No watering down
Maker's Mark to restore alcohol level
A shortage of bourbon led Maker's Mark to cut the amount of alcohol in bottles of its whiskey last week. Consumer backlash led it to restore its level to 45 percent, or 90 proof, from 42 percent, or 84 proof, the Associated Press reports. In a tweet Sunday, the Kentucky company said to its followers: "You spoke. We listened." The company tinkered for months with how much water to add without altering the taste. Then came the flood of negative reaction. "We've been tremendously humbled over the last week or so," said Rob Samuels, Maker's Mark's chief operating officer and grandson of the brand's founder.
Plumber and wife in toilet caper
A plumber and his wife have been charged in the theft of toilet flush valves from area McDonald's restaurants, the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News reports. Police say Patrick Ring, 45, and Dianna Rodriguez, 41, were stealing metal when arrested Feb. 6. The San Antonio Police Department said the couple visited a half-dozen McDonald's restaurants and stole flush valves from the restrooms to sell to a recycling company for their brass.
A pillow fight with fluffed-up costs
Cleaning up an annual Valentine's Day pillow fight cost San Francisco about $5,000, NBC Bay Area reports. During Thursday's Great San Francisco Pillow Fight at Justin Herman Plaza, hundreds of people whacked each other before an overnight sweep-up by the city's Department of Public Works. It's a regular city experience, where folks leave their hearts and feathers.
Artist's dog figure leaves its mark
Richard Jackson's sculpture of a giant black Labrador outside the Orange County Museum of Art is turning heads. His hind leg cocked, Bad Dog is designed to spray gallons of yellow paint through a powerful gear pump onto the California building, like, you know, onto a hydrant. "Sometimes people feel they should protect their children from such things, then the kids go home and watch South Park," the 73-year-old artist told the Los Angeles Times. Jackson's first museum retrospective opened Sunday. The museum outsider rarely gets shows in U.S. institutions and doesn't follow the rules. His exhibit inside: "Ain't Painting a Pain."
Religion loses its bite
Ky. pastor wants his snakes back
An eastern Kentucky pastor wants Tennessee wildlife officials to return five serpents confiscated after a Knoxville traffic stop. Gregory Coots, who's known as Jamie Coots, handles snakes as part of worship services at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro. He told WYMT-TV in Hazard that he was traveling with three rattlesnakes and two copperheads and has a permit for snakes in Kentucky.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.