Custodian Blows Whistle on Mold Problem in Missouri Elementary School
Aug31

Custodian Blows Whistle on Mold Problem in Missouri Elementary School

A local mother and former custodian of an elementary school is sweeping the floor with district administrators, blaming them for not being more proactive in ending their mold problem once and for all. According to the Springfield News-Leader, Portland Lloyd recently exposed Delaware Elementary’s dirty little secret of a recurring mold problem that may pose health risks to the young students. Lloyd is particularly disturbed because she has become so close to the children over her eight-year tenure at the school. She also notes that Delaware Elementary is home to a large number of students with disabilities and special needs. Administrators have acknowledged the problem, but refute Lloyd’s claims that the school isn’t doing everything in its power to protect their at-risk students. “We knew we had medically fragile students,” said Jason Anderson, executive director of elementary learning. “We wanted to have that cleaned up before they walked in the door.” According to KY3 News in Missouri, Lloyd claims she observed mold growing on students’ desks and chairs while cleaning over the summer, as well as some rooms having a disturbing amount of mold covering the carpets and walls. “The student chairs that are made of plastic, filing cabinets, the walls, the pipes, the ceiling tile. It was all covered in mold that was green, white and black in color,” says Lloyd. “The district refused to admit there is an issue, let alone address it,” she said. “These medically fragile children deserve better.” Mold can lead to a host of terrible health effects, ranging from asthma to cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, a shocking 93% of all sinus infections are attributed to mold exposure. Lloyd believes that a heavy summer rain combined with old air-conditioning units are the root of the school’s mold problem. She notes that the library, where a brand-new AC unit was recently installed, is the only room that was completely mold-free. The school claims there have been no further mold issues since the school year began. Portland Lloyd is no longer employed by the district, but was deemed to be “eligible for rehire” upon her...

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Massive Sewage Spill Contaminates Famed Waikiki Beach
Aug29

Massive Sewage Spill Contaminates Famed Waikiki Beach

World-famous Waikiki Beach and surrounding areas of Honolulu’s coastline remained closed Aug. 26 after heavy rainstorms caused 500,000 gallons of sewage to spill out from manholes and into storm sewers leading to the ocean. “All I can do is apologize to the public,” Lori Kahikina, director of environmental services for Honolulu, said at a news conference. “This is unheard of. It’s unprecedented.” Rainstorms, combined with worn-out sewer systems, are common culprits when it comes to sewage backing up into homes — one of the reasons home sewer connections need to be replaced every 40 years or so. But the city supposedly has systems in place to prevent overflow. Tourists were warned to stay away from the water, since it could be contaminated with pathogens and therefore constitute a serious risk of illness or infection — though not all complied. Local news station KHON reported Aug. 25 that a communication breakdown may have contributed to the spill; apparently, one of the pumping stations located at Ala Moana, a short stretch down the coast from Waikiki, was offline at the time of the spill. City Councilman Trevor Ozawa, who represents the district, told the station that he hadn’t coordinated with the Department of Design and Construction to ensure the pump was in working order. “We were all aware that the rain was coming … but we didn’t look at some of the glaring obvious things that we could have done,” Ozawa admitted. The closures — unfortunately timed in the middle of the busiest season for the island — have had a serious impact on Waikiki businesses, many of which rely on tourists wanting to try ocean-based activities (though it’s possible businesses in other areas of the island may benefit from the displaced tourists). Dave Carvalho, owner of Big Wave Dave surfing school, told local TV broadcast Hawaii News Now that they’ve been informing tourists of the situation but allowing them to make their own choices as to the risk. The brown-water warning did, however, delay prominent events scheduled as part of Duke’s OceanFest, an ocean sports festival timed around the birthday of surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku. Aug. 24 marked the 125th anniversary of his birth, and the festival was slated to involve more than 2,500 athletes and thousands more spectators. The city has promised to lift warnings as soon as water testing has been...

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Plug Pulled on Fake Electrician in San Diego
Aug27

Plug Pulled on Fake Electrician in San Diego

For homeowners and businesses owners alike, electricity is an integral part of everyday function and productivity, but homes and businesses may need electrical repairs from time to time. For the most part, however, home and business owners assume that the electrician they hired wasn’t a con artist. In San Diego California, one business owner learned the hard way that not all people are who they claim to be. According to ABC 10 News, Kerri Boyles, a resident and business owner in El Cajon, California, recently realized that she had been duped by who she thought was her electrician. For the past few months, Boyle has been in the process of opening Dick and Jane Waxing Salon, a unisex hair removal and beauty parlor. In the midst of this process, Boyle received a call from Paul Larmour. “He said he had been hired by the property management to do an inspection and wanted to schedule an appointment,” Boyle told ABC 10. The business owner complied and let Larmour “inspect” her salon’s electric systems. Upon “inspection” Larmour claimed that the business needed an updated alarm system and fuse box. On the spot, Boyle wrote Larmour a $500 check. She continued to write the man checks, paying him for various services he claimed that the business required. At the time, Boyle thought nothing of it. Larmour had told her that he had done every other business’s sign in the shopping center. Overall, Boyle paid Larmour $1700 for his claimed services. But when she asked for an invoice, he began to ignore her. Soon after, Boyle found dust on the circuit breaker that Larmour had also said he would fix. That’s when she knew she had been scammed. “I felt sick to my stomach and stupid,” Boyles recalled to ABC 10. But Boyle wasn’t alone. Apparently, Larmour had been committing similar fraudulent acts around the area for years. In 2010, ABC 10 uncovered that Larmour had been charged with 58 counts, but had only gotten a year of jail time. Ultimately, Boyle felt that she could have prevented the scam had she asked for Larmour’s license, and the scenario serves as a cautionary tale for homeowners and business owners...

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Are We Allergic to Climate Change?
Aug26

Are We Allergic to Climate Change?

As climate change becomes more and more apparent, so do the catastrophic effects on our planet. Now, scientists are saying that the amount of nitrogen oxides (NO2) being released into the atmosphere are having an effect on the allergenic level of pollen in the atmosphere. According to Nature World News, researchers from Helmoltz Zentrum München studied ragweed (belonging to the Ambrosia genus) and fumigated it with large concentrations of NO2. After spraying the plants, researchers found that they contained higher concentrations of allergens. In addition to the higher concentrations, the study found that the pollen from the plants sprayed with NO2 were far better at binding with a specific antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE is one of the classes of antibodies that is associated with the main cause of allergic reactions. When the IgE molecule binds to an allergen, histamine is released in turn. As we all know, histamine is what triggers that first fateful sneeze. While there are several remedies to help those who suffer from seasonal allergies, ranging from medications to the use of air conditioning, anyone who starts sneezing when ragweed makes an appearance would prefer not to experience allergies in the first place. In a press release sharing the study’s results, study leader Dr. Ulrike Frank reported: “Ultimately, it can be expected that the already aggressive Ambrosia pollen will become even more allergenic in the future due to air pollution”. NO2 is typically emitted from car exhaust. Interestingly enough, the Ambrosia species found on the side of highways tend to be more allergenic, the press release reported. Dr. Frank added, “Since in nature and along roads hundreds of parameters could play a role, until now the situation was not entirely...

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Has the Lost Colony of Roanoke Been Found? New Discovery of Artifacts Suggests It’s Possible
Aug24

Has the Lost Colony of Roanoke Been Found? New Discovery of Artifacts Suggests It’s Possible

The Lost Colony of Roanoke might have to be renamed into something a little less catchy – specifically, into “The Found Colony of Roanoke,” according to recent reports claiming that archaeologists have finally discovered evidence which they believe to be remnants of the fabled civilization. For hundreds of years, researchers and scholars have toiled over untangling the mystery of Roanoke Island and its colonists, who disappeared seemingly into thin air. More than 100 English colonists moved onto the island, which is currently part of North Carolina, in 1587 during the height of colonization in the Americas. But when settlers went back to England for more supplies and were delayed for about three years, they returned to the island in 1590 to find it completely empty – save for the word “Croatoan” carved into a fence post and “CRO” carved into a nearby tree. According to reports from National Geographic and the New York Times, archaeologists believe they have discovered earthenware and other tools, close to Roanoke Island, proving that the 115 colonists did survive (rather than turn into ghosts, as some people still believe). The evidence in question was found at a dig site 60 miles west of Roanoke Island, which is located in North Carolina’s Outer Banks region, the Valley News said. This site has been nicknamed “Site X” by archaeologists from the First Colony Foundation. On the mainland area, located around the Albemarle Sound in North Carolina, and on Hatteras Island just south of Roanoke Island, archaeologists from the First Colony Foundation and from Britain’s Bristol University have discovered items suggesting that the colonists of Roanoke split into two groups; one which traveled to the northern mainland, and one to an island 50 miles south. The objects are clearly European goods, National Geographic reported, and include broken pieces of English bowls, an English sword hilt, and even a fragment of a slate writing tablet with a single letter inscribed. Archaeologists in both dig sites have admitted that the objects could have belonged to other groups of colonists, but if more evidence can be unearthed, the artifacts could play a major role in discovering just what happened to Roanoke. Currently, most historians believe that the colonists integrated into Native American communities after leaving...

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