- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Noble: The Fontaine family, for rescuing and then adopting two trapped kittens.

On Sunday evening in Tampa, Fla., Michael Fontaine, 13, and his mother, Cynthia, heard the cries of an animal in distress. They discovered two kittens were stuck in a sewer pipe near their home, and, after an unsuccessful rescue attempt, Michael and Cynthia called 911 for help. Operators transferred them to the animal services department. They, too, couldn’t get the kittens above ground. Even a city water department worker was unable to rescue the trapped felines.

Finally, after nearly five hours, Michael’s 17-year-old brother, Christopher, lowered himself several feet underground, into the sewer pipe, to free the kittens. They were uninjured, but malnourished. Although they haven’t been named yet, the family has decided to adopt the kittens.

For their tireless mission to save two kittens, Cynthia, Michael and Christopher Fontaine are the Nobles of the Week.

Knave: Tina Williams, who drove with a case of cheap beer seatbelted in the front seat of her car but left a 16-month-old toddler unrestrained in the back.

Also on Sunday, and on the opposite coast of the state, Tina Williams was pulled over in St. Augustine, Fla., after running a red light. The officer found a 24-pack of beer buckled into the front passenger seat, while Amber Tedrick and her young daughter — a 16-month-old toddler — sat unbuckled behind her. Mrs. Williams was charged with driving under the influence and without a license; child abuse; and possession of drug paraphernalia, as two metal pipes used for drug consumption were found in her purse. After refusing to take a breath test, Mrs. Williams said she didn’t know why the child was unrestrained.

These are stunningly bad parenting skills on display. Aside from the obvious concern over an unbuckled child, why on earth would a case of beer need a seatbelt?

For putting the safety of her booze over the safety of a child, Tina Williams is the Knave of the Week.

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