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Jan. 13, 2010 at 6:00 AM   |   Comments

Cougar hunting big city life?

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- There have been several recent cougar sightings in suburban Minneapolis and police say one may have occurred within the limits of Minnesota's largest city.

City police Sgt. Jesse Garcia told the Star Tribune Norm Mosher's report that he saw a big cat crossing a road in the city's northeast neighborhood Monday morning "appears to be one of the first times that one has come into the city limits."

Mosher, 56, of Elk River said at first he thought it was a dog. But then he noticed its gait and its fat tail. The animal was gone by the time he turned around to get a closer look, but the tracks it left behind appeared more feline than canine, he said.

Garcia said anyone spotting a cougar should call police or the state Department of Natural Resources.

"We want people to be cautious," he said. "Cougars are wild animals, and they can act spontaneously."


14 rescued from Hawaii waves

OAHU, Hawaii, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Lifeguards in Hawaii said dozens of people were rescued throughout the state as giant waves bombarded the islands.

Authorities said witnesses reported waves of up to 60 feet Monday and waves measuring 25 to 35 feet were spotted near the coasts of multiple islands, the Honolulu Advertiser reported.

Lifeguards on Oahu said they rescued 14 people Monday, while 40 others received assistance. A total 1,700 warnings were issued by lifeguards on the island Tuesday.

Jonathan Hoag, a forecaster for the National Weather Service, said 50-foot waves like those reported near the islands of Oahu and Kauai are only spotted in Hawaii about once every two years.

"Kauai lifeguards (Monday) morning said it had been 40 to 50 feet on the outer reef and caused some serious beach erosion," Hoag said. "I could see waves breaking across the entire length of Waimea Bay (Oahu). That takes a 30 to 40 foot wave to do that."


Planes landing on Minneapolis lake a no-no

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Two men were ticketed this week for piloting their small airplanes onto Minneapolis's frozen Lake Calhoun to meet for lunch.

Landing on an ice-covered lake is not a problem for many of Minnesota's nearly 12,000 lakes. But Lake Calhoun, located in the heart of Minnesota's largest city, is off-limits without prior city permission.

But Hans Meyer of Burnsville and Mike Doherty of Le Seur didn't now that when they landed their single-engine planes -- an Aeronca 7AC and a Champion 7FC -- there Monday afternoon and went off for a bite to eat, they found themselves getting parking tickets along with their bill of fare, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

They also had to cool their heels until getting federal clearance for takeoff, the newspaper said. Park Police Capt. Robert Goodsell said the pilots were "cooperative" and "contrite."

They "didn't know we had an ordinance against that," Goodsell said. "They were very apologetic."

Meyer said he and Doherty had looked at federal and state regulations and the Minneapolis city Web site and found nothing warning them against the urban landing.

"It was a beautiful winter day, and we wanted to see downtown," Meyer said. "It was only until we came back from lunch that we found the police weren't on board with it."


Dad drives to police to teach girls lesson

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Police in a Chicago suburb say a father whose twin 9-year-old daughters were disrupting his driving pulled into a police station for teachable moment.

The Buffalo Grove Police Department said the man stopped at the station Jan. 5 and asked an officer to help explain the dangers of hitting someone and pulling their hair while they are driving a car, the Pioneer Press reported.

The girls told the officer they "shoved" their dad because they wanted him to stop singing.

The officer wrote in a police report that the 9-year-olds "understood" the lesson.

"The complainant was satisfied with the results," the Glenview-area newspaper said.

Topics: Jesse Garcia
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