September 22, 2016
Force Awakened: Darth Vadar Slays Galaxy Garbage
Blacksburg, VA (AP) A Virginia man troubled by litter along the highway has decided it’s time for the empire to strike back.
WSLS-TV reports Henry Wakley of Blackburg on Thursday dressed as the Star Wars character Darth Vader while cleaning a stretch of highway that he “adopted” through the Adopt-a-Highway program.
Wakley says he’s disturbed by the amount of garbage along the roadway, and likes to get out and dress up because it makes people smile as they drive by. As he picked up garbage along a 1.5 mile stretch, many drivers honked, waved or even stopped by to take a picture.
Wakley says it’s a fun way to bring awareness to the environment.
School Purchases Computer Program To Serve As Teacher
Madison, ME (AP) A Maine high school unable to fill a vacant teacher position has turned to a foreign language computer program to educate students.
With money already earmarked for the job, The Morning Sentinel reports Madison Area Memorial High School opted to purchase the Rosetta Stone program to serve as its full-time French and Spanish teacher.
Principal Jessica Ward says the situation isn’t perfect, but Rosetta Stone was the best option moving forward this year.
The school was forced to purchase the program, which is currently used in more than 4,000 schools nationwide, when no one applied.
Rosetta Stone officials say the program is ideally used in conjunction with a live teacher.
An education technician was hired to supervise the school’s students and administer the program.
Robbery Suspect, Handcuffed Behind Back, Steals Police Car
Terre Haute, IN (AP) Authorities say a robbery suspect somehow made off with a Terre Haute police car despite being handcuffed behind his back.
The Tribune Star reports that officers had placed 28-year-old Cody Tryon of Terre Haute in the back of the patrol car. Police say that while unattended, Tyron kicked out the metal screen separating the front and back seats, slid through the opening and drove away.
Police using GPS caught up with him elsewhere in Terre Haute. They say Tyron rammed several squad cars that tried to block the stolen vehicle before he was again taken into custody.
Police say his hands were still restrained behind his back.
Tryon was taken to Vigo County Jail and booked on charges including motor vehicle theft and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Horse Named Mercy Freed From Septic Tank By Rescue Workers
Bunnell, FL (AP) Officials say animal rescue workers have freed a horse that fell into a septic tank hole in central Florida. Local media outlets report that Mercy, a 24-year-old quarter horse, fell through the tank’s fiberglass cover Tuesday morning behind a home in Bunnell. Rescuers workers from Flagler and St. Johns counties spent about three-and-and-half hours working to free her.
Jennifer Lockwood, a lead veterinarian at Shelton Veterinary Clinic, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Mercy sustained minor cuts and scrapes on her left shoulder and knee. Lockwood said she will prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to help with the wounds, but expects the horse to fully recover.
Man Who Lost Phone Fleeing Cops Posts Online: Don’t Call Me
Scranton, PA (AP) Authorities say a Pennsylvania drug suspect who dropped his cellphone while running away from police took to Facebook to warn his friends not to call that phone number.
Lackawanna County detectives say 25-year-old Scranton resident James Lee Hankins fled when police tried to arrest him for an undercover drug deal involving heroin and cocaine on Monday afternoon.
Police say a woman who knew Hankins let them search her apartment, and they found him minutes later in her basement on a computer that had a page open to Facebook.
Detectives say Hankins posted a message telling friends he’d be off Facebook for a while and asking them not to call his phone until he said otherwise.
Call From Barnstaple, UK, Stumps Police In Barnstable, MA
Barnstable, MA (AP) Police in Barnstable, Massachusetts, were stumped when a woman from a nearly identically named town in the United Kingdom called to report a car crash.
The Boston Globe reports the call came in to Officer Mark McWilliams on Thursday.
The woman tells McWilliams she was “driving back from Barnstaple to Muddiford” when she saw the crash. A perplexed McWilliams asks the woman where she is, to which she replies: “Ilfracombe.” Ilfracombe is on the northern coast of England, about 13 miles north of Barnstaple.
McWilliams and the woman go back and forth for about two minutes before realizing they’re on different continents.
The two share a laugh and McWilliams deadpans: “Our response time is going to be about six hours.”
The BBC says the woman misdialed after searching online for the police department’s number.
Wireless Signals Can Detect Your Feelings With New Device
Cambridge, MA (AP) What if your computer or smartphone could tell if you’re happy or sad?
A new device developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can detect a person’s emotions using wireless signals reflecting off a person’s body to measure human behavior.
Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory say their EQ-Radio device is 87 percent accurate in telling if someone is excited, happy, angry or sad.
It’s as accurate as an electrocardiogram monitor, which uses a sensor on the body, in measuring heartbeats.
They say it could one day be used by film studios and advertising agencies to gauge audience reaction, in homes to adjust temperature based on mood, or in health care.
Man Gives Phony $50 Bill To Girl’s Charity Lemonade Stand
Monroe, MI (AP) Police are calling it the “lowest of the low:” A man gave a fake $50 bill to a southeastern Michigan girl who was running a lemonade stand to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease research.
The Monroe News says the man on a bike didn’t buy anything last Sunday in Monroe. He presented a note that said he was deaf and wanted to break the $50 bill into smaller bills.
Maya Leachman says she was a “little mad” over the incident. She and her mother didn’t look closely at the phony bill until they counted donations later that day.
Police Cpl. Terese Herrick says, “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get him.”
Maya, a fourth-grader, raised slightly more than $1,100 after accounting for the $50 loss.