June 17, 2013

    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Curious Brown Bear Freed From Jar

Head stuck for 11 days

In a saga seemingly taken from the works of A.A. Milne, residents of a small Pennsylvania town were able to rescue a bear that had had its head stuck in a jar for at least 11 days. The 100-pound, jar-headed brown bear was first spotted on June 3, but eluded the game wardens attempting to free him from his glass prison.

The bear was finally rescued by a group of four residents who spotted the bear while leaving the Jamison City Hotel in the town of Benton. After a short chase through a local resident’s back yard, the impromptu rescuers were able to get a grip on the jar and pull it from the bewildered creature’s head using a rope.

Rescuers now believe it was the jar’s former contents, cooking oil, which drew the bear into its potentially deadly trap. “He put his head in, and had a problem,” said Mike Jurbala, one of the heroes of the rescue. “He'd have died in a couple more days.”


Grand Canyon     Photo: YoTuT

Grand Canyon Tightrope Walk Will Go Forward

Without safety gear

Seventh-generation acrobat Nik Wallenda plans to becomes the first man to traverse the Grand Canyon by tightrope this weekend. Wallenda will walk a quarter mile on a steering cable 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River if all goes according to plan.

Last year, Wallenda completed a similar feat across the Niagara Falls, but was forced to wear a safety harness. There will be no such safety precautions this weekend. “In the history of my family’s career, we’ve never worn a tether,” Wallenda announced last year.

He'll be facing high winds and temperatures reaching into the triple digits. To train for the event, Wallenda has been practicing in Florida. His 20 to 30 minute walk will be shown live on the Discovery Channel.


    Photo: krossbow

Crews Make Progress on Big Meadows Fire

One firefighter evacuated

Fire crews made progress on a remote fire in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday, but said they feared high winds and lightning could erase some of their gains. The Big Meadows fire was 75 precent contained as of Sunday, with 604 acres consumed. Fire managers said they would send away one reconnaissance plane and a heavy helicopter assigned to they incident, and planned to release two hotshot crews.

Also on Sunday, a firefighter assigned to the blaze had to be evacuated by helicopter after suffering a medical emergency. Information officer Bill Kight wouldn't comment on the nature of the incident, except to say that the firefighter was not injured in an accident.


Wasted food makes up a surprisingly large portion of landfill waste.     Photo: M. Glasgow/Wikimedia

New York Plans Composting Program

Will save $100 million

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to roll out a composting plan for the city, aimed at preventing 100,000 tons of food scraps from reaching landfills every year. While the program will be voluntary at the start, it will become mandatory sometime after 2016.

Last April, 100 city restaurants joined a trial composting plan, and 150,000 households along with 100 high-rises and 600 schools will be on board by 2014. The goal is to have the entire city recycling food scraps by 2015 or 2016.

New York plans to divert up to 75 percent of its solid waste from landfills by 2020, and officials hope the composting program will move the city toward that goal. Food waste currently makes up a third of the trash collected in the city. The program is also expected to save the city roughly $100 million a year.