RUDOLPH, Ohio — Volunteers in the northwest Ohio village of Rudolph have come together to save the most famous postmark of all. Thousands of letters flood the village post office every December so they can be stamped with a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer postmark. But the tradition was in danger of ending when the post office staff was cut down to one and the work became too much to handle. That’s when volunteers in the community decided to take over the job. When word spread, pleadings from local politicians and townsfolk persuaded the U.S. Postal Service to allow volunteers to stamp the special Reindeer Station postmark on the 80,000 letters and cards that come in from across the country. Close to 75 people, including a few retired postal workers, have signed up to work daily shifts.
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- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Vasco da Gama leaves Calicut, India, to begin his return voyage to Lisbon, becoming the first European to complete a voyage by sea from Europe to India; on this day in 1949, Soviet Union successfully detonates its first A-bomb.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Scientists call for more research on the temporal and lasting effects of nuclear fallout on plants and animals in proximity to Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station where changes at the molecular level were found.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 410 CE, Visigoths sack Rome and it isn't the first time, either; in 1859, Titusville, Pa., the first commercially viable oil well comes in; in 1918, the only World War I battle fought on U.S. soil in Nogales, Ariz.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Archaelogists uncover artifacts proving that late neolithic Egyptians, pre-dating the Pyramids of Giza, practiced mummification to prepare their dead for the afterlife, far earlier than presupposed.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE:Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing that pollute ground water and the air we breathe come under scrutiny by researchers who find at least eight fracking chemicals toxic to mammals.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: The craze for Omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement in its most popular form, fish oil, has led to depletion of fish stocks in oceans throughout the world. Is this the beginning of the total collapse of global fisheries?