News Around the World

Robot stabs factory worker in grisly “accident”

A Chinese man miraculously dodged death after a robotic co-worker ran his body through with foot-long metal spikes.

According the Daily Mail, the worker’s grisly injuries came from a malfunctioning arm on a factory floor, which swung a rod-studded plate right into him — driving 10 spikes through his shoulder, chest, and in multiple parts of his right arm.

Surgeons worked around the clock, noting that one of the nearly foot-long spikes missed an artery by just 0.1mm.

They say the patient is recovering, and can already move his injured arm.

News Around the World

Drunk driver claims parked cars hit hers

It likely didn’t take legal eagles to do so, but prosecutors in Knoxville, Tennessee managed to secure convictions against a woman who claimed her drunk driving accidents were caused by multiple parked cars striking her vehicle.

According to a press release from the Knox County D.A. office, 38-year-old Vanessa Elizabeth Helfant had claimed that the non-moving vehicles crashed into hers on the night of March 25, 2017 — though logic, and multiple eyewitnesses said otherwise. Helfant was reportedly pursed by the bystanders to her residence, knocking on the door to get her attention.

Instead, she called 911 to report strangers were knocking on her door, and a responding officer arrested her under suspicion of driving under the influence. Helfant reportedly copped to drinking a pint of vodka and smoking pot before striking a series of cars.

Helfant was convicted of DUI last week.

She will be sentenced in February, where it will be determined how much time she’ll spend behind bars. It was her first offense, so she faces nearly a year in jail — with a minimum of 48 hours in jail.

Helfant also faces a license suspension for a year, a $350 fine, and must complete DUI classes.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Will the Snow on My Trees Harm Them?

We all enjoy the appearance of freshly fallen snow on our landscape trees. It’s a seasonal decoration we can all appreciate.

On the other hand, “Snow is both friend and foe to trees and shrubs,” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). “Snow loads can be very damaging, as we all know, but in many cases snow also protects plants and their roots from extreme fluctuations in temperature that could damage or even kill them.”

Let’s address this seeming contradiction in two parts.

Excess snow can damage trees and woody shrubs by bending, breaking and splitting them or causing them to fall or uproot.

Whether woody plants will be damaged in one of these ways depends upon several factors. Coniferous evergreens, for instance, can bear more snow weight than broadleaf evergreens. A tree’s form can also determine how well it will withstand heavy snow. For example, pine (low altitude), spruce and fir trees with spreading branches are more likely to be damaged by heavy snowfall than trees with more steeply angled branches.

Arborvitae – evergreen shrubs with tall, narrow growth habits planted in hedges or as foundation screens – are good examples of plants that don’t handle heavy snow well. They tend to grow tall, with multi-stemmed branches that separate under the weight of snow. Too often, they do not return to their upright form after the snow melts, and become permanently disfigured.

“Try to avoid planting arborvitae species in areas that get lots of heavy, wet snow,” Andersen advises. “Also, make sure not to plant them near buildings where snow accumulates on the roof, then falls in large piles. A better choice would be smaller, rounded, woody-stemmed plants, but be certain to give them enough space above and below ground to grow away from the building.”

A tree’s branch structure is also a factor in whether it will be damaged by ice storms. A tree with strong, right-angle branches will have less trouble than one with narrow, more vertical branch unions.

The type of snow is an important factor in potential damage to trees. Obviously, wet snow is more damaging because it is heavier. The time of season for snowfalls can also be a factor. With a wet snow in March, when there are no leaves on the branches, the tree may be able to withstand damage pretty well. That same snow in late spring or early fall, when the tree is filled with leaves, could add unbearable weight.

But, as mentioned above, not all snow on woody plants is a reason to panic. On the plus side of things, snow helps insulate the ground, moderating temperature changes for the soil below. This keeps the ground from heating and cooling as air temperatures fluctuate. Heating and cooling often cause the ground to heave, which can be damaging to roots. Keeping the ground temperature stable is more conducive to healthy roots.

“Finally, a little breakage isn’t always bad,” insists Andersen. “Nature prunes trees, too. Wet snow may break off small twigs and broken or dead branches. In that way, it can do a good job of pruning. Just follow up with some cleaning cuts.”

 

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Christmas Light Recycling

christmastreelights.jpgThe Manitowoc County Recycling Center is accepting unwanted Christmas lights for FREE. Strings of lights are highly recyclable even with the bulbs in them. Bring them to the Recycling Center Main Office at 3000 Basswood Road Monday-Friday between 7am and 4pm.

Replacing old lights with new energy efficient LED lights can help you save on your electric bill.

All string lights will be accepted as well as extension cords. Garland, wreaths, trees and other lighted decorations will not be accepted. Normal light bulbs, including spot lights, compact fluorescents, fluorescent tubes, and incandescent bulbs can be recycled but normal fees apply.

Visit the Recycling Center at Manitowoccounty.com/recyclingcenter or call 920-683-4333 to learn more about Christmas Light Recycling and similar programs offered in Manitowoc County.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Manitowoc Police to participate in ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ holiday campaign December 14 through New Year’s Day

To help deter impaired driving, The Manitowoc Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign from December 14, 2018 through January 1, 2019.

“The goal of these comprehensive law enforcement efforts is to help make roadways safer for everyone by discouraging people from making the dangerous and irresponsible decision of getting behind the wheel impaired,” Capt. Freiboth said.

Last year in Wisconsin, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 169 deaths and more than 3,300 injuries. While alcohol-impaired drivers remain a concern, a growing problem involves drugged driving – people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal or illegal drugs including prescription and over-the-counter medications.

There are many ways that citizens can help:

  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement by calling 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle, and location;
  • If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver. Never allow someone else to get behind the wheel impaired;
  • Download the free “Drive Sober” mobile app from the WisDOT website. The app includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services;
  • Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home. Visit tlw.org/ and click on Safe Ride; and
  • Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up – every trip. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions.

“To help ensure a safe, enjoyable holiday season, we need the cooperation of all motorists,” Capt. Freiboth said.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

The Signs You’ve Made It

What are some signs you’ve ‘made it’. If you said having a bunch of money in the bank, you’re basically right. According to a survey, the No. 1 sign someone’s ‘made it’ is retiring early. Obvious. Numbers 2 through 5 are also obvious: Not having to work (isn’t that the same as retirement?); owning a vacation home; owning a second home; owning a private plane.

Country News

Tim McGraw Launching Fitness Club

Most fans of Tim McGraw know of his dedication to fitness – which he became devoted to after he quit drinking years ago to get healthy.  And at age 51, the proof of his hard work on his healthy-living lifestyle is evident.

Now he’s putting his stamp on a new line of health clubs named Trumav Fitness.  The flagship club, co-owned by fitness entrepreneur and E!’s Very Cavallari cast member Wirth Campbell, is set to open in Nashville in January.

McGraw has been vocal about how physical fitness is something he values.  He’s said, “It can help you lead your best life. Working out becomes a habit when it’s an easy part of your every day. That’s why I’ve partnered with Snap Fitness to create Trumav. We want to help you find what works for your fitness goals and give you a community that can inspire you to achieve them.”

 

News Around the World

Amazon robot sends 24 humans to the hospital in bear spray “accident”

A robot working in a New Jersey Amazon warehouse sent 24 of its human co-workers to the hospital, after it accidentally tore a hole in a can of bear spray. The repellent is essentially bear-strength pepper spray.

It was an accident — unless, of course it’s the start of a robot uprising.

The two dozen workers were treated at five local hospitals, Robbinsville Township communications and public information officer John Nalbone told ABC News. One remains in critical condition and 30 additional workers were treated at the scene.

The fumes were confined to the fulfillment center’s third floor south wing, Nalbone said. The warehouse is approximately 1.3 million-square-feet and was ventilated.

The fulfillment center was given the all clear by Wednesday evening.

Amazon employees are not unionized, but the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union issued a statement about the danger that robots pose to human workers.

“Amazon’s automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today, the effects of which could be catastrophic,” union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. “The richest company in the world cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people’s lives at risk. Our union will not back down until Amazon is held accountable for these and so many more dangerous labor practices.”

The online giant insisted safety of employees is always their top priority. In a statement Wednesday night, Amazon said, “All of the impacted employees have been or are expected to be released from hospital within the next 24 hours. The safety of our employees is always our top priority and a full investigation is already underway. We’d like to thank all of the first responders who helped with today’s incident.”

News Around the World

Cheesecake Factory Promotion Causes Chaos

What was meant to be a celebration of the 40th birthday of The Cheesecake Factory led to a chaotic scene outside one of the eateries in Arlington, Virginia Wednesday.

The restaurant chain was wanted to give away 40,000 free slices of cheesecake to celebrate the momentous occasion, but the freebies led to the Arlington restaurant getting slammed, fistfights, and even one arrest, according to ABC affiliate KFSN-TV.

Delays caused the eatery’s parking lot to get clogged with customers, and the free cake promotion launched with the delivery company DoorDash led many of its drivers to converge on the same eatery. Tempers quickly flared.

Fists flew, and the cops were called. They reportedly ordered all the DoorDash drivers out of the restaurant, but one refused — and he was arrested. The unidentified driver was expected to be charged with disorderly conduct.