Lessie Brown, oldest person in the US, dies at 114
By JOHN SEEWER
Wednesday, January 9
Lessie Brown, a 114-year-old Ohio woman who was believed to be the oldest person in the United States, died Tuesday, her grandson said.
Brown, who had been living with one of her daughters, died at the home in Cleveland Heights, according to Ronald Wilson.
Brown said in 2013 it was God’s will that she had lived so long. Others in her family attributed her long life to the fact that she ate a sweet potato nearly every day until she was well past 100.
“Oh I don’t know. A lot of them say it’s because I ate a lot of sweet potatoes, but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t know, God’s will,” she told WJW-TV when she celebrated her 109th birthday.
Brown was born in 1904 in Georgia and grew up on a farm near Stockbridge, outside Atlanta. She was one of 12 children and moved to Cleveland with her family when she was 18.
She married about four years later and had three girls and two boys. Her husband, Robert Brown, died in 1991.
She attended Emmanuel Baptist Church in Cleveland for more than 70 years.
Brown’s daughter, Verline Wilson, told Cleveland.com that her mother responded, “That’s good,” when she told her in May 2018 that she was the country’s oldest person following the May 9, 2018, death of 114-year-old Delphine Gibson, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
It was not clear who is now the oldest American.
The world’s oldest person is believed to be 116-year-old Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lives on the southern island of Kyushu, according to the Gerontology Research Group in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
Brown turned 114 in September and celebrated the milestone with two of her daughters and grandchildren.
Brown’s funeral will be at Emmanuel Baptist, but the arrangements have not been finalized, said Rhonda Pope, the church’s administrative assistant.
‘Last chance’ notices going to thousands of inactive voters
By JULIE CARR SMYTH
Wednesday, January 9
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s elections chief said Wednesday that more than 275,000 inactive Ohio voters are about to get their final opportunity to keep from dropping off the rolls.
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said that’s the total number of so-called “last chance mailings” going out from county boards of elections as part of Ohio’s contested process for keeping its list of eligible voters up-to-date.
Ohio’s procedure for maintaining its voter rolls is considered one of the most stringent in the nation, because it employs a “supplemental process” that has led to the removal of thousands of people who failed to vote and then didn’t respond to government requests to affirm their registrations.
Civil rights groups unsuccessfully challenged Ohio’s regimen as a voter “purge” ahead of last year’s election — claiming it violated a provision of the voter registration law that prohibits rescinding someone’s registration “by reason of the person’s failure to vote.”
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected their arguments , finding in Husted’s favor. Nonetheless, he temporarily put the procedures on hold to avoid confusion during the November election, in which he was elected lieutenant governor.
Husted characterized last chance mailings as part of his office’s efforts to help voters stay registered — not to kick them off the rolls. Those efforts also include new online notifications for voters about changes to their registration status and the use of Bureau of Motor Vehicles data to confirm a voter’s address.
“From online voter registration to these last chance mailings, every innovative reform implemented by my office over the last eight years has been done to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” he said in a statement. “We want every eligible Ohioan to be an engaged, active participant in our elections.”
Spokesman Matt McClellan said those who respond properly to the last chance mailings will remain registered. And if they drop off, he said, they can easily re-register online .
Ohio’s voting rules are of particular interest nationally, because it’s one of the larger swing states with the potential to determine the outcome of presidential elections.
The state’s maintenance procedures stemmed from a requirement in federal law that states have to make an effort to keep their voter rolls in good shape by removing people who have moved or died. Husted’s office said most of the 275,000 voters receiving last chance notices have, in fact, probably either moved out of state or died.
Ohio secretaries of state of both parties have used voters’ inactivity to trigger the removal process since 1994.
Follow Julie Carr Smyth at https://twitter.com/jcarrsmyth
Study: The Solution to Common Bowel Issues May Be a Simple Boost
Those who used toilet stools reported faster and easier bowel movements
By Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
COLUMBUS, Ohio – One in six Americans experience constipation, but far fewer want to talk about it. However, avoiding the conversation with your doctor and ignoring issues in the bathroom can not only make you feel bad, but can lead to more serious health issues. Now, a new study finds the solution to these common bowel issues may be as simple as boosting your feet on a stool.
“These toilet stools became popular through things like viral videos and social media, but there was really no medical evidence to show whether or not they are effective.” said Dr. Peter Stanich, assistant professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine. “This study shows that these simple devices can help alleviate symptoms like constipation, bloating and incomplete emptiness and can help people have more comfortable and effective bowel movements.”
In the study, 71 percent of participants experienced faster bowel movements, and 90 percent reported less straining. “Importantly, at the conclusion of the study, two-thirds of participants said they would continue to use a toilet stool,” said Stanich.
The key to their effectiveness is body positioning. The body is designed to be in a squatting position, but sitting on a toilet creates a bend in the rectum that makes it more difficult to have complete bowel movements. “The straighter that angle is, the easier bowel movements should be,” said Stanich. “Propping your feet on a stool changes the angle of your hips to put you in a more optimal squatting position.”
Dr. Stanich says toilet stools are an easy and drug-free way to treat mild bowel issues, but that it is still important to discuss any symptoms or changes in bowel habits with your doctor because they can be a sign of more serious health problems.