Driving tax considered in California
SAN JOSE, Calif., July 19 (UPI) -- A California transportation agency said it is considering a tax on motorists for each mile they drive in their cars.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Francisco Bay area agency leading the discussions on the possible tax, said the plan would likely involve GPS-like devices installed in cars to keep track of the miles traveled by motorists, with low-income drivers excepted, the San Jose Mercury News reported Wednesday.
Randy Rentschler, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, said the plan for a vehicle miles traveled tax, or VMT, could take up to a decade to implement if it is embraced by the public.
"I don't want to say it's pie in the sky. A VMT charge is really an option for the future to be looked at and considered," Rentschler said.
The Association of Bay Area Governments, which includes city councilors and county supervisors, is scheduled to analyze a study of the proposal Thursday.
Library closes to clean bedbugs
TULSA, Okla., July 19 (UPI) -- Tulsa, Okla., library officials called in a secret weapon Wednesday to deal with a bedbug infestation: Oklahoma's only bedbug sniffing dog, Ms. Liberty Belle.
The Tulsa Central Library was evacuated Tuesday after a library patron reported being bitten, the Tulsa World reported. Only a few chairs at the library were believed contaminated and were to be destroyed.
"This was an isolated case contained to a 1,000-square-foot area," said John Fancher, communications coordinator for the Tulsa City-County Library in a press release. "The total area of Central Library is 135,000 square feet."
Ms. Liberty Belle, the bedbug-sniffing beagle, was summoned from Norman to investigate the extent of the contamination, after which an exterminator was to be called. Library officials said the library will not reopen until the bedbugs have been expunged.
City disapproves of bikini parade plans
MADISON LAKE, Minn., July 19 (UPI) -- A Minnesota woman said she will go ahead with plans to attempt a bikini parade world record despite the disapproval of local officials.
Cynthia Frederick said she wants to gather 451 bikini-clad women to march in the Paddle Fish Days parade July 28 in Madison Lake to break the Guinness World Record for the largest bikini parade, WCCO-TV, Minneapolis/St. Paul, reported Wednesday.
Frederick said she wants to use the event to raise money for breast cancer prevention.
"The money for registration, $20 in advance, or $25 on the day of the parade, all of that money will also be forwarded directly to the Breast Cancer Natural Prevention foundation," Frederick said.
However, City Administrator Kelly Steele said Frederick does not have the support of the City Council.
"The City Council is not supportive of the event. They feel that it is not an appropriate type activity for a family parade," Steele said. "The City Council is supportive of breast cancer awareness, and that is not why they are opposed to this."
TSA questions man over penis bulge
SAN FRANCISCO, July 19 (UPI) -- A New York man said he was questioned by security at a San Francisco airport for a bulge in his pants that turned out to be his unusually large penis.
Jonah Falcon, 41, who has been featured in multiple documentaries about unusually large penises, said he was preparing to depart San Francisco International Airport to return to New York July 9 when he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration agents who noticed an unusual bulge in his pants, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
"They wanted to know if I had something in my pockets, and when I said no, they asked if I had some sort of growth," he said.
Falcon said he was patted down and the agents "checked the area around it" but didn't frisk his genitals too harshly.
Falcon, whose penis measures 9 1/2 inches while flaccid and 13 1/2 inches when erect, said he was only delayed about 5 minutes and the incident was mostly amusing.
"It was probably harder on them than it was on me," Falcon said of the TSA agents.
|Additional Odd News Stories|
SAN DIEGO, May 19 (UPI) --Singer Tim Lambesis' lawyer said the As I Lay Dying front man was taking steroids before being arrested for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill his wife.
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., May 19 (UPI) --A Hempstead, N.Y., police officer shot and killed a 21-year-old Hofstra University student while aiming for the man holding her hostage, officials said.
MIAMI, May 19 (UPI) --The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade said he wanted to make a Miami teen's prom "a memorable moment," so he surprised her by showing up at her senior prom.