Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 25, 2013

Two W.Va. products advance in Walmart competition

CHARLESTON (AP) — Two products made in West Virginia have advanced in a national competition sponsored by Walmart to have inventions sold on the company’s website.

Beckley-based Vaught Inc. is offering a way to dispose of unwanted medication, while Hurricane building contractor Kermit Monk developed a household safety product that shuts off showerheads when the flow of water becomes too hot.

They are among dozens of products now in the second round of Walmart’s “Get on the Shelf” contest.

Vaught currently sells the Element Medication Disposal System online. Consumers put unwanted solid or liquid medicine into either a 17- or 32-ounce bottle, add powder and water, shake the bottle and it’s ready for disposal.

“It’s an answer to a problem nationwide,” said Daniel Keaton, Vaught’s director of business development. “It’s kind of a one stop get rid of everything you have.”

Vaught first tested its product at Hospice of Southern West Virginia in Beckley and Keaton said feedback has been terrific.

The company says the product complies with Environmental Protection Agency recommendations for drug disposal.

The smaller kit sells for $7 and the larger one sells for $10.

“We’d love to get our product in front of the entire United States,” Keaton said.

Monk’s showerhead attachment, invented with the help of his son, Gary Monk, is called “Scald Me Not” that blocks water flow when it reaches 112 degrees. The hot water spike might happen when another appliance such as a toilet or clothes washer that use a large amount of cold water are in use at the same time.

“I said I’m going to find some way to not get scalded,” Monk said. “You have to find a need for something. You can’t just invent something there’s no need for.”

The 93-year-old Monk advertises and sells his product in person. If he wins, Monks anticipates the showerhead attachment would sell for $20 to $30.

The Charleston Gazette reports voting on the inventions will take place until Sept. 2 at https://getontheshelf.walmart.com. Voting will determine whether second-round competitors advance to the finalists round.

Voters can watch videos of each product and must click on individual products in order to vote for them. People can cast ballots once per day per product and can vote for as many products as they want.

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