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Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Was Taken Out of the Mines in Mineral Ridge?

“What was taken out of the mines in Mineral Ridge? Are any still there? When did they close?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff was not familiar with the information needed as our focus tends to be more on the history of Newton Falls and Newton Township, but we were more than willing to see if we could locate what she needed.

The Davis Genealogy’s section about William Edward Davies, hosted by Rootsweb, states that “. . . Mineral Ridge, Trumbull County, Ohio . . . was a center of coal and iron mining in the early nineteenth century.”  History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (p.95) has many details about the Mineral Ridge coal and blackband iron belt, and how the deposits were formed.

The Columbus Dispatch article, Old coal mines are risk to homes in eastern Ohio  by Spencer Hunt, dates mining back to the mid-1800s. It addressed the problem of locating old mines, as many were small and undocumented; others were dug into by individuals during the Depression and were extended beyond their map boundaries.

The Abandoned Coal Mines Website, research by Ann Harris of Youngstown State University, lists 26 shaft and slope mines in Weathersfield Township. The last known date of a listed mine closing was 1899.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Mineral Resources Management has overseen the filling of the abandoned mines. According to the Youngstown Vindicator article, Area in Ridge will be tested for mine subsidence by ODNR by Mary Smith (10/6/2008); there is also the problem of determining the location of “peddler” mines, dug by individuals for the mining of coal for their own use or to sell.  

We gave our patron this information and also suggested that she contact the library located in Weathersfield Township, McKinley Memorial Library in Niles. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Is It Safe to Give Salted Peanuts to Squirrels?

“My husband and I enjoy feeding the squirrels peanuts in the shell. We recently bought salted ones and my niece told me it wasn’t safe to give them salted ones. Is that true?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff understands people wanting to make sure they are giving animals proper foods.

The library’s copy of Squirrels: A Wildlife Handbook by Kim Long had a great deal of interesting information including the favorite foods of different kinds of squirrels. Unfortunately it did not address the issue of salted nuts.

We visited the website of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The section on squirrels did not have the information we needed, so we telephoned them. While waiting we listened to bird sounds and their identification.  When we spoke with an individual, we were told that they “recommend not feeding wildlife.”

Continuing our online search, the website Black Mouth Cur had the following pertaining to gray squirrels: “The amount of salt a squirrel requires can be easily obtained in its diet and the extra amount of salt . . . can affect its heart, raises the blood pressure and increases its pulse. This tends to shorten a squirrel’s lifespan. This is not too dissimilar to salt’s effects on a human.” has an entire section titled Attracting to & Controlling Squirrels in Your Garden. Within are several paragraphs about peanuts. While a good source of protein, the site discourages feeding raw peanuts to animals because it often contains “aflatoxin, a fungal toxin. Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and causes liver damage in birds, squirrels and other animals -- even humans.” Roasting can reduce the toxin but does not eliminate it. “Also, raw peanuts and other legumes contain a . . . substance that inhibits or prevents the pancreas from producing trypsin, an enzyme essential for the absorption of protein by the intestine. . . Squirrels fed a steady diet of raw peanuts, soybeans, other legumes, and sweet potatoes could easily develop severe malnutrition. . . According to the Washington State Cooperative Extension Service, roasting hulled raw peanuts for 20 to 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring them frequently, will destroy the trypsin inhibitor and render them suitable for feed. If that sounds like a lot of work, buy roasted peanuts but be sure they aren't salted. (Salted nuts of any kind should never be fed to wild animals.)”

We passed the information on to our patron so she could determine what they would choose to feed their backyard wildlife.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What is the proper way to dispose of an old Bible?

“I know there are guidelines for the disposal of an old, damaged flag, but is there a proper way to dispose of an old Bible? While familiar with those for flags, the Newton Falls Public Library staff was unfamiliar with rules for disposing of Bibles.

An online search brought up a wealth of websites, some particular to different faiths and denominations. The Human Condition website has an information paper on the Handling and Disposal of Sacred Texts, Spiritual Writings and Religious Items by CH (COL) Chet Lanious, Director, Center for World Religions of the Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, SC.  It covers items related to Roman Catholics, the various Protestant denominations, Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islamic sects. The paper also includes links to religious sites.

Our patron informed us that she was interested in what would pertain to the Methodist Church. The information paper connected us to the United Methodist Church, GBOD’s (The General Board of Discipleship) website. The GBOD developed a service for the disposal of old Bibles and devotional books, written by Daniel T. Benedict, Jr. The service concludes with either the burning or burial of the books. A full copy of the service was made for the patron to share with her congregation.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Where Can I . . .? Does the Library Have . . .? Can You Find . . .?

Sometimes the questions asked at the Newton Falls Public Library are not complicated, but are for information people need at that moment.  These include some of the following:

“Where can I dispose of batteries?” The Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District has collection events  which cover a wide variety of household waste from Ammonia to Wood Strippers. Batteries are accepted at the Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District's Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Facility, located at 5138 Enterprise Blvd., Warren, Ohio, off Route 422. It is only open to residents of Geauga and Trumbull counties, and identification is required. The facility is open every Wednesday between 10 am and 6 pm, beginning May 4, 2011 through September 28, 2011 and the first Saturday of May, June and August, 9 am to noon for residents of Geauga and Trumbull County..

“Does the library have HEAP forms?”  The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Ohio Department of Development's Office of Community Service. Those applying must have a total household income at or below 200 percent of the Fiscal Year 2011 federal poverty guidelines. Applications for the 2011-2012 Regular HEAP program are accepted through May 31, 2012. Applications can be printed from the website or picked up at the library.

“Can you find the meaning of near-quart? I’m working a crossword puzzle and it is a clue.” The library staff searched in The American Heritage Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, the 13 volume Oxford English Dictionary, and others. Not being successful, the search was expanded online. The staff was unable to find an answer, and could only suggest the patron try to see if “liter” would fit in the spaces, as it is nearly as large as a quart.