Odd News Roundup
September 12, 2013 02:48 PM | 309 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
West Virginia pastor resigns after lending bus to police

By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia pastor is being forced out of his church job for lending the church's bus to law officers for a meth lab bust.

Chris Wilkinson said Wednesday he plans to resign as pastor of Morning Star Community Church at Hamlin. He says some church members were unhappy with his decision to let law enforcement use the bus.

Wilkinson is also Hamlin's mayor and police chief. He says he has no regrets about lending the bus and would do it again.

Lincoln County chief sheriff's deputy J.J. Napier says the church bus allowed officers to surprise the suspects.

Authorities made three arrests in last week's bust. Napier says as officers piled out of the church bus, the reaction from the suspects was, "Oh God, they've got me."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Pennsylvania playground closed due to chicken manure spill

MEYERSDALE, Pa. (AP) — A southwestern Pennsylvania borough has indefinitely closed a playground because of lingering contamination from a chicken manure spill last month.

The (Somerset) Daily American reports the Meyersdale borough council voted Tuesday night to close the Paul E. Fuller playground.

The manure spilled on a hill above the playground Aug. 23, and water flows onto the playground when it rains, apparently carrying bacteria from the manure. Borough workers treated the area with lime, but say bacteria counts including salmonella haven't decreased.

Councilman Roger Miller says his own unscientific methods have confirmed those findings saying, "My nose tells me there's a problem out there."

Miller asked a borough worker about the results of recent bacteria tests and says he was told, "You don't want to know."

Information from: Daily American, http://www.dailyamerican.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Milwaukee's latest de-icing strategy: Cheese brine 

MILWAUKEE (AP) — It's a road Milwaukee's been down before: What can the Department of Public Works add to rock salt to help de-ice streets in the winter?

While rock salt is plentiful and inexpensive, some have raised concerns about its long-term effects on roads and the environment. So, this winter, crews will sprinkle in a little cheese brine, the liquid waste product left over in the cheesemaking process. The only downside, the city says, is its distinctive odor.

Milwaukee has experimented with alternative de-icing products before, such as beet juice in 2009, which when mixed with salt in the city's trucks turned into something resembling oatmeal, the Journal Sentinel reported. The city has also used a molasses-type product in the past, but residents complained they were tracking the sticky stuff into their homes.

Polk County, in far western Wisconsin, has used cheese brine since 2009. Officials there say salt trucks spread 30 percent less road salt when using the cheese brine mixture. They also said using the cheese byproduct saved $40,000 in 2009-2010.

The county's brine is supplied by F & A Dairy, which otherwise would have to find another way of disposing of the waste.

Milwaukee is looking for a mozzarella or provolone cheese brine supplier in the area. The closest cheese plants to Milwaukee are in Richfield, West Bend and Bristol, according to a city report.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Some Pittsburghers cited for parking in driveways 

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Some Pittsburghers are being ticketed or warned not to park in their own driveways under an obscure ordinance that requires them to pay $225 for a permit if they wish to park within 30 feet of a street.

Some residents have complained about the tickets and warnings, which are issued by the city's Bureau of Building Inspection.

The agency is caught in the middle, contend John Jennings, its acting chief.

The bureau doesn't issue tickets unless residents complain and, often, those complaints aren't prompted by people who park in driveways but by those who create cement or gravel parking pads in front of their homes.

Those pads are often closer than 30 feet to the street, dug out of people's front yards, and used to park larger commercial vehicles, which some residents consider eyesores.

"That is not the neighborhood we want," said Steven Hawkins, a member of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. The nonprofit neighborhood group opposes parking pads.

But City Councilman Corey O'Connor and Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith are hoping to change the seldom-enforced, little-known ordinance to prevent people from being ticketed for parking in their own driveways.

Eileen Freeman, 45, said she and her husband parked in their driveway for 18 years before they were warned about a possible fine. The couple can't park far enough into their driveway to be 30 feet from the street because the space between their house and the neighbor's is too narrow at that point.

Instead, the Freedmans are parking on the street, taking up space someone might otherwise want to use to patronize nearby businesses, she said.

"It's ridiculous and it doesn't make our city look very smart," Freedman said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Massachusetts school district closed due to slick floors

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts school district has canceled classes for the day because floors are too slippery.

The Amherst Regional School District announced on its website that all six of its schools are closed Thursday because of "weather-related building issues."

Amherst Regional High School Principal Mark Jackson said there had been 22 reported falls throughout the district on Wednesday because of slick floors. He had not heard of any serious injuries.

He says the schools' floors were waxed during the summer and Wednesday's high temperatures melted the wax and made the floors slick.

The superintendent made the decision to close the schools. The district serves children from Amherst, Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury.

Middle and high school students in the Mount Greylock Regional district in Williamstown were dismissed early Wednesday for similar reasons.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Ohio man cited for drunken train caper in northwestern Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — An Ohio man has been cited for public drunkenness and criminal trespass for a not-so-great effort to commandeer a freight train in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Police say 28-year-old Robert Nerone Jr., of Jefferson, Ohio, somehow hopped aboard the eastbound CSX train in Ashtabula, Ohio early Wednesday and moved car to car as the train slowed to a stop in Millcreek Township. That's in Pennsylvania, just outside of Erie, about 120 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Millcreek police Capt. Randy Faipler (FAY'-pler) tells the Erie Times-News that Nerone reached the train's main engine and banged on the windows, telling the engineer and conductor he was commandeering the train about 3:30 a.m.

Nobody was hurt and nothing was taken from the train.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Nerone, who doesn't have a listed phone.

Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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