In 2013, state lawmakers and health officials toured Ohio, gathering information about the state’s high infant mortality rate. On Wednesday, state senators introduced five new bills to combat the situation.
Ohio has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation and Republican State Senator Shannon Jones of Springboro says a high infant death rate is a red flag.
“A state's infant mortality rate is much like the canary that goes down into the coal mine," Jones said. "It’s an indicator of the overall health and wellness of mothers and children in the communities.”
This is the week along the 40th Parallel that the day’s length becomes a full hour longer than it was on December 26th. Sunset now occurs near 6:00 p.m. for the first time since the middle of October, and the brighter afternoons tell the groundhogs and opossums that it’s mating time; raccoons and beavers seek partners, too.
A friend of mine sent me the “Hermit Songs” of anonymous Irish monks and scholars who, over a thousand years ago, scribbled their verses in the margins of the manuscripts they were copying. One of those poems, translated by W.H. Auden, expresses the pleasure of sitting in front of the fire beside a white cat named Pangur.
Pangur, white Pangur, How happy we are alone together, scholar and cat, Each has his own work to do daily…. Thus we live ever Without tedium or envy. Pangur, white Pangur, How happy we are.
The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency, or RAPCA, is investigating several instances of elevated levels of PM 2.5, a fine particulate that contributes to air pollution. RAPCA is responsible for monitoring air quality in a six-county area and officials there say several days during the months of December and January registered higher than other places in the region.
"One of the primary sources of fine particulate matter is wood burning," says RAPCA's John Paul. "There's a lot of wood burning in the Yellow Springs area."