This is just more random stuff from my favorite rag...USA Today.
Juneau - Thunder Mountain and Capital - namesakes of a nearby mountain range and the city itself - are the finalists for the name of a new high school, a panel of city and school officials decided. The school board will make the final decision in November, but Thunder Mountain has emerged as the favorite, board members said. The school is scheduled to open in 2008.
Thunder Mountain? Sounds like a ride at Disneyland.
Tucson - A couple stepped down as leaders of a church that considers marijuana a sacrament and deity. Dan and Mary Quaintance said pending federal charges against them made it impossible to lead the church. In February, they were arrested in a car with 172 pounds of marijuana in Lordsburg, N.M., near the Arizona state line.
Hmmmm...my kind of church.
Carrollton - Day care center owner Kathy Johnson was charged with driving drunk while transporting about a dozen children in a van. Deputies arrested Johnson, 50, after she drove into the parking lot of the Starting Block Learning Center. Her blood alcohol level was .15, nearly double the legal threshold for DUI, the chief deputy said.
She would not have to worry about the court system – I’d hunt her down for them. What an idiot! Good grief!
Kaanapali - Whale watchers spotted the first humpback of the winter season off Maui. The juvenile whale lifted its tail and part of its back out of the water, said Pacific Whale Foundation spokeswoman Ann Rillero. Humpback whales migrate to warm waters to breed after feeding near Alaska during the summer.
If you have never seen whales in person, you really need to do this. Whales are magnificent creatures. We used to watch the whales every summer from my parents’ place on the Oregon Coast. Now they are the only lucky ones!
Squaw Bay - Members of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe petitioned the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to change the names of creeks, canyons, peaks and springs in Idaho that include the derogatory word "squaw." But first, the board of the Idaho name council must agree. Some politicians vow to fight any changes, saying the names reflect a colorful history.
I tell you, I can’t imagine a world without Squaw Valley or Squaw Peak. They have had those names for over 150 years…Why change now?
Springfield - The state department of agriculture will investigate allegations of animal cruelty at last July's National High School Finals Rodeo. An animal-rights activist said he has video and photos from the event that appear to show horses being electrically shocked and bulls jabbed and pulled by their tails.
Frederick - County animal control officials are trying to identify the owner of a loose pit bull that mauled three horses at a farm east of here. One injured horse, a 5-month-old foal, may not survive. The dog was caught.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike dogs?
Stevensville - An "adopt-a-tank" fundraiser aims at helping cash-strapped local police have enough fuel to stay on the roads. The department was left with just two officers when a third left for military duty in Iraq. The program would funnel cash donations into a gasoline card, helping offset the $40 cost of filling up a patrol car each week.
What an idea! I like this. If I had an extra $40 I would send it to this police department.
Las Vegas - Outsiders are conducting "a social science experiment on the families of Nevada" by supporting an initiative on the November ballot to legalize small amounts of marijuana, a Bush administration official said. Drug czar John Walters said initiative supporters are taking advantage of a "blind spot people have about marijuana."
Marijuana is the least of Nevada’s problems. Crystal meth is a much larger problem there. And to be honest, I would rather deal with someone smoking pot than someone on meth. Meth sucks. Been there, done that.
Springfield - State Rep. Paul Holvey said he plans to introduce a bill to ban field burning, after almost 1,200 Oregon residents complained about the smoke. The practice is used by grass seed farmers to get rid of straw after harvest. So far, farmers have burned 48,285 acres, and the season isn't over until heavy fall rains come.
Okay, how much do you want to bet that the people that complained are newcomers from California? I lived in Oregon for a good portion of my life and yes, the field-burning can be nasty, but I also know what it does for the fields. I hope they do not ban this practice. Maybe they could ban Californians?
Portland - A dozen out of 60 children eligible to participate in Pentagon-financed classes at an Oregon National Guard base are boycotting the program because their parents oppose the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Some parents at Winterhaven elementary school worry the program may be a military recruiting tool. The program uses jet engines and computer technology to teach children about space and aviation.
Good grief. Trying to teach technology is a recruiting tool? I hope so. Having intelligent officers in the military would not be a terrible thing.
La Crosse - In the wake of the drowning of a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Sept. 30 in the Mississippi River, Mayor Mark Johnsrud said he'll ask the city's Common Council to consider installing motion-sensitive halogen lights along the river at Riverside Park. Eight intoxicated young men have drowned at La Crosse since 1997.
Okay, get this…In the last few years, 7 young men have drowned after a night of drinking and debauchery. No girls. All guys. 2 of them were valid – 1 fell out of his fishing boat and the other went through the ice. The other five all were the same age, sex, size, etc. They all went drinking and were found later after drowning in the Mississippi. And this always happens in the Spring, or in October around Oktoberfest time. There was a young man that made it out of the river alive last spring. He has no clue how he got into the river or where he went after the bar. He doesn’t even remember leaving the bar. And the BAC of these guys? Most of them between .28 and .38. That is almost comatose. How can they say someone isn’t helping these guys into the river????
Madison - University of Wisconsin System regents voted to oppose a Nov. 7 referendum banning gay marriage, saying it would hurt their ability to recruit and retain gay and lesbian employees. Regents said the amendment would threaten the state's ability to provide domestic partner benefits.
See? I like this school. (No wonder I chose to go there for my degree.)