Hotel amends its policy to exclude snakes
Michael Salo, 25, was in a hotel in Mason City, Iowa, and turned his pet python loose to stretch its . . . whatever snakes stretch . . . in the hallway. He didn't watch it, because, really, what could happen with a large, unsupervised snake in a public area of a hotel? Nobody was hurt, but employees found the snake in the morning, and likely were scared witless. Salo has been fined $65 for the incident. This gave hotel manager Brandy Smith Branstad a chance to clarify the pet policy: "We like to think of ourselves as pet friendly," she told the Mason City Globe Gazette, "but when we say that, we really mean cats and dogs. The man was a guest at the hotel. The snake was not."
Policy, puppy do not mix for cabbie
Bill Smith, a taxi driver in Scotland, went to pick up a fare in the village of Sauchie. A man tried to get in the car with a pit bull terrier when Smith informed him that the cab company had cars to accommodate animals, but his was not one of them. One way to respond to that would have been to request such a vehicle and wait. But that wasn't what this un-fare did. He started hitting and kicking the car, then opened the passenger door and threw the dog in. The man removed the dog and Smith drove away. Police are investigating. "It's incredible what you put up with just trying to do your job offering a service to people," he said.
Juror knew he would be excused
Drew McAdam, 54, was called for jury duty in Livingston, Scotland. But his time doing that community duty was short after a court clerk recognized him as a television psychic. It was decided that having a mind-reader on the jury was a bad idea, since he might already know how it turned out. Though, on review, that seems like the perfect juror.
Hangman offers up his services for free
Ajmal Kasab was sentenced to death for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack that killed 166 people. But the state that convicted him no longer has a hangman. So Arjun Bhika Jadhav, 73, who was the hangman in another state for 33 years and executed 101 convicts before retiring in 1996, has offered to come out of retirement for one night only to do the job. "If there is no one to hang Kasab, I am there," he told the Times of India. "If my services are required, I am prepared for it. I will send the terrorist to the gallows. I am ready to do it for free. Don't go by my age. I still have the capacity to execute him in just 27 seconds."
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.