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Archive for November, 2009

Stoking the fire with local wood a hot idea

Friday, November 13th, 2009

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On a chilly day like Friday, you may be tempted to fire up the wood stove to keep you warm. A new study offers up some recommendations before you buy that that wood.

We don’t always take the time to think about where the products we buy come from, but experts say the origin of firewood can make a big difference.

A new study shows imported firewood may be bringing a bit more than just fuel for the fire.

Home grown firewood is good to buy, but if you buy it from further away sometimes it can spread insects that can be harmful to the environment.

“You can spread these invasive pests and damage the local ecosystem where they’re really just not meant to be there. The natural ecosystem right here just has no defense mechanism against these pests,” said NHC forest ranger Bill Walker.

So how can you be sure the firewood you buy is coming from your backyard? Just ask!

“If you’re buying from a retailer, firewood or something like that, ask them where they get their firewood. It could be that it’s very local, it could be out of state, I’ve never heard of it coming out of country, but it could be,” Walker said.

Frank Brown owns a tree service in Hampstead that specializes in selling firewood during the cooler months. He says many people don’t know about the environmental concerns. “Anything you get local, to me, is always better used. You know what you’re getting. Something that’s shipped in, a lot of times you really don’t know what you’re involved in.”

Retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, and Harris Teeter said their firewood supplies came from as far away as Maryland and Georgia; meaning its best to ask before you buy.

To learn more about the issue you can visit www.dontmovefirewood.org.

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videoOn a chilly day like Friday, you may be tempted to fire up the wood stove to keep you warm. A new study offers up some recommendations before you buy that that wood.

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Associated poll

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Walk a mile in heels, raise funds for rape crisis

Friday, November 13th, 2009

By Veronica GonzalezVeronica.Gonzalez@StarNewsOnline.com

For the first time in his life, James Gobble will don a pair of red, high-heeled shoes.Eight-inch high heels, he says. Size 11. Well, maybe they’re 5-inch heels.“The wife picked ‘em up,” said the 37-year-old former Marine.

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No sign of road ahead

Friday, November 13th, 2009

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The I-40 sign marking the 2,500 mile drive to the end of the road in California was noticeably absent today. Last night thieves stole the Wilmington landmark that connects our country’s coasts, and it’s not the first time.

“I have my picture taken with it and I’ve also taken my picture at the other end of I –40,” said Mike Gunther.

It is 2,554 miles from end to end. I-40 West starts in Wilmington and ends on the other side of the country in Barstow, California.

Heading out of town, there’s usually a sign letting drivers know how far they have to go.

“It was installed at the completion of i-40 to mark the end points here and in California around the summer of 1991,” said Ben Hughes of the NC Department of Transportation.

Since then the sign has been stolen four times, the latest coming Thursday night.

“I think that it’s bad because the children that ride on that road can see that we connect from coast to coast, and now it’s not there,” said Pat Butler.

Each time it’s stolen, it costs the department of transportation about $600 to replace the sign.
Drivers were worried this time it wouldn’t be replaced.

“We’ve had a number of e-mails, just today, expressing interest for the sign to be replaced and have it reinstalled. There was a lot of people concerned that wouldn’t be done,” Hughes said.

Luckily engineers found an extra sign in storage, so DOT decided to replace the landmark after all. “It’s a unique sign that you don’t see everyday and it’s a good thing to have out there,” Hughes said.

Hughes asked would-be thieves to leave the new sign alone. He says the DOT might not be able to replace it next time. If you want a souvenir, a better idea is to pull over and take a picture with the sign. No word yet on when the sign will be replaced.

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videoThe I-40 sign marking the 2,500 mile drive to the end of the road in California was noticeably absent today. Last night thieves stole the Wilmington landmark that connects our country’s coasts, and it’s not the first time.

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barstow150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

Brunswick County ministry gives kids gift of shoes

Friday, November 13th, 2009

By Amanda GreeneAmanda.Greene@StarNewsOnline.com

His shoes looked like they were talking.The soles separated from their shells each time the teen ran laps, flapping on the track at South Brunswick High School.His cross-country coach, Jeff Swanson, worried the boy might fall if he didn’t get track shoes soon. The teen’s family couldn’t afford shoes for him.

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Is new gas chamber most humane way to put down animals?

Friday, November 13th, 2009

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Brunswick County Animal Services has a new gas chamber used to euthanize their animals, but the new installation has animal rights activists up in arms.

The county says it’s the safest way to put down wild animals that could harm their shelter workers, but the Humane Society says the chamber is pure torture.

Eastern North Carolina Humane Society President Peter MacQueen says the new gas chambers at the Brunswick County Animal Shelter are an out of date method of putting animals down, a method he feels is an embarrassment to the county. “Our feeling is that the animals deserve to die in dignity, and in the most humane and kind way possible,” he said.

MacQueen says a gas chamber causes the animals to suffer a long and painful death and he believes the best method is quick lethal injection.

County officials disagree. They say gas euthanization is the only sensible way of safely handling feral or wild animals that can pose a danger to the shelter workers.

“Sixty percent of the animals we take in are ferals, and wild and have never been in a house, and you try to handle them, they get terrorized,” said Don Yousey of the Brunswick County Health Department.

The new chamber just arrived, and animal shelter staff say all they have to do is roll the crate into the chamber, and a safe amount of carbon monoxide is released inside.

“With any poisonous gas there is a risk, but we have it outdoors. We keep it ventilated, we do everything we can to keep our workers safe,” Yousey said.

The machine is equipped with a sensor that controls the amount of poison that is released in a certain amount of time.

MacQueen says he’s heard this all before. He remembers an incident in Lincoln County when a chamber blew up after it was taken over by gas. “There’s no telling how many workers have been made sick or died as a result, or long-term exposure to carbon monoxide cause it causes heart disease, it causes cancer.”

Health Department Director Don Yousey says the machine is inspected by the state and OSHA. An industrial hygienist was scheduled to inspect the machine today, to determine whether it is safe and operating properly.

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videoBrunswick County Animal Services has a new gas chamber used to euthanize their animals, but the new installation has animal rights activists up in arms.

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Associated poll

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