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The skinny

The skinny: Austria on lookout for frog-leg loving Italians

crossing guards

Austria is on the lookout for frog-leg lovers

Austrian Wildlife authorities are hopping mad that efforts to save their frog population are being hampered by Italian poachers. Officials in the southern province of Carinthia said Tuesday that poachers are collecting frogs from the roadside buckets they have been guided into to save them from busy highways, then smuggling them home to Italian dinner tables. Frogs attempting to cross some highways are channeled by a series of fences into the buckets. Once a day, volunteers carry the buckets to the other side of the road and set the frogs free. But "the Italians strike before the frog pickers come," says Carinthian environmental official Bernhard Gutleb. Those caught with their hand in the bucket face fines up to $5,149. Nearly a third of the world's 6,485 frog species are on the brink of extinction, according to Save the Frogs — a nonprofit organization dedicated to amphibian conservation.

jail bait

Sheriff takes the fright out of crime

The Arizona sheriff known for dressing inmates in pink underwear and feeding them green baloney is inviting people to choose the most popular booking photos posted on his website, mcso.org. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio allows online users to browse then vote on their favorites to be highlighted on a "Mugshot of the Day" section. The top picks so far aren't unexpected: the most disheveled, unusual looking among those booked into the downtown Phoenix jail. Arpaio says he hopes increased web traffic will highlight the work of his employees. He also says more crimes may be uncovered if the public can view the photos.

music lesson

Stray goat shows sound judgment

A goat walks into a music store. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but that's what happened at the Piano Gallery in the southeastern Idaho town of Ammon. KIFI-TV reports the goat followed a woman and her child into the store Monday — looking for some sheet music, maybe? The staff corralled it in a restroom until animal control arrived. Someone is ready to adopt the goat, dubbed Beethoven for its apparent love of music, if it isn't claimed.

alter egos

Royal wedding spoof is real draw

A video that captures British royal lookalikes boogying down the aisle has gone viral, netting several million hits on YouTube. Models playing Prince Charles and wife Camilla bump bottoms while Prince Harry gyrates his hips in the satire created to advertise a British cell phone company. Even the archbishop of Canterbury raises the roof as he bounces to the altar. The video is inspired by "JK Wedding Entrance Dance," which captured an elaborate routine orchestrated by bride Jill Peterson, groom Kevin Heinz and a bevy of bridesmaids and groomsmen before their 2009 wedding.

Compiled from Times wires.

The skinny: Austria on lookout for frog-leg loving Italians 04/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:13pm]
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