Sewer rescue—by a whisker

Hours of work, two fire trucks, five firefighters, a handful of animal rescuers, and 250 gallons of water brought a lost kitten from its hiding place in a Parkersburg, Va., storm sewer drain and out to safety. After rescuers unsuccessfully tried banging noises and flashing lights to coax the gray tabby out, sending the water through the 12-inch pipe did the trick. The kitty was adopted at a shelter the next day.

Artificial reef re-tired

In June, divers in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., began the arduous task of removing up to 2 million tires from the ocean floor. The tires had been part of a reef built in the 1970s, viewed at its inception as a way to turn waste into an ecological habitat. However, sea life seemed to shun the rubber, some tire bundles broke loose and washed up on beaches, and others clogged a nearby natural reef. The tires will be burned to power a paper recycling plant.

Invasive weeds get their goat

Goats have become the mascot of Chattanooga, Tenn. The city's public works department recently enlisted the help of the critters to munch the kudzu vines that have been choking the city's landscape, in lieu of less environmentally friendly methods (such as herbicides). As they work, the goats are guarded by llamas.