June 19, 2014
Blind Man Hears, Feels His Way To Auto Mechanic Degree
Las Cruces, NM (AP) A blind New Mexico man who recently earned an auto mechanics degree is looking for a job.
Clifford Alderson, 48, a graduate from a joint New Mexico State University-Dona Ana Community College program, earned his degree by listening and learning to feel his way around the vehicle, KOAT-TV reports.
Born with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease that led to his blindness, Alderson got his on-the-job training at a small auto shop in Alamogordo (ahl-ah-moh-GOHR’-doh) and plans on making a career out of his talents.
His mother has the disease, as does his 15-year-old daughter, Lydia.
“When I graduated it didn’t feel like I graduated. I felt like I was in a dream,” said Alderson, who walks with a collapsible cane.
Damian Orchard, of All Makes Automotive, says, for the most part, he could just tell Alderson what needed to be done on a car and Alderson takes care of the rest.
“A good majority of (the repairs) I could turn Cliff loose, once I told him what we needed to do,” Orchard said.
Orchard said among the repairs Alderson can tackle are brake jobs, shocks, water and power steering pumps, alternators, and changing hoses.
Joe Retana, a professor at the auto mechanics program, said Alderson is an enthusiastic person who never let any disability get in the way.
“He’s very exciting and he’s a go-getter,” Retana said. “Nothing seems to stop him.”
Alderson said he hopes he has inspired his daughter by graduating.
Alderson has not landed a full-time job but says he’s optimistic.
Man With Gun Tattoo Had Real Gun This Time
Madison, ME (AP) A man with a realistic-looking tattoo of a gun on his stomach had the real thing tucked into his waistband when he was arrested, police said.
Police told the Morning Sentinel that 41-year-old Michael Smith, of Norridgewock, showed up at a sheriff’s deputy’s home Thursday night. He was crying and had been drinking, authorities said.
Smith told police he had a fight with his ex-girlfriend and had stolen prescription narcotics from her, authorities said.
He was charged with stealing drugs, and his gun was confiscated.
He was released from jail on $1,000 bail. His phone has been disconnected, and he couldn’t be reached for comment.
Madison police Officer Eric Bronson said Smith was carrying a .40-caliber Glock but isn’t facing any gun charges because Maine is an open-carry state and his weapon was visible.
Smith’s next court date is Aug. 6.
Smith made headlines in March when members of a tree removal crew he’d told to clear off his property reported that he had a gun. But the gun turned out to be his tattoo.
He told the newspaper then that the tattoo had never been a problem before. He wasn’t charged in that case.
Hee-Haw! Donkey Pals Calm Restless Rhino At Zoo
Tbilisi, GA (AP) Animals in the zoo in Georgia’s capital are not allowed to be lonely, even if it means they end up with rather unusual companions.
A female rhinoceros called Manuela has made friends with donkeys, after failing to hit it off with either zebras or goats, while a lion cub neglected by his mother has bonded with a puppy.
Tbilisi Zoo spokeswoman Mzia Sharashidze said Manuela got depressed after the death of her mate and became aggressive toward her caretakers. They tried putting zebras in her enclosure, but they only returned the aggression. Then they tried goats, which ran away.
But the donkeys had an instant calming effect.
Nearby, lion cub Shamba lives happily with a puppy. Sharashidze said they “are watching how long the friendship will last.”
Resignation Of Mayor Sought Over Dog Poop Incident
San Marino, CA (AP) The mayor of a wealthy California town who was caught on camera tossing dog poop onto the walkway of a political opponent is being asked to resign by residents who say he smeared their image.
During a City Council meeting on Wednesday, San Marino residents blasted Mayor Dennis Kneier (kuh-NEER’) and called for him to step down, even though he has apologized.
Police cited him for littering, which can carry a fine of up to $1,000.
The mayor of the tidy Los Angeles suburb says he found a bag of dog waste on a parkway Saturday and tossed it onto the front walkway of a home.
The homeowner, Philip Lao, is a political opponent.
He recognized the mayor on surveillance video and called police.
Man Tried To Toss Drug-Filled Football Into Prison
Jackson, MI (AP) Michigan authorities say a man tried to throw a football loaded with drugs and cellphones into the yard of a state prison.
According to state police Trooper Toby Baker, Sunday’s throw in Jackson came up short with the football landing between two fences and not in the yard where prisoners exercise.
An officer at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility saw the man throw the football, and he was taken into custody.
The Detroit Free Press reports the ball contained heroin, marijuana, tobacco, three cellphones and chargers.
Baker says the man is facing possession of illegal drugs with intent to deliver, smuggling and trespassing on prison property charges.
Yells For ‘Daddy’ By School Make For A Surprising Find
Fairfield, CT (AP) Police say a Connecticut woman became concerned when she heard someone calling “Daddy” repeatedly near a school. But when she began looking for a child, she instead found a large green parrot up in a tree.
Fairfield police Lt. James Perez says the fire department used a long pole to remove the bird from the tree at Holland Hill School on Thursday.
The parrot then flew onto a bamboo stand. Firefighters chased it out and an animal control officer caught it in a net and brought it to a shelter.
Perez says the bird was talking nonstop saying, “Daddy,” ‘’hello,” ‘’what!” and other words.
The bird was found about one mile from its home. It was later reunited with its owner, who had reported it missing.