Odds and Ends 4/25/04

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Utah man: A penny for your election thoughts

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Forget punch card ballots and ATM-style voting machines -- the owner of a drive-in is using pennies and canisters to encourage customers vote on the governor's race. Nathan McCleery, owner of Larsen's Frostop, is running a penny primary poll for the election. He placed canisters in his window displaying the pictures of the eight Republican candidates and the lone Democratic challenger for governor. Until just before the November general election, customers can put a penny in a canister labeled with their candidate of choice. Each week McCleery will post leaders in the poll.

Students' class project has four legs and a tail

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Students at Raytown Middle School didn't buy band uniforms or pay for a class trip after several fund raisers -- they bought a bison. The animal, named Dakota by students, was purchased as a replacement for one of four animals shot and killed last summer at the Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure in Fleming Park near Kansas City. Club members held a holiday gift-basket raffle, sold roses for Valentine's Day and sold trail mix and chocolate-chip cookies they called "Buffalo Chips." They bought Dakota for $600 from a farm in Longford, Kan., and donated the female yearling to Jackson County, which owns the park. Dakota arrived at the park Friday, and the club celebrated with a visit.

Historic submarine bound for Arkansas

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- It's not too late to join North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays for the start of a special journey. Hays is inviting anyone to join him as he witnesses the USS Razorback submarine leave Istanbul, Turkey, for North Little Rock on May 5. Friday is the deadline. The submarine will be the primary attraction at the city's proposed $10.5 million Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum along the Arkansas River. It is one of 12 U.S. submarines that were present at the official Japanese surrender that ended World War II. Hays said Tuesday that he was the only one going so far. He plans to ride the tug pulling the submarine to Gibraltar and return home from there.

Waving phone gets student in trouble

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Put your hands in the air, and put down ... your phone?

Derek W. Laubach, a Penn State University student, faces criminal charges for allegedly threatening partygoers with his cell phone.

Laubach, 18, pulled the phone from his belt and waved it in the air after another man at the off-campus party punched Bradley W. Laubach Jr., 20, also a Penn State student. The Laubachs are related, but are not brothers.

Someone at the party called police to report that a man was waving a gun, said Sgt. Dana Leonard.

"It was an outdoor party, and it was night so the lighting wasn't very good," Leonard said. "It was a huge party, and it caused a great deal of concern among those at the party, as well as among the officers, because we responded as though it were a gun."

Laubach faces charges of disorderly conduct and making terroristic threats.

The man who allegedly hit Bradley Laubach is also in trouble. Joshua M. Fennell, 20, an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student, is charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct.

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