Cows with a Sweet Tooth: Mayfield, Ky.
The price of corn is too high for many farmers. To combat the cost, Joseph Watson of United Livestock Commodities has decided to feed his 1,400 cattle chocolate in an effort to help them gain weight. Watson gets second-hand candy at a discounted rate and gives it to the animals with a nutrient mix. In related news, the price of chocolate milk has suddenly decreased.
Virginia Asks for Acorns: Richmond, Va.
Good people of the Commonwealth, your Department of Forestry needs a favor. Officials are asking residents around Virginia to collect acorns in an effort to preserve native trees. Early October is an optimal time to the pick up ‘corns of the 11 needed species, including Allegheny Chinkapin, White Oak, Northern Red Oak, and Chinese Walnut. Requests of those willing to help include not storing the acorns in plastic bags and not storing the same species together. Collected acorns can be dropped off at the nearest DOF office.
Supersized South: Jackson, Miss.
The South continued its dominance in the waistline wars. When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its state rankings for the country’s highest obesity rates, Mississippi took the top spot for the sixth straight year. West Virginia, Alabama, and Kentucky also cracked the top 10.
Make a Grown Man Cry: Gastonia, N.C.
First the good news: no one was seriously injured when a car smashed into a tractor trailer on I-85 in late August. The bad news: the truck was carrying 43,000 pounds of beer, which spilled all over the highway.
Food to Trash: Washington, D.C.
Forty percent of the food in America ends up in the trash. The astounding figure was released in a late August report by the Natural Resources Defense Council that shines a light on domestic food waste. Food has now overtaken paper as the biggest occupier of our landfills. Edibles being tossed by farms, restaurants, households, manufacturers, and grocery stores adds up to $165 billion a year.
Beyond the Blue Ridge
RUI: Rafting Under the Influence: Fairbanks, Alaska
Next time you float down your favorite backyard river with a cooler full of suds, think of William Modene. The 32-year-old was arrested for DUI after floating down Alaska’s Chena River with a hearty buzz. Authorities responded to calls about a rafter acting intoxicated, and when they pulled Modene from his raft, his breathalizer test spiked to .313—four times the legal limit.
MTB Worlds Cancelled: Alberta, Canada
The 24-hour Mountain Bike World Championships, which was supposed to take place in mid-September, was cancelled due to an insufficient number of entrants. The race, which propelled regional hero and mountain biking endurance pioneer Chris Eatough to fame, was initially scheduled to make a debut in Canmore, Alberta. Eatough won six straight championships at the event that dates back to 1998. His just-short attempt at a seventh was documented in the gritty independent documentary Go Solo.
Glacier National Park Needs a New Name: West Glacier, Montana
Is Glacier on your park bucket list? You should probably get there sooner than later. Scientists are predicting the park’s namesake could be gone by 2020 at the rate they are disappearing, thanks to climate change. The park even earned a place on Frommer’s “500 Places to See Before They Disappear.”