School drops 'gay' from a classic song
Principal Garry Martin of Le Page Primary School in Melbourne, Australia, asked 7- and 8-year-old students to stop using the word "gay" when singing a classic children's song but says no offense was intended — he was simply trying to squash a flurry of giggles. Martin substituted "Fun your life must be" for the original "Gay your life must be" when singing Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, the song about a native Australian bird that is a favorite around campfires from New Zealand to Canada. "It wasn't misplaced political correctness, it wasn't homophobia," Martin insists. A gay and lesbian advocacy group, the Also Foundation, called the lyrical swap an overreaction. Martin says the kids can return to the original version. But, he adds, "we might not sing it that often now."
Status update may be about an essay
A Detroit-area woman in trouble over comments she made on Facebook has a longer writing task ahead: a five-page essay about the constitutional right to a fair trial. A judge ordered the essay Thursday for Hadley Jons three weeks after she wrote on Facebook that it was "gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're GUILTY." The post was discovered Aug. 11 — before the defense had even started its case — and Jons, 20, was removed from the jury the next day. "You violated your oath. … You had decided she (the defendant) was already guilty without hearing the other side," Macomb County Circuit Judge Diane Druzinski said. The essay is due Oct. 1, along with a $250 fine.
Birth en route
'Speedy' or 'Rush' would work for kid
For a second time, an Ohio woman has given birth to a baby who couldn't wait and arrived on the drive to the hospital. Christina Schuler's 8-pound, 11-ounce son was born Tuesday in the front seat of the family's pickup truck after her husband pulled over less than a mile from their hospital in southwest Ohio's Clermont County. Schuler says her labor was even shorter than it was in December 2006, when she gave birth to her son, Ethan, in a car. The Schulers also have another child. That one was not born in a vehicle.
Ashes to stashes
Grandma is more than a memory
The powdery substance that Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers found in a reusable plastic storage bag during a traffic stop didn't turn out to be drugs after all. When troopers pulled over two men in a car Wednesday, they found small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and the bag. Troopers contacted the car's owner — the girlfriend of one of the men — and asked her. She told them she and her grandmother had been very close, so she keeps the grandmother's cremated ashes in the car.
Compiled from Times wires and other sources.