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Simple, easy and money-saving ideas that also do something positive for the environment:

Give your sink a good scrub

The second dirtiest spot in your kitchen is the sink, according to NSF International, a safety inspection certification company. And if you think about it, your sink comes in contact with lots of food when you’re defrosting, washing and preparing. Take the time to give your kitchen sink a good scrub with a sponge and dish soap. Then disinfect it to kill all the germs and bacteria. Just fill the sink with hot water and add a cup of white vinegar. Never use bleach, since bleach and food should never come in contact with each other. Let the hot water and vinegar mixture sit for 15 minutes, then let it drain.

Try natural plants for pests

Natural plants that have a high level of fragrant oil are not only pleasant to have outside, but they are also terrific natural deterrents to keep wasps, mosquitoes and other pesky insects away. Consider planting herbs like spearmint, thyme and peppermint, and plants like citronella, eucalyptus and wormwood. They all look beautiful, some are edible, and they are all prolific growers that can serve double duty: beautifying and deterring at the same time.


Top 10 corn producing states

According to the most recent info from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the U.S. Twenty states produced over 100 million bushels of corn in 2016.

1. Iowa - 2.7 billion bushels

2. Illinois - 2.25 billion bushels

3. Nebraska - 1.7 billion bushels

4. Minnesota - 1.5 billion bushels

5. Indiana - 946 million bushels

6. S. Dakota - 825 million bushels

7. Kansas - 698 million bushels

8. Wisconsin - 573 million bushels

9. Missouri - 570 million bushels

10. Ohio - 524 million bushels


By Chuck Sheppard

Precocious: Little Sebastian Swenson of Blaine, Minnesota, wanted Reese’s candy and he wanted it NOW. So on the morning of June 11, the 4-year-old climbed into the front seat of his great-grandfather’s Hyundai Santa Fe and drove at low speeds to a nearby gas station, where police met him. To accomplish this, according to Fox9, he had to reverse out of the driveway and navigate winding residential streets before getting onto a busy four-lane avenue in rush-hour traffic. Along the way, he dinged a few mailboxes and a tree, but he arrived safe and sound. Blaine police Capt. Mark Boerboom said, “I’ve never seen a driver this young before operating a vehicle.”

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