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Storms deflate ambitions of lawn chair aviators

Lawn chair aviators

Storms deflate balloon flight ambitions

Thunderstorms ended the balloon flight Saturday of an Oregon gas station owner and an Iraqi adventurer after they floated 30 miles. Kent Couch and Fareed Lafta were at an altitude of 10,000 feet when they had to abort plans to fly into Montana. They were six hours aloft in the tandem lawn chair rig tied to 350 5-foot-diameter balloons filled with helium. An American flag flew from the bottom. Just before liftoff in Bend, Ore., they had to ask children in the crowd to return four balloons to provide extra lift. The rig included 800 pounds of ballast — red Kool-Aid in 40-gallon barrels. Besides parachutes, they carried BB guns and blowguns to shoot out enough balloons to return to earth. Their rig was assembled from items bought at local hardware stores and junk from Couch's garage. "It's about as redneck as you can get," he said.

Love bear

Animal's followers are all atwitter

A bear affectionately known as "Glen Bearian" or "Meatball" proclaims his love for food in trash cans on his Twitter account. Sarah Aujero, 29, owner of @TheGlendaleBear and a Glendale resident, created the Twitter handle in April for the urban bear. Anxious California Department of Fish and Game officials must now balance the bear's unexpected popularity against public safety. A video from a TV chopper caught a homeowner stumbling across Glen Bearian and running the other way. In April the animal was captured, tranquilized, tagged and hauled 25 miles away from his favorite trash route. Fish and Game said it would take an "Olympic feat" for him to return from deep in the forest. About 10 weeks later, Glen Bearian and his orange ear tag were spotted in a back yard.

Duped by dog

Wag your tail if you want Xanax

Investigators say a Southern California doctor saw enough from an X-ray to prescribe painkillers to an undercover cop but missed the tail showing it was an image of a dog. Police and Los Angeles County deputies last week raided the Glendora urgent care clinic of 69-year-old Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga after a two-month investigation during which an undercover deputy showed Atiga a scan of her German shepherd. The Los Angeles Times reports he examined the X-ray and asked if she wanted Vicodin, oxycodone, Valium or Xanax.

Weed dating

Singles seek love in the rutabagas

Forget the pot farm. Think toil in the soil. An Idaho farm offers an unconventional form of speed dating. Earthly Delights Farm in late June advertised "Weed Dating." Courtship takes place on the farm, with singles working together in the fields and jokes about getting into beds. Farms in Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio have advertised similar dating events. Count on meeting sweaty activists, gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts.

Compiled from wire services and other sources.

Storms deflate ambitions of lawn chair aviators 07/16/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 16, 2012 10:41pm]
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