Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In the News

Dying boy, 8, 'marries' school sweetheart for his last wish
An eight-year-old boy who had battled cancer for half of his life 'married' his school sweetheart - before telling his mother 'I can go now' and dying just hours later.
Reece Fleming refused to give in to leukaemia until he had fulfilled his wish of a mock wedding to his special friend Elleanor Pursglove.
The two children, who had been friends for years, had taken part in an emotional ceremony in Reece's front room in which he handed his 'bride' a red rose.
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Neighbors forced to travel one-and-a-half MILES to put bins out
Changes to bin collections in rural areas mean that some householders are facing transporting their rubbish one-and-a-half miles for it to be collected.
Residents of the hamlet of Litherskew, in upper Wensleydale, were told by council officials that their wheelie bins must be taken to the roadside in nearby Sedbusk for collection.
The only other option is to leave the bins permanently in Sedbusk and transport rubbish to them by car.
Councillor John Blackie, who represents the area on Richmondshire District Council, branded the new arrangement 'bonkers'.
The council says that its bin wagons could collect from Litherskew, but only if the four households there pay for a waste compound.
The council has received more than 500 complaints since it introduced wheelie bins to the upper dales six weeks ago.
Most relate to the distance bins must be pushed for collection.
Complainants included cancer patient John Martin, 85, and his 76-year-old wife, Gillian, who suffers from severe arthritis.
They faced dragging their bin 100 yards from their home in Marsett, upper Wensleydale, to the road.
The council initially said they were not eligible for assistance, but has now arranged for its street cleansing team to collect the Martins' rubbish from their doorstep temporarily until a permanent solution is investigated.
'We couldn't push a full wheelie bin 100 yards, so our rubbish wasn't being collected,' said Mr Martin.
Coun Blackie said the situation caused the couple great anxiety and reduced Mrs Martin to tears.
He said of the bins at Litherskew road end: 'What a despoilment of our fine dales countryside.
'The residents of Litherskew are expected to bring their wheelie bins 1.5 miles to this collection point, and then wheel them back after the refuse has been collected.
'This is completely and utterly bonkers.'
Litherskew resident Alice Amsden said: 'We have to pile our rubbish bags into the Land Rover and take it down to the bin, but not everyone wants to share their car with a week's worth of rubbish.'
Local households pay about £2,000 a year in council tax in return for very few services, she said.
Council officers say every complaint will be investigated and have agreed to examine what is meant by a 'main road' in the waste collection policy.
The authority's strategy board rejected Coun Blackie's call for an immediate review of the system and backed officers' proposals, which include an interim review in September and a fuller evaluation in January.
Ice cream vans threatened by new noise restrictions
The jingling tunes of the ice cream van, a sound of summer, are to be curtailed by council bosses because they are too noisy. Worcester City Council has decreed that sellers' bells cannot exceed more than four seconds, barely enough for a verse of Greensleeves or the Teddy Bears Picnic.
They have also been told they can't sound their chimes before 12pm or after 7pm and can only play music once every three minutes. Councillors have agreed to toughen up on mobile street traders after complaints about the way some operated, including banning them from parking outside schools. Vans are not allowed to trade within sight of other ice cream vans and are banned from being within 164 ft of a school during school hours and the same distance of any place of worship on a day of worship unless they are quieter than 80 decibels at 25ft away.
Fish rids human feet of scaly skin
Ready for the latest in spa pampering? Prepare to dunk your tootsies in a tank of water and let tiny carp nibble away.
Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far.
"This is a good treatment for everyone who likes to have nice feet," Ho said.
He said he wanted to come up with something unique while finding a replacement for pedicures that use razors to scrape off dead skin. The razors have fallen out of favor with state regulators because of concerns about whether they're sanitary.
Ho was skeptical at first about the fish, which are called garra rufa but typically known as doctor fish. They were first used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries.

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