Sunday, August 31, 2008


Police: Teen burglar ordered porn
PALM BAY, Fla. (UPI) -- Police in Palm Bay, Fla., have arrested a 14-year-old boy who allegedly broke into a home and ordered more than $100 worth of porn movies on a TV.

Officers said the boy was charged with occupied burglary and grand theft after he allegedly entered a family's home and used its TV account to order about $129 worth of pornographic films, WKMG-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported.

Police said the family had arrived home from shopping to find the alleged perpetrator watching their television.

The teenager has previously been arrested on felony charges, police said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Suspect's getaway foiled
ALBUQUERQUE (UPI) -- Authorities in Albuquerque said a burglary suspect who fled the home of a sheriff's sergeant was arrested after a panhandler saw his car and dialed 911.

Investigators said the suspect, Joseph Ballejos, 35, fled the sergeant's home in an SUV after the officer arrived home at 3 p.m. Tuesday, KRQE-TV, Albuquerque, reported Wednesday.

"(The sergeant) turned around and tried to stop the car: the car didn't stop, fled from the scene," sheriff's Sgt. Van Eldredge said. "The sergeant was concerned someone else might still be back in his house, so he returned to his house."

Panhandler Jeffery McKnight said he called 911 after he saw the suspect first drive the wrong way on an Interstate 25 off ramp and then drive off the road. Deputies arrived in the area and arrested the suspect.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 29, 2008


Woman warned for warning customers
CHEDDAR, England (UPI) -- A Cheddar, England, shopkeeper said police have threatened to arrest her if she continues to warn illegally parked customers that police are on their way.

Alma Floyd, 60, said she was told by police that she was interfering with officers "in their line of duty" when she warned customers that Police Community Support Officers were spotted ticketing cars in the area, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

She said they threatened to arrest her if she continues to give the warnings.

Floyd said she told customers when she saw officers in the area because she feared enforcement of parking laws could hurt business at her dairy shop.

"Ever since the new parking rules were introduced we have seen a slump in trade," she said. "The crackdown on parking on that pavement means passing motorists have nowhere to park, and they don't come in. So I've been looking out for them whenever they come near -- it's the only thing I can do."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Man impaled by branch to recover
MINNEAPOLIS (UPI) -- Minneapolis doctors said a 24-year-old man whose leg was impaled on an oak branch is expected to make a full recovery.

Doctors at Hennepin County Medical Center said that after three surgeries and physical therapy, Josh Skattum will have only a 2-foot-long scar on his leg to remember the branch, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday.

Trauma surgeon Dr. Jon Krook said the branch, which was almost 3 inches in diameter, missed Skattum's major artery and did not break any bones.

"If it hit that artery, he could have bled to death,'' Krook said.

Skattum said the branch impaled his leg while he was riding in a golf cart at dusk with his brother.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Grandmother busted for kitty posters
DENTON, England (UPI) -- A British woman said she escaped a conviction and fine after authorities warned her to remove posters that sought the owner of a lost cat.

Joy Tracey, a grandmother of three, said she was only trying to get the orange feline, named Copper, back his owners when she put 12 posters on lampposts surrounding her home in Denton, England, Sky News reported.

Tracey said she tried to locate the kitty's owners for two weeks after she found him in her yard, and was surprised when a law enforcement officer called her.

"He said whilst he sympathized, it was an offense, and told me to remove them all from the Denton area or face a hefty fine. The world is going potty with petty officialdom," Tracy said.

Amid a flurry of local media attention about the city's tough reaction to the posters, Tracy was able to return Copper to his rightful home.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Woman becomes consecrated virgin
RICHMOND, Va. (UPI) -- A Virginia woman has become the first consecrated, perpetual virgin in the 188-year history of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

Bernadette Snyder, 29, made her vows before Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo in the rite of Consecration to a Life of Virginity of Women Living in the World, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

During the ceremony in May, the bishop gave her a gold band as a symbol of her spousal relationship with Jesus Christ.

"He completes me," Snyder told the newspaper. "I don't even know if marriage is the proper term; I feel like he's my husband."

In the eyes of the Catholic Church, Snyder's calling is a formal vocation, much like the priesthood or religious orders of nuns.

The rite fell into disuse by the eighth or ninth century. The Vatican restored it in 1970.

The U.S. Association of Consecrated Virgins estimates there are 200 consecrated virgins nationwide. Most of those consecrations have come in the last decade, said Judith Stegman, the group's president.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The Rogers' Family has arrived from New York and has been having a whale of a time on Ambergris Caye. The have been to the Shark an Sting Ray Alley, Hol Chan, and Mexico Rocks for some fabulous diving and have visited places like Big Daddy's, Victoria House and the Essene Way.

Tourists having fun at the Chicken Drop
As they pass by the Spindrift Hotel building, Mary's attention is drawn to a platform and a sort of fence being set up on the beach. "This must be a bingo night or some sort of group entertainment," thought Brian, who is always looking for something entertaining to do.

At the Pier Lounge Bar, they are told about the world famous Chicken Drop game that is so popular on the island and only at the beach of the Pier Lounge. Wally Rogers orders a Pina Colada as Brian and the others purchase their tickets for a square in the Chicken Drop game. After a few refreshing drinks at the Pier, they see this gentleman coming with a chicken and blowing strangely at its rear.

By this time there is a crowd of participants and lots of spectators gathered around the fence. There is music and cheering and much enthusiasm to see the chicken move from one area of the squared board to another area. Of course, the chicken does, and there are oohs and aaahs and squeals of disappointments. One lady speaks in Spanish to the chicken, and the crowd laughs as she pronounces "galina" for "gallina". Just when the chicken begins to look a little frightened, she raises her tall feathers and spits out a watery solution on square 45. The crowd is jubilant and Brian raises his glass of Belikin as he shouts out his number- 45. Mary jumps unto the squared board, picks up the chicken and gives it to Brian, who poses for pictures from all his fans. He has just won the World Famous Chicken Drop at the Pier Lounge.

But wait a minute, he is informed that part of the fun and to collect his $100, he must clean the chicken's mess (not a big mess) so that more photographs could be taken. After the routine cleaning up and amidst cheering from the Rogers and other spectators, Brian collects his cash and they all head straight into the Pier.Lounge for an island celebration. Pina Coladas, Margaritas, Belikins and rum punches add to the excitement of the evening and when the tab is picked up, it is only $125. "What an evening of fun," Brian thinks, "and only for $25 dollars." He wants to play a second game, but is told that it is only played on Wednesdays. He is also told that from time to time they play for a $1000 Grand Prize.

Not being able to play another game in no way dampens anyone's spirits for there is Celeste entertaining with her lovely songs and her fine music. What a happy time these folks are having. It was only meant to be a barefoot stroll along the beach, and it is almost midnight and the fun is still on. One for the road, a little bit of dancing and all nine head for their hotel for a night's rest because there are plans for a busy day on the island for the following day. But what a night for the chicken!

Text from Ambergris Today

Click here and here for more pictures of the Chicken Drop!

Here are a couple websites that folks have made about the Chicken Drop:

Weird World: Your Guide to the Planets Weirdest Sights: We thought our trip to Belize was just going to be your typical tropical getaway. Little did we know that we were about to discover an oddity like the Chicken Drop.
This is the famous "Chicken Drop". Here's how it works:
Click here for Spindrift Hotel Main Page

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bar Game Offers $3 Lobsters
HILTON HEAD, S.C. (UPI) -- A company that manufactures machines that dispense real lobsters says five businesses in the Hilton Head, S.C., area have installed its products.

The Lobster Game machines, which debuted years ago in Florida and have recently begun spreading through the Carolinas, costs three dollars to play and awards live lobsters to those who can capture them with the machine's button-operated claw, the (Hilton Head) Island Packet reported Monday.

The company that manufactures the machines, Bluewater Vending, said the machines earn bar and restaurant owners an average $1,000 per day. It said bars and restaurants that contain the machines offer to cook the lobsters for the winners or allow them to take them home.

Bars said some customers $30 or more at a time trying to capture the lobsters.

Employees at Jock's Sports Grill in nearby Bluffton said they briefly operated one of the machines, but got rid of it after customers became too skilled and the machine began running out of lobsters too frequently.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Thousands Gather to Watch Cheese-chasers
BROCKWORTH, England (UPI) -- Thousands of people showed up Monday to watch competitors participate in the yearly chasing of Double Gloucester cheese down Cooper's Hill in England.

Cheese-chasers from all around the world were drenched in rain and mud during the strange, and risky, event as they ran, tumbled and slid down a steep hill after an over-sized circle of cheese, the Sun reported.

At least 19 people were injured plunging down the dangerously steep slope, the BBC reported.

The event's managers had warned participants the giant circle of cheese would roll, regardless of the weather.

"I have done absolutely no preparation for this, which is worrying. It seems people taking part just dull their fear by having a few drinks beforehand," British comedian Rory McGrath, 52, said as he was getting ready to roll.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 22, 2008


Mother of Two wins Hotdog-eating Title
PITTSBURGH (UPI) -- A Maryland mother of two was recovering Sunday after eating 29 hotdogs in 10 minutes to win a Pittsburgh-area contest, a report says.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette identified the winner as Juliet Lee, 42, a Maryland native, as the winner of Saturday's Iron City hotdog-eating championship. Lee weighs only 105 pounds and defeated competitors who went by handles such as Steak-bellie and Wing Kong for the title, it said.

Lee may have been a ringer, however. The woman is a nationally ranked hotdog-eating competitor who is next moving on to Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest in Coney Island, N.Y., the newspaper said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Snake-fearing Firefighter called for Boa
TORQUAY, England (UPI) -- A firefighter with a lifelong fear of snakes was called to a home in England to free a 6-foot boa constrictor trapped behind a radiator.

Owner Nicola Bewer of Torquay in Devon County said she called emergency services after the snake -- named Chaos -- became stuck, the BBC reported.

Snake-fearing Watch Commander Alan Gilson led the rescue effort, the British network said.

It took about 40 minutes to release Chaos unharmed.

"I do not like snakes, they are one of my childhood fears," Gilson said. "I did get my hands on the snake as I thought it was a good opportunity, but the experience has absolutely not cured my fear." na

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Indy Family Stages Toy Car 'Mini-500'
INDIANAPOLIS (UPI) -- It isn't the Indy 500, but the toy car race staged annually by a set of 11 Indianapolis brothers is an intensely competitive "mini-500," they say.

The Guynn brothers celebrate their semi-annual remote-control car rallies and races on a sophisticated backyard model racetrack complete with a computerized lap counter and stoplight alerts, the Indianapolis Star reported Sunday.

The Guynn brothers, who range in age from 40 to 60, were set to hold their 18th annual open-wheeler Monday -- a 500-lap event around the model track. The newspaper said the leader of the racing group is eldest brother Charlie Guynn, who tolerates little dissent and in the past has ejected his brothers from the race "for driving like Mr. Magoo."

The Catholic family even invites a priest from their church to give an invocation at the beginning of the race, the Star reported.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Cops Pose as Pizza Deliverers to Nab Teens
HARRISBURG, Pa. (UPI) -- Police in Harrisburg, Pa., said they posed as Domino's pizza delivery workers to nab five would-be robbers who allegedly targeted employees of the pizzeria.

Harrisburg city spokesman Matthew Coulter said a Domino's delivery worker told police he thought he was being targeted for a robbery after he arrived at his destination and saw people "lurking in the shadows," The Patriot-News, a Harrisburg newspaper, reported.

Coulter said a call came in for a delivery at the same address the following night, and a police officer posed as a delivery worker by placing a Domino's placard on an unmarked car. The spokesman said a teenage boy pointed a pellet gun at the officer after he arrived, but fled with four others when the officer identified himself. The undercover officer, along with a second officer hiding in his back seat and other police in the area, chased down the suspects.

Police arrested four 15-year-old boys and a 14-year-old boy on charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, August 18, 2008

Man Sells 'Ghosts in a Bottle'
ORLANDO, Fla. (UPI) -- The one thing you don't want to do when you buy a ghost in a bottle is open it, says a Florida man who makes the novelties with the help of "ghost catchers."

That would let the ghost back out, said John Deese, who vows that his team finds the ghosts in "haunted establishments, cars, hotels, maybe even graveyards." The St. Augustine, Fla., man told WKMG-TV of Orlando, Fla., they then stuff the captured spirits into bottles, which he sells on the Internet.

The first ghost was caught in a farmhouse in Decatur County, Ga., he said. Asked how a ghost is bottled, Deese told the station, "Well, if you went to KFC, you wouldn't ask for (their) secret recipe."

Prominently displayed on the bottles is the warning "open at your own risk."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Pot-smoking man crashes into police car
COCOA, Fla. (UPI) -- A Florida motorist faces criminal charges after allegedly backing into a police car and taking off running when officers caught him smoking pot, police said.

Travis Lee Taylor, 28, was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana, resisting without violence, resisting with violence and violation of probation, WKMG-TV, Orlando, Fla. reported.

Cocoa, Fla., police said Taylor backed his car into their cruiser after they pulled up behind him while he was smoking pot in a parked car.

After the crash, Taylor ran from officers before they caught him, officials told WKMG.

Officials said Taylor, who was on felony probation for selling cocaine, also received a citation for improper driving.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Dachshund Brings Cop to Troubled Owner
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (UPI) -- A Lake Oswego, Ore., police officer said he was led to a fallen woman by a dachshund that refused to leave him alone or stop barking.

Sgt. John Brent said he was responding to reports of a barking dog waking up neighbors at about 1 a.m. Tuesday in the city's Lake Grove neighborhood when Pam Fischer's dog, Annie, blocked his patrol car, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

Brent said the 9-pound dog refused to allow herself to be caught and again blocked his patrol car when he attempted to leave in another direction. He said that's when he heard Fischer, 60, calling for help from behind a bush.

Fischer told the officer she had tripped while walking Annie and hit her head on a street sign when she attempted to grab it.

"I guess the moral of the story is, don't climb up curbs where there are no street lights. Don't grab onto a wiggly pole. And always have your dog with you," Fischer said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 15, 2008


Couple Says Their Dog is World's Oldest
CHESTERFIELD, England (UPI) -- A British couple says their Labrador retriever is the oldest dog in the world and has been alive for at least 29 years.

David Richardson, 76, said he picked up the canine, Bella, from an animal shelter in about 1982, at least three years after she was born, The Telegraph reported.

Richardson's claims make Bella an astonishing 200 years old in dog years.

"I'm convinced she is the oldest dog in the world," Richardson said.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it cannot find documentation about Bella, which is required by the Guinness World Records to confirm a claim.

"Unless we can (obtain) a doggy birth certificate or some really clear evidence from the RSPCA then we won't be able to prove Bella's age and we can't list her as the oldest dog," Guinness manager Gareth Deaves said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Virginia Sues Over Road Test Collision
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (UPI) -- A Portsmouth, Va., woman said she is being sued by the state for $75,000 after she backed into another car during a Department of Motor Vehicles road test.

Antoinette Bowser said she learned recently -- two years after the failed road test -- that the state expects her to pay the fine to cover the medical expenses and lost wages of the DMV employee administering the test, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported.

The state's lawsuit claims Bowser hit the car with such "force and violence" that the employee, Geralynn Banks, suffered "great pain of body and mind."

However, Bowser said she recalls the accident as a minor fender-bender.

"I know I walked away. And I know she walked away," she told the newspaper.

Bowser, who has yet to get her driver's license, said she doesn't know how she could afford to pay the fine.

"I don't have $75,000 laying around," Bowser said to The Virginian-Pilot. "I'm just making it like everybody else."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Man completes giant puzzle after 6 months
STOKE-ON-TRENT, England (UPI) -- A British man said it took him six months to put together the world's largest jigsaw puzzle in his garage.

Eric Smith, 73, said he spent 537 hours finding the proper spots for all 24,000 pieces of the puzzle, which combined to create a 12-by-6-foot picture of dolphins and boats, The Sun reported.

"This is the nicest jigsaw I've ever done and I'm really chuffed at how quick I have done it," said Smith, who is believed to be only the second person in Britain to complete the gigantic puzzle. "It has about 10 or 12 different puzzles inside one giant puzzle. I was really pleased to complete it. I've enjoyed spending two or three hours a night on it."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Nude sunbather impales genitals
GOSPORT, England (UPI) -- Emergency responders in Gosport, England, said a nude sunbather impaled his genitals on a metal spike.

Authorities said the 34-year-old man, who had been drinking with his girlfriend, tripped on his way to the bathroom and impaled his groin on the 8-inch iron spike, The Sun reported Thursday.

Paramedics said they initially believed they would have to cut through the spike, but they were able to lift the man off of the sharp metal.

The victim was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, August 11, 2008


Family billed for towing after attack
JERUSALEM (UPI) -- A family of U.S immigrants to Israel said they were shocked when the government sent them a towing bill after their car was damaged in a terror attack.

The Aizenshtats, who immigrated to Israel four years ago, said their car was damaged in an attack involving a bulldozer in Jerusalem, Ynetnews reported Wednesday.

"We were driving and suddenly saw the bulldozer charging at us," Rochelle Aizenshtat said. "We were in shock and we started screaming."

One of the couple's daughters received mild injuries but the car was seriously damaged and needed to be towed. They said they were shocked when they received a $200 towing bill from government appraisers.

"This is simply a comedy," Rochelle Aizenshtat said. "Our car was damaged in a terror attack, and now they're asking us to pay for the towing?"

A Tax Authority official told Ynet that families billed for towing after terror attacks will be compensated and the practice of billing them will be halted.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Man arrested after literally asking for it
PLANT CITY, Fla. (UPI) -- Authorities in Plant City, Fla., said a man was arrested for misusing the 911 system after he begged authorities to take him to jail.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Peiter Vanvliet, 47, repeatedly phoned 911 to say there was a warrant for his arrest and said he would wait for deputies to come take him into custody, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Wednesday.

However, there was no warrant and Vanvliet was not being sought in connection with any crimes -- that is, until he committed the crime of misusing the 911 system to repeatedly request his arrest, deputies said. He was taken into custody.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Bar exams continue despite Calif. quake
LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Los Angeles-area bar exam locations decided to push ahead with the test despite a 5.4 magnitude earthquake that interrupted the exam Tuesday, officials said.

Five locations, convention centers in Anaheim and Ontario as well as the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the Radisson Hotel at Los Angeles Airport and the California Market Center inside the city, decided to forge on with the test despite the disruption, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Robert Hawley, deputy executive director of the bar, said past test-takers have endured earthquakes, power outages and other emergency situations during their examinations.

"While it was momentarily unnerving, I've not heard that there was a significant disruption," Hawley said. "You can't treat Sally different than Johnny just because one person felt the earthquake more than others."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 8, 2008


Pol appalled at NYC subway restrooms
NEW YORK (UPI) -- A New York City lawmaker has completed a survey that shows a lack of upkeep at subway station restrooms in the city.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn released a survey of 18 restrooms in three boroughs and found that 10 were closed and four had no toilet paper, the New York Post said Wednesday.

"Surveyors found nearly no restrooms accessible in the (subway) system," the report stated.

To add insult to injury, the survey team also walked in on two people engaging in sex in one of the men's rooms they were checking.

The Post said that the only two restrooms that were both open and fully stocked were for use by transit employees only and not available to straphangers in need.

The New York City Transit agency told the Post it had not seen Hikind's survey.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Mom's postcards on the way 26 years late
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (UPI) -- An Anchorage, Alaska, woman who received a couple's postcards to their son 26 years after they were sent said they've been forwarded to the intended recipient.

Teresa Childs said she was contacted by James Jigliotti, 54, shortly after media reports of the postcards, which Olga Jigliotti mailed to her then 29-year-old son's Anchorage address while she and her husband, John, visited Italy, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

James Jigliotti, now of Atlanta, said he is more likely to treasure the items now than when he was supposed to receive them in March 1982. Olga Jigliotti died March 22, 2007, and John Jigliotti died March 23, 2008.

"You can never have enough of that stuff," James Jigliotti said Sunday. "It trickles away, more or less."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Computer down, some get free hotel rooms
OSLO, Norway (UPI) -- An Oslo, Norway, hotel chain with locations stretching across Scandinavia said some guests received free rooms and services due to a computer error.

Choice Hotels said 130 of its Clarion, Quality and Comfort hotels were affected by the computer crash, causing at least one hotel to give guests free stays and others to give free meals and services, Aftenposten reported Monday.

"This can be expensive," Choice Hotels owner Petter Stordalen said of the error.

However, Managing Director Torgeir Silseth downplayed the extent of the trouble caused by the crash.

"It's not my impression that there were major problems because of the system trouble," Silseth said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Man, 80, reprimanded for escalator run
FARNHAM, England (UPI) -- An 80-year-old former Olympic hurdler said a Farnham, England, store has threatened to ban him if he is caught running up a down escalator again.

Peter Hildreth, who represented Britain at the Olympics in 1952, 1956 and 1960, said he used to train for his sport by running up the wrong escalators, and decided to try out his old training regime as his 80th birthday approached, The Daily Mail reported.

"I started doing it last month because I was turning 80. People did not see me do it to start with, I must have done it three or four times," he said.

Hildreth said he was finally caught by the head of the women's underwear department at the top of the escalator and was given a stern talking-to by store manager Graham Duerden, who said the elderly man was violating health and safety rules and setting a bad example for young people.

The former athlete said he has had his fill of his old pastime.

"I am not going to do it anymore," Hildreth said. "My wife will be annoyed about me doing it, she does not know until now."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Monday, August 4, 2008


Court Transcribers Can't Handle Scottish
EDINBURGH, England (UPI) -- Some Scottish lawyers complain that court transcripts are riddled with errors because the English company hired to make them can't handle the Scottish accent.

Donald Findlay, a queen's counsel or lawyer who can represent the government in court, told The Scotsman the transcriptions are "bloody awful."

"They know nothing of the local topography, which leads to some amazing phonetic translations of places," he added. "I would have thought it's not beyond the wit of man to check place names on the Internet."

The Scottish Court Service in 2006 designated Mendip Media Service, a company based in Devon, at the other end of Britain, to make transcriptions. Mendip blames the transcription problem on poor quality recording equipment used in Scottish courts but said it has also been using Scottish transcribers as much as possible.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Sunday, August 3, 2008


State doesn't laugh at funny stop signs
OAK LAWN, Ill. (UPI) -- The mayor of Oak Lawn, Ill., said he wishes the state hadn't made him take down comical messages he posted under stop signs around town.

The Illinois Department of Transportation made Mayor Dave Heilmann remove comments such as "and smell the roses" and "means that you aren't moving" from underneath 50 Oak Lawn stop signs, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Heilmann was ordered to take down the comments after receiving a letter from the department April 17, seven months after he began posting them as part of a public safety campaign to reduce speeding.

"I thought that was a very harsh response to an effort to promote safety. I truly believe the signs were making an impact," Heilmann told the newspaper.

The department said the funny slogans went against the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and Oak Lawn could face cuts for federally funded projects if they weren't taken down.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Woman fired over 16-cent doughnut
LONDON, Ontario (UPI) -- Canada's largest doughnut chain fired a woman in London, Ontario, for giving a customer's toddler a 16-cent doughnut nugget for free.

Nicole Lilliman, 27, was summoned to the office of the Tim Hortons franchise Wednesday and told video surveillance had caught her giving the child a Timbit -- a tablespoon-sized solid doughnut on Monday, the London Free Press reported Thursday.

"It was just out of my heart -- (the child) was pointing and going 'ah, ah'," she said. "I should have gone to my purse and got the change, but it was busy."

She said the three managers who summoned her fired her for theft and told her she had to sign the accusation before leaving.

She told the newspaper Timbits are routinely given away to dogs in cars at the drive-through window. Tim Hortons district manager Nicole Mitchell told the Free Press those cases involve "day-old and recycled" Timbits.

"Employees aren't allowed to give out free products and that's the bottom line," she said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Friday, August 1, 2008


Mom sues after kid steps in poo
NORWALK, Conn. (UPI) -- An attorney for Norwalk, Conn., says a mother's suit against the city for her toddler's shoes being ruined by dog poo is among the most frivolous he's seen.

City Attorney M. Jeffry Spahr said Kelly DeBrocky of Mahopac, N.Y., filed suit against the city April 7, seeking $100 compensation for her child's ruined shoes and tickets for Maritime Aquarium -- which the mother said her family had to leave early because of the incident -- The (Stamford, Conn.) Advocate reported Thursday.

"I had to read it twice," Spahr said. "Immediately, what I did was say, 'You're not going to believe this one.' It was hilarious. What are these people thinking about? Just when you think you've heard it all."

DeBrocky defended he suit.

"I was just really skeeved, I thought the whole thing was disgusting," she said. "We had to pay for admission to the aquarium and my son had no shoes and it made the entire experience awful."

"The official response is her claim is denied and poop happens," said Spahr.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International