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Weird National Briefs (03/13/2019)

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Try Western Union?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A man who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1969 has finally received a congratulatory telegram from family friends that was sent more than 50 years ago.

The Ann Arbor News reports that Robert Fink received the Western Union telegram this year.

The telegram originally arrived in 1969 at an Ann Arbor apartment Fink shared with three classmates a day after he’d left to attend graduate school in New York.

It ended up in an old filing cabinet now owned by a digital marketing company based in Ann Arbor. Christina Zaske found the telegram in December after removing the bottom drawer to retrieve a piece of paper that had fallen inside.

Zaske used the internet to find Fink in suburban Detroit and return the note to him.

Fink says the letter has made him reflect on his old connections.

TME – Better late than never.

Tortilla spats

PHOENIX - Authorities say a man is accused of breaking into a Phoenix apartment and helping himself to tortillas and soup.

Court documents show that 31-year-old Jerry Christopher Drane was arrested March 1 on suspicion of criminal trespassing.

According to charging documents, a female occupant smelled something burning. She found Drane in the kitchen cooking tortillas on top of a stove burner.

She yelled for her roommate and both women demanded Drane to leave.

They told police Drane then went onto the balcony and began eating a can of soup.

Responding officers say he showed signs of being intoxicated and was subsequently arrested.

He is due back in court later this month.

One of the women believes Drane entered when she left the door unlocked to go do laundry.

TME – Honestly, we just want to know what kind of soup it was.

Goat vote

FAIR HAVEN, Vt. - A 3-year-old Nubian goat named Lincoln is poised to become the first honorary pet mayor of the small Vermont town of Fair Haven.

The nanny goat was chosen this week by townspeople for the one-year post at the community’s Town Meeting Day. Lincoln takes office Tuesday.

The ballot of 16 pets was open to all town residents. Most of the other candidates were dogs and cats; a gerbil named Crystal also was a candidate.

Lincoln, with 13 votes, beat out a dog named Sammie that received 10 votes. The other candidates combined for 30 votes.

During its time as mayor, Lincoln will be expected to attend local events, such as marching in the Memorial Day parade wearing a custom-made sash.

Fair Haven, a town of about 2,500 along the border with New York just west of Rutland, does not have a human mayor.

Town Manager Joseph Gunter said he heard about a small town in northern Michigan trying something similar and he thought it would be a good way to raise money for a local playground. It only raised about $100 through a $5 entry fee, but it provided other benefits.

“It was a great way to introduce the elementary school kids to local government,’’ he said.

The balloting for pet mayor was held alongside the regular Town Meeting Day vote, but any town resident could vote.

TME – You don’t usually see this kind of kidding around in politics.

Strange bedfellows

YULEE, Fla. - Two rare, baby rhinos are being raised at a Florida refuge and one is roommates with a critically endangered forest antelope.

News outlets report the baby boom at White Oak Conservation in Yulee includes Tidbit, a critically endangered black rhino; Kali, an Indian rhino; and Tonks, a mountain bongo. Tidbit and Tonks live together at the wildlife nonprofit, sharing a heated barn when it’s cold and playing outside when weather is nice.

The Indian rhinoceros or greater one-horned rhinoceros is classified as vulnerable.

Conservation Director Brandon Speeg says all three species are part of collaborative breeding programs, so Kali, Tidbit and Tonks could go to a partner organization like a zoo depending on what’s best to save their species.

The rhinos were born weeks apart this winter. Tonks entered the world in January.

TME – Already looking forward to the animated adaptation.

Bottle service

SEEKONK, Mass. - Police are searching for a thief with expensive taste in Massachusetts.

Chris Gasbarro’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Seekonk says someone stole a $4,000 bottle of the Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac from its store last week.

The bottle was kept in a locked glass case, and security cameras captured a man either picking the lock or using a key to open the case.

The man tucked the bottle in his pants, used money to purchase a separate item, and left the store.

The store is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the man’s arrest.

Police say the man faces a felony charge of larceny over $1,200.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Seekonk police.

TME – Classiest pants party ever.

Eye of the needle

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill to prevent people from getting tattoos on the whites of their eyes.

The measure won first-round approval Wednesday on a 38-0 vote.

The proposal by Sen. Lynne Walz, of Fremont, received strong support from eye doctors who warn that such tattoos are risky and could cause people to lose their sight. It includes a limited exception for cases where such a procedure is medically necessary and performed by someone who’s trained to do it.

The concept of eyeball tattooing proved cringe-worthy for many senators. Sen. Sara Howard, the chairwoman of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, says it’s “by far the most disgusting bill I have ever heard in my committee.’’

TME – In this vote, the eyes have it.

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