Rural Missouri - December 2010 - (Page 22)
Can you hear me now?
Protecting their hearing might be the furthest thing from the minds of most rural Missourians as they drive tractors, operate chain saws or check grain drying in their bins, but not being cautious around these loud noises produces irreparable damage. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 43 percent of U.S. workers in agriculture encounter dangerous levels of noise. Farmers rank behind miners and factory and utility workers in exposure to high levels of noise. Even short bouts of loud noise can cause permanent damage. As little as two hours of driving an open-cab tractor or two minutes running a chain saw can cause a temporary hearing loss. Earplugs or other hearing protection are recommended for any prolonged exposure to noises louder than 90 decibels. A lawn mower can register 90 decibels, and a chain saw can reach 100 decibels. For machinery, replacing worn or loose parts cuts down on vibration noise, and maintaining properly working mufflers can cut exhaust noise.
N E W S
Watch the road!
If you feel like deer are lurking around every bend in the road — just waiting to jump out in front of you — you may be right. According to its claims data, State Farm estimates there were more than 2.3 million collisions between deer and vehicles nationwide from July 2008 to June 2010, a 21 percent increase from five years ago. The last three months of the year have shown the highest number of collisions. The insurer’s data show the chance of a Missouri driver striking a deer during the next year is 1 in 134, placing the Show-Me State 16th in the nation. West Virginians top the list with a 1 in 42 chance of colliding with a deer, whereas drivers in Hawaii have only a 1 in 13,011 chance of such an encounter. To avoid being another statistic,
B R I E F S
be aware of posted deer crossing signs and remember deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m. Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night along rural roads. Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds — if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby. If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Mountain on Dec. 14, 2005. The 1.3 billion gallon flood — and a devastating wind storm in May 2009 — caused hundreds of acres of downed timber that gave cleanup crews from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and volunteers from the Ozark Trail Association a huge mess to clean up along the 13-mile route.
Improve your abode
Homeowners now can make their homes more energy efficient thanks to financial assistance available through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Energize Missouri Homes program. The department recently awarded $7.75 million to six organizations through its Homeowner Upgrades and Geothermal program. These groups, including White River Valley Electric Cooperative in Branson, will assist Missouri homeowners with funding for energy audits and energy-efficiency upgrades such as weatherstripping, insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems and installing geothermal systems. To learn more about Energize Missouri Homes, call 877-610-0834 or visit www.energizemissouri.org.
On the trail again
One of Missouri’s more scenic hiking routes is now open after being closed for five years. The Taum Sauk section of the Ozark Trail between Taum Sauk Mountain and Johnson’s Shut-Ins state parks had been closed to hikers after the reservoir breach on Proffit
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2010
Rural Missouri - December 2010
The Owl Innkeepers
Out of the Way Eats
Best of Rural Missouri
Hearth and Home
Too Good to Be True?
Rural Missouri - December 2010