May 5, 2016
Duck At Elementary School Has
Laid Eggs There For 13 Years
Hartland, MI (AP) A duck has grown attached to a Michigan elementary school’s courtyard, returning each year to lay her eggs before walking the hallways with her ducklings to get out.
The Livingston Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports the duck named Vanessa has appeared at Village Elementary School in Hartland for the past 13 years. Ruth Darrah, now a retired teacher, makes sure the duck gets a helpful welcome each year.
The newspaper reports the duck flies into the closed-off courtyard, crawls under a specific shrub, digs out her nest and lays her eggs. After the ducklings hatch, Darrah and others tape black construction paper along the walls, creating a clear path for the ducks to get to a nearby pond.
This year’s hallway waddle took place Thursday.
Retired Farmer Honors Prince
With Symbol In Wheat Field
Edgeley, ND (AP) - A retiree in a tiny community in North Dakota has paid tribute to Prince in perhaps the most unique way a farmer can.
Gene Hanson is a retired farmer in Edgeley who always liked the song “Purple Rain.” On Friday, he hopped on his tractor and plowed on a football field-size version of the late musician’s symbol into his corn field.
The 75-year-old says he found an image of the symbol on the Internet. He put it on his tractor’s dash and followed the pattern. When done, he got on his airplane to check it out. He couldn’t believe that it had turned out so well.
The tribute is only temporary. Hanson says the field was seeded Monday.
Prince died April 21 in suburban Minneapolis at age 57.
1,000,000 Goldfish Released
Into AZ Lake As Snacks
Tempe, AZ (AP) More than 1 million goldfish now have a giant fishbowl to call home in a Phoenix suburb.
Tempe officials dumped roughly 1.2 million goldfish and minnows into Tempe Town Lake on Friday.
They say the fish will serve as a natural insect control for midge flies’ larvae, which are at the bottom.
KPNX-TV in Phoenix reports that the fish were transported from Arkansas by truck.
The man-made lake already has a variety of fish including bass and carp. The goldfish are expected to be a food source for the larger fish.
The lake was drained in March to replace a dam its west end. The lake is expected to reopen in May.
Officials say the new dam will be more cost-effective, dependable and last for at least 50 years.
JFK Is Now Set Up With A
Pet Potty For Furry Fliers
New York (AP) - Little Simba couldn’t wait to check it out.
The toy poodle was among the first to try a special bathroom just for animals at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, among a growing number of ``pet relief facilities’’ being installed at major air hubs across the nation.
``There’s a fire hydrant in there!’’ Simba’s owner, Heidi Liddell, announced as she opened the pawprint-marked door between the men’s and women’s rooms.
It didn’t take long for the dog to sidle up to the little red hydrant atop a patch of artificial turf and do her business. A dispenser of plastic doggie bags and a hose was provided for the owners to clean the area up for the next pet.
The 70-square-foot room, at JFK’s sprawling Terminal 4, allows dogs and other animals to relieve themselves without needing to exit the building to find a place to go outside - a step that requires an annoying second trip through the security line.
``We had seen an increase of passengers traveling with pets and we decided to do it sooner rather than later,’’ said Susana Cunha, vice president of the management company that operates the terminal.
Guide and service dogs, emotional support animals and other pets traveling with passengers are all welcome to use the facilities.
A federal regulation will require that all airports that service over 10,000 passengers per year install a pet relief area in every terminal by this August. Airports that already have them include Dulles International outside Washington D.C., Chicago’s O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma International.
``With long flights and short transit time frames, passengers would not have enough time with plane changes to come back through security,’’ said Karen Greis, a consumer services manager for the Guide Dog Foundation, a nonprofit that trains service dogs and participated in the design of the new facility. ``Having relief areas inside the terminal is a stress reliever for the handlers.’’
That was certainly the case for Taylor Robbins, who had already missed one flight from JFK to Atlanta and was unsure if she had enough time to go back outside to find a place to walk her terrier John John.
``It’s really clean, it gets the job done and he seemed to understand he could use it,’’ she said after exiting the doggie restroom. ``Without this he would have had to hold it in.’’
Other pet owners were encouraged by the convenience.
Mark Shadowens, from Lake Tahoe, California, peered into the new facility with a smile. He said he and his wife Helen would love to travel with their Jack Russell terrier, Bella, but fears not being able to find a place to let her go to the bathroom.
``We travel with our pet a lot, just not on airlines,’’ Shadowens said. ``We like to go see the world and I think we would bring her if there were places like this.’’
Italian Court Says Homeless Man Who Took Dogs Not A Thief
Rome (AP) - Italy’s top criminal court has ruled that a hungry homeless man who took a package of hot dogs from a supermarket committed no crime.
The man had been about to leave the store after paying for breadsticks but not for the hot dogs and some cheese he had in his pocket. He was convicted of theft, and sentenced by a lower court in Genoa to six months in prison and a 100-eur (£$115) fine.
The Rome-based Cassation Court on Monday ruled that man was driven by necessity to take a small quantity of food.
A columnist in Turin newspaper La Stampa wrote Tuesday the high court’s ruling “reminds everyone that in a civilized country not even the worst of men can die of hunger.”