Short takes on the week’s news


Cheers to tenacious Husson University student Jesse Hladik of Buckfield.

She, along with four other students, intervened to help a woman who was being attacked on campus Wednesday.

Hladik and another student, Heather Mann of New Hampshire, heard someone crying out for help at around dusk, and ran to help. Mann called police and ran to alert campus security, and Hladik ran directly to the parking lot where she heard a woman yelling.

Hladik saw a man holding a knife, but risked harm to herself anyway to help the woman, grabbing the man’s arm and — using a technique her older brothers taught her to disarm someone — was able to get the man to drop the knife.

Three other female students were also there, and among the five of them, they managed to struggle the suspect to the ground, holding him there until security officers arrived.

These students did more than commit a random act of kindness. They may very well have saved another woman’s life.


Cheers to them.

Cheers to the U.S. Postal Service for highlighting the all-too-common problem of people injured from dog bites. It seems the service has good reason to take on this cause since an average of 10 postal carriers are bitten by dogs every (mail delivery) day in this country.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is coming up — May 16-22 — and animal shelters, the Postal Service and the Humane Society are working to get the word out to dog owners that they are responsible for their pets’ behavior, and also to warn people what they can do to try to avoid dog bites.

In addition to letter carriers, children and the elderly are the most frequent victims of dog bites, with children being injured most frequently because they can easily startle dogs by approaching too quickly or shrieking in delight, setting dogs off.

According to the National Association of Letter Carriers, about 5 percent of all emergency room visits are for dog bites, so it’s well-worth our time — and money — to reduce the frequency of bites.

Jeers to dog owners who don’t — or won’t — control their dogs.

Cheers to Misty Edwards? Sure. It’s kind of unusual, but she’s doing a terrific thing to gather human hair clippings from area salons to help clean oil along the Gulf Coast.

Hair is super absorbent, and can be packed into mats to help absorb the oil gushing from undersea pipes after Deepwater Horizon suffered an explosion and sank into the sea on April 22. Since then, millions of gallons of oil have bubbled to the surface, and BP can use all the help it can get to contain the spill before it becomes — as has been predicted — one of the worst environmental disasters in American history.

The hair gathered by Edwards and others will be included among the growing collection of clippings – more than 400,000 pounds so far – to make hair booms.

Who knew a pound of hair could absorb a quart of oil? And can be washed out and used again?

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