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FRIDAY, JULY 28, 2017

Some states use goats to mow along highways, saving money and decreasing herbicide use...

Goats clear grass and weeds near Olympia area interchange. Photo: Washington State DOT Flickr PhotostreamGoats clear grass and weeds near Olympia area interchange. Photo: Washington State DOT Flickr Photostream

Goats can do more than provide milk and meat: their dedication to chomping grass and weeds, and their nimble feet, have earned them a spot cropping along road rights-of-way in at least seven states. It makes sense, Frederick Kunkle reports for The Washington Post.

"Goats take pleasure and sustenance from their work in ways that people don’t. Goats don’t talk back, they don’t demand 401(k)s or pensions, and even their lunch breaks are productive. (They do get health care of a sort, at least in Maryland.) Sure, robots might do the job someday, too — but would you eat their cheese?"

Doug Hecox, a spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration, told Kunkle that goats are "one of the greatest unsung heroes on the American highway." States that use goats to maintain roadways include California, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina and Washington. They say goats are cheap and better for the environment than herbicides.

Maryland began using them in 2009 when endangered turtles were discovered living near a highway under construction. Pesticides couldn't be used on that stretch, so the state brought in goats. They cost the state $6,300 per year, including vet bills, and the state is considering expanding the program.

Written by Heather Chapman

Posted at 7/28/2017 12:01:00 PM

Pit bull attacks 2-year-old ...Dog Days 2017?

Anderson County EMS workers load a 2-year-old child into a waiting ambulance this morning after being bitten in the face by the family's pit bull.Anderson County EMS workers load a 2-year-old child into a waiting ambulance this morning after being bitten in the face by the family's pit bull.Date: 07-19-2017

A 2-year-old child suffered severe lacerations to the face this morning during an attack by a pit bull.

The incident occurred around 9:15 a.m. at 400 North Main St. in Lawrenceburg.

The child was transported by Anderson County EMS to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with what first responders said were non-life threatening injuries.

The dog was a family pet that had never bitten anyone, according to Shane Bast, director of the county’s animal control unit who is investigating the incident.

He said the dog has been secured and that the child’s mother told him she wanted the dog put down today.

Bast said that can’t happen because he’s required by law to quarantine the dog for 10 days.

“I’m going to watch it for 10 days,” Bast said, adding that the mother told him the dog had been vaccinated for rabies.

“After that, if she wants to euthanize the dog, and I think she will, she can.”

Bast said if the mother changes her mind, he would take the matter to court to have the dog declared vicious.

“Based on what I saw, that wouldn’t take much,” he said.

Bast said he dealt with dogs near that home the night before when he had to take custody of three pit bulls at the corner of Ballard Street and North Main. He said those dogs were friendly, but had to be taken in because they were running loose.

By Ben Carlson
The Anderson News

 

Date: 06-16-2017

Biotechnology company opens mosquito factory in Lexington

A Lexington biotechnology company aimed at fighting mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus opened a mosquito factory Wednesday on Malabu Drive.

MosquitoMate, founded by University of Kentucky entomology professor Stephen Dobson, will use the 6,000-square-foot space to raise millions of sterile, non-biting mosquitoes that will act as a “biopesticide” against other mosquitoes that sometimes carry infectious diseases. The company opened a research and development center on Regency Road four years ago, Dobson said.

According to MosquitoMate, the new lab will be able to raise more than 50 million eggs and three million male mosquitoes per week. Those male Asian tiger mosquitoes, or ZAP mosquitoes, do not bite and are sterile, so when they mate with a female mosquito, her eggs will not hatch. 

The company and its partners have conducted successful trials in California, New York and Lexington that dramatically decreased the population of biting mosquitoes, according to a news release.

MosquitoMate grew out of research done at UK.

Dobson said MosquitoMate has been operating under an experimental use permit for the last few years, and the Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing its research.

If approved by the EPA, the company plans to sell its mosquitoes to homeowners, “ the people this technology is intended to serve,” he said.

“MosquitoMate has very much to be thankful for,” Dobson said. “We have come very far in just a few years.”

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and UK President Eli Capilouto attended the ceremony and noted the potential economic impact of the company, which plans to add 12 jobs at its new location. The company now has 10 employees.

“This story is a Kentucky story, a story of momentum,” Capilouto said. “There’s a lot more that can come out of the University of Kentucky.”

By Monica Kast
Lexington Herald-Leader