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THE SKINNY

NEED A CHARGE?

Phone booths updated for mobile users

They are much loved but little used these days, so Britain's red telephone booths are often creatively repurposed - as tiny public libraries, art installations, shower stalls, places to keep defibrillators. Now someone has come up with a reuse that actually involves phones, the mobile kind that helped make the venerable kiosks obsolete. Two entrepreneurs are transforming decommissioned telephone booths (they call them boxes in Britain) into charging stations for mobile devices. The first one was unveiled in London this week. The booths, now painted green and named Solarboxes, can charge up to 100 phones or tablets a day, the entrepreneurs say. The service is free. The power comes from a 33-inch solar panel on the roof, and other costs are covered by advertising displayed on a screen inside while a device is charging.

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LOOK OUT FOR TRAPPER

Persistent beaver thwarts road crew

A road crew in Port Orchard, Wash., has had it with a beaver that persists in building a dam under a bridge. Crews removed a beaver dam three times since August. Each time the beaver rebuilt it. One was as large as 40 feet long and 3 feet high. Officials now are spending $15,000 on a beaver trapper.

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