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Energy Star status awarded to 18 Giant Eagle locations

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO In 2007, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Energy Star status to 176 office buildings, schools, hospitals, banks, hotels, supermarkets and college dormitories, including 18 Ohio Giant Eagle locations, in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, the agency announced Friday.

“These buildings are among the nation’s top energy savers,” stated EPA Region 5 administrator Mary Gade. “They use about one-third less energy than average buildings, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money.”

Nationally, nearly 4,100 buildings and manufacturing plants had earned EPA’s Energy Star through the end of 2007. The total includes about 1,500 office buildings, 1,300 supermarkets, 820 schools and 250 hotels. Also, more than 185 banks, financial centers, hospitals, courthouses, warehouses, dormitories and big-box retail buildings earned the Energy Star. More than 35 manufacturing plants such as cement, auto assembly, corn refining and petroleum refining are also being recognized.

In total, these award-winning commercial buildings and manufacturing plans have saved nearly $1.5 billion annually in lower energy bills and prevented carbon dioxide emissions equal to the emissions associated with electricity use of more than 1.5 million American homes for a year, relative to typical buildings.

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Health officials to swap all flu strains in new vaccine

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Health officials that were part of a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Thursday decided to completely revamp next year’s influenza vaccine, according to published reports, in an effort to better protect patients from three strains not included in this year’s vaccine that have been responsible for a spike in flu-like illnesses this season.

Each year around this time, health officials make their best educated guesses as to which flu viruses may be present in the upcoming season and include three strains of flu virus in the vaccine to help protect people from getting sick. So the decision to wholeheartedly swap all three strains for three new strains is somewhat unusual, but may have been driven in part because of the lack of protection associated with this year’s vaccine.

The new vaccine formula will include protection against the H3N2 strain Brisbane/10, a prevalent strain this year not protected against in the current vaccine formulation. The other strains chosen were an H1N1 Brisbane/59 and a Type B/Florida strain.

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“Heart Health” screening offered at participating Safeway stores

BY Diana Alickaj

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway has announced that it will be holding free “Heart Health” screenings for customers.

The screenings are particularly used to measure blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index. They are also limited to the first 35 people that enter the supermarket, per store.

According to published reports, Safeway, who are manufacturer partners with Kellogg, Del Monte and Campbell Soup Co., will be offering these screening this week and next week.

Consumers wishing to find a participating store in this limited offer can visit www.safeway.com.

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