Morning briefing – Dec. 30

Staff report

SAFETY ENCOURAGED – Be sure to handle hazardous waste in the proper manner, suggests the Association of Mature American Citizens.

A nature lover in Idaho thought he was doing the right thing for the environment by disposing of his used wad of toilet paper by taking a match to it. He didn’t want to be a litterbug, reports a local TV station. He turned out to be an inadvertent firebug.

He was on an exceptionally dry stretch of wilderness trail near Boise when the incident occurred and the burning tissue paper set the woods on fire.

A Bureau Land Management spokesperson told reporters: “We’ve had this before, actually – it doesn’t happen very often – but when people have to go, they will often burn their toilet paper just as kind of an environmental concern, to not litter, but it’s not a good idea.”

PREVENT BLINDNESS GETS GRANT – The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness has received a $7,500 grant from the Roush Memorial Fund at the Akron Community Foundation to support the Prevent Blindness Vision Care Outreach Program in Summit County.

Prevent Blindness is the state’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to prevent blindness and preserve sight. It provides direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans and educates consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their sight. The goal of the Vision Care Outreach Program is to reduce the incidence of unnecessary vision loss and impairment by providing access to a donated system of comprehensive vision care services for high-risk, medically indigent Ohioans–children, youth, families and homeless/uninsured adults.

“We are grateful to the Akron Community Foundation for their partnership in helping us to assist Ohioans of all ages through the Vision Care Outreach program,” said Sherry Williams, President and CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “Prevent Blindness will use this grant to educate the public about blinding eye diseases, eye safety, and the importance of regular eye exams and to provide access to donated, comprehensive eye exams and glasses to both children and adults.”

AUTHOR CONTEST SET – The Grateful American Book Prize will begin accepting submissions on Jan. 1 for its 2016 award.

The Prize was created last year and received nearly 150 entries as authors and publishers vied for top honors in the first of its kind competition for historically accurate books of fiction and non-fiction for young readers focused on the events and personalities that have shaped the United States.

The 2015 winner was Kathy Cannon Wiechman for Like a River: A Civil War Novel published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights Press. Although Like a River is her first published novel, Wiechman is a prolific writer with a total of 11 completed novels, dozens of short stories and hundreds of poems. She has a second novel, Empty Places, scheduled for publication in 2016. It is aimed at young readers nine years of age and up.

Staff report