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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Law dictates level of care for SF’s dogs

Carl Friedman, director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, shows a photograph of a doghouse where conditions were considered bad enough for the dog to be rescued immediately, at his office in San Francisco on Tuesday. 
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

San Francisco In this famously dog-friendly city, dog owners are “pet guardians,” the local shelter keeps strays in “apartments” – and, as of Tuesday, man’s best friend is entitled to certain perks.

A new “backyard dog” law says canines are entitled to a change of water once a day, palatable and nutritious food in a non-tipping bowl, and a doghouse with a top, bottom and three sides. Tying up the dog is highly discouraged.

The law, passed by the Board of Supervisors, was modeled after a similar one in Los Angeles, and is aimed at owners who keep their dogs outside, according to a spokeswoman for Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who sponsored the legislation at the request of the Commission of Animal Control and Welfare.

“What it really does is tell these owners what the minimum requirements are if they’re going to keep their dog outside,” said Carl Friedman, director of Animal Care and Control.

He dismissed complaints that the effort is frivolous. “I say, ‘Look at some of these abandoned and mistreated animals I deal with and you’ll feel differently,’ “he said.

Friedman said Animal Control officers routinely see dogs chained to a fence with no protection from rain and wind, rodents in their food bowls and tipped-over, empty water bowls. Dogs are often sick, malnourished, wet and cold.

Amish boy driving buggy dies in power line accident

Chardon, Ohio A 17-year-old Amish boy was electrocuted trying to remove a power line that got tangled in his horse-drawn buggy’s wheels, authorities said.

Samuel Barkman drove over a power line Tuesday that had sagged down within a foot of the road after separating from a pole, authorities said.

The line got stuck in the wheels and stopped the buggy. The boy got out and grabbed the 4,800-volt line in an attempt to remove it from the wheels, the Geauga County Sheriff’s office said. He died at the scene.

The Amish are a deeply religious group who shun modern conveniences such as electricity, telephones and car ownership. About 53,000 Amish live in Ohio, the most of any state.

Boy driving school bus plows into mailboxes, poles

Norton Shores, Mich. An 11-year-old boy took the wheel of a school bus after locking the driver out, and went on a spin that left behind a trail of smashed mailboxes and broken utility poles.

No one was injured in the incident Thursday, officials said.

“I think we’re all blessed in this one,” said Terry Babbitt, superintendent of Mona Shores Public Schools.

The boy, a student at Ross Park Elementary School, was being taken home from school when he got off the bus at the wrong stop, Babbitt said.

The student ran up a driveway and into a garage. After the driver and a transportation aide got out to chase the boy, he dashed back into the small bus and started driving.

With another student still on the bus, the boy drove about two miles, plowing into mailboxes and striking two utility poles before coming to a halt.

The bus driver and aide were suspended pending an investigation.

The boy faces school disciplinary action but police said they did not expect to file charges.

Café owners also cooked up drugs, police say

Russellville, Ark. What the owners of The West Main Cafe were apparently cooking up at night has landed them in jail.

Police said they believe the operators of the restaurant were making methamphetamine in the kitchen on the same equipment they were using to cook food for customers.

Agents found meth in a room next to the kitchen, coffee filters with drug residue and other ingredients associated with the manufacturing of the drug, said Larry Johnson, director of the Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force.

People eating at the restaurant at the time of a police raid on Wednesday were asked to leave, and their food sat on the tables as agents inventoried items seized from the cafe.

Johnson said the two restaurant operators were apparently cooking the drugs at night when the restaurant was closed. According to a police report, flammable chemicals also were found in the kitchen and could have ignited.

The restaurant was closed indefinitely.

Naked truth about wife explains firing of deputy

Ozark, Ark. A sheriff’s deputy was fired after his wife posed nude next to his patrol car.

A computer disc containing photos of Damon Gregory’s wife posing near the patrol vehicle surfaced at the Franklin County Sheriff’s office in early December. Gregory was fired Dec. 14, and the reason was released Thursday.

A supervisor who knew of the photographs was demoted from sergeant to road deputy.

“As soon as this came to our attention, the sheriff took action,” said Chief Deputy James Hamilton.

Gregory said he won’t appeal his firing for violating department policy and conduct regulations.

“The sheriff’s department wants to apologize to each and every citizen for any embarrassment or loss of confidence,” Hamilton said.

‘The Simple Life’ accused of slaying deer for show

Dennis Township, N.J. Paris Hilton’s reality show “The Simple Life” is disputing allegations that a deer was illegally killed so that it could be gutted by the socialite and her sidekick, Nicole Richie.

State officials said the deer was killed Tuesday night and they believe it was to be gutted for the show. Investigators are looking into accounts the deer was shot by someone firing a gun from inside a car.

Two men working for the Fox show could face fines of between $100 and $500 for permit violations and hunting out of season, said Elaine Makatura, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Todd Beck, a spokesman for Bunim-Murray Productions, which produces “The Simple Life,” said no one with the show was involved in shooting the deer.

The show, which features Hilton and Richie working in a series of menial jobs, was earlier prohibited from filming a segment at a nearby school after parents complained that Hilton’s lifestyle was not a good role model for children.