Covid: Kitchen fires in south Wales ‘up during lockdown’

A kitchen fireImage copyright
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The proportion of kitchen blazes in south Wales hit a five-year high during lockdown, a fire service has said.

They led to 42% of house fires in April and May, the highest rate over those months since 2014-15, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said.

During the period, firefighters tackled five such fires a week in south Wales, some “completely avoidable”.

Along with “increased demand” on crews they can have potentially “tragic consequences”, the fire service said.

And, while the fire service has not released the actual number of home and cooking fires involved, it said there was a 67% increase in blazes caused by chip pans and deep-fat fryers in April and May compared with the same period last year.

Overall, the service said 2019-20 saw a 17% increase on the previous year, which itself had hit a three-year high.

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North Wales Fire and Rescue

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The aftermath of a kitchen fire

Head of community safety Dean Loader, said: “We attend up to five incidents in any week, some of which are completely avoidable.

“Across Wales, up to 40% of fires start in the kitchen, this places an increased demand on our firefighters and could potentially lead to tragic consequences on our communities.”

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service issued the following tips on fire safety in the home:

  • Never leave your cooking unattended
  • Don’t leave children alone in the kitchen when cooking. Make sure you keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach
  • Make sure saucepan handles do not stick out – so they don’t get knocked off the stove
  • Keep tea towels, cloths and clothing away from the cooker and hob, away from heat and flames
  • Keep electrics (leads and appliances) away from water
  • Hot oil can ignite easily, use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer – they stop the fat getting too hot
  • Don’t fill a chip pan or other deep-fat fryer more than one-third full of oil
  • Never tackle a pan fire yourself. If a pan of oil catches fire, never use water on it
  • Avoid cooking if you have been drinking alcohol or are taking medication that may make you drowsy or tired

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Mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg pops up blocks away from White House

According to CNN, artists Shawn Perkins and David Zambrano teamed up on Saturday to paint the mural of Ginsburg, who died Friday due to complications of metastatic pancreas cancer.

“With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there was no question who we would commemorate with this latest piece,” Perkins told CNN.

The mural, done with spray paint, was finished on boards that line the outside of Blackfinn Ameripub, just one block from the Black Lives Matter Plaza and two blocks from the White House. The nonprofit PAINTS Institute led the mural.

According to CNN, the artists have recently been collaborating to create murals on boarded-up buildings near the White House to prevent vandalism.

“The purpose is to uplift our community during these unpredictable times, through affirmations of hope and unity, along with honoring those who paved the way for those without a voice,” Perkins told CNN.

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Victory garden harvest at southern Alberta museum yields nearly 1,300 pounds of vegetables



a man standing next to a pile of hay: Volunteers get their hands dirty to harvest potatoes and carrots at the Heritage Acres Farm Museum near Pincher Creek, Alta. on Saturday.


© Eloise Therien / Global News
Volunteers get their hands dirty to harvest potatoes and carrots at the Heritage Acres Farm Museum near Pincher Creek, Alta. on Saturday.

Around four months ago, staff and volunteers at Pincher Creek’s Heritage Acres Farm Museum held a sod-turning ceremony at its first-ever victory garden project. Fast-forward to Saturday, and the benefit of a hard summer’s work were reaped as nearly 1,100 pounds of potatoes and 180 pounds of carrots were harvested.

“Victory gardening” refers to the practice of gardening to support the community, originating during the First and Second World Wars to aid with food supply for troops overseas.

According to board vice president Anna Welsch, the idea for the garden came about while the museum was closed due to COVID-19.

“Being that we’re a farm museum and an agricultural community… this was our opportunity to hopefully take away some food insecurities from our local community,” Welsch explained.

Read more: Lethbridge garden centres experience boom in summer sales amid COVID-19

In sticking with their roots, antique equipment was used in the harvesting process, along with the hands of a more than a dozen volunteers.

“The interesting thing is our potato [harvester],” executive director Jim Peace said. “That tractor is a 1945 McCormick, and the potato digger was built in England at the turn of the century, so it’s been part of the collection here at Heritage Acres for years. It would have been originally pulled by a horse.”

According to David Green, coordinator for the Family Community Support Services for Pincher Creek, the food bank didn’t have the resources to take fresh produce until recently. Now, the new Pincher Creek Community Food Centre has the ability to store more varieties of food.

Read more: Heritage Acres Musuem plants victory garden to support Pincher Creek food bank

“We’re making the transition to the new organization in a fiscally sound manner, they’re in good shape financially” he said.

Green adds although there hasn’t been a significant spike in need for the food bank services, they are consistently serving the community. He says a lot of people, not only Heritage Acres, have stepped up to increase donations through the pandemic.

“We’re very thankful to the community, both individuals and corporations.”

With such an increase, Peace says the choice of vegetable will allow them to donate in stages to suit the food bank’s needs.

“We picked potatoes and carrots because they store well,” Peace explained. “We have a heated Quonset, so we can actually bag them and provide them to the food bank [as we go].”

On top of the the potato and carrot donation, the museum says they have received around 1,500 pounds of hamburger through cattle donations from the Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange, Dewald Livestock, Larson Custom Feeders, and Big Sky Feeder Association in conjunction with the Chinook Breeder Co-Op.

Pincher Creek is located approximately 100 kilometres west of Lethbridge.

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Larger than life sculptures debut at San Antonio Botanical Garden

SAN ANTONIO – You probably remember making paper planes, boats or even birds as a child with a small piece of paper. Did you ever think about what it takes to make them into life-sized sculptures?

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is inviting visitors to reminisce and explore visual art form through their newest exhibit OrigamiintheGarden².

Origami is the Japanese art of creating decorative art figures from a single piece of paper using intricate folds.

OrigamiintheGarden² features larger than life sculptures at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
OrigamiintheGarden² features larger than life sculptures at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

At the garden, the sculptures are a bit more sturdy, Eliana Rodriguez, marketing director of the San Antonio Botanical Garden said.

“Visitors can expect to see over 20 different sculptures made out of aluminum, steel and bronze medals,” Rodríguez said. “These larger than life sculptures were also created from one single piece of paper from the artist and collaborated with different origami art artists as well.”

The sculptures were created by artists Jennifer and Kevin Box. Rodriguez said visitors will also get a lesson about the Japanese paper-art form’s connection to nature.

“They’ll be able to discover over 12 different types of plants that make paper,” Rodríguez said. “Some of the plants that they’ll be able to discover that make paper, that we call paper-making plants, are mulberry and papyrus.”

The San Antonio Botanical Garden also highlights the Japanese paper-art form’s connection to nature through its paper-making plants.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden also highlights the Japanese paper-art form’s connection to nature through its paper-making plants. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

In case you missed opening weekend, there’s still a chance to participate in origami-inspired events at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

“Starting Thursday, (September 24) is Origami Nights!, so you’ll be able to enjoy (the sculptures) in the evening from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. and there will be some hands-on origami activities,” Rodríguez said. “Also, (there will be) some guided tours, Japanese-inspired cocktails and beer.”

OrigamiintheGarden² will be on display at the San Antonio Botanical Garden until May 2021.

For more information on Origami Nights!, click here.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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Man dies in shooting at Maryvale house party, no suspect info known

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A man died early Sunday during a shooting at a house party in the Maryvale area of Phoenix, according to police. 

Phoenix police officers responded about 3:45 a.m. to reports of a shooting at a home near 51st Avenue and Camelback Road, said department spokesperson Sgt. Mercedes Fortune. 

Additional calls to police indicated there was “a large party” at the home, according to Fortune. Several people left the scene when officers arrived, she said. 

The man who was shot was taken to a hospital, where he died, Fortune said. Police did not identify him. 

Officers had “no viable suspect description” as of 7 a.m. Sunday, according to Fortune. 

An investigation into the shooting was ongoing. Anyone with information should call the police department at (602) 262-6151 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377. 

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @curtis_chels

Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral today.

Read or Share this story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix-breaking/2020/09/20/man-dies-shooting-maryvale-house-party-no-suspect-info-known/5844439002/

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Belmar man killed in crash on Garden State Parkway

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Constitutional rights for New Jersey residents topped the list of topics discussed at a Trump rally at Bodman Park in Middletown

Asbury Park Press

Above: Mail-in voting debate and presidential election draw protestors to Middletown.

HOLMDEL — A Belmar man was killed Friday after he was struck by a vehicle in the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway, according to New Jersey State Police.

John Carroll, 60, stopped his southbound vehicle by milepost 115.9 in Holmdel and stepped out onto the shoulder of the highway when he was struck by a passing Jeep around 9:48 p.m., State Trooper Charles Marchan said in an email.

“As a result of the accident Carroll suffered fatal injuries,” Marchan said.

Pedro A. Carlo, 41, of the Hopelawn section of Woodbridge, who was driving the Jeep, suffered no injuries, according to State Police. 

Authorities are continuing to investigate.

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Amanda Oglesby is an Ocean County native who covers Brick, Barnegat and Lacey townships as well as the environment. She has worked for the Press for more than a decade. Reach her at @OglesbyAPP, [email protected] or 732-557-5701.

Read or Share this story: https://www.app.com/story/news/local/emergencies/2020/09/20/belmar-man-john-carroll-killed-crash-garden-state-parkway/5846318002/

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How to build a garden to withstand the Pacific Northwest’s hotter and drier climate

Until rain began falling Friday, the only thing coming from the skies across western Washington lately has been ash. Anxious homeowners have been glancing at their landscaping the last couple of weeks and filling online garden forums with questions about drought, fires and ash.

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But garden experts say there’s little to worry about — if you’ve been caring for your plants. And there are steps to take to make a drought resistant garden.

Western Washington is experiencing “abnormally dry” weather, according to the Pacific Northwest Drought Early Warning System, a collaborative government effort that monitors weather conditions for the Columbia River basin and surrounding region, including all of Washington state.

Central Washington is experiencing a moderate to severe drought, according to DEWS. Many parts of Oregon are in extreme drought.

Get used to it, experts say. It’s climate change.

“It’s definitely gotten hotter,” said Linda Chalker-Scott, a Washington State University professor, urban horticulturist and author. “Maybe not every summer. But when you look at long term trends, we know that the average temperature is going up in summer, and we’re getting less rainfall.”

There’s nothing from stopping homeowners from watering their thirsty landscapes, except maybe the water bill. But, Chalker-Scott suggests planning and planting landscapes that are less dependent on supplemental water.

The weather has changed to the point where spring planting season is something to be avoided unless gardeners are installing a vegetable garden or putting in annuals, she said.

“Spring is a really bad time to plant. Summer is the only worst time,” Chalker-Scott said. “The tree is not able to put out a lot of root growth because there’s just not enough water to support that.”

Instead, fall and winter are the seasons that are best for planting trees, shrubs and perennials. She suggests mid-October as the start of the planting season. Even deciduous plants, those that lose their leaves, will grow roots during fall and winter.

Fall colors might be arriving sooner than usual, said garden designer and author Sue Goetz.

“Some trees kick out fall color early if they are super stressed,” Goetz said. “If trees are stressed, it is usually because they are newly planted in the last few years and just need to get their roots deep in the ground.”

Homeowners concerned about fire should concentrate on where they plant more than what they plant. Chalker-Scott debunks lists of “flammable plants” put out by governments and other agencies.

“It’s just not really based on science,” she said. “It’s based on anecdote, just conjecture, nothing else.”

Fire defense experts suggest creating a defensible space around homes that might be subject to wildfires.

Homeowners concerned about air quality should plant more trees, Goetz said.

“It is well studied how dramatically trees can help reduce air pollution,” she said. “So, I imagine our large trees are working hard.”

Keeping plants healthy means avoiding bare earth, Chalker-Scott said. The best way to do that is with ground cover or mulch. She recommends wood chips, not

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‘Zero Cost House’ Review: Could Thoreau Save Us Now?

For an enduring figure in the American canon, Henry David Thoreau is needier than you might think. When this relic of the 1800s shows up in Toshiki Okada’s probing, funny, hugely resonant play “Zero Cost House,” he is insecure about his 21st-century status. It’s pretty clear he’s been keeping close tabs.

“Do you Google yourself, Mr. Thoreau?” the playwright asks — because this is the kind of show where the author is a character (well, two characters; more on that in a moment), communing with the past.

“Sure, every day,” Thoreau answers. So he knows that his readership is down.

Okada himself, as a young writer in Tokyo, was a fervent “Walden” devotee, and convinced that he always would be. By his late 30s, though, he has become an internationally lauded experimental playwright, but also a guy who considers Thoreau’s treatise on simple living naïve.

In “Zero Cost House” — written for the Philadelphia-based Pig Iron Theater Company, which first staged it in 2012 and has reconfigured it superbly for Zoom — those two versions of Okada (played by an assortment of actors) butt up against each other, albeit gently. Plush rabbit puppets and a charismatic architect-philosopher are along for the ride, with Björk on the soundtrack and cast members trading off characters almost relay-style.

To step into an Okada play is to enter a dreamscape, and that’s true of this fractured stage memoir, too. Then dream morphs into nightmare. The earthquake that struck Japan in March 2011, setting off a tsunami and a nuclear disaster at a power station in Fukushima, becomes the catalyst for Okada’s reconnection with “Walden” and a more radical way of life.

What gives this live-streamed “Zero Cost House” particular potency right now is the wide variety of lenses we have through which to view it — the assorted calamities jolting people into working for social change or into altering their comfortable lives in drastic, once unthinkable ways.

Yet this play is not a dour exercise. Translated into comfortably colloquial American English by the Okada veteran Aya Ogawa, it has a friendliness that makes it approachable.

Directed and adapted by Pig Iron’s co-artistic director Dan Rothenberg — whose previous Okada productions include the achingly atmospheric post-earthquake meditation “Time’s Journey Through a Room” and the more comically contemplative “The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise” — “Zero Cost House” encourages us to seize the opportunity of disaster: to be brave enough to live more meaningfully, to construct a better world.

By re-engaging this deeply with the text, making it work so beautifully online, the artists behind this production — including a uniformly excellent cast and a pair of designers, Maiko Matsushima (visual) and Rucyl Frison (sound) — are themselves responding to a crisis.

In the play, Thoreau mentions a moment in “Walden” when he meets a couple who “seemed to be in dire straits, and what was worse, they had no awareness of how their circumstances had gotten that way in the first place.”

Amid our

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$750K Grayson Estate Has Screened Porch, Marble Kitchen Counters

GRAYSON, GA — A $750,000 Grayson estate has a main-level master with its own deck, five-car garage, and a screened porch, according to Realtor.com. This brick home has a remodeled gourmet kitchen with marble counters; fireplaces in the formal dining room, master suite and basement; a floor to ceiling stone fireplace in the family room; and outdoor features including a screened porch, three decks, stone patio and a fire pit.

  • Address: 2235 Wilshire Dr, Grayson, Georgia
  • Price: $750,000
  • Square Feet: 9338
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 4 Full and 1 Half Baths
  • Built: 1994
  • Features: Beautiful 4 sided brick estate on Graysons nicest street. Move in ready 5 car garage parking. Curved staircase in the 2 story foyer welcomes you home. Formal dining room w/a fireplace. Gourmet kitchen has been completely remodeled w/carrara marble counters, stainless steel appliances, one of a kind glass backsplash. The family room has a stone fireplace that reaches to the ceiling. Master on the main level w/a romantic fireplace & luxuriously appointed bathroom. Deck right off the master suite. 4 children’s rooms upstairs. Walk up attic. Huge basement w/recreation room, home gym, trophy room & storage galore. Screen in porch. 3 outdoor decks. Gorgeous stone patio & fire pit. Extra large lot because the seller also owns & will convey the 1/2 acre at 2245 Wilshire.

This listing originally appeared on realtor.com. For more information and photos, click here.

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One of world’s deadliest snakes found in Offaly garden

Nine-year-old Fionn Kilmurray got a surprise in his back garden in Co Offaly today when he spotted a snake, which just happens to be one of the world’s most dangerous reptiles.

It is also the first time this species has been found in Ireland. 

His mother, Aoife Kilmurray, told RTÉ News that he alerted her to his bizarre discovery at around lunchtime and was urging her to come out and look. “He was acting as cool as a cucumber”.

It turns out the saw-scaled viper is one of the most dangerous snakes and responsible for more deaths globally than any other snake.

Aoife said they were not aware of how dangerous it was at first and they all remained calm while she contacted the National Reptile Zoo to see what they needed to do.

“I was told to put a box over it until they arrived.”

She said she is glad that she did not find out how dangerous this snake was until an expert was on site at their garden in the village of Rhode.

James Hennessy, Director of the National Reptile Zoo, said they knew from the photographs Aoife had sent of the snake just how dangerous it was.

It is understood the venomous snake came in to Ireland on a consignment of stone from India.

He has said this highlights the need for stricter monitoring of cargo and surprise contents.

Fionn and Rían Kilmurray with James Hennessy from the National Reptile Zoo

Mr Hennessy is bringing the snake back to the National Reptile Zoo premises in Kilkenny, where they will decide what to do with it.

He said it is likely they will send the saw-scaled viper to a research centre in the UK, where they conduct anti-venom research.

According to Aoife, her son Fionn thinks the find is “just brilliant” and he cannot wait to go to school tomorrow to show the photographs of the snake in his garden to all his classmates.

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