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Boa Constrictor Captured After Escaping Idaho Cage

Boa Constrictor Captured After Escaping Idaho Cage

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) – A 9-foot Columbian boa constrictor named Trinity that escaped its southwest Idaho cage has been found after two days on the loose. Trinity didn’t appear to have traveled far after being spotted Sunday in the garage that holds the snake’s cage. Jittery neighbors with small pets and children went on alert […]

Yellowstone Seeks Volunteers for Maintenance

Yellowstone Seeks Volunteers for Maintenance

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) – Yellowstone National Park is looking for volunteers to help with two projects in Lamar Valley on Sept. 27, which is National Public Lands Day. The two projects are trailhead restoration work at the Lamar River Trailhead and fence construction at the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch. The National Park Service […]

Kayaker’s Body Recovered in Rupert

Kayaker’s Body Recovered in Rupert

RUPERT, Idaho (AP) – The body of a kayaker has been recovered from the Snake River below Minidoka Dam in south-central Idaho. Authorities tell The Times-News that rescue workers on Sunday recovered the body of 56-year-old Steven Andrew of Rupert. Cassia County Undersheriff George Warrell says authorities received a report at 3:45 p.m. of a […]

Idaho Task Force Discusses Teacher Salary

Idaho Task Force Discusses Teacher Salary

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A state task force says reforming Idaho’s teaching certification must be tied to increasing salaries in order to attract and retain quality teachers in public schools. The 15-member committee spent most of Monday discussing details of implementing a new teacher pay system commonly known as the career ladder. However, some members […]

Bujak Speaks Out on Same-Sex Marriage

Bujak Speaks Out on Same-Sex Marriage

(IDAHO FALLS, ID) – Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Bujak says Idaho is wasting taxpayer money by defending its gay marriage ban in federal court. KIDK reports that he doesn’t “think [the] government should be in the business of telling people how to make choices in their [lives].” Bujak thinks the estimated $1 million in legal […]

ISU Receives Major Research Grant

ISU Receives Major Research Grant

(POCATELLO, ID) – Idaho State University has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant came out of the Nuclear Energy University Program, and about two-thirds of that money will go directly into ISU’s Nuclear Engineering department. Professor Chad Pope tells Local News 8 that the grant was extremely difficult […]

Utah Man Killed in Bear Attack

Utah Man Killed in Bear Attack

(RIVERTON, WY) – A Utah man was killed in a bear attack in western Wyoming earlier this month. Adam Stewart of Virgin was conducting research in a remote area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Riverton. After failing to return home, officials launched a search for the  31-year-old Sept. 8. Fremont County officials say Stewart’s […]

“Cold Justice” Detectives Aided Jones Murder Case

“Cold Justice” Detectives Aided Jones Murder Case

(POCATELLO, ID) – Technology experts from the TNT series “Cold Justice” helped identify the suspected murderer of Nori Jones in 2004. The Idaho State Journal reports that the detectives were in Pocatello for about ten days, and that the information they provided was sufficient to link the murder to 39-year-old Brad Scott Compher. Jones was […]

Meet the Vine Stars Who Turn 6 Seconds of Fame into Big Bucks

Meet the Vine Stars Who Turn 6 Seconds of Fame into Big Bucks

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Spending the afternoon making short funny Vine videos with friends may seem like a total slacker thing to do, but for a select few, it’s a pathway to fame and fortune.

Cody Johns, Brent Rivera and Greg Davis, Jr., who goes by the username “Klarity,” are top Vine influencers, rising stars on the six-second-video app. All three say they pull down six-figure salaries with their Vine videos.

These guys are the new Don Drapers, creative guys who have figured out how to connect with consumers — which is worth big money.

Johns, a 24-year-old from Florida, said they were making Vines for a year before they gained traction on the app, and now they have caught the attention of major companies like Coca-Cola, willing to pay these Viners a lot of money to make Vine videos with their products and share it with their followers.

“Vine’s average audience are…13 and 15 year olds,” Davis said. “We have the ability to affect an audience in any way simply by saying go do it. They come to us because we can reach an audience that they can’t.”

Davis, 30, also from Florida, has two million followers on Vine — more than Miley Cyrus’ 1.4 million. Johns has 2.4 million — 300,000 more than Justin Bieber. Los Angeles native Brent Rivera, just 16 years old, has five million followers.

In addition to all those followers, the three Vine stars have something else going for them: a squeaky clean image.

“I’m clean. I’m very kid friendly I guess,” Rivera said. “My mom is a fourth grade teacher and the kids in her class watch my videos. I get a young audience 8 to 20…It’s pretty crazy. I can’t believe it’s happening.”

One six-second ad on Vine can be worth anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, according to according to Rob Fishman, the co-founder of Niche, a combination advertising and talent agency for the digital age. The Vine ads don’t look anything like the traditional 30-second TV spots. They’re shorter, grittier, and often wittier.

Coca Cola is one of many big corporations reaching out this way. Procter and Gamble, Hewlett Packard and Warner Brothers, among others have also used top Vine influencers to reach new audiences.

This sort of home-grown, user-generated ad style is called “native advertising,” and industry analysts say corporate America is forecast to spend $4 billion this year alone on it — probably twice that much by the end of the decade.

Fishman said connecting big corporate brands with social media stars is the best position to influence target audiences because fans can relate to them.

“We see tons of people on the site who see better engagement on their social channels than Miley Cyrus, and yet Miley Cyrus is a world famous recording artist,” Fishman said. “Vine stars and Instagram photographers are more influential, more popular, and more relevant with audiences.”

But, Fishman cautioned, social media stars have to think carefully about turning their personal accounts into an advertising mechanism.

“These creators can do whatever they want on their channels,” Fishman said, but noted that Fortune 500 companies comb through the videos on the lookout for anything that could hurt their brand image.

“It’s not so different from a political candidate who has to think about not what am I saying on the campaign trail, but what am I doing in my private life,” he said.

The Viners also have to be choosey. They don’t want their videos to seem like they’ve been sanitized by the corporate PR team, potentially diminishing the authenticity that made them popular in the first place.

“We don’t want them to think, yeah we’re just using them,’” Davis said, sensitive to being called a sell-out. “So it makes us think about doing brand deals, it makes us think about doing stuff for any other advertisers.”

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Apple Gives Instructions on How to Delete Free U2 Album

Apple Gives Instructions on How to Delete Free U2 Album

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) — There’s a way to remove that free U2 album you didn’t ask for.

Apple’s event last Tuesday was like a holiday for fanatics, as the company unveiled two new iPhones, the Apple Watch, Apple Pay and iOS 8. The banner event was capped off when CEO Tim Cook and U2 frontman Bono revealed that 500 million iTunes users would automatically be gifted the band’s new album, Songs of Innocence.

Plenty of people have said “thanks but no thanks” to the gift — which has shown up anyway in users’ cloud-based iTunes accounts.

In response, Apple unveiled a website Monday to make it easier for users to rid their accounts of the album, if they so choose.

Check out the website here
. Then click “remove album.” Sign in with your Apple ID and password and you should be good to go.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cellphone Records Could Hold Clues in UVA Student’s Disappearance

Cellphone Records Could Hold Clues in UVA Student’s Disappearance

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, are pouring over cellphone records, trying to find a University of Virginia student who vanished during a night of partying with friends.

Hannah Elizabeth Graham, 18, was last heard from after 1 a.m. Saturday.

Graham’s apartment is off campus and, according to police, she and other students were drinking heavily that night; “fairly well intoxicated,” police said. Graham was seen at a pizza shop before she and a classmate headed to another party, which they left at 12:15 a.m., with Graham appearing to be walking home alone.

But Graham may have changed her mind, texting friends at another party that she was on her way, authorities said.

She never made it.

Police released surveillance images Monday showing Graham in her apartment hallway at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, hours before she went missing.

Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants said authorities are using all available means to figure out what happened, including a bloodhound, which was used to search a heavily wooded area.

“We are checking her cellphone records, computer, bank accounts, everything we can possibly do,” he said.

University president Theresa A. Sullivan is calling on the campus’ 21,000 students for help. “We are hopeful someone will come forward soon with information,” she said.

Graham’s parents have arrived on campus from England to help authorities in the search.

Katie Schrieber, a friend of Graham’s, said the England native was especially kind to strangers.

“Hannah was really good at making friends,” Schreiber said. “She’s always one of the first people to talk to you. And she’s so friendly, so outgoing.”

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Coroner’s Official Says Lindsay Lohan Never Rolled ‘a Body Bag for Whitney Houston’

Coroner’s Official Says Lindsay Lohan Never Rolled ‘a Body Bag for Whitney Houston’

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) –  Lindsay Lohan recently did an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph to promote her debut in a London production of the play Speed-the-Plow next week.  During the interview the actress made a reference to Whitney Houston while discussing her work at a morgue in Los Angeles a few years ago.

Lohan reflected on how her sentence for drunk driving and violation of her probation included jail time and 12-hour shifts in a morgue for four months.  Lohan described the punishment as “F’d up and inappropriate — because a lot of other people were meant to do it, and they were like: ‘No, they can’t handle it. Lohan can.’”  She added, “It’s different for me than it would be for other people — like, no one would really have to work at the morgue in L.A. and roll a body bag for Whitney Houston.”

Lohan claimed she made the best of the situation. She explained, “I know it sounds really dark and strange, but I thought it would be a lot worse. I kind of regulated a lot of it. I’d tell people: ‘You didn’t fold that sheet properly,’ because I’m OCD with folding.”

Lohan’s comments have been disputed by an official for the coroner’s office, who tells TMZ that Houston was never in a body bag and no one in the probation program ever came in contact with the singer’s body.  The official added that Houston was wrapped in plastic with a sheet cover the entire time she was at the morgue.

Houston died on Feb. 11, 2012.

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Angelina Jolie Tours Maltese Naval Base, Vacations with Family

Angelina Jolie Tours Maltese Naval Base, Vacations with Family

Jun Sato/GC Images(NEW YORK) — Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are currently in Malta filming their upcoming movie, By the Sea, but the newlyweds have also been mixing in a little familytime and sightseeing.

This past Sunday, the 39-year-old actress visited a Maltese Navy ship, where she met with sailors, crew members and government officials and learned about the equipment aboard the vessel.

An eyewitness tells E! Online Jolie received the red carpet treatment and was all smiles as shipmen saluted her like Hollywood royalty.

The source goes on to say Angelina was “very kind and gracious” during the visit, adding, “She listened to what everyone had to say and was very interested.”

Jolie, dressed casually in a black dress and top with black flats, “looked amazing as always, she was dressed very simple but classy,” says the source, noting, “She was happy and radiant. She looked really good.”

The entertainment website reports that a day earlier, Jolie and Pitt, 50, enjoyed a family yachting trip in Malta with their six kids. The family was accompanied by three bodyguards, yacht crew members and a nanny during a private family yacht trip around Selmun Bay.

The kids participated in some watersports activities while Pitt and Jolie hung out aboard the ship together and took pictures. The family also enjoyed a sushi lunch on the yacht.

By the Sea
, which Jolie is directing, is set to hit theaters in 2015.

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Jennifer Garner Says Ben Affleck’s Job as a Father Is Laughter

Jennifer Garner Says Ben Affleck’s Job as a Father Is Laughter

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After nine years of marriage and three children, a lot has changed for Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Garner admits that her focus is on her kids and not necessarily romancing her Hollywood husband.

“You can’t expect to be courted all the time, and I don’t want to court him right now — I don’t have the energy!” she says in the October issue of InStyle magazine, on newsstands September 19. “But we’re definitely in a very mindful place where we’re making an effort to be together, do things at the same time, and be loving.”

Since walking down the aisle in 2005, the A-list couple has settled into their roles as parents, even giving themselves a night off sometimes.

“When we had our first [child], we had only been together a year. We were babies. It happened so fast, I hardly remember what we were like before the kids got here. Now we’re just starting to go away for a night here and there,” Garner says.

So how do they split up parenting duties? Garner admits she takes most of the mundane tasks.

“For better or worse, I tend to be the one who says, ‘This is what needs to happen.’ I know who wants what lunch, and I’ve done all the school paperwork and filled out the emergency cards. Ben doesn’t know that stuff exists,” she reveals. “He is in charge of laughter. No matter how much I tickle them or toss them or chase them around, it’s not the same. If I’m the slow, steady drumbeat, he’s the jazz.”

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Pope Rejects Extra Security on Trip Despite Potential ISIS Threat

Pope Rejects Extra Security on Trip Despite Potential ISIS Threat

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(VATICAN CITY) — Pope Francis will have no additional security when he travels to the predominantly Muslim country of Albania this week, despite reports that the pontiff is a target for ISIS terrorists.

The pope will use the same open-topped Jeep he uses at the Vatican during his single-day trip Sunday, a spokesman confirmed Monday.

“There is no reason to change the pope’s itinerary,” the Rev. Frederico Lombardi said in a briefing Monday, explaining that there were no specific threats or concerns. “We are obviously paying attention but there is no need for concern or a change to his program in Albania.”

The pope, 77, will use the open-topped vehicle because he prefers to be unhindered, Lombardi said.

Recent unsourced Italian media reports claim the pope is a target for ISIS terrorists.

Iraq’s ambassador to the Holy See has also publicly expressed concerns.

“The Pope is indeed a target,” Habeeb Al Sadr told Italian newspaper Il Messaggero late last week. “We know very well how these terrorists think…I would not exclude that ISIS would arrive to strike him.”

Pope Francis told reporters last month the world would be justified in using force to stop ISIS aggression.

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Scotland Independence Vote Raises Specter of Ununited Kingdom

Scotland Independence Vote Raises Specter of Ununited Kingdom

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Of all the many crises this summer — from ISIS, to Ukraine, Ebola to Libya — who’d have thought jolly old England would be on that list?

Technically, it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But for how much longer? On Thursday, after 307 years, Scotland may vote for independence and with it, potentially change the world order that has lasted since the end of the Second World War. Decisions taken across the highlands and lowlands of Scotland will echo far beyond the shores of a disunited kingdom.

Fifty years ago, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson declared that Britain had “lost an empire but not yet found a role.” He may have been premature. During two decades of war — in Iraq (twice), Afghanistan and elsewhere, Britain chose the role as America’s “ally-in-chief.” British and U.S. troops fought and died together, from Basra to Helmand and beyond. Half a century after he dismissed “Great” Britain, on Sept. 18, the Britain Acheson spoke of, may cease to exist.

A Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland would continue. But Britain would be partitioned — not for the first time. In 122 AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a wall, stretching 75 miles to keep “barbarians” of Scotland out of England. Two millennia on, a vote for independence would consign Great Britain to the same history books as Hadrian. The implications would be profound — not just for the rump of the United Kingdom, but for the United States and the Western Alliance.

While Scotland makes up just 8 percent of the U.K. population — its GDP of $235 million puts it just behind Connecticut ($240 million) — it is also home to the 58 Trident nuclear missiles leased by Britain from the United States and the four nuclear submarines that carry them.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond — the man who has led the march to independence — has promised to remove the missiles and the submarines from their current base on the west coast of Scotland during the first term of parliament following independence. The consequences for Britain and NATO would be grave. No other port in the U.K. is equipped to house the missiles, raising the potential prospect of Britain’s “independent” nuclear deterrent being based in France, or at the U.S. naval base at King’s Bay in Georgia, home to America’s own Trident submarines.

And then there’s the flag. The Union Jack is made up of the flags of the U.K.’s constituent parts — the red St. George’s Cross for England, the red diagonal Irish cross of St Patrick, and Scotland’s blue white and blue Saltire. Officially, it’s even called the Union Flag — so without a Union, what to do? It’s not just the UK that will need a rethink. Four other countries also have the Union Jack in their flag (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tuvalu) as well as Britain’s overseas territories like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Even the state of Hawaii has the Union Jack in its design, as do the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario.

Next year the United Nations marks its 70th birthday. Across seven decades — for all of Acheson’s doubts — the U.K. has been one of just five “great powers” to be permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, alongside the United States, Russia, China and France. But there are many who covet Britain’s UN chair. India and Brazil have been pushing for Security Council reform. This week, even the former British Prime Minister, Sir John Major, warned that should Scotland vote for independence, the U.K.’s place as a member of the permanent five of the United Nations “would no longer be viable.” Others warn that it could lose its place in the G7 group of Nations. The IMF ranks the U.K. as the world’s sixth biggest economy. Without Scotland, the U.K. would be overtaken by Brazil.

Many of Britain’s nearest neighbors are also watching closely. The European Union says an independent Scotland would leave the E.U. and need to reapply for membership. Each of the E.U.’s 28 member nations has a veto on new members. Many have their own separatist movements. Spain would be unlikely to encourage Scottish independence for fear that Catalonia might be next.

While warning of the risks to the U.K.’s place in the UN, former Prime Minister Major also warns independence would enhance the risk of Britain’s exit from the E.U. As if one in/out referendum isn’t enough, David Cameron has promised another — in 2017 — on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union. But that would follow Scotland’s exit. And with more voters in Scotland pro-E.U. than in the rest of the U.K., those fighting to keep Britain in Europe fear it could tip the balance towards the rump of the U.K. leaving the E.U. — the United States’ largest trading partner.

Five million Americans can claim Scottish ancestry, almost as many people as live in Scotland today. This time next year — on Sept. 11, 2015 — Queen Elizabeth will become Britain’s longest reigning monarch, passing Victoria’s record of 63 years and 216 days, an anniversary she will spend at Balmoral, the Scottish Castle where she is said to feel most at home. Through her mother, the Queen is a direct descendant of the legendary Scottish warrior Robert the Bruce. It would be a bitter irony if it was Britain’s most Scottish monarch ever who presided over the break-up of her United Kingdom.

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Watch Ellen DeGeneres and Kristen Wiig Perform Funny Version of “Let It Go”

Watch Ellen DeGeneres and Kristen Wiig Perform Funny Version of “Let It Go”

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that aired Monday, former Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig joined Ellen for a less-than-stellar take on “Let It Go,” the song Idina Menzel originally sang in the Disney film Frozen.

DeGeneres had confessed that she’s “probably one of the only human beings on this planet that doesn’t know that song ‘Let It Go.’”

Wiig admitted to being just as clueless, noting, “I just know that the words ‘let it go’ are in there. I assume they’re in there.”

The 56-year-old talk show host explained, “My niece sang the whole thing to me the other day and I thought, ‘Well, we should sing it together.’ We don’t know it.” She declared that her and Wiig’s version would be “the worst” of all the videos that have been circulating around the Web.

DeGeneres then pulled out two microphones and handed one to Wiig. They went on to give a hilarious performance of the entire song.

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Does Your Family Play Favorites?

Does Your Family Play Favorites?

iStock/Thinkstock(PROVO, Utah) — The Smothers Brothers comedy routine always included Tommy Smothers feeling hurt and complaining to his brother Dick that “Mom always liked you best.” Well, a new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology shows that some families do play favorites, and it can have a negative future impact on children.

Alex Jensen, a professor at Brigham Young University and the lead author of the study, examined perceived preferential treatment among different types of families and categorized those that weren’t close to one another as “disengaged families.”

Jensen looked further at the disengaged families and found that children who considered themselves slightly less favored were almost twice as likely to use alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs.

And the study found that if a child’s perception of not being the favorite was even greater, they were nearly four times more likely to abuse substances.

“With favoritism in disengaged families, it wasn’t just that they were more likely to use any substances, it also escalated,” Jensen said in a press release. “If they were already smoking then they were more likely to drink also. Or if they were smoking and drinking, they were more likely to also use drugs.”

On the opposite end, the link to abuse of substances didn’t exist at all in families that took a strong interest in one another. The bottom line: happy kids make for happy adults and a happy family.

Jensen suggests that parents who know they play favorites should make a strong effort to show all their kids more love than they already are.

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Is Blood Type an Indicator of Future Memory Problems?

Is Blood Type an Indicator of Future Memory Problems?

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Can blood type be a factor in determining your risk for dementia?

A new study published in the journal Neurology finds that people with blood type AB appear to have an increased risk for memory problems as they age.

Over a period of three years, individuals with AB type blood, which represents about four percent of the population, were almost twice as likely to display memory problems as those with type O blood, the most common blood group.

The researchers gave memory and thinking skills tests to more than 30,000 people over the age of 45 and re-tested them again three years later.  Out of the group, 495 participants scored low enough to indicate some sort of memory or thinking impairment.  When their blood types were compared to the blood types of 587 participants who achieved satisfactory cognitive scores, the researchers found those with AB blood types were 82 percent more likely to have impaired thinking skills than those with type O blood.

Dr. Mary Cushman, a professor of hematology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the study’s senior researcher, says the results are not surprising.  Cushman says they already know that having blood type AB can affect blood-clotting characteristics and risk of blood vessel-related conditions.  Cushman says her group also learned earlier this year that the AB blood type was connected to a higher risk of stroke.

But don’t panic if you have AB blood. Dr. Terence Quinn, a clinical lecturer in stroke and geriatric medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, says other circumstances play a bigger role in a person’s risk of developing memory and thinking problems.

“If you were to do the same study and look at smoking, lack of exercise, obesity and other lifestyle factors, the risk of dementia is much, much higher,” says Quinn.

“People who are worried about dementia, whether they have that blood group or not, should look at making those lifestyle changes,” adds Quinn.

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Peer Pressure Makes Healthcare Workers Better Hand Washers

Peer Pressure Makes Healthcare Workers Better Hand Washers

iStock/Thinkstock(IOWA CITY, Iowa) — Healthcare workers, more than any other group, know that clean hands go a long way to prevent the spread of infection, but a new study finds that hand hygiene amongst that group is rather low, but peer pressure helps improve the practice.

Researchers at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine studied hand hygiene compliance and opportunities, as well as the location and proximity of every healthcare worker in the intensive care unit of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics during a 10-day period for 24 hours a day.

After recording more than 47,000 hand hygiene opportunities, the estimated hand hygiene rate was seven percent higher when healthcare workers were in close proximity to peers as compared to when healthcare workers were alone — 28 percent vs. 21 percent.

“Social network effects, or peer effects, have been associated with smoking, obesity, happiness and worker productivity. As we found, this influence extends to hand hygiene compliance, too,” said Philip Polgreen, MD, an author of the study.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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