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Columns

  • New care standards for diabetes

    Diabetes affects over 29 million Americans. It is a condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy.

    Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, which our bodies use for energy.

    The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of the body. When you have diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or the cells can’t effectively use the insulin that is made. When there is insufficient insulin, blood glucose levels become high.

  • Garlic, onions make potent bug repellant

    It’s officially summer. I don’t even need a calendar because I can spot that blue chicory and those orange lilies along the sides of the road, my personal harbingers. Evening skies glow with lightening bugs flashing gold like dust motes in the sunshine. Just driving to work, through the winding green canopy, is a treasure for the eyes. Man, I love this season.

  • Odorous house ants do more than stink

    Odorous house ants (OHA) are difficult to control. Unfortunately, they are becoming more common in samples sent to the Insect Identification Lab. These small (1/8-inch) dark ants form distinct trails along outdoor and indoor surfaces.

    Description and nesting sites

  • City’s shield laid to rest

    One of the most common symbols of law enforcement is the police badge, or shield.

    It is quite possibly the most important piece of an officer’s uniform, the object not only identifies the wearer as a member of law enforcement it also serves as a reminder of their oaths to protect and serve their community.

  • Programs exist to help you find affordable housing

    Housing is usually the biggest expense for a family, whether you are a family of one or 10 people. Help is available with housing costs for families who qualify.
    There are more programs available than the ones mentioned below. Please read this even if it doesn’t fit your situation. You may be able to help someone else in the future by telling them about HUD housing rentals and sales and the Good Neighbor Next Door program.

  • Tobacco growers should watch for blue mold

    On June 2, active blue mold was found in a greenhouse in Greenville, Tennesee and in field plants that were set from the same greenhouse.

  • Now is the time to fertilize your garden

    It’s the popping season. Blooms are popping open and turning into fruit. Visually it is a wonder to watch. Whether it’s a flower, fruit or veggie, it’s fun to watch the changes as the growing takes place.
    Tomatoes are especially cool because we get such a big red fruit from such a tiny yellow flower. Watermelons and cucumbers also follow that same fast forward path. Beans and peppers start with a little white blossom. No matter the color, the result is the same, food from flowers.

  • Dad’s lessons still resonate

    “Hello, may I speak with Mr. Barker?”
    I sigh and start my well-rehearsed speech, explaining to the caller they have reached Ricki Barker the younger and that I am the female Ricki in my family.
    My father and I share many things: a love of animals, good books, lemon meringue pie and a name.
    The latter similarity has led to many humorous moments throughout the years.

  • Speed up ripening process in fruit

    Summer signals the arrival of fresh, seasonal produce, which promises eating at its finest. Sometimes that produce isn’t as ripe as you need it to be.

    Some produce that has traveled a great distance is picked while still green and won’t be ripe when it reaches the store. For some fruits, you can speed up the ripening process at home.

    Common fruits that can be ripened at home include bananas, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, pineapples and tomatoes.

  • Help livestock beat the summer heat

    Summer is almost here. We’ve already experienced some heat, just a taste of what’s to come. Humans aren’t the only ones who suffer when the temperatures rise. Farm animals feel it, too. You can recognize when your livestock may be in danger from the heat and what you can do to increase their comfort.

    Livestock become uncomfortable when the heat index reaches about 90 degrees. The heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity, and is used to describe how it feels outside.