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December 16, 2016

During the holidays, Americans carry trees into their homes, climb on objects to hang lights, and carefully wrap gifts. But there are dangers . . . a man is poked in the eye by a rogue pine needle. A woman hanging decorations falls from her desk onto her face. Another woman slices her finger with scissors while wrapping gifts. These are real injuries documented by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC tracks emergency room visits at about 100 hospitals each year, and between 2011 and 2015, documented more than 1,700 Christmas-related injuries. Accidents while putting up and taking down decorations are the top cause of Christmas-related injuries.


Knowing where your firewood comes from can keep you from making some costly mistakes, according to Duane Friend, a University of Illinois Extension Educator in environmental and energy stewardship. Friend is the co-author of University of Illinois Extension's new "Firewood in Illinois" website,

In a Pew Research Center survey, about six-in-ten adults said the death penalty does not deter people from committing serious crimes. About half also said that minorities are more likely than whites to be sentenced to death for similar crimes, compared with 41% who said a death sentence is equally likely for whites and minorities. About seven-in-ten adults (71%) said there is a risk that an innocent person will be put to death, including 84% of those who oppose the death penalty. Even a majority of death penalty supporters (63%) said there’s a risk of taking an innocent life.


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