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Flu outbreak
Scott Olson, Getty Images
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Grayville, Illinois School District Closes Because of Flu Outbreak

The flu season is here and the Tri-State is being hit hard, as is the rest of the country. This is one of the largest flu outbreaks in years and all of us are being warned to take precautions. Schools in Grayville, IL have taken the unusual step of closing their schools for the next three days, starting today.

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Half Pint Is All Grown Up and Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye

This week will be a hard one! After over 2 years, Half Pint is leaving WKDQ for a grown-up job. We have lived through her engagement, shower, wedding, post wedding drama, family issues, school, 21st b-day and graduation from college. And although we have been hard on her at times both on air and off, we love her dearly and she will be greatly missed. But as with our real children, even our radio daughter must leave the nest. :-(

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youtube
youtube
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Baby Alive – Leslie Unleashed

On the show this morning, I revealed that besides my 'Pet Rock,' the dumbest toy I ever had was a 'Baby Alive' doll. Apparently, I am NOT alone.

 

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Kids and gadgets
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images
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Are Your Kids Still Interested In Toys?

Christmas is now over and your kids might still have their toys scattered all over the place or maybe not. Remember the days when every Christmas there was some 'must have' toy that people would line up for days in advance to make sure they got one? Things like a Furby, Tickle-Me-Elmo or a Razor scooter were almost impossible to find at the height of their popularity. That doesn't seem to happen much anymore and manufacturers like Mattel and Hasbro are becoming very concerned.

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Elf on the Shelf
Facebook
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Elf On The Shelf – Good Clean Fun Or A Clever Lie

Elf on the Shelf is a very popular tradition for a lot of people in the Tri-State and has been for a number of years, but what is the message the tradition is sending to the kids? That's the question some parents groups are asking.

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Easy-Bake
Hasbro
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Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven Will Now Be Gender Neutral Thanks To 13-Year-Old’s Petition

McKenna Pope is probably a name you don't know, but the Easy-Bake Oven is a name you have known for decades, but how are the two related? Pope is  a 13-year-old from Garfield, N.J.who petitioned Hasbro to make the Easy-Bake Oven more gender neutral because some little boys, her brother included, enjoy baking with it too.

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youtube
youtube
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SNL’s ‘Silent Night’ – A Much Needed Moment

When I arrived home on Friday and turned on my TV, I was overwhelmed with grief for the victims and their families in Connecticut. As a mother and former educator, what had happened seemed unimaginable. I sat alone in my living room and wept. At that moment, all I wanted was to hug my children, hug them tight and pray for their continued safety. As I watched the President cry with me, I realized the daunting task he has ahead of him. How will he ever be able to make us feel safe? Will we ever be able to emotionally move on from this tragic event?

Apparently, the writers of SNL were asking themselves the same questions while preparing for the Saturday broadcast. 'Saturday Night Live' is the show that takes our reality and shows us the humor in all the absurdity around us. Rarely, do they take a moment to just be silent, but Saturday, they did.

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Kids and TV
Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images
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Is Having a TV in Your Child’s Bedroom a Good Idea?

First of all, let me start by saying that I am NOT in favor of TVs in kids bedrooms, much to the dismay of my sons. This issue is such a hot button for me; it was one of the factors that led to a divorce. There is a new study out that links TVs in the kids' room to increased risk of obesity and disease, which is no surprise anymore because everything it seems puts kids at risk for something.

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A boy and his dog
YouTube
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There Is Nothing Better Than Watching a Boy and His Dog

Sometimes you come across a video that you just have to share with everybody, especially at this time of year. There really isn't a lot that needs to be said about this video. Just a boy and his dog. The best part is when the dog waits while the boy plays in a puddle

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timlewisnm, flickr
timlewisnm, flickr
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How to Write a Letter to Santa, Today

When I was a child, we got out the paper and crayons and we wrote our letter to Santa. Days were spent, filing through the Sears Catalog toy section, (yes, sadly that was our only resource, lol) making sure everything we wanted was on the list. We would then go to the mall and hand deliver it to the big guy. But today, kids don't even have to leave the house. Santa is on their computer screen!

 

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Toy Drive
Townsquare Media
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911 Gives Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive to Benefit Local Hospitals Is Underway

The 4th annual 911 Gives Hope for the Holidays toy drive is underway at the Eastside Wal-Mart in the front parking lot. As you can see by the photo on the left, we have a ways to go before that 53-foot semi-trailer is full, but it will be by 6pm on Sunday night. That photo is the first of the drive.

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LEGO surprise
YouTube
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This LEGO Video Might Be the Most Heartwarming Video You’ll See This Year

LEGOs are one of the most popular toys out there right now and they have been around for many years. My sons are huge fans and their Christmas and Birthday lists for the last two years have been all about LEGOs. Imagine a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome who plays with LEGOs to improve his social skills, only to find out the set he wants the most is no longer available.

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