January 15, 2015
Squirrel’s Wrong Turn Leads
To Ohio Power Outage
Cincinnati (AP) An energy company says a squirrel’s wrong turn led to a power outage affecting about 4,500 electric customers in southwestern Ohio.
Duke Energy says the customers in Forest Park in suburban Cincinnati and areas south lost power Monday morning after a squirrel entered a substation and got zapped.
Northwest High School dismissed classes at 11:45 a.m. because of the outage.
The company told the Cincinnati Enquirer most customers had their power restored by noon.
The remainder had power by early afternoon.
The squirrel did not survive.
Man Tells Cops ‘Everyone Drives Drunk’ On New Year’s Eve
Vineland, NJ (AP) Authorities say a southern New Jersey man cited for drunken driving on New Year’s Eve claimed he shouldn’t be charged because it’s a time when “everyone drives drunk.”
According to a police report, Daniel Pratts was stopped around midnight after an officer saw him go through a stop sign in Vineland.
The Daily Journal reports that Pratts performed poorly in roadside sobriety testing and was taken to police headquarters for processing.
According to the police report, while there, he told another officer, “It’s New Year’s Eve, everyone drives drunk.”
Pratts also was cited for refusal to take a breath test and reckless driving. A telephone number for him could not be located Wednesday.
Black Lab Likes To Take Solo
Bus Ride To Her Dog Park
Seattle (AP) A black Labrador named Eclipse just wants to get to the dog park. So if her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette, and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her stop ‚Äî to the delight of fellow Seattle bus passengers.
KOMO-TV reports that local radio host Miles Montgomery was amazed to see the pooch get off the bus, without an owner, at a dog park last week.
The dog and her owner, Jeff Young, live right near a bus stop.
In Young’s words, “She’s a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog.” Young says his dog sometimes gets on the bus without him, and he catches up with her at the dog park three or four stops away.
Bus riders report she hops onto seats next to strangers, and watches out the window for her stop. Says commuter Tiona Rainwater, “All the bus drivers know her ... she makes everybody happy.”
A Metro Transit spokesman says the agency loves that a dog appreciates public transit.
Transportation Department Turning Roadkill Into Compost
Windsor, VA (AP) The Virginia Department of Transportation is working to turn highway carcasses into plant food.
The state agency is testing the practice of turning roadkill into compost at four sites across the state, using a special system that accelerates decomposition and suppresses odors.
The Virginian-Pilot reports the system costs $140,000 and can break down animals in as little as six weeks in concrete bins.
The compost is then used to control erosion and help establish grass after construction.
Officials say roadkill collected by the agency is traditionally buried or driven to landfills at a cost of $4 million a year for disposal.
Several other states already have widespread programs to compost roadkill.
Ohio Championship Means
Free Furniture For Hundreds
Cincinnati (AP) Ohio State’s national football championship means a big win totaling nearly $1.5 million for hundreds of furniture buyers in Ohio and Kentucky. Morris Furniture Co. Inc. in suburban Dayton ran a promotion at 15 Morris Home Furnishings and Ashley Furniture HomeStores in Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati in Ohio and in Florence, Kentucky. It offered refunds to customers buying at least $1,999 in furniture, mattresses and accessories from Dec. 17 to Jan. 1 if Ohio State defeated the University of Oregon by at least 7 points.
The Buckeyes won 42-20 on Monday night. Morris Furniture spokesman Rob Klaben (KLAY’-ben) says a company that underwrites such promotions provides Morris with the refund money for a percentage of the sales. Klaben says about 500 shoppers should qualify for the refunds.
Woman Plunging Toilet Pulls
Up More Than Potty Paper
San Diego (AP) Officials in San Diego are trying to sort out how a 5 1/2-foot snake wound up in a toilet at an office building.
Stephanie Lacsa told San Diego County authorities she noticed the water level in the toilet was higher than usual when she went to the second-floor restroom Tuesday. When she plunged it, a snake popped up and flicked its tongue.
She ran out, taped the door shut and called Animal Services.
The department says an animal control officer found a giant Columbian rainbow boa on the floor. The snake was shedding and slightly underweight.
It was taken to an animal care facility and bit a handler.
If the owner doesn’t show up by Friday, the snake will go to a rescue group.
How it got in the toilet remains a mystery.
100-Year Old Leads Classes, Checks In On Facebook
St. Paul, MN (AP) A 100-year-old exercise instructor says the secret to longevity is an attitude of gratitude.
St. Paul resident Lauretta Taggert celebrated her triple-digit birthday this week.
Taggert says she doesn’t let her age slow her down ‚Äî she’s been an exercise instructor for the past 15 years.
She also knows you’re never too old to keep up with technology. KARE-TV reports Taggert orders new books on Amazon and connects with family and friends on Facebook.
Jana Kyser, the property manager at the senior apartment complex where Taggert lives, says there’s one more piece of wisdom she’s learned from Taggert: “Honey, don’t ever let your hair go gray.”