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The skinny

The skinny: California ferret owners want their pets legalized



California's ferret owners are tired of being criminals. They live in the only U.S. state besides Hawaii that bans residents from keeping ferrets as pets, forcing an untold number of Californians to keep their beloved weasels hidden from the public. But these renegade ferret lovers have no plans to abandon their long, furry friends. Instead, they're ramping up a campaign they have waged for more than 20 years to persuade lawmakers, wildlife regulators and the public that it's time to overturn a ban that's been in place for nearly 80 years. State wildlife regulators' argument is that escaped or discarded ferrets could establish feral populations and threaten native wildlife, such as nesting birds, rabbits and squirrels, and they can pose a threat to small children. Despite the ban, California is believed to have more ferrets than any other state. The pet industry estimates that about a quarter of the nation's ferret care supplies are sold in California, where ferret owners can have their pets confiscated and be prosecuted for a criminal misdemeanor.


Quake creates a rock star

A New Zealand man is auctioning a giant boulder that destroyed his house during the Christchurch earthquake on Feb. 22. Phil Johnson named the boulder Rocky. The rock, which is still embedded in the ruins of Johnson's hillside home, has more than 2,000 fans on its Facebook page, and Johnson's auction listing has gotten more than a quarter-million hits. Johnson says all proceeds from the sale will go to the relief fund to help those affected by the earthquake.


Raven darkens Anchorage's door

A raven to blame for an hourlong power outage Sunday afternoon in much of downtown Anchorage won't ever darken Alaska's largest city again. Municipal Light and Power workers found its carcass at a switch yard where its wings shorted out electrical lines. The Anchorage Daily News reported the mishap brought down three substations serving about a third of downtown.


Cops have another definition for lift

A man in eastern Kentucky charged with stealing an ambulance says he just needed a ride home. A Perry County ambulance crew was inside a hospital in Hazard for only a few minutes last week and left the keys in the ignition. WYMT-TV reported that when they came out, the vehicle was gone. City police Sgt. Randy Napier said an off-duty Kentucky State Police detective saw the ambulance being driven erratically pulled it over. Napier says Shane Hale, 26, told the detective he only needed a ride home and was going to call the ambulance service the next day and report where the vehicle was. Hale was jailed on DUI and other charges.

Compiled from Times wires and news sources.

The skinny: California ferret owners want their pets legalized 03/07/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:13pm]
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