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Organizations Benefiting from Social Media

By: Chandler Tatgenhorst, Ozarks New Journal

Springfield, MO–Linzi Smith, a regional development director for the ALS Foundation, says thanks to the ALS ice bucket challenge and social media outlets,  awareness has spread like wildfire.

“It has just kind of gone viral all over Facebook,” said Smith.

“It was started by a guy named Pete Fraties who was a Boston college baseball player. It was his friends that started the challenge for him because he was unable to do it,” stated Smith.

ALS is just the latest organization to benefit from the immediacy of social media. Creating awareness—which used to be difficult and often expensive—can now be accomplished with just the click of a button.

“It’s great that Facebook and Twitter and all these places allow you to share this stuff for free because its awareness that we’ve never seen,” said Smith.

The ALS foundation has raised $108 million in a matter of months because of the viral challenge.

Missouri State student, Evan Underwood decided to take the extra step after he was challenged by a friend.

“I donated one hundred dollars. Donating money is really the only way you can help those with ALS. It wouldn’t have spread nearly as quick when you think about how many Facebook friends everyone has. If everyone does it, there will be hundreds of people that see it …and it spreads form there,” said Underwood.

The ALS foundation is just one of the several organizations benefiting from social media.

“Normally, we do not raise this much money and the ice bucket challenge is a huge part of it. Without Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets, there’s no way it would have reached this many people and raised this much money. So, we are definitely grateful for social media,” said Smith.

Officials from the ALS foundation say that all of the money that has been raised so far will go toward research, care services, and administrative costs.

Each cause is a different case, however, and if you have any doubts…a little research can help you find out just where your money is going.

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Springfield Zoo officials address safety procedures, in wake of zookeeper’s death

Fallon Hickman, Ozarks News Journal

SPRINGFIELD, MO – Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo is taking a closer look at zoo safety after a recent zookeeper’s death. One of the zoo’s elephants crushed the keeper resulting in his death.

The zookeepers walked me through the steps and precautions they take when working with the animals. Marketing director Melinda Arnold says there are many animals to take extra precaution around such as the big cats and elephants.

“The zoo uses a special lock system in all of their confinements and only one keeper is allowed a key to eliminate any confusion when it comes to how many people are working in that area,” said Arnold. The zoo also posts signs on the doors to let the zoo staff and other keepers know that they are working in that area. In addition, staff members put bars on the windows to eliminate big cats from escaping if they get out of their indoor containment.

Dickerson zookeepers all told me that they felt very safe. “We take special precaution around certain animals. Our safety procedures are followed as best as they can be,” explained Arnold.

Special procedures are used when it comes to working with the spider monkeys at the zoo as well. The keepers protect their hands with gloves, in addition to feeding the animals with a stick to prevent them from getting bitten.

Investigations concluded that the Springfield Zoo was following all of the correct safety precautions at the time of the zookeeper’s death.

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Medical experts raise concern over self-diagnosis

By Anna Thomas, Ozarks News Journal

Springfield, MO – James Baumlin spent years of research, endured 100 treatments, and traveled 250 miles to cure his Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

Baumlin said he is a strong believer in patients being a large part of their diagnosis and treatment.

“Nowadays we cannot rely on the immediate expertise of the family physicians and the general practitioners that we see. Sometimes we can’t even rely on the so –called experts over particular conditions because they’re tied to paradigms,” Baumlin said.

Paradigms like licensing boards and insurance companies, who Baumlin said, pressure physicians to stay in safe and narrow treatment protocols.

According to Baumlin, bringing research to a physician, having a real conversation about the diagnosis, and finding a number of treatments is the best way to get results.

Self-diagnosis might seem like it is on the opposite side of doctors and prescriptions, but in reality, the health field is encouraging their patients to research their symptoms and treatments as long as they keep an open mind, and an open discussion with their physician.

Dr. Frederick Muegge, director at Taylor Health and Wellness at Missouri State University, said to discuss any treatments with a doctor to avoid bad side-effects or chemical mixing.

“The main dangers are the edges. If somebody exclusively relies on self-diagnosis without benefit of professional interaction, or maybe if somebody is exclusively dependent on the profession interaction,” Meugge said.

There can be a lot of noise and overflow of information but Baumlin said people can research well and maybe discover new diseases and treatments.

“Someone has to be the bearer of the message. It’s not always going to be the physician. That’s where we have to take the responsibility for ourselves,” Baumlin said.

Courtesy: MGN Online

New Springfield Panhandling Rules

By Shane Franklin, Ozarks News Journal

SPRINGFIELD, MO – One thing you’re sure to see in any city is signage; signs telling you where you’re going, where to park, and where not to stand. One type of sign you won’t be seeing as much of in downtown Springfield these days, are signs held by homeless people.

A new panhandling bill passed by Springfield City Council has amended a previous law pushing panhandlers further away from business entrances and ATMs around the city, from 15 to 20 feet. Continue reading

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