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City to address disaster relief

The South Lake Tahoe City Council has scheduled a special meeting Tuesday at 9 a.m. in which it plans to discuss disaster relief and 2006 strategic goals. South Lake Tahoe is applying for relief aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the New Year’s holiday storm that “may have hampered” business, City Manager Dave Jinkens said Sunday.

The application piggybacks off El Dorado County being declared a disaster by the state, Supervisor Norma Santiago said Sunday. Santiago said she plans to hear a report this week indicating the county’s next step.

Also on the city agenda, the council intends to review and prioritize its strategic goals for the coming year. It will also review appointments of committees among council members.

The meeting is scheduled at the Lake Tahoe Art Building, 3062 Lake Tahoe Blvd. The structure sits between the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and Senior Center.

– Susan Wood

— Douglas County

Prescription drug discount offered

Douglas County has launched a discount card program to help consumers cope with the high price of prescription drugs. The county is making free prescription drug discount cards available under a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties that offers average savings of 20 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs.

The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income, or existing health coverage, and are accepted at most of the county’s pharmacies. A national network of more than 57,000 participating retail pharmacies also will honor the NACo prescription discount card.

Residents do not have to be Medicare beneficiaries to be eligible for the program.

Cards will be available at County Offices. County residents can call toll free 1-877-321-2652 or visit https://naco.advancerx.com for assistance with the program.

— El Dorado County

Tip to prevent birth defects

Research indicates that consumption of folic acid in women of childbearing age is a critical to lower the rate of serious birth defects of the brain and the spine. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is necessary for proper cell growth.

Health professionals recommend women take 400 micrograms of folic acid for the health of their baby,

Hispanic women in the United States have 1.5 to 2 times higher risk of delivering babies with defects than non-Hispanic whites.

“Hispanic women consume the least amount of folic acid, and have the least knowledge about folic acid of any racial or ethnic group,” said Adriane K. Griffen, chair of the National Council on Folic Acid.

This is National Folic Acid Awareness Week.

Research has shown that if adequate amounts of folic acid are consumed before and during early pregnancy, up to 70 percent of neural tube defects such as spina bifida can be prevented.

For more information visit the Web site of the National Council on Folic Acid, http://www.folicacidinfo.org, or call the Public Health Department at (530) 573-3177.

– Provided to the Tribune


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