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Intern Megan Murphy cuts fabric to make health masks at the Eau Claire Children's Theatre in Eau Claire, Wis., on March 24, 2020. Creating a mask involves several steps and takes ECCT employees around 20 minutes to finish. (Dan Reiland/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP)

Children's Theatre part of effort to make face masks

Mar. 30, 2020 1:01 AM EDT

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Local theater members have shifted their focus from creating costumes to making face masks in an effort to combat COVID-19. The grassroots work to create homemade masks is occurring across the country, and the Chippewa Valley citizens recently began helping by creating masks that...

Gardening at home with a basic set-up during the pandemic

Mar. 30, 2020 1:01 AM EDT

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — Soil, water, nutrients, sunlight and seeds are the basic items one person needs to grow food from scratch in the comfort of their own home. Gardening begins with good soil, NMU Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Sustainability Sarah Mittlefehldt told The Mining...

West Virginia man takes a bite out of history -- literally

Mar. 29, 2020 12:21 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Not everybody would be up for eating a hundred-year-old piece of meat or a mouthful of corn chips from the golden age of disco, but Gary Mitchell, better known as “Old Smokey,” loves that kind of thing. The 37-year-old Mason County native is the co-host of the History...

Lauren and Christoph Herby make walnut syrup at their farm in McDowell. The couple prides themselves on sustainable living. Any wood used for the evaporator to boil the syrup comes from felled trees on their land. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)

"Liquid gold' brings new attention to Virginia county

Mar. 29, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

MCDOWELL, Va, (AP) — Christoph Herby stands inside his 96-square-foot sugar shed and watches the sap hauled from his black walnut trees boil. Steam rises from the evaporator and the air smells of buttered popcorn. “That’s our liquid gold,” he says, noting the intense labor that goes...

In this Saturday, March 14, 2020, photo, Lynley Golden, left, and Jason Rony at the Cotton Candy Lab booth near The Depot Grille in Lynchburg, Va. While making the cotton candy — of which he offers 10 flavors, with more in the works — he wears a lab coat and goggles and explains to children the science behind how the treat is made. (Taylor Irby/The News & Advance via AP)

Food science student spins cotton candy into business

Mar. 28, 2020 9:01 AM EDT

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — It all started at a yard sale. More than a year ago, Jason Rony saw a cotton candy machine for sale. “I didn’t think too much about it. I was driving away and had this whole idea in my head,” he said. “I went back and bought the machine.” Then he...

Mandan (North Dakota) High School student Sheridan Two Bears, left, makes a cup of hot chocolate with the help of Kendra Gerving, a University of Mary student teacher, while working at the Braves Bean Coffee Shop inside the high school entrance on March 6, 2020. To the right is Amanda Zeller, a paraprofessional at the school, who also helps in the work experience class.  (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

Students serve up cappuccinos, mochas at school coffee shop

Mar. 28, 2020 1:02 AM EDT

MANDAN, ND. (AP) — A minute after the bell rang at 9:05 a.m. on a recent Friday, a line had formed by the main entrance to Mandan High School. One by one, students approached some of their peers, placing orders for hot chocolate, mochas and caramel macchiatos, to name a few of the drinks offered twice a...

Black Hills cattle rancher keeps region's history alive

Mar. 28, 2020 1:01 AM EDT

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — The cattle industry has played as major a role in the history of the Black Hills as the gold rush of 1876, and it continues to shape that history to this day. Aaron Thompson is one Black Hills rancher keeping that history alive by managing the same land his family has worked since...

Love in the time of coronavirus: Weddings postponed

Mar. 23, 2020 8:54 PM EDT

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Ginellie Ginel doesn’t know when she’ll be able to wear the wedding dress hanging in her closet. She had planned her church wedding for May, but when the coronavirus started to spread in Connecticut, those plans changed quickly. “Everything is obviously emotional...

Grains mixed, livestock higher.

Mar. 23, 2020 3:51 PM EDT

Wheat for May up 23.25 cents at 5.6250 a bushel; May. corn lost .25 cent at 3.4350 a bushel, May oats rose 6.50 cents at $2.6850 a bushel; while May soybeans gained 21.50 cents at $8.84 a bushel. Beef and and pork were higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Apr. live cattle rose 3 cents at $1.0165 a pound;...

WV maple producer enhances syrup with flavorful infusions

Mar. 22, 2020 9:03 AM EDT

GRIFFITHSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — There may not be gold in the hills and hollers of West Virginia, but there is money to be made through the pale amber sap that flows from the maple trees that cover the mountains and valleys here. “There’s people that make six figures from maple syrup,”...