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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   July 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM
Bistro staffed by recovering addicts

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., July 20 (UPI) -- A Florida psychiatrist said the restaurant he opened in May is staffed by former drug addicts and psychiatric patients.

Dr. Robert Moran, 49, of West Palm Beach, said he opened Moran's Italian Burger Bistro as a component of his nearby Wellington Retreat treatment clinic in May and 14 of the 36 employees are patients at the clinic, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.

"It occurred to me that we were missing something in our program, and that was the occupational piece," Moran said. "The environment out there wasn't cooperating, so we created our own environment."

General Manager Troy Sheller, who suffered from addiction in his youth, said the restaurant gives extra chances to workers who backslide.

"Most restaurants, a lot of people would have been fired," Sheller said. "But I give them second and third chances."

Sheller said he starts job interviews by asking, "What was your drug of choice, and how long have you been clean?"

"I've seen grown men cry; the wall goes down immediately," Sheller said. "In most interviews they have to hide that stuff."


City cans unpopular sidewalk plans

BOCA RATON, Fla., July 20 (UPI) -- A Florida city said it has canceled plans to install sidewalks in a neighborhood due to survey returns indicating residents are against the plan.

Mike Woika, assistant Boca Raton city manager, said sidewalks will not be installed in the Chatham Hills neighborhood as part of the city's Safe Routes to School program after the survey, which had a 33 percent return rate, found 31 percent of those who responded did not want the sidewalks while only 24 percent were in favor of the project, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.

"It could be revisited at some point in the future," Woika said.

The project would use used $80,000 from the city's general funds for the sidewalks. Officials said less than $2,000 has already been spent planning the project.

Woika said there are several benefits to installing sidewalks.

"The city believes that sidewalks, bikeways and mixed use pathways -- for biking, jogging, and walking -- provide a number of benefits for the city and its residents, including opportunities for alternate transportation, as well as recreational and health benefits," Woika said. "Sidewalks provide additional safety to pedestrians -- specifically children, but also adults."


Police: Mom left girl in car while in bar

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla., July 20 (UPI) -- A Florida woman is charged with child neglect for allegedly leaving a young girl in her pickup truck while she went to drink at a bar, authorities said.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said a deputy responded July 14 to a bar in Fort Walton Beach on a report of a child, approximately 7 or 8 years old, sitting alone in a pickup truck while her mother was inside the bar, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported Friday.

The deputy arrived to find a woman, Sarah Elizabeth Morrison, in the driver's seat of the vehicle and the child in the back seat.

The arrest report said Morrison had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath.

"After several versions of why she was there and how long she had been there, Morrison stated, post Miranda that she had been inside the bar for approximately four hours and that she would check on (the girl) every 15 minutes or so," the deputy wrote.

The deputy said Morrison was also in possession of four oxycodone pills she claimed as her own and admitted she didn't have a prescription to take.

Morrison was charged with felony counts of child neglect and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. She is due back in court Aug. 21.


Dodgers honor oldest former player

NEW YORK, July 20 (UPI) -- Mike Sandlock, the oldest ex-Dodger, will come to New York Saturday for a meet and greet with the team's coaches, players and officials, the team said.

The Dodgers said Sandlock, 96, who not only is the oldest living former player for the Dodgers but is baseball's oldest living former catcher, will be joined by his two sons, their wives and his two grandchildren Saturday at Citi Field to be welcomed by Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, coaches and players, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Sandlock, who is also the oldest living former player for the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, played for the Dodgers for the entire 1945 season and for part of the 1946 season.

Sandlock, a resident of Connecticut, is the third-oldest living former major league baseball player. He is expected to be presented with gifts from the Dodgers during Saturday's on-the-field event.

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