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The skinny

The skinny: Anonymous gift cleans slate for needy families

Water Department

Anonymous gift cleans slate for needy families

A nice, charitable gift is when a kind benefactor donates a turkey to needy families for the holidays. But a woman in Iowa City, Iowa, gave a gift that will last longer than an afternoon. She went to the city's water department and worked with city officials to identify people who were in danger of losing water service over the holidays. They found 17 accounts where service was either shut off or about to be, and the unnamed woman donated $1,640 to ensure running water through the holidays. "We were just in shock," Revenue and Risk Manager Melissa Miller told the Iowa City Press-Citizen. "It was a wonderful gesture."

Moonlighting by making moonshine

The water treatment plant in Groton, Mass., produces potable drinking water for the people of the area. But there are indications that it wasn't the drink of choice for someone that worked inside the plant. Town officials say they have fired an employee after a moonshine setup was discovered inside the facility. The employee was not identified in official reports, but officials say they don't think he drank on the job. Still, the discovery led to his early retirement. Owning a still isn't illegal in Massachusetts, but making moonshine is. And while the town loves the fact that its employees have hobbies, it doesn't really want that kind of equipment on public property.

Counters fit?

If walls could talk, would they pay?

There is money to be made in remodeling. And sometimes money that someone made turns up during a remodeling project. Workers were taking the drywall down as part of Erika Pope's master bathroom renovation found sheets of uncut cash inside the walls. It was a modest find: only about a dozen $5 bills, but for a minute there was excitement. Who knows how much is in there? But then reality set in and everyone realized that the print job, much like the renovation, was also a do-it-yourself affair. There was no indication how long the bills had been in the wall, but Pope's family has been in the house for more than a decade. The "money" was forwarded to the proper authorities, according to the Detroit Free-Press.

Wildlife

Guy who makes rules, breaks rule

Bob Ream is the chairman of Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, which is responsible for enacting hunting regulations in the state. When he was driving around on Nov. 12, he spotted a deer carcass on the side of the road, a victim of a collision with a car. He deemed it salvageable, so he tagged it and took it for processing. Then he told a local game warden about his find and things got weird. Turns out, it's illegal to claim road kill in Montana, something that came as news to the chairman of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission. He got off with a warning, and was required to donate the meat to a food bank.

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

The skinny: Anonymous gift cleans slate for needy families 12/01/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 10:23pm]
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