Month: December 2015

Virginia Highway Guardrails can be Dangerous

That is the opinion of Mark Herring, VA Attorney General.  His suit against one manufacturer contends that the guardrail is supposed to flatten out like a ribbon when hit, thereby absorbing the impact of the collision and lessening the chances of injury.  Instead, it turns into a deadly spear. VDOT says that it will begin removing the controversial highway guardrail system from some of its roadways after a crash test confirmed its concerns about the safety of the device.  It would cost about $100 million to remove them all, so it is likely that only those in the most critical...

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Will Rappahannock Test Its Kids For Drugs?

Mark this date: December 8th, 2015. That is the night the Rappahannock County School Board took up the idea of testing kids for drugs and alcohol. The five-member board, without deciding anything, and taking no vote on the subject, nonetheless heard a detailed proposal for testing — from the sixth grade up through senior class — some of the youngsters who take part in “competitive extracurricular activities.” A positive test for alcohol or drugs could result in brief suspension from the activity. Example, a member of the football team could miss two games. The members of the board seemed...

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Part Wolf, Part Dog, Mainly Coyote

We may have a new critter in the area, one that the Economist magazine calls “an extraordinarily fit new animal spreading through the eastern part of North America.” It’s called the coywolf (pronounced coy-wolf), and is genetically one-tenth dog, one-quarter wolf, and the rest coyote.  It is bigger, stronger, and more adaptable than the coyote, and probably also smarter.  According to the Economist, the animal’s range has encompassed the entire American north-east, urban areas included. One local hunter reported seeing a pack of seven coyote-type animals together, in the Little Washington area, as recently as November 2015.  Since coyotes...

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