Farmer hopes fishermen ‘take the bait’
LONOKE — Jamie Anderson’s 3,500-acre, 329-pond minnow farm produces so many minnows a year — 250 million — that birds alter their migratory patterns to fly over his farm for a free lunch.
But as local bait shops go under and convenience stores no longer want the tiny, shiny fish, Mr. Anderson, 28, has had to alter the way that his family did business for four generations — marketing his fragile product directly to fishermen through the Internet and air shipping.
Starting this fall, Mr. Anderson will take orders and pack minnows in insulated boxes for overnight shipment nationwide. The old method of shipping via truck will continue, but he’s banking on air shipping to secure his future.
“This air shipping is my future,” he said. “I’ve got to go directly to the bass fisherman instead of finding some store close to him that will take the bait — literally.”
Scuba diver sets world record
HAMPTON — A Tennessee man beat his own record for staying underwater with scuba gear after five days in a lake — complete with recliner, a checkerboard, music and good friends to keep him company.
Then, Jerry Hall cheerfully signed a pledge to his wife never to do it again.
Mr. Hall, 39, of Bluff City, Tenn., already is in the Guinness World Book of Records for staying underwater with scuba gear for 71 hours, 39 minutes and 40 seconds. He surpassed that at 9:56 a.m. Wednesday and didn’t leave eastern Tennessee’s Watauga Lake until Friday morning with a record time of 120 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds.
Park facing fine for controlled burn
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK — Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks may be fined $75,000 for defying air-quality authorities by setting a controlled fire.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said officials willfully disobeyed a June 30 ban on burning. Park authorities disagreed with the air board’s findings and started the blaze.
Marathon runners brave snow, wind
BRECKENRIDGE — It seemed more like the Iditarod dog-sled race than a marathon.
Runners in the 10th annual Breckenridge Crest Mountain Marathon and trail races Sunday in this popular ski town had to run through 8-inch snowdrifts and 40 mph winds. Many runners, including some of the top contestants, turned around at the 13-mile mark.
“I had the right clothes,” said winner Dave Mackey, standing at the finish line sipping hot chocolate and nursing bloody hands and knees.
Helen Cospolich, spokeswoman for the event organizers, said they never considered canceling the race.
SWAT team ends jail standoff
PANAMA CITY — A Special Weapons and Tactics team stormed the Bay County Jail yesterday to end an 11-hour hostage standoff, injuring a hostage and three inmates, authorities said. An undetermined number of other employees were freed.
It was not clear whether the injured inmates or hostage suffered gunshot wounds, said Lisa Lagergren, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which was investigating.
The injured former hostage, a nurse, suffered a leg wound and was undergoing surgery at a hospital. Her injury did not appear to be life-threatening, sheriff’s spokeswoman Ruth Sasser said. Details of the inmates’ injuries, and on how many inmates and jail employees were involved, were not available.
Jennifer Elmore, an anchor at WJHG-TV, said she received a call Sunday evening from a man who said he was holding hostages at the jail. The caller said he was angry at health hazards in the jail, Miss Elmore said.
Record fine levied against fisherman
LEWISTON — A record fine has been imposed on a Texas man for violating Idaho trout-fishing regulations.
Glen Cothrum, 63, of Midland, agreed to pay $4,350 for exceeding the rainbow-trout limit at north-central Idaho’s Moose Creek Reservoir. Mr. Cothrum caught 64 trout; the legal limit is six. Mr. Cothrum told conservation agents that there weren’t any trout in Texas and that he was trying to bring home as many as he could.
Chickenpox vaccine cuts hospitalization
CHICAGO — Vaccinating children against chickenpox saves the U.S. health care system nearly $100 million a year in reduced hospitalizations for severe cases of the itchy disease, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics this month.
Though most people who get the usually mild disease can be treated at home, chickenpox can be serious, and complications requiring hospitalization can include severe skin infections, encephalitis and pneumonia.
In 1993, two years before the government licensed the vaccine for routine use in early childhood, nearly 14,000 Americans were hospitalized for chickenpox-related complications at a cost of $161 million, compared with 3,729 hospitalizations and $66 million in related costs in 2001, the researchers estimated.
Police dog bites bystander
EVANSVILLE — This police dog didn’t take a bite out of crime — he bit an elderly man watching authorities conduct a search being filmed by a local TV crew.
The canine, which was tracking a gunman, bit John Terry, a resident of Senior World retirement community, who was watching the search last week.
Mr. Terry did not need medical treatment, police said. He was sitting on an outdoor swing surveying the scene when the dog came up from behind and bit him on the right arm. Sgt. Stephanie Loehrlein said police dogs seldom bite bystanders, but “dogs can make mistakes.”
Police searched the neighborhood after two men jumped out of separate cars, one man chasing the other and firing shots from a semiautomatic pistol.
A bullet hit at least one home, police said. One man was arrested on an attempted-murder charge, while the other got away.
Two children die in car accident
WICHITA — Two young girls left unattended in an idling car were killed when the vehicle slipped into gear and ran over them after they fell out, police said.
A 4-year-old girl was struck this weekend as the vehicle — which had been in the driveway of a house — rolled into the street, said police Capt. Darrell Haynes.
A second girl, 2, was hit after the car bounced against a curb on the street, he said. Authorities did not release the children’s names. Capt. Haynes said they were not siblings.
New rules deal with student behavior
PORTLAND — High schools in southern Maine have drafted rules on attire, cellular phones and what students can do during breaks. Portland High School banned card and dice games on school property.
The principal of Deering High School hired a lawyer to define “appropriate” attire for its 1,300 students. Old Orchard Beach High School rolled back a four-year-old ban on cellular phones, but students can’t use them during school hours.
Authorities arrest speeding cyclist
GRAND HAVEN — Authorities couldn’t catch him, but they knew where to find him.
After receiving complaints in recent days about a motorcyclist repeatedly speeding on Interstate 196, deputies decided to wait for him alongside the highway last week.
They spotted the motorcyclist heading east. He was a blur as he blew past, and the deputies briefly gave chase. They clocked him doing 154 mph on a motorcycle.
“If he’s going 150, obviously we’re not going to catch him,” Ottawa County sheriff’s Sgt. Bill DeWitt said.
Deputies arrested the 21-year-old man a short time later at his job in Grand Rapids. The man faces several charges, including speeding and fleeing and eluding authorities, Sgt. DeWitt said.
Man wins malpractice suit
BILOXI — A Mississippi man was awarded more than $1.4 million in damages for injuries suffered during unnecessary brain surgery.
Charles Connetti sued the doctors at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport and Charity Hospital in New Orleans in 2001.
Surgeon Michael Lowry and radiologist Michael Diaz were accused of causing permanent neurological damage to Mr. Connetti. Dr. Lowry performed the surgery to remove a cyst. The cyst was in the brain of another patient, who later died.
More motorcycles hitting the road
LAKE GEORGE — Even though he’s facing double hip-replacement surgery, Bill Smith is more than happy to struggle out the door each morning, limp past his brand new Chrysler PT Cruiser and grimace as he hops aboard his Honda motorcycle.
Then he’s all smiles. With the price of a gallon of gasoline so high and no hint of an impending drop, commuting to work on two wheels has never made him happier.
These days, Mr. Smith, a 58-year-old banker who works in nearby Glens Falls, has a lot more company than when he began riding, in the 1960s. The U.S. motorcycle industry, spurred by the impressive success of Harley-Davidson, has grown steadily in each of the past 11 years, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. This year, it’s booming.
“Sales are at an all-time-record high, all brands, all styles,” said John Wyckoff, a longtime industry consultant who regularly calls 60 dealers a week. He says all are running 10 to 50 percent ahead of last year in sales. “It just took off like a flying goose.”
Iraqi girl recovering from heart surgery
CINCINNATI — An Iraqi girl who had heart surgery was released from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Fatma Saad Abdul-Aziz, 9, is expected to spend at least five weeks living with a family in suburban Anderson Township. She came to the United States after her father brought her to a U.S. military base near Baghdad.
An Army physician’s assistant helped arrange her travel and treatment.
More seek help for gambling addiction
PORTLAND — Record numbers of Oregonians are enrolling in the state’s free gambling-addiction-treatment program, health officials say.
For the first time, there isn’t enough money to meet the growing demand, said Jeffrey Marotta, a psychologist for the state Department of Human Services. He said more than 1,500 gamblers, with debts averaging more than $19,000, signed up in fiscal 2003.
Girl, 4, dies in bus accident
HOUSTON — A 4-year-old girl died when a school bus ran over her moments after she met her brother, who had just gotten off the bus after school, officials said.
Fatima Romero and her father went to meet her 7-year-old brother Friday afternoon in front of their home when the accident occurred.
As Fatima’s brother and other students exited the bus, the girl slipped away from her father and darted to a side of the bus without the driver seeing her, sheriff’s Capt. Paul Cordova said.
She was run over as the bus driver pulled off, he said.
“The driver was devastated,” school district spokeswoman Susan Castro said.
The students on the bus were returned to the school, where they received counseling.
Judge dismisses tooth-in-soup suit
SALT LAKE CITY — A judge says the lawsuit just didn’t have teeth.
Third District Judge L.A. Dever dismissed a lawsuit brought by Tina Keeney, who claimed emotional distress after a can of Campbell’s chicken-noodle soup she split with her 13-month-old son contained a human tooth.
“I just don’t eat,” the 37-year-old West Jordan resident said. “It has affected the way I shop, the way I fix food, things that I eat.”
She says she has had “obsessive” eating issues since the July 9, 2002, incident.
“To the contrary, Ms. Keeney indicates that she is not sick and has not suffered diseases, ulcers or headaches as a result of the incident,” Judge Dever wrote in his Aug. 23 order granting summary judgment to Campbell Soup Co.
Mrs. Keeney said her attorneys probably will appeal, and Campbell spokesman John Faulkner declined comment last week because of that possibility.
Cougar kittens found in back yard
DUVALL — Three 6-week-old cougar kittens were found in a couple’s back yard, and authorities have no idea how they ended up there.
The kittens were found Aug. 21 behind the home of Steve Schroeder and Sheilah MacDonald in this rural town. They took the little cougars to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society in Lynnwood the next day. The kittens are being fed there by wildlife specialists working to prevent the wild animals from identifying too strongly with humans.
The kittens were weak, dehydrated and hungry when they were found, fish and wildlife Capt. Bill Hebner said. A state decision on the kittens’ future is expected in about a week.