The short arm of Landon works to slow speeders
Landon Wilburn gets really upset when speeders tear through his Louisville neighborhood. So he got himself a speed gun and started recording speeds as people drove by. He is 11. His speed gun is made by Hot Wheels. "I got the biggest kick out of it," said resident George Ayers, 61. "People were locking up their brakes when they saw him." Landon wears a bicycle helmet and a reflective vest when he's on patrol. And he carries a flashlight with a built-in siren. He can't write tickets, though, or even pull anyone over. Residents are trying to get speed humps installed to slow drivers, who often go 55 mph through the 25 zone.
Desk duty unlikely after this shooting
Deputy James Cervi of the Webster County, Mo., Sheriff's Department took a bullet in the line of duty and will be missing from action for at least a week. There was no multidepartment manhunt afterward. The Marshfield Mail reports that Cervi was witnessing the destruction of old evidence, which means they were burning stuff, and apparently no one checked the stuff to be burned to see if there were any bullets in there. There was at least one. It fired and got Cervi while his back was turned, hitting him right in the rear.
Birds of Pray
Man of cloth needs more for protection
The Rev. Graham Minors has to wear a hard hat to work at St. Petroc's Church in Cornwall, England. It isn't because of a construction project on the grounds. It is because he suffers an assault from the heavens each time he walks across the grounds. There are two seagulls who have nested on the grounds of the church and attack passersby ever since they hatched a chick. But it's his job to be an optimist. "At least the gulls are being good parents and trying to protect their young," he told London's Telegraph. The hope is that the birds will calm down when the pair become empty nesters. "Until then I'm content to look like Bob the Builder with a dog collar on." Seagulls are a protected species in England, so they can't be moved.
Seattle public toilets
Seattle's experiment with self-cleaning public toilets has ended as the city has put the stalls on eBay. The city has sunk about $5-million into the five stalls, and put them up on the auction site for $89,000 each. The units have attracted drug users and prostitutes to such a degree, that even some of them won't use them anymore. "I'm not going to lie: I used to smoke crack in there," Veronyka Cordner said. "But I won't even go inside that thing now. It's disgusting." (That quote is from the New York Times, not the auction posting.) Anyway, if you need a few self-cleaning public toilets, slightly used, there were still no bids as of Thursday evening.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.