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Now that many people are working from home, a lot of households are using more electricity than ever before. Here are some tips to make your house more energy-efficient, and keep costs down while working remotely.

Among the many columns I’ve written in the 30 years since Ask the Builder came to be, this one will be unique. I think it’s important for you to know why I switched careers from being a full-time builder, remodeler and master plumber to a syndicated newspaper columnist and then video personality.

Among the many columns I’ve written in the 30 years since Ask the Builder came to be, this one will be unique. I think it’s important for you to know why I switched careers from being a full-time builder, remodeler and master plumber to a syndicated newspaper columnist and then video personality.

Officials in Florida fear the death toll from Hurricane Ian could rise substantially, given the wide swath of the state swamped by the storm. After making landfall with some of the highest windspeeds for a hurricane over U.S. territory, the storm flooded areas on both of Florida’s coasts, tore homes from their slabs, demolished beachfront businesses and left more than 2 million people without power. At least nine people have been confirmed dead in the U.S. Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said responders have focused so far on “hasty” searches, aimed at emergency rescues and initial assessments, which will be followed by two additional waves of searches.

Vermont dispensaries are set to begin selling marijuana for recreational use, though only three will be ready to do so on opening weekend. FLORA Cannabis in Middlebury, Mountain Girl Cannabis in Rutland and CeresMED in Burlington will all open on Saturday. A fourth business has been licensed to sell recreational pot but isn’t ready to do so yet. James Pepper, who chairs the state Cannabis Control Board, says Vermont's inaugural weekend will be “more of a soft opening" akin to those when recreational sales began in other states and in Canada. The Vermont stores say they anticipate having enough supply, but some growers have been frustrated by the timeline.

U.S. regulators have revealed their plan to allow foreign baby formula manufactures to stay on the market long term. The Friday announcement from the Food and Drug Administration aims to diversify the nation’s highly concentrated formula industry and prevent future shortages. The U.S. has been forced to turn to foreign suppliers to boost formula supplies after FDA inspectors temporarily shuttered the nation’s largest domestic manufacturing plant in February. Since then the U.S. has imported the equivalent of 300 million bottles of formula. Under the new plan, foreign manufacturers will have until 2025 to comply with U.S. standards for formula nutrition, labeling and manufacturing.

This year’s Nobel Prize season approaches as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered decades of almost uninterrupted peace in Europe and raised the risks of a nuclear disaster. The famously secretive Nobel Committee never leaks or hints who will win its prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, economics or peace. The awards will be announced starting next Monday. But there is no lack of causes deserving the spotlight that comes with winning the world’s most prestigious prize. There are wars in Ukraine and Ethiopia, disruptions to supplies of energy, food and financial stability, the climate crisis, and the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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