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Johnston County Detective's Latest Find: A Mentholated Candle

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JOHNSTON COUNTY — Johnston County's Bob Michaels knows all about sinus problems. Medicine keeps him awake or puts him to sleep, and vapor rub irritates his nose. But he did not just deal with it -- he did something about it.

"I was laying in bed about 3:00 in the morning, and the idea came to me," he says.

He went right out and bought some supplies -- some vapor rub and hot wax. He stayed up all night to make a candle that smells like mentholated vapor rub when it burns.

"The most excited I've ever been about this whole thing was the very first one I made, when I realized it worked," Michaels says.

He is not a scientist. He is a detective with theJohnston County Sheriff's Office, and he has suffered through sinus problems all of his life.

After burning his candle concoction for three years now, he says he has not battled a cold in that time.

"The funny thing about it is the first mix I had," he says. "I've tested everything since, but the first mix I had is still the nix I have now. It works the best."

Michaels' motivation to spread the word about his candle started with his old boat. He wanted some money to bring it up to running condition. Soon after, money was not the issue anymore. Michaels just wanted to help people.

In fact, Bob sold the boat engines, drew out his retirement and has sold everything of value to put into his invention. He experimented with different wax, wicks, glass and vapor rub. He then patented his idea.

"It's a good thing," he says. "It's like working at the Sheriff's Office. You know you work there not for money, but because you actually help folks and this has turned out to be the same thing for me. It's pretty gratifying."

Up until now, Michaels has been selling his candles at small craft stores and or on his Web site. He is going big-time though. Michaels has cut a deal with a major store to sell the candles.

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Debra Morgan, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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