February 27, 2014
Wisconsin Rubber Duck Bill
Racing To Finish Line
Madison, WI (AP) The “Ducktona 500” in Sheboygan Falls and the “Lucky Ducky Derby” in Menomonee Falls may soon be able to operate in Wisconsin without fear of breaking the law.
The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill legalizing rubber duck races in Wisconsin. The measure cleared the Assembly last week. It now heads to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
Nonprofit organizations commonly race the little plastic ducks, with numbers on the bottom, as fundraisers.
But the legality of those races was called into question after the state Justice Department warned the village of Mishicot that its annual rubber duck race amounts to illegal gambling.
The bill would create an exemption for duck races, similar to laws in Minnesota and Michigan.
Spelling Bee Hits Snag
Kansas City, Mo. (AP) After 19 rounds in a Missouri county’s annual spelling bee over the weekend, only two of the 25 contestants who started the competition remained.
Several hours and 47 rounds later, an 11-year-old and her 13-year-old adversary had used up all of the available words, forcing organizers of the Jackson County Spelling Bee to temporarily halt the showdown.
“It was legendary,” said Mary Olive Thompson, a library outreach manager and co-coordinator of the Saturday spelling bee. With the winner moving on to the national spelling bee in Washington, D.C., in May, both contestants were at the top of their game in the final rounds Saturday, Thompson said
“Sophia and Kush’s eyes were just bright and glowing,” she said. “It was almost magical.” The contest will resume March 8 at an undetermined library site.
Hot For Frozen... Traffic
Reporter’s Parody A YouTube Hit
Cincinnati (AP) A Cincinnati traffic reporter has gained national attention for his dramatic on-air parody of a Disney movie song.
WKRC’s Bob Herzog changed “Let it Go,” sung by Princess Elsa in the animated movie “Frozen,” to “Just Don’t Go” to reference the winter weather.
As images of cars skidding on ice and traffic conditions play, Herzog dramatically sings lines like: “I must share what dispatchers say, all the traction’s gone. School’s closed or at least they’re on a delay.” A YouTube video of Friday’s performance has a half-million views, and media outlets nationwide have written about it. The parody is part of Herzog’s “Dance Party Fridays.”
He’s changed Elton John’s “Rocket Man” to “Traffic Man,” Tom Petty’s “Free Falling” to “Tree Falling” and Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” to “Drive Indiana.”
Cleaning Woman Swept Floor
And Accidentally Trashed Art
Rome (AP) A cleaning woman in southern Italy has unwittingly thrown away contemporary artworks that were supposed to be part of an exhibition.
Lorenzo Roca, head of the cleaning company, said the woman `’was just doing her job’’ when she thought two artworks were part of trash left behind by those setting up for the show that opened Wednesday in Bari.
Show organizers said one of the works she gave to a city sanitation crew before dawn included pieces of cookies, which were scattered on the floor, as part of an artistic arrangement.
Roca said the cleaning company would use its insurance coverage to pay for the trashed art works, whose value was estimated at 10,000 euros ($13,700).
‘65 Beetle & Owner To Be
Reunited After 40 Years
Nashville, TN (AP) The owner of a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle discovered in Detroit nearly 40 years after it was stolen says he never stopped thinking about that car.
Joe MacDonald of Knoxville, Tenn., said he used to buy Beetles to fix up and sell. He had many of them, but he says he never stopped grieving for the red convertible that he had running “slick as a ribbon” before it was stolen.
The car was found in January when federal border agents checked the paperwork as it was about to be shipped overseas for restoration.
MacDonald said he learned the car had been located from a reporter at WBIR-TV. MacDonald has contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection about getting the car back. He says they are sending him a form to fill out.
Oops! Accidental Invite To 61,000 Causes Chaos
Stockholm (AP) Police say they were called in to restore order in downtown Stockholm after Sweden’s public employment service accidentally sent an email invitation for a recruitment event to 61,000 jobseekers instead of 1,000. Police spokesman Ulf Lindgren says staff at the job center alerted police Wednesday after several thousand people showed up to an event where jobseekers would have a chance to meet with potential employers. He said many people were upset but no arrests were made. Clas Olsson, acting director general of the employment service, said he deeply regrets the mishap and wishes to send his apologies to all those affected.
Always Check Pants Pockets Before Donating
Sugarcreek, PA (AP) An act of charity may end badly for one donor to a Pennsylvania Salvation Army outlet. Sugarcreek Borough police say they were called when workers found a large plastic bag of marijuana among some donated clothes.
Police Chief Matt Carlson tells the (Oil City) Derrick he suspects the owner of the drugs has noticed them missing by now, if only because the bag contained a “substantial quantity” of pot. Police were working with store employees to determine who donated the clothes and when. Police say the drugs were found earlier this week. The chief says this isn’t the first time officers have investigated an unusual item among donated clothing saying, “we’ve had guns ... cash ... rings, and now marijuana.”
Iowan Fired For Using Forklift On Candy Machine
Milford, IA (AP) An Iowa man has lost his job and unemployment benefits for using a forklift to get a candy bar from a malfunctioning vending machine, state records say.
According to state unemployment records released last month, Robert McKevitt, 27, of Spirit Lake, was working at Polaris Industries’ warehouse in Milford when the incident occurred last fall.
McKevitt wanted some candy, so he deposited $1 in a vending machine for a 90-cent Twix candy bar, The Des Moines Register reported. But the candy bar got snagged on a hook and wouldn’t fall.
He banged it and rocked it, but that didn’t work.
The state records said McKevitt then commandeered a forklift, picked up the machine at least six times and dropped it about 2 feet onto the concrete floor. Three candy bars fell.
McKevitt was fired five days later.
McKevitt told the newspaper recently that he never lifted and dropped the vending machine but did use the forklift to move the machine back in place.
“That machine was trouble,” McKevitt said. “They fired me, and now I hear they have all new vending machines there.”