February 7, 2014 |
KNOB NOSTER, Mo. - From a bay window in her home on the prairie, Angela Hostetler stares out at the six huge chicken barns out back. They hold 156,000 chickens, and when she and her husband, Mardy, purchased the farm two years ago, it seemed like a good investment. But this year, the Hostetlers are struggling. That's because their barns, which must be kept at 85 degrees to keep young chickens warm, are heated by 12 1,000-gallon tanks of propane, which are now covered in icy snow.
February 6, 2014 |
California hasn't completely escaped the effects of the polar vortex. Although the Golden State avoided the freezing snowfalls that affected regions farther east, power plants in the Southland are now grappling with low supplies of natural gas brought on by cold weather that won't quit. That has prompted the state's electric power grid operator, known as the California Independent System Operator, to issue a Flex Alert asking for voluntary energy conservation on Thursday until 10 p.m. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America The operator, which normally issues such alerts during the hot days of summer when air conditioners are on full blast, is working closely with California gas companies to ensure "the reliability of the electric and gas systems in California.
February 5, 2014 |
In the middle of a brutal winter, states throughout the country are grappling with a new crisis, a shortage of rock salt to melt ice on roadways. Here's a look at what's being done to combat limited supplies. What's the big deal about salt? Although many Southern California residents are oblivious to winter this year, most of the country is in the grips of another bad storm. When 2 inches of snow is piling on roads every hour, like on Wednesday in the Northeast, highways need help.
February 5, 2014 |
SEDALIA, Mo. - The dirty rocks of salt are packed into a storage shed on a snowy lot, where a nearby bulldozer, its engine on, stands at the ready. Pettis County Commissioner Brent Hampy trudges across the frozen ground to assess the stockpiles for this county, which just received 8 inches of snow in a nasty storm that closed schools for two days. There are about 200 tons of salt left piled here, and it may not be enough. The county started out the winter with 600 tons, and last winter used only 50. "If we don't have more ice storms we'll be fine," Hampy said, as the wind whipped his cheeks in the 11-degree chill.
February 4, 2014 |
CLOVIS, CALIF. - Beneath unyielding blue skies on a recent afternoon, Ryan Indart knelt down to examine what was left of one of his sheep pastures. Land that should have been lush with native grasses this time of year has been reduced to powdery dirt, splotched with a few withered strands of filaree and foxtail. And where there's no vegetation, there are no sheep. A fourth-generation rancher, Indart has already sent 10% of his 4,000 ewes - which he normally would want to keep - to the slaughterhouse because he can't afford the hay to feed them.
January 31, 2014 |
You could say it started with the "Cheesepocalypse" - you know, all those stories about a Velveeta shortage that have had everyone in a tizzy. And with the Super Bowl on Sunday! But there's no need to worry. You can make it yourself - a homemade "food prepper" version of liquid gold. Just in case. Before you laugh, hear me out. Processed cheese, like those individually wrapped singles, often gets a bad rap, but just try getting that perfect ooze and silky texture from any other cheese when you melt it. Real cheese tends to separate when heated, the proteins clumping together while fats and moisture ooze out in the most unattractive way. Recipe: Homemade processed cheese Processed cheese can take the heat and keep it together, with a glossy sheen to boot.