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In the era of big boxes, a day for the little guy


"Thanks to Jimmy Black," he said. "Thanks to everyone. Thanks to Chagrin Falls."What a place to live."

In the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, Rob Schwind shovels the sidewalk in front of the Chagrin Hardware in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The Shutts family, which has owned the hardware for the last 72 years, was preparing for a community-driven "Cash Mob" of the store to happen that day.


In the era of big boxes, a day for the little guy

By AMY SANCETTA | Associated PressWed Jan 25, 2012

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (AP) — It began quietly, as an email to 40 friends.But when a steady stream of customers began coming through the door before the family-owned Chagrin Hardware had even opened for the day on Saturday, it was clear that it had turned into much more than that.The idea started with Jim Black, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a close-knit village in Cleveland's eastern suburbs that is part artist colony and part bedroom community. Black posted the email to a group of his friends. "Let's show our support for one of our local businesses," he wrote. "I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware on the 21st."Although his email referred to the idea of a "Cash Mob" or the notion to "Occupy CF Hardware," he really had no political agenda. And it wasn't meant as a protest against the big-box stores that have created an ever-tightening circle around the community.It was just a way to thank Chagrin Hardware's owners for a beloved shop that has been a fixture in the village since 1857."These are good people who needed our support," Black said. "It's just that simple."The store, overlooking meandering Riverside Park and the Chagrin River in the middle of town, has been run by the Shutts family for the last 72 years. It passed from uncle to father to older brothers Rob and Kenny and the three youngest, Steve, Susie and Jack, who run the store today.Black's note was forwarded and forwarded and forwarded again. Calls started coming in from folks out of state who wanted to make a purchase over the phone.And when the day came, so did the shoppers — one by one, with dogs on leashes and children in tow, hour after hour until the hardware was teeming with customers."This is small-town America," said resident Martine Scheuermann, a bag of pet-safe ice melt in her arms and her Springer Spaniels tapping their toes on the worn wooden floor at her feet. "This is a special family business in a town where everybody knows you."The store has seen its share of tough times. Road construction on Main Street at the store's front door some years back crippled business for a time. More recently, the weakened economy and the big boxes have stolen away customers.On this day, though, those storylines were forgotten.By 10 a.m. the place was jammed. By 1:30 p.m., the credit card machine was overloaded and had to be reset. "This is so cool," said Steve Shutts, a mix of joy, wonder and happy exhaustion spread across his face. "I've seen people today I haven't seen in years."The line at the checkout stretched in two directions as people with snow shovels and light bulbs and fireplace grates and vintage movie posters and horse shoe caulk — yes, horse shoe caulk — waited to pay.Chad Schron, 38, came with his 8-year-old son Robert. "We didn't have anything we had to get, but we found things we had to get," he said. As he spoke, Robert clutched an Ohio State desk lamp and two flying monkey toys to his chest."When I was a kid, my Mom would send me down here with a note to let me buy BB's," Schron recalled. "Lots of kids did that back then. The notes still are in a drawer over there," he said as he pointed past the register to a wall of wooden drawers containing everything from old springs to screws. In the drawer still labeled "BBs" were stacks of crumpled notes dating to the '50s, from mothers just like Schron'sWhen the final customer had finally left well after closing time with her fuzzy dice and floodlights, Schwind and Steve Shutts tallied the day's receipts. Shutts shook his head at the wild and unexpected ride.He wouldn't say how much the store made that day, but was clearly pleased with the outcome."Thanks to Jimmy Black," he said. "Thanks to everyone. Thanks to Chagrin Falls."What a place to live."

Russian Ship- Korean Fuel and the American City... It is all a big happy place...


Russian Ship- Korean Fuel and the American City... It is all a big happy place...

"It is our way to show our appreciation and how grateful we are and what they did for us," said Mayor Denise Michels.


Fuel transfer from Russian tanker runs smoothly in iced-in Alaska city, despite bubble in hoseMARY PEMBERTON

Associated Press 4:50 p.m. CST, January 17, 2012,0,3849432.story

Alaska (AP) — A Russian tanker that went on an ocean odyssey of 5,000 miles to deliver fuel to the iced-in city of Nome was offloading the gasoline and diesel in what officials say is smooth sailing so far, with one possible problem avoided.

Two parallel hoses, 700 yards long each, are stretched between the tanker Renda and a pipeline that will deliver 1.3 million gallons of fuel to storage tanks near the harbor of the iced-in city. The offloading began with gasoline, and then both gasoline and diesel were being transferred separately.

Jason Evans, board chairman of Sitnasuak Native Corp., the company that arranged for the fuel delivery, said Tuesday the tanker's two hoses are pumping between 30,000 and 40,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel an hour.

One section of hose had to be switched out early Tuesday morning when a suspected bubble occurred in the line, Evans said. The change-out went smoothly and there have been no spills since the pumping operation began Monday evening.

This is the first time petroleum products have been delivered to a western Alaska community by sea in winter. The mayor said festivities were planned, including a Coast Guard helicopter landing on the beach so children can look inside. They also set a basketball game between residents and Coast Guard crew members, and the city invited the crew to a pizza dinner.

"It is our way to show our appreciation and how grateful we are and what they did for us," said Mayor Denise Michels.

The transfer could take from 36 hours to five days. It started near sundown Monday, after crews laid the hoses along a stretch of Bering Sea ice to the pipeline that begins on a rock causeway 550 yards from the tanker, Evans said.

Sitnasuak owns the local fuel company, Bonanza Fuel, and has been working closely with Vitus Marine, the supplier that arranged for the delivery of the 1.3 million gallons of fuel.

State officials said the transfer had to start during daylight, but can continue in darkness. Nome has just five hours of daylight this time of year.

The city of 3,500 didn't get its last pre-winter barge fuel delivery because of a massive November storm. Without the Renda's delivery, Nome would run out of fuel by March or April, long before the next barge delivery is possible.

Alaska has had one of the most severe winters in decades. Snow has piled up 10 feet or higher against the wood-sided buildings in Nome, a former gold rush town that is the final stop on the 1,150-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The Renda began its journey from Russia in mid-December, picking up diesel fuel in South Korea before heading to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where it took on unleaded gasoline. It arrived last week off Nome on Alaska's west coast, more than 500 miles from Anchorage.

A Coast Guard icebreaker cleared a path for the 370-foot tanker through hundreds of miles of a slow journey stalled by thick ice and strong ocean currents. In total, the tanker traveled an estimated 5,000 miles, said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of District Seventeen with the Coast Guard.

"It's just been an absolutely grand collaboration by all parties involved," said Stacey Smith of Vitus Marine, the fuel supplier.

Smith said the effort is a third of the way over with the arrival of the Renda near Nome. Pumping the fuel from the tanker will be the second part. The third part will be the exiting through ice by the two ships.

Personnel will walk the entire length of hosing every 30 minutes to check for leaks, Evans said. Each segment has its own containment area, and extra absorbent boom will be on hand.

The Coast Guard is monitoring the effort, working with state, federal, local and tribal representatives, Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow said. The fuel participants had to submit a plan to state environmental regulators on how they intended to get the fuel off the Renda, he said.

"We want to make sure the fuel transfer from the Renda to the onshore storage facility is conducted in as safe a manner as possible," he said.

Man's life saved thanks to a game of Words With Friends


Man's life saved thanks to a game of Words With FriendsBy Trevor Mogg | Digital Trends – Jan 13/2012

Words With Friends, the Scrabble-like word game played on smartphones by millions of people around the world, may get famous actors thrown off planes, but the good news is that it also saves lives.

By that we don’t mean it’s been updated with a medical alert system connected to the local hospital, although perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad idea—Zynga’s popular word game can get the heart racing from time to time.

The life-saving story we’re referring to came about thanks to the Words With Friends feature that randomly matches up players around the world in search of an opponent.

Beth Legler, who lives in Blue Springs, Missouri met Georgie and Simon Fletcher from Australia while playing the game on her mobile phone.

They often played the word game against each other, and also used the game’s chat facility, which allows users to get to know each other.

During a Words With Friends session late last year, Georgie mentioned to Beth that husband Simon was feeling rather under the weather and described some of his symptoms. Fortunately for Simon, Beth’s husband Larry happens to be a doctor, and when Beth relayed Georgie’s message, Larry had only one thing to say—get to a hospital, quick.

When Simon was checked out, doctors found he had a 99 percent blockage close to his heart. Had Simon left it any longer before seeking medical help, it’s more than likely he wouldn’t be here today.

The two couples have never met in person though they believe they’ll be friends for life after all that’s happened.

Talking about the incident, Beth said, “Had Larry not sent that message I don’t think Simon would have gone to the doctor that day.”

“I owe Larry everything,” Simon said, “I’m really lucky to be here.”

Words With Friends was released in 2009 and can be played on iOS and Android devices, as well as on Facebook. If you’ve never played it, give it a go—it might even save your life.

[Source: via PC Mag]

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

U.S. Navy rescues 13 Iranian hijacked by Somali pirates


U.S. Navy rescues 13 Iranian hijacked by Somali pirates

Posted by foxcrawl at 9:37 pm Jan06 2012

Despite tensions between the U.S and Iran, the American Marines have freed 13 Iranian citizens from the hands of Somali pirates who hijacked their ship (scroll down for video).

The occurence was reported by the Ministry of Defense of the United States on Friday. The Iranians are already on their way home. Their Somali captors, 15 at number, have been arrested.

Somali pirates, who adventure deep into the Persian Gulf, hijacked the fishing boat Al Molai 40 to 45 days ago.

The destroyer USS Kidd, which is part of USS John Stennis Strike Group, rushed to give help to the ship Thursday in the North Arabian sea, in the close proximity of the controversial Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy stated.

Man saves dog from burning home Selfless act sends man to hospital


Man saves dog from burning homeSelfless act sends man to hospitalNov 27 2011

MIAMI -A man suffered burns over 18 percent of his body after going back into his burning home to save his dog Sunday night, neighbors said.

A couple and their adult son live at the home on at 6490 SW 25th St. in Southwest Miami-Dade and were mostly OK after a fire destroyed their home. All three made it out safely, until the father realized his dog, Lucky, was still inside the house.

The man went back into the burning house and managed to save the dog. His selfless act saved the family pet but sent the man to the hospital with burns on more than 25 percent of his body.

Quick ClicksDowntown Miami celebrates NYEHeat roll past BobcatsMissing police bloodhound returned to...Miami Lakes Mayor calls Main St. safe'Goodfella' revealed? (And Rothstein...He was taken to Ryder Trauma Center according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Richard Taylor. On Monday, he was listed in stable condition.

The other two victims were treated for smoke inhalation.

"They are very nice people and very sorry to see that happen to them," Norma Salomon, a neighbor, said. "They were very lucky to get out."

Salomon said the fire was so bad that pieces of the home were falling down. Blackened couches and cabinets strewn across the front lawn illustrated the ferocity of the fire.

"I asked her how did this happen?" Salomon said to the female victim. "She said I heard an explosion, she said she was in the kitchen, she heard an explosion and then she saw the fire."

Another neighbor said the fire filled the house very quickly.

"I mean it went up in flames quickly," Vanessa Lopez said. "The whole place was engulfed in flames within a minute."

The family is being taken care of by the Red Cross and the cause of the fire is being investigated by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Couple Win $11.2M Lottery, Then Give It All Away


Couple Win $11.2M Lottery, Then Give It All AwayMara GayNov 4, 2010

(Nov. 4) -- Allen and Violet Large figured they were lucky enough already.

So when the Canadian couple hit it big in the lottery this year, they decided to give it away -- all of it. Since their July win, the elderly couple has donated nearly every cent of their $11.2 million winnings to charity. Call it the Larges' largess.

"What you've never had, you never miss," Violet Large, 78, told The Chronicle Herald in Canada. She and her 74-year-old husband, who live in Nova Scotia, said they first made sure their family was taken care of. But then, she said, they decided the money was "a big headache."

You're watching Charity Case - 'Morning Express'. See the Web's top videos on AOL VideoSo in a matter of just four months, they gave away the rest of their millions to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and local churches, according to The Chronicle Herald. They also donated money to the hospitals where Violet Large was fighting cancer this year.

The Larges play the lottery twice a week and say they'd never won more than $1,000 before this year. But July 14 was different. After choosing numbers in "Lotto 649" that day, Violet Large said she first thought they'd won only $10. Then, she took a closer look and was in shock. "'Oh my God,'" she said she told Allen that day at the couple's home, according to the Truro Daily News. "I said, 'Come and check these numbers.'"

But Allen Large, a retired steel worker, said he was more concerned with his wife's health than with the cash. "That money that we won was nothing," he said. "We have each other."

Violet, who has completed her treatment, told the paper that she and Allen were happy to be done with the money and have no interest in living extravagantly. "We're the lucky ones," she said. "I have no complaints." The humble couple, who did not immediately return a call for comment today from AOL News, will not say how much they gave to each charity.

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