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WHEN THE HAY IS ON FIRE, LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS

FIRE SAFETY

There is a corollary to the old "stop, drop and roll" adage. If the hay-filled wagon you are pulling behind your truck catches fire, definitely stop. Even if you can't drop or roll it. A man driving through Hart Township, Mich., was pulling a load of hay when it caught fire, apparently due to heat from his brakes. He tried to disconnect the trailer, but as the fire grew, he couldn't. So he started driving, looking for a house with a hose. "One guy said he saw 30-foot flames coming out of the hay as he was going down the road." Hart fire Chief Ken Klotz told the Ludington Daily News. As he drove, hay fell off and started small fires along the route. But none got too big in the green grass. The truck was eventually extinguished without injuries.

GUARD DOG

Zoey may be tiny, but don't cross her

Don't mess with 1-year-old Booker West, because he has a guardian chihuahua named Zoey. Booker was playing in his grandparents' backyard in Masonville, Colo., when a rattlesnake slithered up to him. As the snake struck, Zoey jumped in the way and took the bites. Things looked bad for the 5-pound hero at first, but she has since recovered. "These little bitty dogs, they just don't really get credit," Booker's grandma, Denise Long, told the Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald.

CAMPUS SCARE

Only rabbits need fear this gunman

North Dakota State University is very proud of its agriculture program, and had to do something about the rabbits that were running around campus ruining its crops and plants. So one of the landscapers took to driving around campus with a pellet gun aimed out the window, in case he saw one. That lasted until the first 911 call. "We know now that in today's culture, that for an individual who doesn't know what's going on, the sight of somebody driving around the campus with a weapon can be alarming," said school spokesman Dave Wahlberg. They use traps now.

WORD FOR WORD

Iran knows about the spying squirrels

The following is an excerpt from an editorial in the Iranian newspaper Resalat, as translated by the BBC and reported by the Washington Post. The original headline: "Spying squirrels":

"A few weeks ago, 14 squirrels equipped with espionage systems of foreign intelligence services were captured by (Iranian) intelligence forces along the country's borders. These trained squirrels were released on the borders of the country for intelligence and espionage purposes. According to Iranian intelligence officials, alert police officials caught these squirrels before they could carry out any task. Fixing GPS devices, bugging instruments and advanced cameras in the bodies of trained animals like squirrels, mice, hamsters, etc., are among modern methods of collecting intelligence."

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

THIS JUST IN

"Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani outlined his goals as president with his own version of the Contract with America. Or, as Rudy calls it, My Pre-nup with America."

Jennifer Lange, anchor of Fox News Channel's 1/2-Hour Newshour

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