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30 July
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A Delaware legal giant, Vincent Bifferato, has died

The Delaware legal community is mourning the loss of former Superior Court Judge Vincent A. Bifferato Sr., whose long legal career and outsized personality cast a long shadow on the courts and members of the bench and bar.

Bifferato, 77, died Friday following a long battle with esophageal cancer. He served on the Superior Court from 1968 until 2000, acting as New Castle County

resident judge during his final eight years on the court. After leaving the courts, Bifferato, a former member of the Delaware Legislature, returned to private practice with his sons.

Judge Bifferato was a giant in our legal community, said Delaware public defender Brendan ONeill, who appeared many times before Bifferato as a trial attorney. He was very smart, very direct, fair to all sides … and he left a great legacy in our courthouse. And he was a great guy.

Everyone respected and admired him, said Superior Court Judge Ferris Wharton, who also appeared before Bifferato – or Judge Biff as many called him – many times as an attorney.

Part of that, said longtime Wilmington attorney Joe Hurley, was Bifferatos voice. He had a very attention-grabbing voice. It had that ring of authority in it without being dictatorial, he said, adding Bifferato rarely raised that authoritative voice and was almost always cool and calm on the bench.

Wharton praised the way Bifferato cut pomp and ceremony to attack problems in a direct and practical way without putting on airs.

30 July
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Parenting: Wish me luck shopping the holiday

On your marks. Get set. Go!

I feel like Im about to run a race. My back-to-school shopping dates with my kids are coming up. Were planning to take advantage of the tax-free holiday this weekend. Its three days long, Aug. 1-3, so I imagine the stores are going to be packed.

Retailers say the back-to-school shopping season rivals Christmas.

The average family plans to spend $669 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, according to the National Retail Federations 2014 Back-to-School Survey. A Gallup poll last Christmas had families predicting theyd spend about $740 on gifts.

Will parents try to smash a monthlong season of shopping into three days? Ill soon find out.

When the kids and I first planned these shopping days, I pictured a laid-back day of casually browsing racks of clothes and chatting over lunch. Now, Im getting an image of elbow-throwing old women hitting each other for Elmo dolls. Only I know Elmo isnt on the school supply list. So theres that, at least. But will I have to jockey for notebooks and glue sticks?

Perhaps the kids and I should start our day with a warm-up and stretching routine.

At the very least, we should probably have a plan: Map out the stores we want to go to and in what order, peruse the advertisements and make sure Mom is stocked up on coffee.

My daughter and I took step one last week. We pulled all her clothes out of her closet and drawers. Those that didnt fit or that she just wouldnt wear, we put in a pile to give away or sell on consignment. The exercise helped us see exactly what she needs, like leggings to replace the ones she wore out or outgrew.

I found a helpful list of what to buy on scholastic.com: 10 pairs of underwear, 10 to 14 pairs of socks, six to 10 T-shirts, three or more pants (at least five for preschoolers), two pairs of shoes and at least one nice skirt outfit for girls.

Over the years, Ive also found a lot of great tips for saving money. One that I love is shopping the clearance sales after school is back in session. You can find supplies half off or more. I bought two lunchboxes at 75 percent off last year and by spring, we put them into service. Several bloggers recommend clipping coupons and shopping thrift stores and dollar stores.

Im feeling better already.

SW FL PARENT amp; CHILD

Southwest Florida Parent amp; Child magazine is available free at hundreds of locations, in iTunes for the iPad and electronically on swflparentchild.com. You can also connect with SW FL Parent amp; Child on Facebook (swflparentchild) and Twitter (@swflparentchild). Or subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter; the sign-up link is on our site.

30 July
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‘First Look’: Reporter Rachel Cook talks about Dental Dangers series

The Dental Board of California, one of 20 healing arts boards within the California Department of Consumer Affairs, regulates dentists. The Dental Board polices practitioners, issues licenses and, in instances of alleged malpractice, investigates and ultimately, in some cases, files formal accusations.

Californian reporter Rachel Cook, in an appearance Monday on First Look with Scott Cox, described the process, focusing on one dentist in particular. Cook has followed the case of Dr. Robert Tupac, a Bakersfield dentist, for a year and a half, culminating in her exhaustive report, published over two days, this past Sunday and Monday, in The Californian.

30 July
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A rare sale in Kitsap County as shopping center trades hands

Theres something about shopping centers with Safeway grocery stores that appeals to a San Diego real estate investment company called Gerrity Group.

The privately held company on Thursday paid $20.8 million for the Bethel Junction shopping center at 3331 Bethel Road SE, Port Orchard, according to Capital Pacific, the real estate company that brokered the sale. It was the first time in more than 10 years that a large Kitsap County shopping center anchored by a grocery store has sold, according to Sean Tufts of Capital Pacifics Seattle office.

In May, Gerrity paid $24.9 million for a similar shopping center called Redondo Square in Des Moines. Like Redondo Square, Safeway is the major tenant at Bethel Junction.

Bethel Junction is a 157,500-square-foot shopping center on 13 acres. The seller is a limited liability company that online data show is affiliated with Tivatac Corp. of Los Angeles and Bothell.

Marc Stiles covers commercial real estate and government for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

29 July
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Legal Wrap: New Legal Fights Shaping Up Post-’Hobby Lobby’

Legal Wrap is a weekly round-up of key legal reproductive rights and justice news.

The dust is still settling from the Supreme Court’s disastrous ruling in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, but it’s safe to say that neither the issue of conservatives trying to use religious freedom arguments to mask intentional discrimination nor litigation surrounding the Affordable Care Act are going away any time soon. Two federal appeals courts are split on whether or not the Affordable Care Act allows the federal government to subsidize insurance premiums in federally run exchanges; I explain what happened here.

Meanwhile, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), arguing that members of Congress and their employees should be ineligible for subsidies to cover their premium costs.

That didn’t stop Republicans from taking steps to sue the president over delays in implementing the health-care law Republicans obstructed in order to prevent its implementation entirely.

In response to the Hobby Lobby decision, Democratic lawmakers have renewed the push for an Equal Rights Amendment.

That’s better than the Obama administration’s response, which is apparently to try and give more concessions to conservative religious objectors.

At least the executive order banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in federal contracts signed by President Obama doesn’t include an enormous carve-out for conservatives with a religious objection to equality.

On the flip side, a nurse who has a religious objection to contraception has filed a lawsuit against a family planning center in Florida that did not hire her. Sara Hellwege applied for a job at Tampa Family Health Centers, a family planning clinic that receives federal Title X funding. During the hiring process, Hellwege told staff she would be unwilling to prescribe birth control if hired. Hellwege now claims the clinic’s refusal to hire her amounts to discrimination on the basis of her religious objections to contraception.

Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen argued in a brief before a federal appeals court in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that marriage equality, just like abortion, is not really a fundamental right because the state has the power to make accessing that right more difficult, if not impossible.

Good news! Massachusetts responds to the McCullen v. Coakley decision by passing new legislation designed to protect abortion patients and providers from anti-choice harassment.

Elsewhere, a New Hampshire judge delayed arguments in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new law creating buffer zones of up to 25 feet around abortion clinics after the state’s attorney general agreed not to enforce the law.

Pro-Life Mississippi filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Jackson, Mississippi, police department, accusing the department of “blatant and ongoing” violations of the protesters First Amendment rights.

In Florida, a judge ruled that zoning restrictions prevent a new Planned Parenthood facility in Kissimmee from performing abortions.

The Federal Election Commission dismissed a complaint brought by Operation Rescue against the political action committee of the Trust Women Foundation, the organization responsible for opening a clinic on the site of Dr. George Tiller’s former clinic in Wichita, Kansas.

In abortion restriction-related news, anti-choice advocates are trying to get a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling blocking Idaho’s 20-week abortion ban, while a Wisconsin judge clarified that under new restrictions doctors need not be present when a woman takes drugs prescribed to her for a medical abortion.

Legal advocacy groups filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Tennessee lawmakers of adopting policies that unlawfully delay and deny health coverage to people eligible for Medicaid.

The Montana Supreme Court publicly censured for misconduct a judge who had sentenced an admitted rapist to only 30 days in jail because his 14-year-old victim “appeared older than her chronological age.”

Sarah Kliff has this piece that looks at the links between states that deny anti-psychotic medications to the poor and high numbers of mentally ill individuals in prisons.

Finally, Zoe Greenberg has this must-read on anti-choice advocacy groups efforts to stack state courts.

29 July
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"Pay It Forward" Dental Program

Lansing, MI – Its a new program that will make smiles a little brighter, and our community a little better.

The Pay it Forward dental program at Care Free Dental Clinic is set to help those who dont have dental coverage. Plus, this program helps the community at the same time.

Those who receive dental work from the clinic must agree to volunteer for a certain number of hours in the local community.

There are around 80 organizations in Lansing and Mason where Pay it Forward participants can volunteer their time, while also improving their oral health.

People who dont have dental coverage and are under the 250% poverty line are eligible to participate.

Were really just there to help those that need the help, says Director of Public Relations Megan Barrett.

Care Free Dental will help you determine if you qualify.

A call to the clinic is the first step of five in the Pay it Forward process.

Second, complete some basic paperwork.

Next, pay it forward. Volunteer a pre-determined number of hours at a local organization.

Fourth, take a short oral health class at Care Free Dental.

And finally, get treated by a local dentist.

Oral health can make such a difference both emotionally and physically for a patient, says Project Manager Audrey Taylor. The emotional effects of not smiling are very impactful on a persons happiness and well-being and ability to find a job.

Care Free modeled their plan after the program in Battlecreek.

For more information, visit www.carefreemedical.org.

29 July
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Outdoor shopping malls sparkle with style at the Shore

As an avid shopper, Ali McGrath of Ocean Township frequently searches the Shore for the best fashion finds.

I prefer to shop at smaller boutiques where the stuff is not mass produced and original, says McGrath, 38. I dont want to wear something that a bunch of others have on. I like to be unique. I dont like the malls, they stress me out. I shop in Asbury Park at some of their boutiques. I also find that Marshalls, while overwhelming, has great prices and choices that are different. I also like to shop in Red Bank — there are great consignment shops and cute stores again that have fun options.

So what if New Jersey doesnt have a Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive to call its own? The state does boast outdoor shopping centers which can provide a mix of upscale retailers with the great outdoors.

I like being able to walk from store to store and be outside in the fresh air, says McGrath, who also shops at The Grove in Shrewsbury.

The Grove at Shrewsbury

THE SETTING: With luscious landscaping and plenty to peruse through, The Grove describes itself as the nations first lifestyle center — designed with the sophisticated shopper in mind.

SHOP: Grab clothing and accessories at popular stores such as Anthropologie, Chicos, Free People, J. Crew, A Pea in the Pod, and Janie and Jack. For more activewear, shops such as Athleta and lululemon athletica are available.

Glow is a designer womens boutique with collections from Alexander Wang, Alice + Olivia, Phillip Lim, Elizabeth + James, and many more. Nirvana, which also has a location in Long Branchs Pier Village, can also be found here.

Find footwear at Aerosoles, Clarks Shoes, and Coach.

Neves Jeweler has a range of bridal and designer pieces, as well as watches and gifts.

Browse through many one-of-a-kind home furnishings at Chelsea, Country Curtains, Platypus and Pottery Barn. The Papery is filled with custom invitations and greeting cards, but also has a selection of journals, photo albums and leather accessories.

More accessible yet upscale stores include Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Francescas Collections, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Victorias Secret.

TAKE A BREAK: Bluemercury is a luxury cosmetics retailer with spa services. Its an ideal way to unwind here after a few hours of shopping. Or, head to Warren Tricomi Salon for a new hairdo.

Grab a bite at djeet, an eatery with homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. The vegetables and herbs are often harvested from the Grove West Community Garden, according to The Groves website.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: After a day of shopping, slow down the pace and enjoy live music at 6 pm Saturdays.

MORE INFO: Store promotions can be found online at www.thegroveatshrewsbury.com. 597 Route 35, Shrewsbury; 732-530-1200.

Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Tinton Falls

THE SETTING: This is outlet shopping at its finest, the outlets website states. Expect to save between 25 and 65 percent on big-name brands from clothing to home furnishings at the 120 stores.

SHOP: The designer fashions are endless — Michael Kors, 7 For All Mankind, Champion, Burberry, BCBG Max Azria, Elie Tahari, Kate Spade New York, and White House Black Market are just a small sample of the upscale brands.

Get shoes at places such as UGG Australia, Geox, Sperry Top-Sider, and Timberland.

Go big on accessories: Swarovski, Sunglass Hut, Time Factory Watch Outlet, Zales, Gold Toe, and Solstice Sunglass Outlet are where to get some fine items.

Show off your residence with furnishings from Corningware Corelle amp; More, Le Creuset and Waterford Crystal.

The specialty stores are helpful when seeking the perfect gift. Head to As Seen On TV, ItSugar Candy Store, Toys R Us Express, The Body Shop, Yankee Candle, The Cosmetics Company Store, and Crabtree and Evelyn.

We recently welcomed ASICS, Quiksilver, Wilsons Leather, Corningware Corelle amp; More, and Ruum Factory American Kids Wear to our store list and are excited to welcome Francescas (which opened July 26), Tumi on Aug. 21, and Nautica later this fall, says marketing director Michele Deroian.

TAKE A BREAK: Head to the outlets food court here, with options such as Asian Chao and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: Jersey Shore Premium Outlets provides a family-friendly shopping experience. In additional to great savings, we offer free live entertainment every Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 31 from noon to 3 pm in Sand Castle Court (weather permitting), says Deroian.

MORE INFO: 1 Premium Outlets Blvd., Tinton Falls; 732-918-1700 or www.premiumoutlets.com/jerseyshore.

Pier Village, Long Branch

THE SETTING: Steps away from the beach, Pier Village gives shoppers the laid back, breezy feel of a boardwalk while providing access to upscale boutiques.

SHOP: Womens apparel can be found at contemporary womens boutique Wish, and denim-driven specialty store Nirvana. Boutiques Fresh and Molly and Zoey are said to feature unique womens clothing. Molly and Zoey Undercover has quality clothing as its sister store, but at more reasonable prices.

Footwear is at Shoe Inn and Sneaker Factory. Surfers, head to Aloha Grove for all of boards and surfing apparel.

Get some fabulous accessories at Koi Boutique (which has an extensive Vera Bradley collection) and The Stone Hut. Visit Carter amp; Cavero, an olive oil company, for a tasting experience.

TAKE A BREAK: Watch the waves under the gazebo, and inhale the salty air. There are benches to take a seat and take in the scenery. On Thursdays in the summer, jam out to the weekly concert series titled Thursday by the Sea, when various musical artists perform.

To curb hunger, head to Turning Point until 3 pm, Bite Your Belgian or The Corner Cafe amp; Bistro. Enjoy finer dining once the shopping spree ceases at Sawa Steakhouse, Sirena Ristorante, McLoones Pier House and Avenue. Enjoy more casual fare at Michael Angelos Pizzeria, Stewarts, Its Greek to Me, Shaka and Red Orange. Grab sweet treats at frozen yogurt shop Red Mango, Cake Bake amp; Roll, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: Aside from its lounges — Indulge Lounge amp; Food Bar, The Wine Loft and Avenue — people can get services done such as at Golds Gym, or pamper yourself at Village Spa Nails amp; Hair. Its more than just an outdoor shopping mall; Pier Village can easily fill the day from dawn to dusk.

MORE INFO: 1 Chelsea Ave., Long Branch; www.piervillage.com.

Jackson Premium Outlets

THE SETTING: Easily accessed from Interstate 195 and right up the road from Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson Premium Outlets is a prime Ocean County shopping center. It boasts 70 stores — many of the same ones found at Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls, since both centers are owned by Simon Property Group.

SHOP: With all stores being out in the open in a U-shape, start at Gap Factory Store and work your way through the outlets for the ultimate shopping experience.

A sample of designer clothing and sportswear stores include Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Izod, Coach, Maidenform, New York amp; Company, Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Wilsons Leather, Jones New York, and Under Armour.

Coach Factory Outlet is a must-do store here with eye-popping low prices. Other accessory and jewelry spots are Kay Jewelers Outlet, Sunglass Hut, Charlotte Russe and Fossil.

Home furnishings are available at Corningware Corelle amp; More and Kitchen Collection.

TAKE A BREAK: Indulge in the food court here, with favorites such as Nathans Famous, Wok amp; Roll, Sbarro and Haagen Dazs.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: Shoppers love finding incredible savings at their favorite stores, we recently welcomed American Eagle Outfitters, Jos. A. Bank, and Kitchen Collection to our store list, says marketing director Stephanie Weaver. Were also offering live music entertainment on Saturday, Aug. 17, from noon to 3 pm

MORE INFO: 537 Monmouth Road, Jackson; 732-833-0503 or www.premiumoutlets.com/jackson.

The Grove West, Shrewsbury

THE SETTING: One cant miss The Grove West. After all, its directly across the street from The Grove in Shrewsbury.

It carries significantly less retailers, but that doesnt make it one to skip out on.

SHOP: Make sure to stop at Tula-the-Boutique here, which is a womens boutique filled with casual and upscale fashions.

Our lines include AG Adriano denim, Nicole Miller, Joie, Stuart Weitzman shoes, MZ Wallace handbags, Tory Burch sunglasses and too many more to name, the store states online.

Billabongs sole New Jersey location is found here — peruse the variety of apparel and footwear for children, juniors, men and women. For a more active lifestyle, check out the wetsuits, surfboards, skateboards and snow wear for sale.

Men — young and adult — can head to Element, a clothing store that also sells luggage, watches, sunglasses and skateboards.

Loft is a fashion spot for womens regular and petite apparel, footwear and accessories.

The kids have a few places to call their own at Pottery Barn Kids, which focuses on furnishings for children up to age 12, and at Stride Rite for fashions.

Children can also hold birthday parties here, or can shop in the Sweet amp; Sassy boutique, which carries room decor, fashion accessories, bath products and gifts.

Head to Harmon Beauty Supply for all health and beauty needs.

TAKE A BREAK: Pops Garage is the place to be for some Mexican cuisine.

All of the Pops locations infuse surf, art, culture and community into their fun, savory fare, and aim to bring the laid-back cuisine and culture of Sayulita, Mexico, to New Jersey restaurant-goers, The Grove West website states.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: Pampering isnt limited to adults here. Sweet amp; Sassy has a childrens salon for hair, manicures, pedicures, ear piercing, spa and glam girl packages, according to The Grove West website.

MORE INFO: 540 Route 35, Shrewsbury; 732-933-8382 or www.grovewestnj.com.

Brooke 35 amp; Brook 35 West, Sea Girt

THE SETTING: Head to this two-in-one outdoor shopping center for a solid mix of dining and retail therapy.

SHOP: If in the market for apparel fashions, Ann Taylor, The Bee, Banana Republic, Talbots, and Coldwater Creek, Banana Republic and Gap are a sample of what youll find. Childrens apparel is at Baby Gap, Claires, Gap Kids and Gymboree.

Beauty retailers include Blush and Bath amp; Body Works. ELAN Hair Studio is also in this strip to refresh your look. Williams-Sonoma Grande Cuisine and The Papery are both at this center with some fabulous home furnishings.

TAKE A BREAK: Eating options include Chipotle Mexican Grill, Michael Angelos, Turning Point Restaurant and Starbucks.

WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE: Teacher get the star treatment here, with discounts available for educators. Check the website for details.

MORE INFO: 2150 Highway 35, Sea Girt; 732-933-8382 or www.brook35plaza.com.

THE TOP 10

Part of the Top 100 US Retailers for 2014

1. Wal-Mart

2. Kroger

3. Costco

4. Target

5. Home Depot

6. Walgreens

7. CVS Caremark

8. Lowes

9. Amazon.com

10. Safeway

Source: National Retail Federation

WORLDS 12 BEST SHOPPING CITIES

Seoul, South Korea

Milan, Italy

Madrid, Spain

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Vienna, Austria

Buens Aires, Argentina

Hong Kong, China

Paris, France

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

London, United Kingdom

Tokyo, Japan

New York City, New York

Source: CNN.com

BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS: SPOTS WORTH VISITING

TANGER OUTLETS: 2014 Baltic Ave., Atlantic City;

609-344-0095 or www.tangeroutlet.com/atlanticcity

PALMER SQUARE, PRINCETON: 40 Nassau St., Princeton;

609-921-2333 or www.palmersquare.com

BRIDGEWATER COMMONS: 400 Commons Way No. 243, Bridgewater;

877-486-4756 or www.bridgewatercommons.com

PARAMUS PARK MALL: 700 Paramus Park, Paramus;

201-261-8000 or www.paramuspark.com

THE PIER SHOPS AT CAESARS: 1 Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City;

609-345-3100 or www.thepiershopsatcaedars.com

JERSEY GARDENS: 651 Kapkowski Road, Elizabeth;

908-354-5900 or www.jerseygardens.com

THE MALL AT SHORT HILLS: 1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills;

973-376-7350 or www.shopshorthills.com

GO JERSEY SHORE: Download our all-new, free

Go Jersey Shore app from Apple and Android app stores for a full guide to Jersey Shore attractions.

29 July
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Cell phone unlocking will be legal again

Back in October 2012, the Library of Congress, which oversees how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is enforced, ruled that cell phone unlocking without your wireless carriers permission was illegal. Cell-phone users were not happy, and, in July 2014, Congress finally listened and is giving users back the right to unlock cell phones.

No matter who makes your smartphone, soon youll be able to unlock it legally whether your carrier wants you to or not.

The Library of Congress decision was never popular. A We the People petition asking that unlocking cell phones be made legal quickly gained popularity. A little more than a month afterwards the White Houses R. David Edelman, senior advisor for Internet, Innovation, amp; Privacy, replied that as far as President Obama was concerned, neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carrierswhen they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.

29 July
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The impact of texting laws on motor vehicle fatalities

The good news: Over the last century, driving has become significantly safer, with the per-mile fatality rate dropping 90% between 1925 and 1997. The bad news: Motor-vehicle crashes continue to kill more than 33,000 people in the United States every year, making them the leading type of unintentional injury resulting in death. And fatalities rose in 2012, snapping a six-year streak of reduced deaths.

In reporting the increase, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that “it is too soon to speculate on the contributing factors,” but the potential role of distracted driving can’t be ignored. According to the NHTSA, in 2012 driver distraction was a factor in 3,328 deaths, and an estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver a 9% increase from 2011. The Federal Highway Administration has estimated that distracted driving may be a factor in 10% of all crashes.

Many states have passed laws to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to distracted driving. These laws may ban all use of handheld devices or specifically prohibit texting. Some laws target young drivers while others apply to all drivers. As of June 2014, 44 states and the District of Columbia had a law banning all drivers from texting and an additional 4 states prohibited young or new drivers from texting. No states currently ban the use of hand-free phones for all drivers, even though research has shown that they offer no improvement over hand-held devices.

A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Impact of Texting Laws on Motor Vehicular Fatalities in the United States, looks at effectiveness of state texting bans on the prevention of fatal car accidents. The researchers Alva O. Ferdinand, Nir Menachemi, Bisakha Sen, Justin L. Blackburn and Michael Morrisey, based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Leonard Nelson, based at Samford University analyzed data from 48 states over the period 2000-10 (Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia were not part of the study). The authors compared motor-vehicle fatality rates in states with texting bans and those without. For states with texting bans, they also took into account within-state fatality rate changes before and after these laws took effect.

The study’s findings include:

  • During the study period, 31 of the 48 states had a law banning texting while driving. Of these, 24 states banned all drivers from texting and 7 banned only drivers below a certain age.
  • Laws allowing police officers to pull over all drivers who are texting, regardless of age, resulted in a 5% reduction in the incidence of fatal accidents among individuals ages 15-21. This figure includes deaths of both drivers and non-drivers.
  • States with laws that only allow police to pull over young drivers who are texting experienced an 11% drop in the incidence of motor vehicle fatalities for individuals ages 15-21.
  • “Secondary” texting bans, which only allow police to issue texting citations while pulling a driver over for an unrelated offense, had no effect on fatality rates for any age group.
  • No type of anti-texting law reduced fatality rates for individuals above age 21.
  • Other factors that were associated with reduced motor-vehicle fatality rates included maximum speed limits not exceeding 70 miles per hour, administrative driver’s license revocation laws, graduated driver’s license laws, higher gasoline prices and higher state unemployment rates.

“Our analyses indicate that primarily enforced texting laws are associated with fatality reductions among younger individuals, both drivers and nondrivers,” the authors conclude. “Thus, our second main finding is that our results provide strong evidence that the primarily enforced texting laws seem to be reaching the intended subpopulations who are most at risk for texting while driving.”

Related research: A 2013 study, “US Transportation Safety over Time: Cars, Planes, Trains, Walking, Cycling,” compares the relative safety of the primary modes of transportation in the United States. Among the findings: Highways are by far the most common place of transportation fatalities in the United States, 94%, and those in rural areas are particularly dangerous, with a fatality risk that is 2.7 times greater than that in urban areas. Males are three times more likely to die in a road accident than females, while people between the ages of 18 and 29 are at a 50% to 90% greater risk. Half of vehicle occupants who die in automobiles and light truck incidents (49%) were not wearing seat belts or using child safety seats, and alcohol played a role in approximately a third of all highway fatalities.

Keywords: cars, driving, safety, technology, cellphones, smartphones, texting, distracted driving

By Justin Feldman | July 8, 2014

28 July
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Dental care you need to know before sending your kids back to school

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — As parents complete their back-to-school lists, they need to remember health checks for their children.

Southern Indiana students will be back in the classroom as early as July 30, and Jefferson County Public School students will return Aug. 13. These exams are required for new and returning students. Kentucky law requires all children entering kindergarten receive a dental screening.

The U of L School of Dentistry is offering free screenings to incoming kindergarten students. Parents can call 502-852-5312 to make an appointment. Older children can also make appointments, but there will be a charge. CLICK HERE for more info.

CLICK HERE for the Kentucky Law Dental Screening and Exam Form.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease.

Dental pain or disease can lead to difficulty in eating, speaking, playing and learning, as well as missed school. Regular dental examinations are important to diagnose and treat or prevent dental problems.

The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and college football. Dental injuries are also prevalent in non-contact activities and exercises such as gymnastics and skating. Properly fitted mouth guards are the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.