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The skinny

Get me a fresh 18V battery for the drill ... stat!

Emergency

Get me a fresh 18V battery for the drill ... stat!

Nicholas Rossi, 12, fell off his bike in Maryborough, Australia, and went to the hospital with a headache. When Nicholas started drifting in and out of consciousness, Dr. Rob Carson knew to act fast. He was sure there was internal bleeding that was putting pressure on the brain. The small hospital was not equipped with the fancy medical drills required to relieve the pressure, but the maintenance team did have a power drill. So he used that. He drilled until a clot fell out, then had Nicholas airlifted. Hero? Carson shrugs. "It is not a personal achievement, it is just a part of the job."

Mowed down

Man admits shooting tractor

Randall Turner of Asheville, Ohio, really didn't like the fact that a ditch along his property was being mowed. So he got his gun and fired five shots at the tractor in an effort to kill it and protect his grass. But bad things can happen when you start shooting at metal, and one of the bullets was deflected. Turner, 53, would have been in big trouble if it had hit the driver of the tractor. But it didn't. Instead, the bullet turned around and hit Turner. Grazed him in the forehead. He's okay, except for the felonious assault charge he pleaded guilty to last week. He faces two to eight years in prison.

Phys ed

Hide the rabbits before dodgeball

There are a lot of complaints that today's students aren't getting enough exercise. But police in Pittsburgh have decided that the answer to that problem is not to start jumping rope in biology class. Actually, they would probably be okay with jumping rope in biology class, but what they are not okay with is jumping a rope that is actually a snake. Someone, they aren't naming names because they are a juvenile, did just that at Taylor Allderdice High. A vet was treating the snake, which survived the incident. The boy faces charges of theft and, mostly, cruelty to animals.

Update

Pringles vs. VAT

A panel of appeal judges in England has decided that Pringles are similar enough to potato chips to be considered such. Which sounds stupid, until you find that it makes Pringles subject to value-added taxes. That will cost the company $150 million in back taxes, and $30 million per year in the future. Lawyers for Pringles argued that since the crisps are made with 42 percent potato and 33 percent fat and flour, they aren't really made from potato and therefore lack "potatoness," a word actually used in court. Therefore, it was argued, they should not be subject to the tax. A previous judge agreed. But the appeals judges did not.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

Get me a fresh 18V battery for the drill ... stat! 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:26pm]
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