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Scrap Metal

July 20, 2008 | Tom Breen, Associated Press
Grave robbers, a curse of burial grounds for centuries, are back for new valuables: metal ornaments that can be melted down for quick cash as copper and other metal prices climb. In West Virginia, it was vases bolted to headstones. In Washington state, it was bronze markers on veterans' graves. In Chicago, it was nearly half a million dollars' worth of brass ornaments. "It's a crisis of the times," said Ruth Shapleigh-Brown, executive director of the Connecticut Gravestone Network, which monitors cemeteries for theft and vandalism.
The heaps of steel wheels, rusty nails and dented appliances at Schnitzer Steel's scrap yard along Highway 99 in west Eugene look like a bunch of junk. But that junk is worth millions of dollars. The Eugene operation generated about $16 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended last Aug. 31. Bankrolled by its initial public offering in 1993 and a subsequent offering last month, Schnitzer has renovated its facilities, including the Eugene site, and is looking for new acquisitions.
February 25, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Morrie Markoff is not now and has never been a man of half measures. When he saw Depression-era evictions in his New York tenement, he became a fiery political activist. When he trained as a machinist, he was top of his class. When he argued with his wife, he left nothing in the tank. There's much to be learned from people like Markoff, who died briefly in 2012, but, true to his nature, clawed his way back to life. "His heart stopped, his eyes shut, his mouth fell open and his tongue dropped out," Morrie's daughter Judy said to me in an email, adding that the grieving family retreated to Good Samaritan Hospital's meditation room.
A million tons of radioactive scrap metal may find a new shelf-life in products ranging from soup cans and wristwatches to automobiles and artificial hips. It would be a mammoth recycling project for a legacy of the Nuclear Age. Under a proposal being considered by the Bush administration, the federal government is seeking new uses for lightly contaminated metal as it cleans up its obsolete weapon plants and research labs.
February 24, 2008 | Joerg Aberger, Associated Press
There's something big and metallic 60 feet below the ground in this town near the Czech border. Whether it's the fabled Russian Amber Room, gold or even scrap metal isn't known. But treasure hunter Christian Hanisch hopes to snake a camera into an underground cavern to prove he has discovered Nazi plunder buried in the final weeks of World War II. "I am sure that there is gold or silver down there," said Hanisch, who hopes to begin drilling within days. Hanisch was led to the spot on the fringes of Deutschkatharinenberg, about 100 yards from the Czech Republic, by a set of coordinates he found in a notebook belonging to his father, a former Luftwaffe radio operator who died last year.
November 26, 1988 | JAMES F. SMITH, Times Staff Writer
In a series of raids this month, Argentine authorities have discovered clandestine arsenals containing hundreds of tons of bullets, artillery shells and other ammunition. The judge handling the case has assured the public that it appears to be merely a matter of corruption and not part of a plot by right-wing extremists to undo the democratic government. The ammunition, along with miles of stolen public telephone wire, apparently was to be melted down for its copper.
November 20, 2005 | Kim Murphy and Mayerbek Nunayev, Special to The Times
The Russian soldiers were drunk when they started flagging down cars and demanding money one night last week in this suburb of the Chechen capital, witnesses say. By the time the night was over, three civilians were dead and three of the Russians' uniforms were soaked in blood.
May 9, 2006 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
The auction regulars arrive early in the morning, prepared for a day of bidding mostly on stuff they cannot see. Some carry cups of coffee. One woman snuggles her pet Chihuahua under her coat. Today could be the day they find treasure. Bidders have been known to snag diamonds. Rolex watches. Even the diaries of Paris Hilton. But this is far from the rarefied formalities of Sotheby's or Christie's.
Dan Giles does not call himself a religious man. But he has, he says, respect for God, those who worship, and monuments inspired by faith. All of which leads the 60-year-old welder from Silver Lake to a quandary when he considers the stack of wrought iron gates resting in his yard: He got them as scrap and now figures they'll fetch $50,000. For decades, the eight gold-painted gates, each weighing several hundred pounds, adorned the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe at St.
January 6, 2010 | By Scott Timberg >>>
For a new three-part PBS special called "The Human Spark," actor and science lover Alan Alda visits a number of far-flung places -- Germany, a Caribbean island, the home of the Lascaux cave paintings -- in pursuit of just what it is that makes us different from the Earth's other creatures. But his scariest moment came from somewhere closer to home: his own mind. For the program's final chapter, on the human brain, Alda was getting an MRI to get a clearer sense of the way the mind works.
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