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The skinny

The skinny: RadioShack owner will continue gun giveaways

montana mind-set

free gun with your satellite TV (or pizza)

A Montana RadioShack owner said he will continue to give away guns with satellite television subscriptions despite the corporation's insistence he halt the promotion. Since October, independent dealer Steve Strand has been offering a gift card for a $125 pistol or $115 shotgun and a free background check to customers who sign up for two-year Dish Network packages. Those not interested can opt for a $50 pizza certificate. RadioShack officials called Strand on Tuesday and ordered him to pull the promotion, he told the Ravalli Republic. Strand refused: "RadioShack has taken the position that we're tarnishing their brand image with the promotion. I don't think this is a negative impact. I don't think they understand the way of life in Montana." In an attempt to appease the company, Strand took down the sign in his window that read: "Protect yourself with Dish Network. Sign up now, get free gun." In its place is a sign advertising a website Strand set up detailing the promotion, GetaGun.net.

lost and found

Bronx Zoo cobra didn't slither far

A poisonous, 24-inch Egyptian cobra that disappeared from a Bronx Zoo exhibit has been found — coiled in a dark corner of the zoo's reptile house. The reptile house was closed Friday after the 3-ounce snake disappeared. According to the snake's Twitter persona, whose updates attracted more than 200,000 followers by Thursday afternoon, its last adventure was attending the Yankees' opening game: "If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It's probably nothing."

toilet tiff

Tennessee man flush with victory

A Tennessee man cited by the city over an old toilet he converted into a flowerpot and put in his front yard has won his day in court. Oak Ridge City Judge Robert McNees on Thursday dismissed the city's citation against William Terry that contended the toilet was rubbish. "That is so awesome," Terry said. "I think it's absolutely wonderful for flowerpots everywhere."

relations abroad

Royal fiancee has famous U.S. kin

Britain's possible future queen has family ties to America's most famous Founding Father and the author of its national anthem. The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has released a book on Kate Middleton's ancestry that shows she's an eighth cousin seven times removed of George Washington. She's also a cousin of Francis Scott Key, who wrote The Star-Spangled Banner. Among other notable relations detailed in The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton: explorer Meriwether Lewis, World War II Gen. George Patton and comedian Ellen DeGeneres all are distant cousins.

Compiled from Times wires.

The skinny: RadioShack owner will continue gun giveaways 03/31/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:13pm]
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