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I hope someone had a BBQ and they did not just throw it in a dumpster. PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (AP) — A runaway bull smashed three police cars and an animal control officer’s truck before it was shot as it approached a Utah interstate.
Pleasant Grove police Capt. Michael Smith says the bull got loose Wednesday afternoon, crashed through fences, bullied through traffic and prompted several 911 calls.
Police tried to corral it but came out on the losing end. The animal crushed the hood of one police car, damaged two others and ripped the grill off an animal control truck.
Smith says the Utah Highway Patrol reported two accidents occurred as drivers slowed down to look at the bull. Officers decided to fatally shoot the bull before it reached Interstate 15 or caused more property damage.
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It’s one thing for shoplifters to hide plunder in their pants. But a live ferret? Police said a homeless man in north Florida did just that. And he made it out the door before being challenged. Rodney Bolton, 38, was charged with theft over the $129 animal that police say he took from a pet store in Jacksonville Beach. A 17-year-old witness confronted Bolton in the parking lot and was bitten by the animal after the man allegedly shoved it in the teen’s face.
The idea of having a rotating food storage is nothing new. Simply put, it means you have a number of the same food item. The oldest item is eaten first while the newer one is shelved for later consumption. This goes for most of your food items that last a while especially canned goods. The key to keeping track of your food storage it to label each item with the month and year you purchased it. Read more
To distinguish a minor burn from a serious burn, the first step is to determine the degree and the extent of damage to body tissues. The three classifications of first-degree burn, second-degree burn and third-degree burn will help you determine emergency care: Read more
Rochom P’ngieng, who was dubbed the “Jungle Woman” after emerging naked and unable to speak from the wilds of northeastern Cambodia two years ago, is sick and apparently suffering from mental illness, a doctor said Friday. The 28-year-old woman is seen here in 2007.
Another floating human foot was found along British Columbia’s coast by two men walking on the beach this week. If you haven’t heard about this twisted phenomenon, there’s either someone with access to a morgue and a twisted sense of humor, or there are a lot of runners losing feet and not calling authorizes about the matter. A few of the found feet have been matched up with other floating feet, and even more confusing is that coroners say the feet are somehow naturally separating from the bodies. Is this a case of feet from people lost at sea separating and floating in, or some crazy person doing it?
David Athearn used a grappling hook attached to his SUV to dislodge a 4-foot long ‘mother lode’ containing 100 lures and tangled line that had been bedeviling anglers at Cowee Creek near Juneau, Alaska throughout the fishing season. While most of the hooks had rusted away, Athearn noted: “Monofilament…is like Cher’s reconstructed cheek bones, they’re forever.” The Juneau Empire.
Officials say a downed power line near Eureka in northwestern Montana electrocuted more than a dozen wild animals over a period of months, including five whitetail deer, four black bears, two wolves, one coyote and a turkey vulture. “We’re just thankful there weren’t any two-legged creatures up there, except for the turkey vulture,” said Roger Pitman, operations superintendent at the Lincoln Electric Cooperative. The Missoulian.
CONCORD, N.H. — Stranded with a sprained ankle on a snow-covered mountain, Eagle Scout Scott Mason put his survival skills to work by sleeping in the crevice of a boulder and jump-starting evergreen fires with hand sanitizer gel.
He put plastic bags inside his boots to keep his feet dry as he sloshed through mountain runoff hidden beneath waist-deep snow. After three cold days last April, rescue crews spotted him hiking toward the summit of Mount Washington, the Northeast’s highest mountain.
New Hampshire officials praised his resourcefulness. So grateful was he for his rescuers that Mason, 17, sent $1,000 to the state. Sometime later, New Hampshire sent him a bill: $25,734.65 for the cost of rescuing him.
New Hampshire is one of eight states with laws allowing billing for rescue costs, but only New Hampshire has made frequent attempts to do so — even strengthening its law last year to allow the suspension of hiking, fishing and driver’s licenses of those who don’t pay, according to an Associated Press review.
National search and rescue organizations insist just the possibility of being billed is dangerous policy. Hikers may delay calling for help while they think about the cost, and that could put them — and the mostly volunteer corps of rescuers — at greater risk. Other states with laws allowing them to recoup costs rarely, if ever, enforce them, largely for that reason, the AP found.
“If it had happened in Colorado, he would have been applauded for being able to survive for three days,” said Paul “Woody” Woodward, president of Colorado’s Alpine Rescue Team. “New Hampshire is way out on their own on this one.”
New Hampshire officials counter that being properly prepared — not the size of the scout’s bill — should be the message about visiting wilderness areas. And, fish and game officials say, many of the state’s trailheads are posted with signs warning hikers they may be billed for rescue costs if they aren’t properly prepared.
Mason, now an 18-year-high school senior, from Halifax, Mass., has hired a lawyer to try to negotiate a settlement. Officials said he was found to be negligent because he veered off the marked path, was unprepared for melting snow that made a shortcut perilous and went up the mountain with an injured ankle, not down. The bill included more than $24,000 for a helicopter and labor provided by state fish and game officers. Volunteers provided their time at no charge.
Three states besides New Hampshire — Hawaii, Oregon and Maine — have general laws allowing agencies to bill for rescues. Only Maine has attempted to recoup money a handful of times and the bills were never paid. California, Vermont, Colorado and Idaho have laws allowing state agencies to bill in limited circumstances, but the laws are rarely enforced — and when they are, draw a firestorm of protest from search and rescue groups.
Two years ago, the fire department in Golden, Colo., rescued a hiker from Kansas who had sprained his ankle and later billed him for $5,135. The outcry from national search and rescue groups influenced the city to change its policy and settle with the hiker for 10 percent of the bill.
Only New Hampshire has consistently billed people. Last year, lawmakers increased the likelihood of being billed when they lowered the legal standard from reckless to negligent to make it easier to collect.
Records obtained by The Associated Press from a Freedom of Information Act request found that New Hampshire spent $413,543 on 275 rescue missions over the past two years. The state issued 16 bills for rescues totaling $41,435 — with Mason’s $25,000 bill the largest. The state spent far more, $59,426, on a December 2007 search that was not billed. In that case, the body of the 70-year-old hunter was found four months later. His family was not billed. “We’re not going out there with the intent to bill everyone,” insists Fish and Game Maj. Timothy Acerno.
Policies vary across the country on penalizing people who ignore weather warnings, don’t carry flashlights on long hikes, fail to leave itineraries, ski out of bounds or are otherwise unprepared or act irresponsibly. If Mason had gotten lost in a National Park, his rescue would have been free, said David Barna, chief of public affairs for the National Park Service.
New Hampshire officials stress they only bill those who are negligent. Acerno said that experienced search and rescue volunteers and fish and game staff consider what a reasonable person would have done and measure the person’s actions against a hiker responsibility code that calls for knowing the terrain and conditions, taking proper gear, leaving an itinerary and turning back if conditions change. The attorney general’s office makes the final determination.
Hannah Groom, a 21-year-old college student from Cumberland, Maine, learned the hard way. While grateful for rescuers’ help, Groom said the $3,360 bill sent to her and a friend was steep for one night on New Hampshire’s Baldface Mountain in May. The two had planned a day hike, but took a wrong trail. She blames confusing trail markers. “I do not believe that charging two young adults such a high fee for a mistake caused by poor trail markers is warranted,” she wrote in an e-mail.
Acerno said they were billed because they didn’t tell anyone where they planned to hike and didn’t have proper equipment, especially a flashlight.
Seasoned winter hiker John Winship, 46, of Boxford, Mass., paid the state $4,000 instead of his $1,479 bill after spending four days on Mount Washington last March when he missed his trail by 50 feet in a snowstorm. The third night out, he was getting frostbite. “I was so grateful I got out of it. I have 10 fingers and 10 toes,” he said of the experience.
Allen Clark, whose volunteer Pemigewasset Rescue Team participated in the Mason search, believes the punishment should be fixed dollar fines, not bills for state workers’ time. “This is an essential service the state should adequately fund,” he said.
Woodward, of Colorado, said New Hampshire’s image has been badly tarnished. “If people are going to come to New Hampshire and go take hikes and make a mistake and get billed, they aren’t going to come to New Hampshire,” he said.
Good time to make sure that you have ample staples and other needed items just in case your city, state or county supplied services go down. SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 29) — Billions of dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are being spent on infrastructure projects across the country, but as this week’s closing of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge shows, for every problem that gets addressed, it seems like 10 more are waiting.
Built in 1936, and severely damaged in1989 by the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Bay Bridge closed over Labor Day weekend for retrofitting designed to help it withstand further quakes. In the process of the repairs, an enormous crack was found in an I-bar, requiring further fixes.
On Tuesday, a portion of the second emergency repair gave way, sending steel cables onto the roadway, damaging cars and closing the bridge to traffic once more.
Bridge safety is by no means an isolated issue, however. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, more than 26 percent of the country’s bridges were found to be either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has personally witnessed the consequences of putting off infrastructure repair and maintenance. On Aug. 1, 2007, his city’s I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145.
On Aug. 1, 2007, the I-35W Bridge collapsed in Minneapolis during the evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.
That episode briefly galvanized political will, according to the mayor’s spokesman, Jeremy Hanson. “Congress was moved to act,” Hanson said. And with federal funds, the bridge was rebuilt in just over a year from the time it fell, at a cost of $234 million.
Now Minneapolis is using $10 million in stimulus funding to refurbish Camden Bridge, another of the city’s Mississippi River crossings. Built in 1975, the bridge had deteriorated to the point that it was no longer safe for traffic and was shut down. “It’s a major bridge,” Hanson said. “And without the stimulus funds, we would not be able to do the project.”
For Wayne Klotz, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, any money allocated to updating the country’s infrastructure is welcome. But he’s also realistic about just how much the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act can do.
“Only 10 percent of the stimulus package went toward infrastructure. The percentage was relatively small. The primary purpose of the stimulus was to create jobs, not to improve infrastructure,” he said.
Asked to prioritize which areas of infrastructure he thinks need immediate attention, Klotz laughed.
“It’s kind of like if your kid comes home with a report card with straight D’s. Which subject do you start with? Take your pick. We’ve followed a ‘patch and pray’ method of infrastructure maintenance in this country. We don’t have a single category that has a passing grade.”
President Barack Obama recently described the Recovery Act as “the largest investment in the nation’s infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System.” The stimulus plan targets “shovel ready” programs, those that don’t require new permits or exhaustive planning. As a result, Klotz said, the approach provides much needed maintenance, but still misses the bigger mark.
“Back in the ’50s, ’60s and even the first part of the 1970s, the percentage of money we used to spend on infrastructure was 5 to 7 percent of the budget,” Klotz said. “We built the best infrastructure system in the world. Now, we’re lucky if we spend 1 to 2 percent.”
California is one state looking to take full advantage of the Recovery Act money. The nation’s leading recipient of stimulus dollars, California recently applied for a $4.7 billion allocation to help pay for a high-speed rail system. That money would be in addition to the billions it is already using to rebuild roads, airports, existing rail lines and, yes, bridges.
But Ross McKeown, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the agency charged with planning and financing infrastructure projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, said California’s stimulus funds are not sufficient to meet the challenges that drastically falling revenues and neglected infrastructure maintenance have brought.
“The stimulus is a one-time, stop-gap measure that doesn’t come close to solving the larger issue,” McKeown said. “Really, it’s just a drop in the bucket.”
As Klotz sees it, such steps are vital if we intend to see our economy thrive in the future. “Transportation is our economy,” he said. “If our transportation system doesn’t work, our economy doesn’t work.”
It would appear that Lord Monckton’s blitzkrieg assault on the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference is starting to bear a little fruit. That is not to declare victory in any sense, but there is just the slightest chance that the backlash generated may give reason for pause — at least for now. Read more
Howard Nemerov has some interesting notes. Between 1984 and the present, about 112,000,000 new firearms entered the civilian market, yet the accidental firearm death rate fell by 70%, while other rates for other fatal accidents were increasing.
I understand the frustration of both the American and British troops who are engaging in firefights in mountainous terrain. The problem is mountain warfare is a lot like the trench fighting of WWI. Long range marksmanship is essential and is something that our troops, with the exception of the US Marines have gotten away from. Most of their training over the last several years has been close combat. It does not matter what ammo they use if they can not hit what they are aiming at. I think the key here is to put them through more long range rifle training. Read more
An un-opened container of Coleman Fuel stored in a dry area with no rapid extreme changes in temperature will remain viable for five to seven years. An opened container stored in the same area will remain viable for up to two years though will be at its best if used within a year. Read more