February 20, 2014
Wait Till Santa See ‘Em!
Reindeer Get Glowing Antlers
Helsinki (AP) Rudolph the reindeer is having a glittering antler makeover - the latest attempt to halt some of the thousands of road deaths of the roaming caribou in the wilds of Finland.
Anne Ollila of the Finnish Reindeer Herder’s Association says the antlers of 20 reindeer have been painted with various fluorescent dyes to see how the animals react and whether the paints are resistant to the harsh Arctic climate.
If successful, animals with glittering antlers will be free to roam Lapland - a vast, deserted area in northern Finland where herders tend to some 200,000 reindeer.
Ollila says reflectors and reflective tape have proven unsuccessful as reindeer have torn them off - and road signs warning drivers of roaming reindeer often are stolen by tourists as souvenirs.
Albino Alligators Make Snappy, Happy Home In Paris
Paris (AP) Two incredibly rare albino alligators have arrived at their new French home a Paris aquarium‚ after being bought from a reptile collector in Florida.
Thursday’s snappy new reptiles, who are just over one year old, are part of an elite group of no more than 30 such alligators in the world.
Michel Hignette, head of the Porte Doree aquarium, says aquariums save the lives of these reptiles since they cannot survive in the wild.
Their recessive gene causes bright, white skin that burns in the sun and quickly attracts hungry predators.
It’s not clear yet how the two will hit it off as they grow up‚ as it’s still too early to tell if they are male or female.
Ohio Mom Who Loathed Name Can Change It To 'Sexy'
Newark, OH (AP) A central Ohio woman who loathed being named Sheila and wanted a moniker that reflected her personality has legally changed her first name to Sexy.
A judge approved the request Tuesday from the 41-year-old Pataskala (puh-TAS’-kuh-luh) woman, formerly named Sheila Ranea Crabtree.
In her application, Crabtree called her given name “the ugliest one out there.” She says that if the court didn’t allow the switch to Sexy, she’d try to become known legally by her middle name, which she has used for years.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Crabtree told a judge that her husband and teenage daughters approve of the change. When the judge asked why she chose Sexy, Crabtree said she’s fun and free-spirited and thought the change would make her complete.
Families Celebrate Olympics At Backyard Sled Track
Mason, MI (AP) Two Michigan families are celebrating the Olympics with a massive sled track that they built into a backyard hill.
WILX-TV reports the Baker and Hines families came up with the idea for a luge track in Mason, located southeast of Lansing.
The course is about 200 feet long and includes a tunnel and a rendering of the Olympic rings. Doug Hines says they used two tractors with front-end loaders to create the course. He says it took about three days to build and a few hours to cover with ice.
His wife Amy Hines says “it’s a memory maker” for the kids.
Family members and guests use sleds to speed down the curving course. Thad Baker says daily maintenance is done to ensure safety.
Big, Runaway Snowball Slams Into College Dorm
Portland, OR (AP) Two math majors at Reed College lost control of a massive snowball that rolled into a dorm, knocking in part of a bedroom wall.
There were no injuries, but college spokesman Kevin Myers said Friday it will cost $2,000 to $3,000 to repair the building.
The incident happened last Saturday night following a rare trio of snowstorms in Portland.
Students started building the giant snowball on a campus quad near the dorm. Urged by a crowd, the math majors tried to make the snowball as big as possible by rolling it down the sidewalk that goes past the dorm.
“And the ball just got away from them,” Myers said.
After escaping their control, the boulder-sized snowball rolled about 15 yards before slamming into Unit #7. Three students heard the smack and discovered the fractured bedroom wall. The student whose dorm was damaged has not had to move.
Nobody weighed the snowball, but a maintenance worker who sliced it up for removal estimated it to weigh 800 pounds or more, Myers said.
The students responsible for the runaway snowball reported the incident and won’t be disciplined. Myers said they didn’t intend to cause damage and feel awful about what happened. He declined to release their names and said he didn’t know their class years.
Reed Magazine was first to report about the snowball.
“It was not the talk of campus until the story came out,” Myers said. “The people that were there knew about it, but now it has kind of taken us by storm.”
Woman Jailed For Not Returning
Tape Of Mediocre RomCom
Pickens, SC (AP) It was not a pile of late fees a South Carolina woman got when a video store owner said she failed to return a video she rented in 2005. Instead, she spent a night in jail.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kayla Michelle Finley of Pickens was arrested last week and charged with failing to return a rented video cassette.
Pickens County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Creed Hashe says Finley rented the movie ``Monster-in-Law’’ from Dalton Videos. The owner took out a warrant against Finley, who was arrested when she was at the sheriff’s office for something else and the warrant was found.
Hashe says Finley had been sent several certified letters at the time. She tells WHNS-TV that she never got the letters and that she will fight the charge.
Heart-Warming Messages To Patients Etched In Snow
Minneapolis (AP) Huge messages left in the snow on the frozen Mississippi River are giving patients at St. Cloud Hospital a lift.
At ground level, the patted-down snow doesn’t look like much. But from the hospital windows above, the messages are quite clear. The latest are the words “love” and “believe,” along with a peace symbol. Each time there’s fresh snow, there’s a new message.
Nurse Mary Habiger has seen a man and woman in snow shoes stamping out the messages. She says the mystery man and woman seem well organized and plan their messages in advance.
Habiger tells WCCO-TV there are lots of family lounges in the hospital that face the river. So even if a patient’s room doesn’t overlook the river, they can view the messages from there.
Pants Forgotten In Minnesota Reach Groom In Costa Rica
Wayzata, MN (AP) A Minnesota clothier spared no expense after a customer forgot his wedding pants in a changing room and flew off to get married in Costa Rica.
FedEx, UPS and airline package services couldn’t help, so Judd Frost put his 32-year-old daughter on a plane to hand-deliver the $500 tan gabardine suit pants, the Star Tribune reported.
After 11 hours of flying Sunday and a bumpy ride on back roads, Jessie Frost reached the beachfront resort of Las Brisas, where Jason Anderson, 32, of Maple Grove, and Heather Spaeth, 32, were preparing for a destination wedding Monday. either the bride nor groom knew his pants were missing until Judd Frost reached the bride via Facebook on Sunday afternoon. They were just as surprised to hear a special courier was en route from the high-end Judd Frost Clothiers in the Minneapolis suburb of Wayzata.
The bride emailed him: “We are incredibly speechless.”
The groom brought his $1,300 suit jacket and vest, tailored white-patterned shirt, lavender paisley tie, alligator belt and cuff links all zipped into a garment bag. But the vest obscured a hanger that should have held the pants. “I didn’t want them to try and find something else. He is really hard to fit. He’s a big kid,” Judd Frost said. Judd Frost often flies around the country to outfit customers but said Costa Rica was a first. “It’s a big day for them,” he said. “We certainly weren’t going to disappoint them.”