regional Medical Center in California's Kern County, their mother, Earlimart resident Maria Esperanza Flores Rios told ABC News on Tuesday.The baby boy was born at 11:58 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2017, and weighed in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces and was 18 inches long, ABC station KABC reported. His younger sister was born at 12:16 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2018, at 4 pounds, 10 ounces and 16 inches long.Rios gave birth to the twins via C-section nearly 4 weeks early, she said. Her original due date was scheduled for Jan. 27.The hospital wrote on Facebook that it was "honored to play a significant role in this 2018 New Year delivery of baby twins" and thanked the "dedicated" hospital staff.Rios' sister, 25-year-old Aurelia Perez Rios, told ABC News that she is happy for her sister and brother-in-law."I'm excited and thrilled to be an aunt once again," Aurelia Perez Rios said.Rios is now a mother of five.
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