Odd News Roundup
May 09, 2014 03:30 PM | 692 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A customer talks to Prince George the rooster at the the Gecko Hardware Store in Dallas on Friday, April 13, 2014. The hardware store's unusual mascot is proving popular with customers. The store's co-owner Andrea Ridout says foot traffic went up noticeably on the weekends when customers realized the Buff Orpington rooster likes the attention. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A customer talks to Prince George the rooster at the the Gecko Hardware Store in Dallas on Friday, April 13, 2014. The hardware store's unusual mascot is proving popular with customers. The store's co-owner Andrea Ridout says foot traffic went up noticeably on the weekends when customers realized the Buff Orpington rooster likes the attention. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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An electronic highway sign is seen on Interstate 93 in Boston, Friday, May 9, 2014. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation posted the message "Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah" on the signs around the city. "Blinkah" is how Bostonians pronounce "blinker". (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
An electronic highway sign is seen on Interstate 93 in Boston, Friday, May 9, 2014. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation posted the message "Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah" on the signs around the city. "Blinkah" is how Bostonians pronounce "blinker". (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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Mansfield lifts ban on ball games in street

MANSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — It's legal again for children to play ball games in the streets of Mansfield.

Town residents on Wednesday voted to eliminate a 1931 town bylaw that barred street games that required the use of balls.

The Sun Chronicle reports that resident Terry Longley wrote the citizen's petition to lift the ban after neighbors called police on some teenagers playing baseball in the street last July.

Police broke up the game, saying they were acting in accordance with the 1931 bylaw.

Under the amended bylaw, street games are OK as long as they are safe.

One resident said: "We should let kids be kids."

Information from: The (Attleboro, Mass.) Sun Chronicle, http://www.thesunchronicle.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Man receives 2 years for slingshot assault

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 42-year-old man who fired a slingshot at Alaska State Troopers has been sentenced to two years in prison.

The Anchorage Daily News reports Jose Pacheco pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was sentenced last week.

Troopers in mid-January took a 911 call reporting gun shots and people who had been hit.

At least seven troopers surrounded a house near Wasilla with Pacheco inside.

Troopers reported that after several hours, Pacheco broke out a window and fired the slingshot at officers, who at first thought they were avoiding gunshots. No one was injured.

Investigators determined Pacheco had also made the original 911 call.

Palmer Superior Court Judge Eric Smith sentenced Pacheco on Friday to five years in prison with three years suspended and three years of probation.

Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Driver is cited for using dummy in carpool lane

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — A commuter heading into Boston had a real dummy along for the ride.

State Trooper John Carnell was working a paid detail in Quincy on Thursday morning when he saw a vehicle enter the carpool lane on Interstate 93 north with a suspicious-looking passenger.

Carnell pulled over the vehicle and found that indeed, the driver had propped up a jacket with a mannequin head on top in the passenger seat. The fake head even had a little mustache drawn on.

Vehicles using the lane must have at least two occupants.

The driver, whose name was not made public, has been issued a citation for operating on an excluded way.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Washington man warned for taking moose video

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A state Fish and Wildlife officer issued a written warning to a man who drove while his wife shot video of a moose running through a Wenatchee neighborhood.

Enforcement Officer Graham Grant told The Wenatchee World (http://bit.ly/1sqGDgF) the department wants to make a statement that it's unlawful to do anything to harass a moose.

He says the moose was obviously in distress last weekend and ran toward a parking lot and traffic because the car was following it. Grant says moose should be left alone to find their own way.

Information from: The Wenatchee World, http://www.wenatcheeworld.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Rooster at Dallas hardware store popular

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas hardware store's unusual mascot is proving popular with customers.

Prince George is a Buff Orpington rooster. He occupies a spot in the front of the Gecko Hardware Store.

The store's co-owner Andrea Ridout says foot traffic went up noticeably on the weekends when customers realized the rooster likes the attention.

Ridout says Prince George started ruling the roost when a little girl returned him after she learned he wouldn't become a hen. The rooster has occupied the top spot on the store's pecking order for a year.

Dallas officials have given the store an exemption to keep the feathered animal on the premises. Prince George also visits schools and senior citizen sites.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


No charges for California student on school PA

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Police say a student who shouted "Get out!" over the public address system at a Southern California school was just worried a teacher was coming, and not trying to make others think they were in danger.

Fontana police said Thursday that no students at Heritage Intermediate School will face charges over the May 2 incident.

Police say a student had learned how to access the school's PA system and turned it on. But when a friend saw a teacher was coming, he yelled, "Get out, Get out!"

That sparked fear among students. Some called their parents on cellphones with worries there was a shooter on campus.

Police say they identified and questioned the student, and he didn't intend to cause such a response.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Deer strike kills New Mexican man in 2nd vehicle

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in northern New Mexico say a 30-year-old man was fatally injured when a deer struck by another motorist was thrown into the car carrying the victim and his mother.

Rio Arriba County Sheriff Tommy Rodella says Benardino "Ben" Archibeque of Brazos was traveling north on U.S. 64/84 near Chama when the accident occurred last weekend.

Rodella says a southbound vehicle hit a deer that sprinted in front of that vehicle, with the impact sending the 200-pound deer flying through the air.

The sheriff says Archibeque was hit in the head and other parts of his body. He died Sunday at a hospital in Albuquerque.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Archibeque's mother was not seriously injured.

The deer died at the scene.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Boston drivers urged to 'Use Yah Blinkah'

BOSTON (AP) — Perhaps the reason notoriously aggressive Boston drivers don't use their turn signals is that no one's ever put it in terms they understand.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Friday changed that by posting messages on electronic highway signs around the city that read: "Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah."

"Blinkah" is how Bostonians pronounce "blinker," otherwise known as a turn signal.

The signs are scheduled to stay up through the Mother's Day on Sunday, which state officials say is one of the busiest traffic days of the year.

Drivers who fail to use their "blinkah" when changing lanes on a Massachusetts highway are subject to a fine. Police across the state handed out almost 5,000 tickets for the offense last year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Letterman, Stewart mock New York Senate's yogurt debate

By David Klepper, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Senate's debate about declaring yogurt the state's official snack was intended to teach a fourth-grade class about government. But it became a lesson on legislative silliness from David Lettermen and Jon Stewart.

The Senate spent 45 minutes this week debating the merits of the legislation, which was introduced at the urging of students from a dairy-producing area in western New York.

Before passing the bill, senators mulled the distinction between snacks and meals and whether other snacks were more deserving.

"What exactly are we defining as a snack?" asked Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat from the Bronx.

"I think it's self-explanatory. I mean, you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then you have snacks," said the bill's Republican sponsor, Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer.

"Did you consider, say, the potato chip?" Rivera asked, posing the same question about raisins and pretzels. He then asked: "What if the pretzel was dipped in yogurt?"

Letterman and Stewart skewered the exchange on their shows, with Letterman playing video from the debate as part of a segment called "New York State: Your Tax Dollars at Work."

Stewart called the deliberations "maybe the best 40 minutes" of legislative debate ever.

"Even the fourth graders who brought this up in the first place are like, 'They're still talking about the state snack?'" Stewart said.

Some of the frivolity was staged as a parliamentary protest.

Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan, wrote on Facebook that she asked silly questions — including one about the bill's implications for lactose-intolerant New Yorkers — to criticize the priorities of Senate leaders. If Senate leaders "make us talk about yogurt, then that's what we'll talk about until they give us something better to do," she wrote.

New York is America's largest yogurt producer. Genesee County, home to the elementary students who suggested the bill, is home to dairy farms and yogurt plants that employ hundreds.

"We're a dairy farming community, and there's huge pride in that," said Casey Kosiorek, the local superintendent of schools. "This has been a chance for some true authentic learning."

Ranzenhofer, of Amherst, took the ribbing in stride.

"I'm sure every employee at the yogurt plant is gratified to see the attention," he said. "Even it's at my expense."

There's no word on when the state Assembly may take up the bill.

Other states with official state snacks include Texas (chips and salsa), Illinois (popcorn) and South Carolina (boiled peanuts).

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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