Flustered driver backs into police car
WICHITA, Kan., June 22 (UPI) -- A driver in Kansas was so upset by getting a traffic ticket that she backed into the officer's squad car when he told her she was free to leave.
The moment of confusion cost the woman another 40 minutes with police, The Wichita Eagle reported. But she did not get another ticket.
"The officer had a heart," Police Capt. Joe Dessenberger said.
The woman, from Derby outside Wichita, was pulled over while she was in the city. Dessenberger described her as "flustered" by the incident.
He said the officer had his red warning lights on when he was hit. The squad car was only a few months old.
"Naturally, it was one of our new cars," Dessenberger said. "We never damage the old ones."
Firefighters all wet after pool allegation
KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 22 (UPI) -- A group of firefighters in Kansas City, Kan., is in hot water after allegedly filling a swimming pool with city water while on the clock.
Three firefighters have been accused of using their company's fire truck to tap into a local fire hydrant and fill a local resident's swimming pool all while on duty last weekend, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star said.
A Unified Government spokesman in Wyandotte County said the firefighters not only effectively stole city water Sunday, but did so while being paid by local taxpayers.
"Taking water without paying for it is theft, very simply," said spokesman Mike Taylor. "But a larger issue here is the fact that on-duty firefighters allegedly did something and used KCK fire equipment that was supposed to be online and on-duty, and they weren't supposed to do that. That is actually as serious or more serious."
The Star said it was unknown how long it took the trio to fill the private pool and what connection, if any, the workers had with the pool's owner.
Couple battles to name baby 4Real
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, June 22 (UPI) -- A New Zealand couple have tangled with authorities over the refusal to register "4Real" as the name of their son.
"The name has meaning for us, so why not?" the father of the baby, Patrick Wheaton, told The New Zealand Herald. "If it was George Bush's child, or the Dalai Lama's, no one would care what it was called."
Wheaton and his wife, Sheena, said they decided on the name after seeing an ultrasound scan of their baby and realizing it was "for real."
The couple said they chose the spelling "4Real" because it was the clearest and simplest way of writing it down.
A statement by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages said the name hadn't been rejected at this stage and that discussions were ongoing in an attempt to clarify the situation, the newspaper reported.
"Unusual names are considered on a case-by-case basis," the statement said.
Names that have been rejected previously by the registrar-general -- on the grounds that they are "likely to cause offense to a reasonable person" -- include "Satan" and "Adolf Hitler."
Shocking squirrels torch house twice
BLUE ISLAND, Ill., June 22 (UPI) -- A suburban Chicago man's house has been set on fire twice in eight days by now-dead squirrels that shorted out high-voltage wires.
Fire Chief Robert Copp of Blue Island, south of Chicago, said that, as far as he knew, Alan Turcott's bad luck was unprecedented.
"This is unbelievable," Copp said. "I've seen where squirrels have shorted things out or blown a fuse, but nothing like this before."
On June 9 and again on June 17, Turcott's three-story house caught fire when power lines were shorted by cavorting squirrels that landed on his house.
In both fires, investigators found charred rodents near the power pole base, the Daily Southtown reported.
Turcott told the newspaper he isn't angry about wildlife, but rather with the ComEd power utility for not making the lines more secure.
"It's like a battlefield around here," Turcott said of his badly damaged home. "I think it's a total loss. It's just a big nightmare."