The skinny

Teachers union sues to get Viagra covered

Feeling blue

Teachers union Sues To get Viagra covered

With the district in a financial crisis and hundreds of its members facing layoffs, the Milwaukee teachers union is taking a peculiar stand: fighting to get its taxpayer-funded Viagra back. The union has asked a judge to order the School Board to again include Pfizer Inc.'s erectile dysfunction drug and similar pills in its health insurance plans. The filing is the latest in a two-year legal campaign in which the union has argued, so far unsuccessfully, that the board's policy of excluding erectile dysfunction drugs discriminates against male employees. The union says Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and others are necessary treatment for "an exclusively gender-related condition." But lawyers for the School Board say there is no discrimination because they are used primarily for recreational sex and not out of medical necessity. A consultant for the School Board has estimated that reinstating the drug benefit would cost $786,000 per year.

Modest Mermaid

Aquarium's statue gets a new top

Aquarium bosses at Sea Life in Chessington, England, have put a bikini on an underwater statue of a mermaid — because she was attracting too much attention. Staff said they noticed many young male visitors to their underwater tunnel were not giving the marine life their full attention. So in a bid to save the mermaid's modesty and get visitors concentrating on the fish again, a diver was dispatched to cover the statue's breasts with a bikini. Manager Justine Locker said: "We hadn't noticed quite how buxom Sally was until we clocked young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling her in the walkthrough ocean tunnel. Since then, none of us can avoid what is staring us straight in the face, so it's time for a coverup."

Bad business

For a garage sale, use own garage

Getting a bargain at a garage sale can sometimes feel like a steal, and recently in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, that's exactly what customers got. Police have arrested a man they say held an impromptu garage sale in June — at someone else's house. Police said the 26-year-old broke into the home, opened up the garage, and held a sale over several hours, selling approximately $40,000 worth of property as neighbors on the city street looked on. "No one confronted this person," Staff Sgt. Doug Warn said. Police said the man sold the items, mostly expensive tools and woodworking equipment, for pennies on the dollar. "There were a lot of people who got really good deals out there," Warn said.

Born again

'Dead' baby begs to differ at funeral

Authorities in Mexico say a newborn baby girl declared dead at a hospital in the town of Tulancingo revived inside her coffin during her wake. Hidalgo state Attorney General Jose Rodriguez says the parents heard a strange noise coming from the tiny casket, opened it up and found her crying. Rodriguez said the doctor who pronounced the girl dead is being investigated for possible negligence. The baby, who was born prematurely Monday, is in stable condition — at a different hospital.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.

Teachers union sues to get Viagra covered

08/04/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 6, 2010 11:35pm]

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