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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Jan. 15, 2002 at 4:45 AM
ANIMAL STORY

A real fox may be roaming the hallowed halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Really.

On Monday, Supreme Court police were still looking for a wild fox that slipped into the Capitol Hill building Sunday. The fox entered through a basement driveway and was spotted by a police officer and on videotape.

A search of the building turned up nothing, so a special dog team -- two foxhounds and a border terrier -- was brought in from a Middleburg, Va., hunt club. The dogs tracked the fox to an interior elevator and lost the scent.

Supreme Court authorities are just hoping the fox doesn't run into the courtroom in the middle of argument. "At this point, we have to assume he's still in the building," one high court source told UPI. They're pretty sure he's not a member of the bar.


ANIMAL LOVERS VS. DISNEY

A Miami-based animal-rights group is slamming Disney over the new Cuba Gooding Jr. movie "Snow Dogs," which opens this weekend.

The film stars Gooding as a dentist who travels to Alaska to claim an inheritance, which includes a pack of sled dogs. He doesn't like animals but learns to love the dogs -- as he faces the choice of learning to mush and winning a race with his team or losing them to another owner.

But the Sled Dog Action Coalition contends the movie glorifies a cruel sport. "Contrary to Disney's portrayal, the Iditarod (dog sled race) does not celebrate the bond between man and dog," said the coalition in a prepared statement. "Documentation of the race's history clearly demonstrates a pattern of dog deaths, injuries and many repeated instances of mushers harming their dogs for the sake of profit."

A Disney spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times the movie does not condone the harming of animals. "The race is not called the Iditarod (in the film)," said Andrea Marozas. "It's a family comedy, not a documentary."

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


HERO TRUCKER

A lot of motorists who were on Interstate 5 in Portland, Ore., last Friday think trucker David Dean Lucas is a pretty great guy.

Lucas was driving a tanker truck carrying more than 12,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel when his rig started stalling. He thought he could make it to the nearest exit ramp. He couldn't. He got out of the cab when he smelled smoke.

Suddenly the cab burst into flames. At the risk of his own life, Lucas flagged down traffic, called for help and kept others out of harm's way. Fire companies and emergency equipment responded but pulled back when they feared the truck was about to blow. And blow it did, with local TV stations catching the fireball on tape. The Oregonian newspaper published several incredible color shots of the explosion. Luckily no one was hurt, partially because of the driver's quick action.

The expressway was closed for four hours; some of the pavement may take months to repair. Friday's incident was just the latest in a string of jam-causing big-rig accidents in the area in recent weeks.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:

TUESDAY: This is Humanitarian Day, celebrated on the anniversary of the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

And today through Jan. 19 is National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

Who won the first Super Bowl?

The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, in the first NFL-AFL World Championship Game, played on this date in 1967. The contest later became known as the Super Bowl.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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