News at a Glance

By Sarah Masker
Elm Staff Writer

1.) Minimalist vacationers Jennifer Lau, 21, and Marcus Fernandez, 23, are travelling 12 countries on six continents
in 90 days, and their only possessions are those carried in their pockets. The two are the latest participants in Scottevest’s “No Baggage Challenge.” They say travelling without luggage is surprisingly easy, as they can zip through airport security and begin sightseeing the moment they get off the plane.

2.) Looking to buy Girl Scout cookies? The one place that won’t have them this year is the historic Savannah home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the organization. The home is a National Historic Landmark open for tours, but thanks to a complaint last year, selling the cookies on the public sidewalk outside the house is now a banned practice. In three hours, girls would be able to sell about 250 boxes, but now the City Council is making an effort
to prevent soliciting business of any kind at historic landmarks.

3.) Prank calling 911 is stupid, immature, dangerous, and apparently expensive. Prank calling 911 over 18,000 times is just ridiculous. Maurice Cruz, 43, of Los Angeles, was arrested after calling the emergency hotline enough times to incur a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Cruz used a deactivated cell phone, which has no service plan but still works for emergency calls.

4.) London’s Shard tower, Britain’s tallest skyscraper at more than 900 feet, is no longer the home of six month old fox cub Romeo. The tower, which is still under construction, made the 72nd floor the ideal home for the fox, who dined on food scraps left by construction workers before finally being caught by pest control officers.

Ted Burden, founder of the Riverside Animal Center south of London, says, “We explained to him that if foxes were meant to be 72 stories off the ground, they would have evolved wings.”

5.) It looks like 14-month-old toddlers are the ones to call when you want a bank job done. When a girl wandered away from her mother and grandmother, she was able to slip inside a time-locked bank vault without being noticed…at least, not until she became trapped and needed firemen and police to pump fresh air through the vents. The bank had to call a locksmith to free her when the doors would not open.

The girl was fine, save the need for a diaper change. Lesson of the day: banks aren’t the new hip playground, so leave the kids at home.

6.) For all the world’s stereotypes regarding homeless people, Michael Secaur is proving that’s all they really are: stereotypes.

As he was panhandling at an intersection in Pontiac, Michigan, a woman pulled up in her car and handed him some
money through the window. An engagement ring was among some coins, and Secaur thinks she “did an oops.” He immediately dismissed the plan to pawn the ring, and had it locked in the safe deposit box of the shelter where he frequently stays. Secaur says he will recognize the woman if he sees her again, and he is now waiting for her to claim back her ring.

7.) Prospective students looking at the websites for Reed College and the University of Redwood might notice something strange about the sites: they’re nearly identical, except for the name, of course. So which school is real, and which was created to defraud students? Reed College, in Oregon, is the real thing, and now staffers are trying to get the copycat site removed from the web, as they believe there may be malicious intent behind its creation.

Unfortunately, progress in permanently removing the website is slow.

8.) Blame the economy or blame their ulterior motives, but 279 sex offenders in San Diego have registered as homeless.

Since 2009, the number of homeless sex offenders in San Diego has climbed 40%, and authorities say the economy is a major factor. However, they also believe that at least 25 percent of them are lying about being homeless. Since GPS monitoring is only used to watch the offenders still on parole, police have no sure way to check in on
the offenders and make sure they’re still in compliance.

9.) Dogs get into all sorts of trouble when they run away. An 11 year old Doberman, Turbo, disappeared from his
home on Marco Island and was missing for 15 hours before dolphins alerted neighbors to the dog, who was stuck in a canal and had been treading water for hours.

The dolphins persistently splashed until a neighbor came to check out the sound; upon finding the trapped dog, she jumped in the water to save him. Turbo’s owner says, “He was shivering and in a lot of distress,” but thanks to his rescuers, he’s alive.

10.) Mark Zuckerberg has so many friends…who would he get a restraining order against? Oh, just his stalker, who of course claimed to be friendly and misunderstood.

“I’m a peaceful guy…I’m sorry he thought I was trying to harm him,” said Pradeep Manukonda, 31. Zuckerberg accused Manukonda of visiting Facebook offices and “using language threatening to his personal safety.” Manukonda says he was just looking for Zuckerberg to offer advice regarding a “major personal problem,”
which he admits was not computer related.

March 4, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 17

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