Deadly Tobacco Becomes A Lifesaver - 09/02/14

  The irony ~   Tobacco, the very plant blamed for prematurely killing 443 thousand Americans each year.  Tobacco, the same plant that led to a $246 billion dollar lawsuit settlement in the 90's against the tobacco industry.  Tobacco, the cash crop for Kentucky and North Carolina for decades.  This little green plant that's gotten the bad rap for snuffing out lives too early... has now saved at least two.... and scientists can't grow enough of this hybrid tobacco fast enough.

   The Ebola outbreak the CDC now says, "is out of control" is all of the sudden heavily dependent on tobacco and it's all being grown just up the road from us in a lab in Owensboro, Kentucky.  Somehow, this special tobacco is able to host a cocktail of antibodies that kick starts the immune system in Ebola victims and promotes healing.

    It worked for the two American aid workers who were brought back here to the states for the experimental treatment.  Now, the challenge is to grow more of it faster and substantiate the trials needed to use it on sick people who will otherwise die, according to doctors.

     Scientists have been working on this tobacco cocktail known as ZMapp for years with plans for trials at some point in the future.  They just didn't anticipate what's now a pandemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.   The CDC says for every day Ebola spreads in West Africa, it threatens people of all nations who may travel.  It's hard to contain and highly contagious.
 
    That's why the CDC is dispatching a team to Senegal to help prevent the spread of the disease. More than 1500 people have already died and another American doctor came down sick with Ebola today.  He had been working with pregnant women in West Africa. 
 
      Just a little news update interwoven with a redemption story for tobacco and I think it's all pretty darn cool that it's happening just up the road from us.  A hop, skip and a jump away. 

 

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Last Update on October 21, 2014 09:08 GMT

WATER THEFT CHARGE

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The owner of a northern New Jersey business found himself in hot water after admitting his role in a plan to steal at least $100,000 worth of water from a local utilities authority. Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Nicholas Vene, of Holmdel, New Jersey pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Officials say from January 2007 to March 2012, Vene and others diverted water flowing from a Jersey City pipe to a Reliable Wood location and away from the water meter on that pipe. That resulted in an under-reporting of water usage.Vene faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 26.

FREE SALMON

POULSBO, Wash. (AP) -- The early bird catches the fish, or at least a few lucky people did when they lined up with coolers Monday to wait for free salmon at a hatchery on Washington's Kitsap Peninsula. Workers at Grovers Creek Hatchery, northwest of Seattle, netted several dozen fish from the pond and harvested eggs from female chum salmon. The hatchery gave away one salmon per person because of limited supplies so early in the season. But they told those who didn't get a fish Monday to come back later. The hatchery, run by the Suquamish Tribe, is one of a few in Washington with a salmon give-away program.

STINK BUG-MICHIGAN

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) -- An annoying insect is bugging homeowners in southwestern Michigan, and some say it just plain stinks. A Michigan State University program says the brown marmorated stink bug has been detected in low numbers in traps set around fruit and vegetable crops. But there are "a few hotspots." Cathie Buckley, of Stevensville, Michigan, lives with her husband on 6 1/2 acres including a former blueberry patch. The couple are finding the bugs "all over the place," and she says she's encountered hundreds of them. "I have lots of them -- and my husband can't stand the smell of them," Buckley said. "They are horrible." The stink bug does not bite or pose any danger to humans, but it has a gross smell.

SPEEDWAY WEDDING

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) -- Two NASCAR fans raced to the altar to finally arrive at marital bliss. Kevin Lane and Ashlea Leggett got married on the Talladega Superspeedway infield before the GEICO 500 in Alabama on Sunday. The Athens, Georgia couple attended the race last year, as their first big trip together. So this year, they asked their friends and family to join them on the track for a ceremony before the race. The gathering was complete with a 10x10 foot white tent, flowers and music playing from a smartphone connected to a small speaker. After the 15-minute ceremony, the entire crowd shared wedding cake and watched the racers rev up.

 
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