Odds and Ends 3/14/04
Men face hairy situation in Nebraska town
LEXINGTON, Neb. -- Beware shaving any whiskers in Lexington these days. Lexington Mayor John Fagot has implemented a "ban" on shaving until July 5 for every man in town older than 21. Those caught clean-shaven without a shaving permit could face being dunked in a horse tank or other benign punishment. The mayor implemented the lighthearted ban to get the town in the spirit of this summer's Plum Creek Days, a festival bearing the town's former name. One of the festival's traditional highlights is a beard-growing contest. The ban is part of a Lexington-area tradition that began in 1939 with the first Plum Creek Days festival. Those wanting to shave can avoid being arrested and taken to Kangaroo Court by purchasing a special shaving permit.
Ten-year-old girl drives drunken man home
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A man who allegedly had a few too many drinks decided he shouldn't drive drunk so he handed his car keys to his female companions -- all too young to drive, police said. Lionel Cerda told officers that he had been nodding off, so he first let a 14-year-old drive. But when police pulled the car over after midnight on Saturday, they found Cerda in the front seat, with empty bottles at his feet, the 14-year-old in the back with an open can of beer, and a 10-year-old at the wheel. Officer Christina Abshire saw a car swerving and breaking erratically, going 5 mph. She followed the car, then pulled it over.
Fund-raising idea in full flower after order mix-up
LONGMONT, Colo. -- The American Cancer Society in Longmont is stuck with 36,000 daffodils after an order mix-up. The society intended to order 3,600 daffodils for its annual fund raiser from a company in Washington state, but accidentally faxed a request for 3,600 bunches. The 25 boxes of flowers, containing 36,000 daffodils, showed up on the society's doorstep Friday. Tammy Evevard, an assistant director at the Longmont cancer society, said an invoice for $4,000 alerted the society that there was a mistake with the order, but the flowers were already on a delivery truck and couldn't be turned around. Evevard said the society hopes to sell the extra flowers at its fund raiser to advance cancer research and education.-- From wire reports
The nonprofit's fund-raising goal is $10,000. "Who knows, maybe we will be selling them on the street corners," Evevard said.
Texas schools skeptical of fishy school lunch idea
DALLAS -- At some South Texas schools, a new plan for serving nutritious meals to children is a little fishy. Old favorites like breakfast tacos with bacon and nacho cheese are injected with oil taken from a small, herringlike fish. The oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which research has linked to positive health effects, including decreased risk of heart attacks. But critics are skeptical of the benefits from adding a healthy fat to unhealthy foods. They say the quantity of omega-3 added to foods is too small to have any health benefit. Advocates of fish oil say it's a way to make lunchtime healthier without getting rid of children's favorite foods. "I'd say this is a milestone," Margaret Lopez, who leads the child nutrition program of the Texas Education Agency's Region I that includes districts in the Rio Grande Valley.
However, others say they'd rather put their energies into teaching kids how to eat healthier than adding a bit of nutrition to fatty tamales.
"Why do we need to disguise and manipulate it?" asked Stacy Kennedy, a clinical nutritionist at Boston's Dana Farber Cancer Institute. "Why are we sneaking it in?"
-- From wire reports