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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

Puccini For Panthers

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday October 2, 04:13 pm
A creeping cougar gets its cacophonic comeuppance

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

Kyra Kopestonsky said she was stalked by a mountain lion while hiking alone in Placerville, Colorado, before she figured out how to shake it. “I don’t know why, I just started singing opera really loud,” Kopestonsky said, noting it got as close as eight feet. “It kind of put its ears down and just kept looking at me, and it sort of backed away.” (Denver’s KUSA-TV)


A Tick Of The Beef Allergy

Tick bites are causing victims to become allergic to beef, as well as pork, venison, rabbit and some dairy products. The culprit, researchers said, is the Lone Star tick, which has spread throughout the South and the eastern half of the United States. Its bite transmits a sugar, called alpha-gal, that triggers an immune-system response that sets the stage for a severe allergic reaction the next time the person eats red meat, which contains the same sugar. In some cases, eating a burger or a steak has hospitalized people. Dr. Erin McGintee, an allergy specialist on New York’s Long Island, has seen nearly 200 cases in the past three years and said few patients seem aware of the risk. “Why would someone think they’re allergic to meat when they’ve been eating it their whole life?” she said. (Associated Press)


Sausages Of Rage

British baker Shane Thompson, 22, damaged a computer-operated sausage roll machine by head-butting it after it stopped working properly. “He admits he became frustrated with the equipment,” defending solicitor Robert Vining told a Yorkshire magistrates court, which ordered Thompson to pay $1,125 towards the cost of repairing the $42,000 machine. (Britain’s York Press)


The Case Awaits A Peel

Philadelphia police said a man entered a convenience store, waited in line, took a banana from the counter next to the cash register, stuck it in his sweatshirt pocket to simulate a gun and demanded cash and cigarettes from the clerk. Surveillance video of the incident shows the robber escaping on a bicycle. (Associated Press)


Spear Me The Details

Jimmy Morgan Jr. called police to report someone had broken into his home in Wichita Falls, Texas, and that he had stabbed the intruder with a spear. “I don’t have a firearm, so I have a short spear, very quick, very agile and very deadly,” Morgan said after police arrested Thomas McGowan, 25, who suffered hand and shoulder injuries. (Wichita Falls’s KFDX-TV)


Arrested For Safe Driving

Police accused Ryan Mullins, 22, of breaking into a pharmacy in Swansboro, North Carolina, and stealing a safe containing prescription drugs. He made his getaway by tying a rope around the 100-pound safe and dragging it behind his vehicle for two miles before he passed a police cruiser. The officer noticed the safe being dragged and pulled him over. (New Bern’s WCTI-TV)


In One Ear

Chinese students applying to U.S. universities will be expected to learn the values of “freedom, justice and human dignity” while studying for their SAT entrance exam. The College Board’s amended syllabus for the test requires applicants to read passages from the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the writings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as “a way to develop valuable college and career readiness skills.” China’s official Xinhua News Agency declared the reforms amount to “ideology intrusion,” although SAT coach Kelly Yang wrote in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper, “If the new SAT succeeded, it will be the first time America is able to systematically shape the news, beliefs and ideologies of hundreds of thousands of Chinese students every year … through what the Chinese care about most — exams.” Beijing resident and Ohio State University student Tang Anran said the few months of preparation for the SAT wouldn’t brainwash applicants, explaining, “We learn knowledge for the exam, and after that, we forget it.” (The Washington Post)


Too Much Reality

Police shot and killed a crew member of the television show Cops while trying to stop a robbery at a Wendy’s restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. Police gunfire struck the suspect, Cortez Washington, 32, but he fled the restaurant and officers continued firing, killing the suspect and Bryce Dion, 38, described by his production company as “a long-term member of the Cops team.” (Associated Press)


Bullets And Bathrooms

Sixth-grade teacher Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery was seriously wounded when the concealed firearm she was carrying accidentally discharged in the faculty bathroom of an elementary school in Taylorsville, Utah. Investigators said the bullet struck a toilet, causing it to explode and send bullet and toilet fragments into her lower leg. (Associated Press)


Picky Eaters

Indonesian police arrested Heather Mack, 19, after her mother was found bludgeoned to death in a Bali hotel room, along with her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21. When Mack complained about the meals, police bought them KFC fried chicken, prompting them to accuse police of racist stereotyping. Bali police said the allegation of racism surprised them, since few Indonesian can even afford a KFC meal, so they switched the two prisoners to food from McDonald’s. (USA Today)


Return of the Ottoman Empire

Surveillance cameras at a home in Fairview, Oregon, showed a woman stealing footstools from the front porch. (Portland’s KPTV-TV)


It Was All So Confusing

Mayor Kent Guinn of Ocala, Florida, wants Ocala’s city council to repeal a ban on saggy pants on City property, even though he signed it into law. He said he meant to veto it, but there were too many papers on his desk and he mistakenly approved it. (Orlando’s News 13)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet

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