Morgan County Herald: Online Features

Online Features

  • Pets

    Is your pandemic pet giving your eye allergies the blues?

    (BPT) - The pandemic has caused pet adoptions and sales to soar because who doesn’t want a cute, furry friend for extra snuggles during this time? What some might be noticing is that those snuggles from a cute pup or kitty come at a cost — itchy allergy eyes. If you are experiencing irritated, itchy eyes since bringing home your furry friend, you might be allergic to pet dander and animal hair. Before you make plans to send your new best friend back to the shelter, there might be help.

  • Home Improvement

    How to Create a More Functional Laundry Room

    (Family Features) A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.

  • Travel

    6 creative ways hotels are adapting to the pandemic

    (BPT) - The hotel industry has always been on the forefront of finding innovative ways to accommodate and take care of guests. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has led to canceled or rescheduled plans, many hotels are focused on developing long-term strategies to give their guests the safest and best possible experience. If you’re looking to travel right now, consider booking with a hotel implementing one or all of these six strategies.

Top Story

5 Tips to Protect Seniors from Financial Scams Right Now

(StatePoint) Social isolation among seniors is not only linked to numerous negative health consequences like depression and cardiovascular disease, but it’s also a primary contributing factor in financial exploitation and scams. Estimated to affect one in 10 older adults and cost billions annually, the threat of elder financial fraud is pervasive, and especially so right now.

  • icon Posted: January 19

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

Recent Headlines

Monday 01/18/2021
5 delicious things you didn’t know about ghee
Posted: January 18, 2021

Start 2021 on a high note with these hacks
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - While 2020 was a rollercoaster of emotions, this year doesn’t have to be. These hacks will help you navigate the new norm this year — and make sure 2021 kicks off on a stress-free note.

The Tooth Fairy Is Now Taking Calls
Posted: January 18, 2021

(NAPSI)—Good news for families: The Tooth Fairy now has her own phone number to congratulate kids on losing teeth and encourage them to care for their smiles—helping to promote good oral health habits and reduce the incidence of tooth decay.

Parents and guardians can call the Tooth Fairy Hotline toll-free at 1-833-FAIRY-WA for their children, and select from four messages from the tooth fairies. 

Each pre-recorded call features a different tooth fairy with a distinct pediatric dental health message designed just for kids. The messages include:

•First Lost Tooththis celebrates a child’s first lost tooth and describes the importance of baby teeth

•Lost Tooththis celebrates a child’s lost tooth and encourages kids to keep up a healthy smile

•Good Dental Examthis one congratulates children for a good dental exam and prepares them for future appointments 

•Poor Dental Examthis provides words of encouragement for a child’s next dental exam if the first appointment did not go well.

The new hotline is part of The Tooth Fairy Experience, a free statewide program presented by Delta Dental of Washington. It teaches kids how to keep young smiles healthy and sets them on a path for a lifetime of good oral health through free community and classroom presentations (currently offered virtually), as well as downloadable materials for educators—developed in partnership with the School Nurse Organization of Washington—which are dentist-reviewed and kid-tested.

“The Tooth Fairy is a powerful ally in getting kids to care for their smiles,” said Abbie Goudarzi, DDS, a Delta Dental of Washington dental consultant. “So these positive phone messages can be a great tool for helping parents start a dialogue with their children about cavities and the importance of brushing, flossing and nutrition.”

Additional Ways to Interact with the Tooth Fairy

For those looking for more fun ways to engage, the Tooth Fairy offers customized letters for children, You can pick from special message options similar to the hotline. The letters are addressed to each child and mailed to their homes on the Tooth Fairy’s personal stationery with a special Tooth Fairy stamp. 

The Tooth Fairy even has her very own website (, social media channels (Facebook and Instagram @ToothFairyWA) and offers a free quarterly e-newsletter, Grin & Grow, for young fans. The newsletters contain information about the Tooth Fairy’s upcoming appearances, helpful dental health information written for kids, fun tooth facts and much more. Simply visit and scroll to the bottom of the page to subscribe—and rest assured that you can cancel at any time, your e-mail won’t be shared, and you won’t get any additional unsolicited e-mails.

Additionally, due to COVID-19, the Tooth Fairy is providing free face masks to children upon request. The masks showcase an illustration of the tooth fairies. Parents and guardians can e-mail the Tooth Fairy at to request a mask while supplies last. 

“We’re really excited with the response we’re getting from The Tooth Fairy Experience. Everyone from teachers and librarians, to dentists, parents and most importantly the kids themselves are saying what a wonderful experience this is,” said Kristi Ellefson, senior public relations and brand manager for Delta Dental of Washington. “The Tooth Fairy hotline and letters are just two of the ways the program is making dental health education fun and exciting for kids, helping us achieve our vision for a cavity-free Washington.”

5 ways to focus on wellness – and enjoy your life
Posted: January 18, 2021

(BPT) - The beginning of a new year always inspires and encourages new attitudes and ideas for taking care of yourself. But too often, strategies recommended for being healthier are centered around sacrifice and not letting yourself enjoy what you normally love.

Saturday 01/16/2021
Make a Statement: 3 Comfortable Yet Stylish Shoe Trends to Try in 2021
Posted: January 16, 2021

(StatePoint) While comfort will continue to reign supreme for clothing and accessories in 2021, when it comes to footwear, there are a variety of fun fashion trends that make a statement. The good news is that there’s no need to overhaul your entire closet. And it’s easier than ever to incorporate on-trend pieces into a comfortable and casual outfit.

Friday 01/15/2021
More people are concerned about their financial future: 4 steps to protect yours
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Finances are consistently a top concern for many Americans, with “saving money” a top-10 most common New Year’s resolution. This year, Americans are more concerned than ever before due to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tips to help make the most of your health plan in 2021
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Last year was a difficult year as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our country, impacting families and communities nationwide. The health challenges of the pandemic also provided a crucial reminder about the importance of health care.

What to Expect in Tech From the All-Digital CES Showcase [Video]
Posted: January 15, 2021

Stroke awareness: It’s always an emergency
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

Youth vaping education course focuses on prevention and e-cigarette addiction with resources to quit
Posted: January 15, 2021

(BPT) - Amid the nation's ongoing youth vaping epidemic, health organizations are stepping in to help teens kick nicotine out of their lives. According to the latest CDC data, one in five high school students use e-cigarettes with nearly 40% of users doing so on a regular basis.

Tips to Make this the Year You Quit Smoking for Good
Posted: January 15, 2021

(StatePoint) Is “quitting smoking” on the top of your list of goals for the year? Was it last year too? Here are some insights from those in the know into kicking this habit to the curb for good.

Thursday 01/14/2021
Leading Climate Scientists Launch New Science Moms Campaign [Video]
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

3 tips to landing a PPP loan that works for your business
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - COVID-19 has sparked unprecedented impact across industries and has changed the way almost every business operates. And while many of these businesses have probably sought funding in the past — whether business loans for expansion, venture capital to launch or otherwise the concept of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that so many businesses raced to apply for, and have since relied on — just to survive is a first.

10 steps to finding the best smartphone for you
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Quality smartphones come in all configurations and price points these days. Here are some of the key things you’ll want to look for to make sure you find one that works best for your needs. Happy shopping!

Why adults should prioritize vaccines this winter
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - With COVID-19 cases on the rise and flu season underway, it is more important than ever to prioritize your health.

BookBites: Meet Characters and Journeys You Won't Soon Forget
Posted: January 14, 2021


What to expect from Economic Impact Payment Cards
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - With the enactment of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, millions of eligible individuals will receive a second Economic Impact Payment (EIP). The Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) is distributing these payments on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To speed delivery of payments, some individuals will receive their payment in the form of an EIP Card, which is a safe, convenient and secure prepaid debit card. EIP Cards were mailed beginning the week of Jan. 4, 2021.

How America's love of avocados boosts economic growth
Posted: January 14, 2021

(BPT) - Last year, record-breaking imports of Avocados From Mexico contributed a whopping $4 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), generating $6.5 billion in U.S. economic output.

Wedded Bliss in Times Like This
Posted: January 14, 2021

(Family Features) During pre-COVID times, wedding concerns like venue capacity had far more to do with budget and vision than with the health and safety of guests. It’s a different world today, but with some careful planning you can still find ways to safely celebrate your love.

How to Welcome a New Puppy to the Family
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

Introducing a new puppy to your household can bring many rewards. However, getting the hang of things can take some time, especially for first-time pet owners.

Put Your Resolutions in Easy Reach
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

Make Managing Eczema Easier
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) More than 30 million Americans, including nearly 10 million children, have eczema, the umbrella term for a group of noncontagious, inflammatory and painful skin conditions marked by an itchy, rash-like appearance. Because one of the most challenging aspects of eczema can be its unpredictability, the National Eczema Association (NEA), designed an app to help people and parents easily track what’s important and make sense of it.

5 Steps Schools Are Taking to Help Feed Children During the Pandemic
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

Nearly 30 million children in the United States rely on school meals for a significant portion of their daily nutrition. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of food-insecure children has increased 20% to 1 in 4. Although many schools are operating remote or hybrid models, most are still open full-time for feeding students.

How to Be an Effective Partner in Your IBD Care
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) A lifelong diagnosis like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may feel overwhelming and confusing, but by working closely with your health care providers, you can work toward managing the disease and improving your quality of life.

Match Your Winter Skin Care Routine with Your Active Lifestyle
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

6 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp as You Age
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) As knowledge about the aging process, medical research and technology continues to advance, so do the options for managing how aging impacts your life. While biologically everyone ages differently, you can control some things by committing to healthy lifestyle choices that can keep your mind sharp for years to come.

Power Family Meals with Protein-Packed Peanuts
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Starting fresh with a new year is a chance to hit the reset button for many people, and your family can use this opportunity to rethink homemade meals while striving for nutritious (and still delicious) dishes. From snacks to the main course each evening, the options are nearly endless for planning a revamped menu with healthier ingredients.

Add a Little Sweetness to Any Occasion
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

( It’s almost impossible to beat the combination of sweet fruit and decadent desserts. This delicious recipe for Apple Cake highlights the crisp fruit but also the cinnamon sugar-flavored pastry. It’s luscious but doesn’t overdo it on the sweet meter with just the right mix of flavors.

Easy-to-Make Cookies to Satisfy Sweet Cravings
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Whether it’s a home-cooked meal, a tasty snack or a delicious dessert, sometimes the best recipes are the easiest. Take your sweets to the next level by adding an option to your cookbook that’s as simple as it is tempting and satisfying.

Turn to Tempeh for a Plant-Based Superfood
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) As a key part of a nutritious eating plan, protein intake can be a healthy step to take in the new year. One increasingly popular way to add protein to your at-home menu is with protein-packed, plant-based foods like tempeh.

New Year Nutrition
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

Take on 2021 with a sustainable, low-carb eating plan

New Year, New Family Habits
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

Simple ideas to make healthy eating easier

Celebrating Big with Berry Punch
Posted: January 14, 2021

( Holidays, gatherings and celebrations can be the best time to try new, easy, stress-free recipes. Drink and punch recipes are especially easy to throw together (even last-minute) right before the festivities begin. This way, the drinks are chilled, and the food is hot and ready.

A Classic Dish for Celebrating the Chinese New Year
Posted: January 14, 2021

(Family Features) For countless cultures around the world, food is an integral part of many traditions, including the Chinese New Year. Spring rolls, varieties of noodles and steamed fish represent a small portion of the dishes typically enjoyed on this occasion, yet one of the most common is dumplings.

How to Create a More Functional Laundry Room
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.

Make the Most of Your Bathroom Renovation
Posted: January 14, 2021

(Family Features) Adding additional bathroom space to your home or renovating an outdated lavatory can improve your home’s usability and increase its value, too. To get the most practical benefits and value out of your new space, there are several factors to consider.

Preparing for a Financial Emergency
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:33 am

5 tips for building (or rebuilding) your emergency savings

8 Tips for Safely Operating Battery-Powered Tools
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

(Family Features) Battery-powered power tools make it convenient and efficient to tackle chores around the house and job site. While batteries eliminate the risks associated with electricity, they come with their own requirements for safe use and handling.

Energy-Efficient Ideas to Upgrade Your Home
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

(Family Features) Energy bills are likely among the largest expenses for homeowners, but you can take action to lower those costs. During a remodel, a certified contractor can help you make smart decisions when it comes to selecting appliances, windows and insulation for your projects.

7 Steps to Prepare for a Home Remodel
Posted: January 14, 2021

(Family Features) A homeowner’s motivation for taking on a remodeling project can vary greatly, but there’s one universal rule of thumb: home upgrades should add value, function or both. This step-by-step guide can help ensure you get the maximum return on your investment and make the most of your remodel.

5 Tips to Refresh Your Home in the New Year
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

(Family Features) Each new year gives you the chance to reset and start new routines. When you’re considering new approaches to healthy living – whether eliminating or adding habits to improve your daily life – beginning with your home is an optimal choice.

Discover Nature-Inspired Paint Trends for a Calming Home
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

(Family Features) When it comes to home design, color can change everything. From understated, clean hues and calming neutrals to soft greens and mid-tone colors with artistic qualities, a whole new style is just brush strokes away. With the right color palette, you can transform your space to highlight contemporary trends while creating your desired ambiance.

Make Your Home a Sanctuary – Even If COVID-19 Arrives on Your Doorstep
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) 3M Sponsored Content.

Wednesday 01/13/2021
Why eggs are an important first food for children
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

5 ways to add fun and function to your garage
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Now is the perfect time to create more living space in your home. Whether you need a place to take a break from daily stressors, get some work done or host friends and family, look no further than your own garage.

How to tackle deep-cleaning tasks around the house
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - You know it must be done, but you just don't want to. It's been on the to-do list for far too long. You may try to ignore it, dodge it or even cover it up. It's your mess nemesis — your least-favorite cleaning task — and you dread having to tackle it.

Easy Sweetpotato Minestrone Soup—California Style
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—Everyone needs delicious recipes with heaping servings of veggies. Whether you’re thinking about overall health or trying to lose a few pounds, maintaining a balanced diet throughout the year is key to success.

Easy California Sweetpotato Minestrone fits the bill. A riff on the classic Italian soup, it takes a favorite that’s already loaded with veggie- and legume-goodness and makes it even better by adding superfood sweetpotatoes. California Sweetpotatoes are a great source of vitamin A, plus they’re full of heart-healthy potassium and fiber and antioxidants like vitamins C and E. 

Easy California Minestrone Soup

Serves 8

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 lb orange- or yellow/white-fleshed sweetpotatoes, cut into 1/2-in dice (about 3 c)

2 stalks celery, diced

3 Tbsp tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste

1 1/2 tsp pepper, or more to taste

8c chicken or vegetable broth

One 28-oz can diced tomatoes

One 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained

One 15-oz can kidney beans, drained

3/4 c uncooked elbow macaroni pasta

3/4 c fresh or frozen peas

2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1/2 c grated, shredded, or shaved Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add sweetpotatoes, celery, tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and beans and bring to a boil. Add pasta and peas, reduce to a simmer, and cook until vegetables and pasta are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in oregano and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

For more recipes and information about California sweetpotatoes, visit


Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: This story can be useful to anyone and of particular interest to readers in the states of California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Idaho.


The “big 7”: Top animals to spot in Uganda
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Do you dream of seeing majestic wild animals in their natural habitat? If viewing the world’s most impressive wildlife is on your bucket list, a safari is the way to do it. You may have even heard of the “Big 5”: lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo.

Pandemic meal preparation: How parents are coping with kids at home
Updated: January 19, 2021 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - In March, parents across the country had life flipped upside down. All of a sudden, they had to figure out how to work from home, guide their kids through e-learning, prepare more meals and manage the other regular duties of parenting. Little did these parents know that all those stressors would return in the fall.

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