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Police can request your DNA from sites like Ancestry, 23andMe

Millions of people have handed their DNA over to genetic testing companies like Ancestry or 23andMe to learn more about their family history

Eric Yarham wanted to learn about his heritage, so he mailed off his saliva to 23andMe.

“I’m just trying to unravel the mystery that is your genetics,” said Yarham.

Yarham was surprised to find a tiny portion of his DNA profile can be traced back to sub-Saharan Africa. He was also unaware that his genetic information could end up in the hands of police. 

>> Read more trending news 

“The police make mistakes and I would rather not be on the unfortunate end of one of those mistakes, as a result of my DNA being somewhere that is unlucky,” Yarham said.

Both 23andMe and Ancestry confirm your DNA profile could be disclosed to law enforcement if they have a warrant.

23andMe Privacy Officer Kate Black said, “We try to make information available on the website in various forms, so through Frequently Asked Questions, through information in our privacy center.”

According to the company’s self-reported data, law enforcement has requested information for five American 23andMe customers since it began offering home test kits more than a decade ago. 

23andMe’s website states, “In each of these cases, 23andMe successfully resisted the request and protected our customers’ data from release to law enforcement.”

Black said she wouldn’t entirely rule it out in the future. “We would always review a request and take it on a case-by-case basis,” Black said. self-reports that it complied with a 2014 search warrant to identify a customer based on a DNA sample. Ancestry claims to have more than four million customers.

Boston 25 checked with District Attorneys’ in Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Norfolk Counties.

None were aware of any Massachusetts cases where results from a private genealogy testing service has been requested or used in a criminal investigation.

Jacksonville Dr. Saman Soleymani, who has studied genetics extensively and been an expert witness in criminal cases said genetic information submitted by a family member can also be of interest to law enforcement for familial matching. 

“They can see what the likelihood is of these certain alleles, of these genetic markers, matching up to make it -- likelihood of whether you were involved in, let’s say, that criminal activity or not,” said Dr. Soleymani. Soleymani said he didn't take any chances when he sent his DNA to 23andMe. “I literally sent my kit saying my name is Billy Bob,” he added.

If you or a family member has sent in your genetic material to Ancestry or 23andMe, both companies allow you to delete your DNA results.

'I don’t believe it myself': Ohio breast cancer survivor, former teacher turns 104

To celebrate being 104 years old, like Ruth Ann Slade did Tuesday afternoon, one must have good genes and what her friend called “inner strength.”

>> Watch an interview with Slade here

Slade, who spent 37 years as a first- and second-grade teacher in Poasttown, Ohio, has beaten breast cancer twice and persevered after her leg was pinned under a patio door for 18 hours as her body temperatures fell to dangerous levels.

“I see a survivor,” said Chuck Veidt, 60, who cares for Slade in his West Alexandria Road residence. “She is something else. A true survivor. Her mind is better than mine. She’s a tough act to follow.”

When asked about her 104th birthday, Slade said: “I don’t believe it myself.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

About 10 years ago, Veidt checked on Slade in her home up the street from his to see if she needed anything from the grocery store. He was shocked to see her lying face down in the kitchen as about a foot of snow accumulated just outside the door. She was rushed to Middletown Regional Hospital, where her body temperature returned to safe levels after two hours. She suffered frost bite.

She later told Veidt she listened to the furnace turn off and on so she wouldn’t fall asleep.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979, she had her left breast removed. Thirty-one years later, the cancer returned in her right breast.

Longevity is part of Slade’s DNA. Her father and mother lived to be 91 and 89, respectively, though she has buried her two younger brothers and sister.

She credits eating fresh food from the family garden for her long life, but Veidt chimed in that Slade often told him not being married was the reason.

Born in a farmhouse in Madison Twp. in 1914, Slade graduated from Middletown High School in 1932. Her last MHS class reunion was her 60th in 1992. She’d probably be the only one still alive for her 86th class reunion.

“A class of one,” Veidt said with a smile.

>> Read more trending news 

Slade taught two years in a one-room school house, then 35 years after Poasttown built a new school. One of her former first-grade students, Homer Hartman, 86, attended Slade’s birthday party. Before Hartman was wheeled into the house, Slade gave a warning: “He’s going to tell a bunch of lies about me.”

Hartman didn’t disappoint. While he called Slade his “favorite” teacher, he said she frequently put him in the corner of the classroom.

“She didn’t let me get away with much,” he said.

She responded: “I never put him in the corner. None of my students.”

Slade retired in 1972 and said there is no way she could teach today because of the lack of discipline shown by some students.

“Kids would tell me where to go,” she said with a smile.

Is Slade afraid to die? She just shook her head.

“A new experience for me,” she said.

She paused, then added: “When (God) comes for me, I will be ready to go.”

If you’re surrounded by toxic people, Tyson has some sobering advice for you

We’re well into the new year. You’ve already broken your resolutions — or you  followed my advice and didn’t make any to begin with.

But Tyson has some words of wisdom for you. And they’re surprisingly good. I wholeheartedly agree with everyone he’s saying.

Watch the video

If your life is full of toxic people, you need to get rid of them!

RELATED: A very important message from Elissa the Mom: Tyson and I are NOT married

Don’t waste your time on people who make you feel sad or inferior. Don’t insult members of my family (Tyson included). Don’t spread your negativity to me, because I don’t have time for it.

Above all, work on loving yourself. You can’t love others until you love yourself.

More musings

Watch new videos from  Elissa the Mom  every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

4-year-old boy dies in Ohio's first pediatric flu-related death of the season

A 4-year-old Ohio boy has died from the flu in Montgomery County.

The child, Jonah S. Rieben, of Clayton, was identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Wednesday morning. The official cause and manner of his death have not been determined by the coroner’s office.

Rieben died on Jan. 6 after being admitted to Dayton Children’s Hospital. It is the first pediatric flu-related death in Ohio this year. Last flu season there were seven pediatric deaths in Ohio.

>> Read more trending news 

The Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday afternoon a 1-year-old boy from Lucas County also died from the flu, becoming the second pediatric flu-related death in the state. 

Jonah Rieben, who was born in Bulgaria, was adopted by the Rieben family in February 2017. He had 16 brothers and sisters. “A brave warrior who fought and overcame many difficult battles throughout his short life, Jonah inspired us all with his strength and resiliency,” an obituary stated. 

“It is a tragedy anytime a loved one is lost and we extend our condolences to the family and friends who are affected,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

>> On Is the ‘man flu’ real? Scientists claim men experience worse flu symptoms

Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months or older get a flu shot as soon as possible. It’s still not too late to get vaccinated as the flu season extends until the end of spring. 

“No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu. Our hearts go out the family,” said Jon Woltmann with the infectious disease department at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “We encourage parents to get their children vaccinated to not only protect them, but children who are not able to get the vaccine due to underlying health conditions.”

Let’s Learn to Make | This spicy jambalaya will keep everyone coming back for more

Who doesn’t love jambalaya? This spicy recipe is loaded with meat and veggies, and is guaranteed to bring everyone back for more!

RELATED: Making the perfect crispy pan pizza at home is easier than you think

Watch the video

This quick version will up your game in the kitchen.

You will need:
  • 3-pound chicken
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces sausage, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons creole seasoning
How to make it

Mix together the celery, onions, green pepper and garlic.

Shred the chicken, then mix in the creole seasoning.

Melt the butter in a pot. Add the chicken and cook until tender.

In another pot, cook the chopped vegetables until tender. Add the rice and the sausage, and combine everything.

Add a bit more creole seasoning to the vegetables, rice and sausage.

Stir in the chicken and add about 4 cups of water.

Let the jambalaya simmer — then enjoy!

Husband, wife win $1 million prizes in separate contests just months apart

Imagine finding gold at the end of a rainbow — twice. That’s how lucky a Massachusetts couple has found themselves over the last few months.

Robert Goodwin won a $1 million jackpot after scratching off a $5 instant lottery ticketthe Massachusetts State Lottery announced Monday. Anyone would be astonished at his good fortune, but for Goodwin and his wife, this wasn’t their first rodeo.

Back in August, Jane Goodwin won a $1 million prize in the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes.

>> See the clip here

Robert Goodwin is taking his winnings home in a lump sum, which will leave him with $650,000 in his pocket — definitely nothing to scoff at.

The couple is planning on combining their earnings to buy a home in a retirement community. Their reason?

“No more shoveling,” said Robert Goodwin.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Just last week, a New Jersey woman found out she’d be taking home a staggering $5 million after finally checking the numbers on a scratch-off lottery ticket she accidentally purchased two weeks ago.

Oksana Zaharov, 46, meant to buy a $1 scratch-off ticket while she was shopping in New York City, but she was mistakenly issued a $10 one by the clerk instead. Even though she went ahead a bought it anyway, she waited a full two weeks to check it.

“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad, so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” she said on Tuesday, according to a Fox News report. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.”

>> Read more trending news 

She plans on setting her winnings aside for her children’s college plans, but before then, a family vacation to the Bahamas is on the horizon.

“I never win anything,” Zaharov said. “I was sure the ticket was fake. It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.”

Hot chocolate cheesecake is the winter treat of your dreams

This cheesecake is served cold, but that doesn’t mean it won’t warm your heart.

RELATED: Homemade red velvet hot chocolate will definitely keep you warm all winter

Watch the video

Hot chocolate has such a distinct flavor. It’s chocolaty, but it doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate. You’ll be surprised how much this cheesecake actually tastes like hot cocoa and not just like any other chocolate cheesecake.

Here’s what you’ll need: Crust
  • Cooking spray, for pan
  • 24 whole Oreos
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 2 packets hot cocoa mix
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 15 marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, for garnish

Find the full recipe on Delish.

This genius creation is the ultimate thing to make with mashed potatoes

You’ll love this mashed potato mashup.

This is the stuff of dreams — literally. Blogger Reeni from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice actually dreamed about this mashed potato crunch, then created it IRL when she woke up.

RELATED: These 5 add-ins will take your leftover mashed potatoes to the next level

It looks like a pizza, but tastes like a loaded potato pancake. See, we told you it was genius.

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 2.5 pounds russet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 2 green onions
  • sour cream, for garnish

Find the full recipe on Reeni’s blog.

This Melty the Snowman cake is the most adorable depiction of how we feel about winter right now

Don’t you just wish winter would melt away already?

If you’ve still got months of potential snow on the horizon, you can at least get a good laugh from this adorable cake. Mr. Melty will definitely make your kids smile, and if you’ve got time for a snow day project, give it a shot.

Watch the video

RELATED: Melted snowman cookies are easy and adorable for the holiday season

You’ll need several of your favorite cake layers in various sizes, a batch of buttercream, and some black and orange fondant.

This video from Chelsweets explains exactly how to make it.

Easily dress up any weeknight vegetable with this 5-minute cheese sauce

Homemade cheese sauce is much easier to whip up than you think. It actually only takes around five minutes, and you probably have the ingredients all on hand. Plus, its flexible — you can easily use another cheese or swap chicken broth for the milk if you’re out.

This just might be the secret sauce to getting your kids to eat more veggies.

Watch the video

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard powder
  • 4 cups milk, room temperature
  • 3 cups grated Swiss cheese
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Of course, you can always adjust the proportions to fit your family.

RELATED: With just 3 simple ingredients and a slow cooker, you can make this irresistible sausage queso

Watch this great video from Blue Jean Chef and QVC for the ultimate lesson on making cheese sauces.

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