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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   April 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM
Crossing guard has 11 college degrees

WAKEFIELD, England, April 30 (UPI) -- A British man with 11 university degrees, including a doctorate in philosophy, said he took a job as a school crossing guard to give back to the community.

Bruce Berry, a member of the high-IQ organization Mensa, said he took a job as a crossing guard five days a week near the Crofton School in Wakefield, England, The Sun reported Monday.

"I love working for degrees but wanted to do something for the community. It's nice to get kiddies to and from school safely," said Berry, who speaks five languages fluently.

Berry, who makes $325 per month at the job, said his father was a teacher at Crofton.

"I feel part of the family there," he said.


'Cash mob' helps struggling Pa. store

NEWTOWN, Pa., April 30 (UPI) -- An Internet-organized "cash mob" of about 100 people visited a 143-year-old Pennsylvania store to give a boost to the struggling business, its owner said.

About 100 residents of the Newtown area arrived Saturday at the Newtown Hardware House and each purchased multiple items to help the store remain afloat despite its recent cash-flow problems, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

The store opened in 1869, was rebuilt in 1899 after a fire and has been owned by Dave Callahan for the past 27 years,

Andy Smith, a local publicist, said he was inspired to organize the "cash mob" on Facebook after hearing about similar events in other parts of the country.

"I've seen them popping up around the country for the past year or so," Smith said. "I knew [the store's employees] were holding a campaign to increase business. So I figured it will take 10 minutes for a Facebook thing and we'll see what happens."

Callahan said the group helped him make $3,700, far more than the $2,000 he usually brings in on a Saturday.


'Dirty Cowboy' book pulled from schools

ANNVILLE, Pa., April 30 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania couple convinced a local school board to pull award-winning children's book "The Dirty Cowboy" from school libraries, officials said.

The parents went before the Annville-Cleona School Board with their objections to the book and the board voted 8-0 to remove it from district libraries, the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot reported Monday.

The book follows the story of a "dirty" cowboy who takes a bath and his dog then refuses to return his clothes to him because he doesn't recognize the cowboy's scent. The couple objected to the book's depiction of the nude cowboy, whose private parts are covered by various objects in the book's illustrations.

Superintendent Steven Houser told the Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News the parents "were asked what do you feel might be the result of viewing or reading this material, and their answer was, 'Children may come to the conclusion that looking at nudity is OK and therefore pornography is OK.'"

Amy Timberlake, author of "The Dirty Cowboy," wrote on her blog that she was disappointed by the decision.

"To be clear, this fight is not about 'The Dirty Cowboy' ... This fight is about libraries providing access to all sorts of books [the ones we like and the ones we don't], for all sorts of people. None of us want a vehement few choosing the books we get to read," she wrote.


30,000 bees found in N.J. attic

CAPE MAY, N.J., April 30 (UPI) -- A New Jersey couple who noticed an unusual number of honeybees in their garden said they found a honeycomb and 30,000 of the insects in their attic crawl space.

Victoria Clayton and Richard White, who live at a former bed and breakfast on Washington Street in Cape May, said they noticed many of the bees from their garden were entering their home through a third-floor laundry vent and they soon found there was a honeycomb in the attic crawl space with 30,000 honeybees tending to it, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

The couple enlisted the help of Gary Schempp, 57, founder of insect rescue group Busy Bees NJ, to relocate the insects.

Schempp said he and his assistant, John Reed, first poured some liquid smoke into the crawlspace, which caused the bees to believe the home was on fire and gorge themselves on honey until they were docile.

The men then pulled out about 25 pounds of honey and nectar, which they said was unsuitable for consumption due to being polluted with dust.

Schempp and Reed used a specially designed vacuum to gather up the bees and transport them back to Schempp's farm.

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