Odd News Roundup
August 29, 2013 04:30 PM | 921 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Firing gun to scare turkey earns reprimand

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) — Firing a service pistol to scare off a wild turkey that was relieving itself on a sheriff's department car won't be tolerated.

That's the take-away message from a Maury County Sheriff's Office investigation, after which detective Andy Jackson was reprimanded.

The Daily Herald reported it got an anonymous tip about the incident that occurred June 29. The newspaper asked Jackson about it and he said he fired into the air outside the detective division offices when nothing else scared away the bird.

Chief Deputy Nathan Johns said Jackson was reprimanded because he used his firearm outside his training. Asked to clarify that, Johns said, "We don't train to use our firearm to scare animals off of vehicles."

Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.columbiadailyherald.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Bookie declares opposition win in Aussie election 

By Rod McGuirk, Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The politicians insist an opposition victory in next week's Australian election is not a foregone conclusion. But one betting agency already is declaring a winner.

Sportsbet, Australia's largest online betting agency, said Thursday it paid out more than 1.5 million Australian dollars ($1.3 million) to punters who had backed Tony Abbott's conservative opposition Liberal Party to win power at elections on Sept. 7.

A victory by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's center-left Labor Party is priced at AU$11.50 — the longest odds since betting opened immediately after the last election in 2010. This compares with an opposition price on Thursday of AU$1.03.

Betting odds have proved accurate indicators of how Australians intended to vote at past elections.

Sportsbet took the unprecedented step of paying out before a result because it was so confident of an election landslide, spokesman Haydn Lane said.

Rudd said while he was "not a big punter," his government still had a chance to win a third three-year term.

He pointed out that a favorite had only won the Melbourne Cup, Australia's premier thoroughbred horse race, 35 times in 151 years. (Far from a two-horse race, the Cup had a field of 24 last year when Green Moon won).

Rudd acknowledges he is the underdog but also pointed out that Liberal Leader John Hewson was favored at elections in 1993, but Labor stayed in power.

"He was the favorite and regarded as a shoo-in," Rudd told reporters of Hewson. Rudd accused Abbott of avoiding scrutiny of his coalition's policies because he was convinced victory was inevitable.

"Because he believes he has the election in the bag, he believes he can get away with not being truthful with the Australian people," Rudd said.

But Abbott said his experience as Hewson's press secretary in the 1993 election campaign made him wary of his own prospects.

"As for the bookies, I'd say more fool them," said Abbott, in a variation of a Shakespearean line.

Abbott added: "1993 is proof that there is no such thing as an unloseable election, and I think this election is very, very tight," he added.

Labor has been lagging behind Abbott's coalition in opinion polls for more than two years.

There was a resurgence in Labor popularity immediately after Rudd replaced Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a leadership ballot of government lawmakers in June. But Labor support appears to have plateaued below the opposition in the final weeks of the election campaign.

Lane said Sportsbet would not seek a refund from gamblers in the event of an upset Labor win.

"Nine days is a long time in an election campaign, so anything can happen," Lane said. "At this stage, we're pretty comfortable that we've backed the right horse, so to speak."

The biggest bet to date was AU$750,000 for a coalition victory made on Monday when the price was AU$1.07. The punter made AU$52,500.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Tiny Oklahoma town tries to rid water supply of worms

By Kristi Eaton, Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Residents of an Oklahoma town are being asked to avoid drinking tap water until the local utility is sure that it has gotten rid of tiny red worms that wriggled into the water system.

Worms ranging from a half-inch to an inch long showed up this week in the water supply in Colcord, a small town near the Arkansas border about 80 miles east of Tulsa. Taking showers with the invertebrates is apparently OK.

City councilman Terry Wood said city water was turned back on Wednesday morning after workers cleaned, drained and re-cleaned the water tower. No worms were found in the tower, he said.

"We are still looking into this problem. I mean we need to get to the bottom of it and we will continue to investigate and do pretty much what we need to do to find out what happened here," Wood said.

Residents are being asked not to consume the water or use it to brush teeth or prepare food, Wood said, but it can be used for showers and other activities.

Erin Hatfield, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, said it's uncommon for red worms to show up in a water system in the state, though it's fairly common in the southeastern United States.

She's not sure why or how the worms wriggle into water systems.

There are no adverse health effects with the red worms, she said, and the DEQ provided Colcord officials with recommendations for their water system to prevent future red worm infestations.

Red worms are considered a nuisance organism but not a health risk, said Alan Roberson, director of federal relations for the American Water Works Association. But, he noted, the idea of drinking water with worms in it certainly isn't appealing.

Several businesses and organizations, including Walmart and the Cherokee Nation, have donated bottled water for residents in the 815-person town to use, Wood said.

"We've had situations before where we've been out of water," he said. "We've just had to use bottle water for consumption, so I don't guess it's been comfortable for some people but the last few hours haven't been that bad."

Colcord Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday, but Superintendent J.D. Parkerson said teachers and students are eager to return to classes Thursday, though no official decision has been made.

Health officials have provided guidelines to school administrators to make sure the schools are safe for the approximately 650 students.

Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


La chimp wins Humane Society chimp art contest

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 37-year-old chimpanzee who paints with his tongue has won $10,000 for a sanctuary in northwest Louisiana.

Brent of Chimp Haven in Keithville was the top vote-getter in an online chimp art contest organized by the Humane Society of the United States. The results were announced Thursday.

Six sanctuaries around the country competed.

Humane Society spokeswoman Nicole Ianni (eye-ANN-ee) says that before votes were tallied, chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall chose her favorite, which won $5,000. That painting, by Cheetah at Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Fla., also won second place in online voting and another $5,000.

Ripley from the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Fla., won third place and $2,500.

Sanctuaries in Oregon, Washington state and Kentucky also competed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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