November 12, 2015
Bubble Yuck! Crews Melt Chewed Gum Off Famed Wall
Seattle (AP) A piece of Seattle history is coming down or rather, 1 million little pieces.
Crews are cleaning up the city’s famed “gum wall” near Pike Place Market, where tourists and locals have been sticking their used chewing gum for 20 years.
The wall is plastered with wads of gum in a kaleidoscope of colors, some stretched and pinched into messages, hearts and other designs. People also have used the gooey pieces to paste up pictures and other mementos.
On Tuesday, powerful steam cleaners were melting it all off.
The market hired a contractor to use steam because pressure washing would damage the historic building.
Market officials decided now was as good a time as any for the cleanup, but they expect people will start leaving gum on the space again soon.
Garbageman Returns $12,000
Seattle (AP) A Seattle elementary school is thanking a garbageman for finding nearly $12,000 in checks in the trash. KOMO-TV reports that Waste Management employee Micah Speir was picking up scattered trash next to some bins when he found a number of checks made out to Lawson Elementary School. Principal Dorian Manza says he met Speir on his route and gratefully took the checks back.
The funds were from a fundraising drive and a Parent-Teacher Association member had accidentally dropped the bag along the garbage truck’s route. When Manza tried to tip Speir for his good deed, the man turned him down.
800 Pound Alligator Tries To Get
Ahead On Holiday Shopping
Sugar Land, TX (AP) An alligator dubbed Godzilla who tips the scales at more than 800 pounds is being taken to a gator reserve to live out its days, after being found wandering outside a Houston-area shopping center.
Godzilla was discovered Saturday by people arriving for work at the center in Sugar Land. Christy Kroboth is licensed by the state as a “nuisance alligator trapper.” She was called to help subdue Godzilla and cart him away.
She says once he was muzzled and restrained, a forklift was borrowed from Home Depot to load him onto a truck. Kroboth says Godzilla is blind in one eye and has only partial sight in the other. He’s going to the reserve for his safety.
Arizona Authorities Capture
Four Emus On The Lam In Tucson
Tucson, AZ (AP) Pima County authorities say four emus that got loose in a neighborhood on Tucson’s southwest side have been captured.
The four large birds were contained Thursday in the area of West Drexel Boulevard and South Cardinal Avenue.
County sheriff’s officials say two of the emus have been returned to their owner and are back in their pen.
They say the other two emus are being taken back to their owner in a horse trailer.
The emu is the largest bird native to Australia and the second-largest bird in the world, behind the ostrich.
In February, two quick-footed llamas dashed in and out of traffic in a Phoenix-area retirement community before they were captured by authorities, causing a stir in the streets and on social media.
South African Student Steals Bus To Get To Final Year Exam
Johannesburg (AP) South African media say a high school student stole a bus in a desperate effort to get to his final year mathematics exams.
Broadcaster eNCA reported Thursday that Le-Aan Adonis got behind the wheel when the driver failed to show up.
Adonis told eNCA he found the keys in the bus. Other students said they asked the 20-year-old to drive because they trusted he could handle a bus.
The broadcaster said a traffic officer stopped the bus a short distance from the school in a village in the Western Cape province, and fined Adonis fined 5,000 rand (about $361).
According to eNCA, Adonis faces a school disciplinary hearing. He has already received offers of free legal representation and donations for his fine.
The students arrived on time for their exam.
This Christmas, City Won’t Stand For ‘Charlie Brown’ Tree
Reading, PA (AP) A year after its scraggly “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree caused an uproar, a Pennsylvania city is putting up a more traditional tannenbaum this holiday season.
The official Christmas tree in Reading will be a pleasingly plump, 25-foot-tall white fir. The Reading Eagle reports that crews cut it down Monday.
Last year’s tree was a sad-looking Norway spruce that drew immediate comparisons to the sparse sapling in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
Some demanded a replacement, but instead, Reading wrapped a blue blanket around its base and adorned it with a single red ball to match the puny pine in the beloved TV special.
This year, city officials say they wanted to put their best foot forward. A tree-lighting ceremony will be held later this month.
Drunk Ohio Man Had Boy, 9, Drive Him To Gas Station
Tiffin, OH (AP) Police say an Ohio man was drunk when he had his 9-year-old neighbor drive him to a gas station to buy barbecue sauce for their chicken dinner.
A Tiffin police spokesman tells The Advertiser-Tribune that the boy drove the man to the gas station Saturday evening, but clerks wouldn’t let the child drive home and reported the situation. Police say the 27-year-old man tried to drive home and was pulled over by officers.
Police say the man’s blood-alcohol content was several times the legal limit. They say he faces several charges, including child endangering, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, refusing a chemical breath test and driving under suspension.
Police say the man had the child over for dinner, and the boy’s parents didn’t know the neighbor was drunk.