June 16, 2016
VT Newspaper Publisher Holds Contest To Find New Owner
Hardwick, VT (AP) As he approaches his 71st birthday, Ross Connelly is ready to retire as editor and publisher of the 127-year-old community newspaper in Vermont he and his late wife bought three decades ago.
He was unsuccessful at selling the weekly Hardwick Gazette, so he came up with a novel way to find a new owner: an essay contest that kicks off on Saturday, his birthday.
If he gets at least 700 essays, he’ll pick a winner from among them. He’s looking for someone who can show they can handle the responsibility of providing strong local coverage at a time when people are increasingly relying on the internet and social media for their news.
“We want to hear from people who can hold up a mirror in which local citizens can see themselves and gain insights into the lives within their communities,” Connelly said in an online news release. “We want to hear from people with a passion for local stories that are important, even in the absence of scandal and sensationalism. We want to hear from people who recognize social media is not the same as a local newspaper.”
The newspaper is based in Hardwick, a community of about 3,000 residents in northern Vermont. The new owner also must be committed to the community.
The entry fee is $175, and contestants are expected to write up to 400 words about their skills and vision for owning a weekly newspaper with paid subscriptions.
The winner also will assume ownership of the newspaper’s historic building, equipment, website and proprietary materials needed to operate the business.
Man Out To See NYC Sunrise Drifts Miles Away On Plywood
Jersey City, NJ (AP) A man getting ready to watch the sunrise on a piece of plywood in a marina was swept out by the Hudson River current and wound up about 2 nautical miles away near Governors Island.
The man was sent drifting into the river on an 8-foot-long piece of plywood on Thursday around 4:45 a.m., a little more than half an hour before the sun came up, Fire Department of New York Capt. Louis Guzzo said.
“At first, we just thought it was debris,” Guzzo said. “You wouldn’t put this thing on a lake much less New York Harbor.”
The man told rescuers from fire department marine units that he went out to the dock at the Newport Yacht Club and Marina in Jersey City to watch the sun come up.
Guzzo said he believes the man stayed on the piece of wood because he didn’t want to jump into the water and lose his cellphone while swimming back. Instead, Guzzo said, the man stayed in the center of the plywood as it floated farther into the harbor’s highly traveled commercial lanes.
“It was pretty choppy, and the wind was pretty strong,” Guzzo said.
The man, whose name wasn’t disclosed, was rescued unharmed about a quarter-mile from Governors Island, a 172-acre island in the heart of the harbor close to lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Guzzo said the man was very happy to see the rescue team and hugged members of Marine Unit 1 after he was pulled onboard.
9-Year-Old Swims To Alcatraz And Back, Breaking Record
San Francisco (AP) A 9-year-old Central California boy braved strong currents and cold water to swim from San Francisco to Alcatraz Island and back.
KSEE-TV in Fresno reported Tuesday that James Savage set a record as the youngest swimmer to make the journey to the former prison.
The station reports that by completing the swim, the fourth-grader from Los Banos breaks a record previously held by a 10-year-old boy.
James says that waves in the San Francisco Bay hitting him in the face 30 minutes into his swim made him want to give up.
His father says he had offered his son $100 as a reward; to encourage his struggling son, his father doubled it to $200.
James pushed forward, making it to Alcatraz and back in a little more than two hours. Alcatraz is over a mile from the mainland.
NY May Allow Pet Owners To Be Buried With Their Furry Pals
Albany, NY (AP) New York state may soon allow pet owners to spend eternity with their furry companions.
The state Legislature has passed a bill allowing cemeteries, except for religious ones, to offer people the option of being buried with the cremated remains of a dog, cat or other tame domesticated animal.
Cemeteries wouldn’t be required to allow pet remains.
Supporters say they expect many pet owners will embrace the idea. They say cemeteries should be free to offer the option.
The proposal is the latest in a series of measures honoring the bond between human and beast. Last year, New York lawmakers passed a law allowing dogs on restaurant patios. They also are considering a ban on cat declawing.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t weighed in on the cemetery bill.
Rare Batch Of 1970 Quarters Worth Much More Than 25¢
Check your pockets, one of a rare batch of 1970 quarters could be worth a fortune.
One of the quarters is for sale on eBay for $35,000. The listing says it was part of a group of proof coin errors that were auctioned by the state of California. KGW-TV reports seller Mike Byers says the quarter was struck over a 1941 Canadian quarter instead of a blank due to a mint error. He says parts of the Canadian quarter can still be seen underneath the images of George Washington and the bald eagle on both sides of the coin.
The station says similar 1970 quarters are being sold for $2,500 and for $5,000 on eBay.
Ohio Woman 'Prisoner' In Own Home Due To Deer Attacks
Mentor-On-The-Lake, OH (AP) An Ohio woman says she feels like a “prisoner” because a deer has been attacking her near her home.
Cindy Frost says she’s called police about the doe and asked for assistance in walking her dogs near her suburban Cleveland home.
Frost says the deer charged her last week while she was taking her dogs out. She says she had to fight the doe off with a dog leash and her fist, and tried to zigzag back and forth.
Frost says the deer slipped on the black top allowing her to safely return inside. She says the deer then circled her home.
Frost says the doe’s fawn lives in her backyard.
State wildlife officials say her there’s not much they can do, and that such encounters are likely quite common.
Austrian Collects 10 Million Beer Bottle Caps
Vienna (AP) It takes a lot of beers to collect 10 million bottle caps. But Austria’s Hans Heiland didn’t drink them alone.
Heiland says that most of them have come from others, many of them by mail, after his passion for collecting beer bottle caps become known.
Heiland, from the town of Ybbs, west of Vienna, started his hobby five years ago.
State broadcaster ORF said Thursday that his collection now weighs 18 tons.
Heiland recently sold the caps to a metal collector for 1,500 euros ($1,700) and says he will deliver all three truckfulls to the new owner Friday.
He says he plans to give the money to a needy family in the region.