LIFE MINUS SMOKING
not the end for omega, just a new beginning
A 12-year-old chimpanzee was heading to a sanctuary in Brazil on Monday after animal rights workers discovered him smoking cigarettes to entertain visitors at a zoo in Ansar, Lebanon. Omega, who weighs about 130 pounds, has never climbed a tree or seen other chimpanzees. But he often puffed cigarettes that zoo visitors threw in his cage. "The chimp still regularly smokes. … If someone will throw him a cigarette he'd pick it up and go for it straight away," said Jason Meier, executive director for the animal rights group Animals Lebanon. Organizers of his evacuation say it's the first time a chimp has been rescued in Lebanon, a country with virtually no animal rights protection laws.
no Jury duty
Thanks for coming; have a nice day
After reporting for jury duty in Cleveland last week, John Backderf was quickly shown the door. Asked if he'd known anyone convicted of a crime, he responded: "I had a close friend in high school who killed 17 people." The friend was cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was raised in northeast Ohio. The Plain Dealer reported Monday that the answer caused the judge to freeze and lawyers to drop their pens. Backderf is a graphic novelist about to publish My Friend Dahmer.
GOING NOWHERE SLOW
Maybe bank loot was for a car
After robbing a bank in Anchorage, Alaska, Christopher Todd Mayer went outside with the $1,731 he had collected and fled. On his bicycle. After his conviction on Friday, he gets to think about his choice of getaway transportation for the next 61/2 years in federal prison. Police say Mayer, 47, crashed his bike into a patrol car, slid across the hood and ran after the holdup on May 27. He was detained half a block away, about five minutes after the robbery.
Extra pancakes from Mr. Pancakes
Heriberto Rodriquez was so generous with the jail's pancakes that he lost his job in the kitchen. That's okay, because his generosity, which earned him the nickname Mr. Pancakes, helped free him from the lockup in Hamilton County, Ohio. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Rodriquez, 44, who was serving a sentence for stealing money from a concession stand at the Cincinnati Reds' ballpark, was supposed to give other inmates two pancakes each but sometimes gave them four. The judge who had sentenced him to 180 days in August freed him last week after 73 days — as the kitchen job gave him three days credit for each day in jail. Noting his work in the kitchen, the judge called Mr. Pancake a "generous soul" and sent him on his way.
Compiled from Times wires and other sources.