"Until recently, no one in North Carolina, home to so many tobacco companies, could have imagined a statewide smoking ban in public buildings," writes the Carolina Journal.
"And yet it’s possible that federal environmental regulators could target another signature Tar Heel State tradition: the pig pickin’.
"Several cities in California, Colorado, and other states have banned outdoor grilling — particularly where wood or charcoal is involved — at parks and other public areas and at events including weekend festivals. And if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tightens its regulations covering coarse particulate matter in 2011, mobile smokers could be endangered. ..."
Rangers celebrate with ginger ale ... for Hamilton
"After the Texas Rangers clinched the American League East in Oakland in September, the champagne and beer celebration quickly swept through the visiting locker room.
"The celebration took place though without one key figure…the Rangers’ MVP-candidate outfielder Josh Hamilton.
"Hamilton, whose battles with substance abuse are well documented, avoided the alcohol, dressed in a side office and went back into the stands to speak to a church group about his life," says FoxSports.
"But a team that has driven itself all season on unity and family made sure that no one was excluded from the party in Tampa Bay Tuesday night.
"Shortly after Cliff Lee finished his magnificent performance in closing out the Rays 5-1 on the road, it wasn’t beer and champagne that was on ice in the locker room.
"It was ginger ale. ...
"It was a respectful gesture by a team that many thought had no chance to make a splash this season. Facing an unsure ownership situation and bankruptcy, the players all season had each other’s backs and pulled together to shock the baseball world. ..."