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September 4, 2013

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Weird National Briefs Weird National Briefs

Zero tolerance

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. - A 73-year-old man who was given the first civil marijuana ticket in a Vermont town says he had planted some seeds he found in a box and 'got spanked' by police after it grew into a pot plant. 

William Reynolds was issued a $200 civil ticket by St. Johnsbury police after authorities seized a potted 2 1/2-foot-tall marijuana plant from his Main Street apartment. 

Police say they saw no indication Reynolds was a pot smoker or had other marijuana plants. 

Reynolds tells the Caledonian Record he doesn't smoke marijuana and was 'playing around' with the seeds he found. 

He says he 'did wrong' and won't contest the ticket. 

Vermont decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana on July 1. 

TME You've got to catch them early it's just a small step to cows on meth.

Monkey business

NEW ORLEANS - A painting by a 37-year-old Louisiana primate who applies color with his tongue instead of a brush has been deemed the finest chimpanzee art in the land. 

Brent, a retired laboratory animal, was the top vote-getter in an online chimp art contest organized by the Humane Society of the United States, which announced the results Thursday. He won $10,000 for the Chimp Haven sanctuary in northwest Louisiana. 

A Chimp Haven spokeswoman said Brent was unavailable for comment Thursday. 'I think he's asleep,' Ashley Gordon said. 

But as the society said on its website, 'The votes are in, so let the pant hooting begin!' - pant hooting being the characteristic call of an excited chimp. 

Five other sanctuaries around the country competed, using paintings created during 'enrichment sessions,' which can include any of a wide variety of activities and playthings. 

TME We will never understand modern art.

Points for creativity

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A man is accused of trying to get marijuana into a Washington state jail by attaching it to an arrow he shot onto the roof. 

A Whatcom County sheriff's employee saw the man step out of his pickup truck and use a bow to launch the arrow toward the jail's second-floor recreation area, but it missed its target. 

Sheriff Bill Elfo says the man, identified as 36-year-old David Wayne Jordan, was arrested for investigation of introducing contraband into the jail, resisting arrest and obstructing law enforcement. 

The Bellingham Herald reports Jordan served 20 days in the jail earlier this month for assault and resisting arrest. 

The sheriff says Jordan told deputies he had been aiming at a squirrel, but he couldn't explain why he needed to attach marijuana to the arrow to go squirrel hunting. 

TME In the guy's defense, a stoned squirrel is probably much easier to catch.

Salvation with a side of fries

DALTON, Ga. - A church in northwest Georgia has started offering Sunday prayer services for worshippers on the go. 

Members of the Cedar Valley Cathedral of Praise on Cleveland Highway in Dalton have been hosting a weekly drive-thru prayer mission Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. Anne Keith told the Dalton Daily Citizen she's been visiting the drive-thru Sunday service for more than a month now, and it's become something she looks forward to every week. 

'I start on Wednesday thinking, `It's three more days,' then `two more days,'' Keith said. She added that she finds the service uplifting and that it reinforces her hope. 

Church members gather under their building's awning to wait for a driver and distribute prayer cloths to visitors. Members say they welcome visitors from all denominations, and visitors are encouraged to come as they are. 

'God's brought a good number of people every Sunday,' Barry Suggs told the newspaper. 'Seventeen have prayed prayers for salvation.' 

Members of the congregation said they got the idea to start offering drive-thru services from a speaker at the church in late May. 

TME There's no word on whether prayers can be supersized.

This week in criminal masterminds

NOOKSACK, Wash. - A group of fleeing robbery suspects was ahead of pursuing officers when they decided to paint their getaway car a new color, but they forgot to change the license plate on the vehicle. 

The Bellingham Herald reports the alleged driver, 22-year-old Westley C. French, outran the law for five more hours this past weekend. 

French and his alleged accomplices used those fleeting moments of freedom to give his green Nissan 240 SX a new coat of black spray paint. But they neglected to swap out the car's South Dakota plates when border agents found the car and the suspects outside of Nooksack Valley High School. 

Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell says the suspects were wanted for beating two men during a car robbery. 

TME 'Hey guys? I feel like we're forgetting something'

Cat-astrophe averted

NEW YORK - Two kittens that shut down a New York City subway line for more than an hour have been found and rescued from the tracks. 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Julie Glave says the kittens were discovered Thursday evening under the third rail of an above-ground express track in Brooklyn. 

Glave says MTA workers and police officers removed the kittens in crates. 

Earlier Thursday transit officials cut power to the B and Q lines in Brooklyn for more than an hour after reports the kittens were on the loose in the subway system. 

Transit workers were dispatched onto the tracks to try to corral the kittens. And the kittens' owner even tried using food to try to coax them out. 

TME The tracks are overwhelmed with adorableness. Expect delays.

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