MAN ERECTS SCULPTURE OF MIDDLE FINGER SALUTE ON LAWN
WESTFORD, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man who feels he’s being flipped off by his town government is expressing himself — by basically flipping the town the bird. Ted Pelkey has put up on his front lawn a large wooden sculpture of a fist with the middle finger raised. Pelkey says he has been trying for about 10 years to move his truck repair and recycling business to his property — but has been unable to get a permit. So he commissioned the artwork — at a cost of $3,000 — and put it on a pole with lights a few weeks ago. It isn’t likely to be popular with town officials, but neighbors are saluting it, and not the one-fingered kind, either. People have been stopping at all hours of the day and night — some even taking photos.
ANOTHER “SECRET SANTA” STRIKES AT WALMART
POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — It’s happened again — this time, in New Jersey. Some deep-pocketed soul has paid off the layaway items set aside by some residents for Christmas. The Walmart Supercenter in Pohatcong Township says an anonymous “secret Santa” settled all the store’s remaining layaways. Other than acknowledging the payoff, the store is saying little else about the situation. It didn’t respond to requests for comment. And it didn’t provide the total value of the layaway items. The store is, however, asking those whose layaways to come pick up their newly-paid-for stuff as soon as possible.
SANTA CLAUS - SCUBA
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some kids have trouble this time of year wrapping their heads around the idea that someone named Santa Claus makes it out to every house on Christmas Eve — even to houses that don’t have chimneys. Imagine them trying to see Santa in a scuba suit, feeding fish. It happened in San Francisco, where the California Academy of Sciences launched its holiday festivities yesterday by having a Santa decked out in scuba gear dive into a coral reef exhibit. Dozens of children watched the “Scuba Santa” feed the fish before taking questions from visitors — all inside the tank.
HOG FARM - SMELLS
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — It’s a decision some residents of North Carolina have had to hold their noses over. A federal judge has shut down a lawsuit against pork producer Smithfield Foods. The company was sued by those say the plant not only stinks, but also generates flies and noise. Jurors in Raleigh decided that eight neighbors of the plant should be compensated because of the stench and sounds. But a federal judge in Raleigh ruled yesterday there isn’t enough evidence for the neighbors to seek punitive damages. For its part, Smithfield says the lawsuits are an abuse of the legal system.
MAN WHO MISSED VOTING HIMSELF INTO OFFICE LOSES COIN FLIP
WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (AP) — Remember the city council candidate in Arkansas who ended up missing out voting for himself in his runoff race because he couldn’t make it back from a trip in time? Well, that candidate is now on the losing end of the vote. Cliff Farmer ended up losing the dice toss that town law requires to break deadlocks. He rolled a four, while his opponent Becky Linebaugh rolled a six. And that means Linebaugh gets the seat. Farmer tried to make it back to town on the night of the runoff — but landed too late to get to the polls before they closed.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II