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1. Prescribed burns planned near East Naples April 10-15

Resource management staff at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve have released plans for their first prescribed burns in 2019. Prescribed burns will commence each day around 9 a.m. as weather permits starting April 10.

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Fires are planned for the following areas: Shell Island Road, the Snail Trail at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, Keewaydin Island, Powerline Road, and LCEC access road.

Residents in the adjacent areas will see and possibly smell smoke from the fire. Fire personnel will contact visitors in the area to ensure their safety while traveling near activity areas and will carefully monitor the fire throughout the day until it extinguishes.

"The main purpose of these burns is to reduce fuel loads and manage wildlife habitat," said Rookery Bay Reserve Resource Management Coordinator Jeff Carter. "Prescribed burns also help to increase ecosystem diversity, while assisting in invasive plant control."

For more information about Rookery Bay visit rookerybay.org.

2. FEMA awards $34.4 million to Collier

More than a year after Hurricane Irma devastated Southwest Florida, Collier County will receive another round of federal funds to reimburse the county for the millions spent on debris removal following the storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Friday that it has approved more than $34.4 million for the county.

Instead of cutting reimbursement checks directly to local governments, FEMA gives the money to the state’s emergency response team, which then sends the money to the county.

Like other local governments across the state, the county paid contractors to collect, haul and process the mounds of debris left behind by the hurricane, an effort that took months and cost millions.

As of late August, across all departments, the county had received nearly $70 million worth of invoices for debris-related work, according to the clerk of court’s office.

At the time, some of those invoices were still being approved, audited or were not yet due.

Hurricane Irma slammed ashore in Collier County as a Category 3 storm on Sept. 10, 2017.

3. New study challenges moderate drinking

Just one or two drinks a day can increase risk of high blood pressure and stroke, a new study found, debunking the myth that moderate alcohol consumption could protect against those risks.

Published Thursday in the British medical journal The Lancet, the massive genetic study of 160,000 adults adds to growing research that alcohol can have lasting health implications.

Previous studies had suggested that moderate drinkers had a lower risk of stroke and heart attack compared to nondrinkers, the study authors said.

However, it was unknown whether that was because the moderate drinking itself decreased the risk or whether it was because nondrinkers had other health problems, the authors said.

For stroke, the research now refutes the claim that moderate drinking can be protective.

Researchers conducted their study by looking at the group of Chinese adults, because of common genetic intolerance to alcohol in that population that stops many from drinking. Those intolerances aren’t linked to other lifestyle factors, like smoking, so they can explain how drinking causes these health effects – rather than just being associated with them, the authors said. – Ryan W. Miller/USA Today

 

 

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