Unusual news nuggets from around the globe:
Governor accidentally introduces lieutenant as ‘sex star’
DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s flattering comments about Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia turned into a bit of a flub. The governor mistakenly referred to Garcia as a “rising sex star” this week. He made the remark while introducing him at a childhood literacy event attended by about 40 children at a Denver elementary school. Hickenlooper routinely introduces Garcia as a “rising star” and a “rock star” at public events. The Democrat immediately caught his slip, which was recorded by radio station KOA. According to the tape, Hickenlooper says, “Now I get to introduce that rising sex star — symbol. I mean, symbol — not star.” After some awkward laughter, he deadpanned that it might go down as one of his most difficult news conferences.
Belfast cops nab burglar caught in door letterbox
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Police say it wasn’t too hard to nab one would-be Belfast burglar — he managed to get his arm stuck while trying to reach through a front door letterbox. Northern Ireland police say a passing patrol spotted the 17-year-old wrestling to free himself from a house’s front door before sunrise. They say he had tried to reach the door’s inner lock via the letterbox flap but his arm became hopelessly trapped. Firefighters dismantled the door but left the letterbox clamped to the boy’s arm until they reached a police station, where it was safely removed.
Prank offer of free baby lands teen in trouble
CLINTON, Miss. — Police in Mississippi say charges are pending against a Jackson area teen for pulling a prank on a friend when he advertised a free baby on Craigslist using the friend’s cellphone number on the contact information. Police Chief Don Byington would not identify the youths involved, but told The Clarion-Ledger the posting was “a bad practical joke.” Byington says the 18-year-old student at Clinton High took a photo of an unknown baby boy and placed the ad on Craigslist to give away — not sell — the baby.
Man returns to bank after robbery try
CHAMBLEE, Ga. — Authorities say a man has been arrested after returning back to the suburban Atlanta bank he tried to rob in order to withdraw money for his cab fare home. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 39-year-old Trevor Gladston Jr. was charged with attempted armed robbery. Chamblee police say Gladston is accused of giving a bank teller a note demanding cash. Police say he left without money when the teller fled, protected by bullet-resistant glass. Authorities say he fled in a taxi but the driver flagged down a transit police officer after being concerned her passenger would leave without paying. Police say that officer didn’t know about the robbery attempt and talked Gladston into returning to the bank to withdraw money for the cab ride. He later was arrested.
Hank the cat in Virginia sets sights on US Senate
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — A new U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia wears a tie, has a campaign website and even launched an ad. One big difference? He has a thick coat of fur. Hank the cat has thrown his paw into the race, running to mock the political status quo. The cat’s owner, Anthony Roberts, says he and his partner set up the campaign as an inside joke. But the campaign’s website has crashed after a recent spate of publicity. Hank’s campaign posters show the Maine Coon gazing upward, wearing a tie. An ad says Hank, a moderate, will work to make sure America stays the greatest land of all.
Cyprus drops gambling charges against 98-year-old
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus’ attorney general has dropped gambling charges against about 40 elderly women, including a 98-year-old, whose weekly poker-and-bridge party had been raided by police. The women, mostly in their 70s, had became a local cause celebre after receiving a court summons this week. Interviews with 98-year-old Eftychia Yiasemidou appeared in several media outlets.
Chimpanzees get pregnant despite vasectomies
SHREVEPORT, La. — Female chimpanzees are going on birth control and male chimps are getting another round of vasectomies at a sanctuary in Louisiana after workers discovered two surprise pregnancies. The director of the retirement home for research chimpanzees says an employee noticed one of the chimpanzees, Flora, had given birth on Valentine’s Day. Linda Brent, the head of Chimp Haven, says that prompted pregnancy tests for seven female chimpanzees. An ultrasound confirmed that 42-year-old Ginger is pregnant and due in the summer. Brent says five males will get another, more complex vasectomy. She is not sure if at least one of them was able to grow back tubes that were originally cut out or if the initial operation was not done as well as it could have been.
Zoo offers its poop for planting
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C., is offering lucky gardeners a chance to put in orders for its famed poop produced by elephants, giraffes and zebras. Zoo spokeswoman Susan O’Cain says one cubic yard of the manure will be available for $43 a load. The manure sells out quickly, and each order is limited to two loads. Zoo animals produce about 1,500 pounds of manure every day. For those interested in small amounts, pint-size and two-gallon buckets are placed at zoo entrances throughout the year.