Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of January, the Second Week of Deep Winter.
All along the 40th Parallel, the sun starts to rise a little earlier this week of the year, marking a significant milestone in the progress of spring. The foxes know the days are lengthening. Watch for them playing and courting in the fields.
No matter the cold, beavers are stripping bark for food along the rivers. Skunks come out to root in the ground during the early thaws. The tufted titmouse begins its spiral mating flights. Blue jays give their bell-like calls. Sometimes pileated woodpeckers appear at your birdfeeder. Sometimes a fly will emerge indoors from a potted plant.
Recent northeast Ohio earthquakes linked to drilling wastewater have put Ohio's state seismologist in the spotlight.
Michael Hansen is a part-time state employee whose Ohio Seismic Network has an annual budget of $20,000. It's his job to monitor 26 quake detectors.
A 4.0 magnitude quake in the Youngstown area New Year's Eve was the 11th in the region during 2011. Columbia University researcher John Armbruster said that a northeast Ohio well used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling almost certainly caused the series of minor quakes. The well has been shut down by its owner.
The owner of a northeast Ohio well used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling plans to remove material from it to help lower its inner pressure following 11 minor earthquakes.
State officials say they believe injecting wastewater near a fault line created enough pressure to cause seismic activity. The latest and largest quake was Saturday in the Youngtown area and registered at magnitude 4.0, which can cause moderate damage.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that Northstar Disposal Services LLC is taking 12 holding tanks to the site of the now-shuttered injection well to pump the material into the tanks.
Department spokesman Jason Fallon says he's unsure when the removal will start but seven tanks are already on the site.
Poor Will’s Almanack for the First Week of January, the First Week of Deep Winter
The progress of deep winter can be gauged by whatever milestones you select. You can track storms and snow or the frequency of birdsong, the state of last year’s plants, or the steady shifting of the sun and stars. The motions are slow and easily measured. This is a simple place to begin to follow the year.
Ohio's work to make sure more children have health coverage has earned the state $21 million in federal bonus funding.
U.S. health officials say Ohio is receiving bonus money for a second straight year. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says in a statement that more of Ohio's children now have the advantages health coverage provides.
Only 22 other states qualified for bonuses.
To receive the funding, states must surpass a Medicaid enrollment target and improve access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.
The government says Ohio has been streamlining the enrollment process for children. For example, families are not required to appear for a face-to-face interview, which can be tough for working parents.