The morning Odds & Ends |

The morning Odds & Ends

DUTCH MILLS, Ark. Its not as cold in northwest Arkansas as it is in Iceland, but a flock of Icelandic sheep doesnt seem to mind.Dennis and Marilyn Miles say their Icelandic flock in southwest Washington County is the only one in the state and their sheep are among about 3,500 such animal found in the United States and Canada.We had some friends here a year ago in October, said Marilyn Miles. Dennis told them how much time he spent mowing. Our friends said we ought to get some sheep.The Miles did some research and were intrigued by what they found out about the breed from Iceland, the island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean. The breed is 1,100 years old, and Dennis Miles describes them as maintenance-free.Theyre completely fed on pasture, his wife said. They dont require any supplemental grain. Until last week we hadnt fed them any hay.The sheep cost about $700 to $1,000 a head, she said.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic Soviet-era compact TV sets, known for bad reception and low picture quality, are finally popular as homes for bats.A group of disabled workers in the southeastern Czech Republic produces bat boxes from the TV sets sturdy plywood casing, which is hard to break and easily resists bad weather.The TVs had two outstanding features: an extremely bad picture and extremely solid plywood casing, said Mojmir Vlasin, an environmentalist whose company disassembles old TV sets.Vlasin said about 50 boxes made of the TV sets that dominated Czechoslovakias market in the 1980s have been placed in the woods near the city of Brno, 125 miles southeast of Prague.Each box accommodates up to several dozen bats, depending on their size, Vlasin said.Bats use the boxes in the summer. In winter months, they hibernate in underground shelters.

WAKARUSA, Ind. When the owners of The Dime Store order candy, theyre not messing around.This year, they ordered 30 tons of jumbo jelly beans.The Wakarusa store ordered the tonnage for its 35th bean season far more than the 5 tons of the candies it ordered in 1998.The store in the town about 25 miles southeast of South Bend began selling jumbo jelly beans in conjunction with the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival 35 years ago. That first year, the store ordered 100 pounds and sold them all.When we first started selling jelly beans by the ton, people probably thought we had rocks in our head, store co-owner Deb McNally said last week.This year, the store is featuring stone-shaped jelly beans, along with its popular Love Potion Number Nine, a cherry-vanilla jumbo bean mix. Theres also five flavors of smaller, sour jelly beans and a chocolate cherry dipped delight.When Wilma and Etril Leinbach stopped by the store, Etril gravitated toward the licorice jelly beans. Ill take the black ones. Thats my favorite, he said.

CONCORD, N.C. Even though they are sanitation workers, Edwin Workman and Todd Little will be treated like VIPs at NASCARs Nextel All-Star Challenge.Both men returned 51 $100 bills folded in a money clip in the pocket of a shirt tossed in the garbage Dec. 31. The cash was more than two months combined take-home pay for the two men.We were raised right and we immediately knew what the right thing to do was and that was to return the money back to the proper owner as soon as possible, Little said.Humpy Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowes Motor Speedway, was so impressed with the mens honesty he decided to reward them. Wheeler arranged for VIP tickets to NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 21, with reserved parking and a pre-race pit tour.NASCAR is a working mans sport and you guys are honest, hard-working people, Wheeler told them.

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