MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The University of Wisconsin-Madison is giving away a free canoe. Of course, there are some strings attached. The new owner has to pick up the Wisconsin canoe in New Orleans. U-W geology prof Henry Wang has taught summer courses in New Orleans for four years. The canoe was used to collect water and sediment samples. The university had planned to donate the canoe to a nonprofit that helped with the research. But here's the catch, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The canoe is Wisconsin state property and must first be offered to all state agencies and local nonprofits.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Don't call them dirtbags. They're earthbags! Single mom Thea Bryant is building an earthbag house in Austin, Texas. She mixes mud to the consistency of cake batter. The adobe mud is then stuffed into mesh bags which are stacked to form an igloo-like structure. She tells the Austin American-Statesman the technique was pioneered by the U.N. to build homes in developing nations. Bryant hopes to move into her new earthbag home with her four kids in about six weeks.
NATIONAL ZOO-LION CUBS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's a heck of a first birthday party. Tomorrow morning, the National Zoo will give its seven lion cubs presents and special goodies. The cubs will get `bloodcicles." They are frozen treats made of blood and bone. It might not sound good to you but big cats love them. The seven little lions were born in two litters last year at the zoo in Washington. Zoo officials say the successful breeding followed years of research.
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) -- Maryland is helping folks stay green with a little green. The recent Hurricane Irene did quite a number on trees in the state. WTOP Radio reports the state will hand out $25 coupons for the purchase of new trees. It's an extension of a program to plant 50,000 native trees. An additional 50,000 trees are being added to the goal. Under the program the trees must cost at least 50 bucks each, and must be on the list of approved varieties.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Montel Williams wants to sell medical marijuana in the nation's capital. The former talk show host is one of the contenders trying to get a legal pot license. Fifty applications are expected to be approved this week to go on to the next round of selection. D.C officials say they'll announce the winners of the 15 pot licenses early next year. The Washington Post reports other wannabe pot sellers include a competitive bass fisherman and a Chinatown businessman.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Some dog-paddling swimmers are getting in a last dip. But they're not wearing swimsuits. They're covered in fur. A number of public pools in Ohio allow the four-legged set to get their paws wet. The pools are closed for the season and will be thoroughly cleaned before opening next summer. Becky Berger says her two golden retrievers love the doggie swim days. She tells the Columbus Dispatch for them it's like "Christmas -- or Disneyland."
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