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Sept. 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM   |   Comments

Woman appeals fine for profane bird

WARWICK, R.I., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A Rhode Island woman fined $15 for the noise generated by her profanity-spouting cockatoo is appealing the ruling, her lawyer said.

Stephen Peltier, a lawyer for Lynne Taylor of Warwick, said his client is appealing the ruling by Municipal Court Judge Joel Gerstenblatt, who determined Sept. 17 that Taylor has violated an ordinance barring pet owners from allowing their animals to create habitual noise, The Providence Journal reported Wednesday.

Peltier said Taylor, who was accused of allowing her cockatoo to spout profanity, is appealing to the Superior Court on the grounds that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it provides no parameters to determine at what point a pet's noise is a violation.

"Warwick's statute merely says if it annoys somebody, it's a public nuisance," Peltier said.


Producer aghast seeing kid at R-rated film

TIGARD, Ore., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A Hollywood producer who lives in Oregon said he was outraged to see a woman bring her young son to a violent R-rated movie.

Stephen Simon, whose producing credits include the 1998 film "What Dreams May Come" and the 1989 comedy "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," said he attended a showing of the R-rated film "End of Watch" at the Bridgeport Village Regal Cinema in Tigard and was shocked to see woman viewing it with a boy who appeared to be 4 or 5 years old, KGW-TV, Portland, Ore., reported Wednesday.

"It was very violent and very profane from frame one," Simon said, "there were people getting beat up and shot."

"I thought this is child abuse," he said of the woman who brought the young boy to the movie.

Simon said he confronted the woman before leaving the theater and calling Child Protective Services.

"The woman told me on the phone I was absolutely right and this was a dreadful thing to do but then said there's nothing we can do and suggested I talk to the manager," Simon said.

Simon said he is calling on theater owners to have employees speak with parents who bring their children to R-rated films.

"In the box office, they should ask if parents are aware the movie has very violent or profane content," he said.


Women allegedly hid cocaine in hair pieces

NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. Customs officials allege two women flying into New York from South America were smuggling cocaine under their wigs and hair extensions.

The officials said the women, who arrived Sunday at John F. Kennedy International Airport from Georgetown, Guyana, appeared nervous when they approached a customs checkpoint at the airport and officers felt bulges on the women's heads when patting them down for potential contraband, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The suspects, identified as Kiana Howell and Makeeba Graham, were taken to the airport's medical facility, where their wigs and hair weaves were removed.

Officials said the women were found to be concealing form-fitting plastic bags on their scalps. Howell allegedly was carrying 35.1 ounces of cocaine under her wig and Graham is accused of hiding 36.9 ounces of the drug under her weave, officials said.

The women were arrested on drug smuggling charges.


Poll: N.J. voters support pet seat belts

TRENTON, N.J., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A poll of New Jersey voters indicates 45 percent support a bill requiring pets to be restrained during car trips, with 40 against.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll of 901 registered voters, conducted Sept. 6-12, found 45 percent of respondents support a state Assembly bill that would require pets to be in restraints or crates during car trips, with 40 percent saying they oppose the bill, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Wednesday.

The measure would carry a $20 fine for violations and could lead to animal cruelty charges bearing fines of up to $1,000.

Assemblywoman Grace Spencer, D-Essex, the bill's sponsor, said police in East Brunswick believe an unrestrained dog may have contributed to an incident leading to the deaths of two pedestrians.

"Not to trivialize text messaging, but people didn't think people having cellular phones in cars were going to be a problem until they became a problem," Spencer said. "How many people died or were in accidents prior to the legislation being written?"

A competing bill from Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Morris, would clarify failing to restrain pets in cars does not constitute animal cruelty.

"These proposals have received both attention and ridicule," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and poll analyst. "But it seems like New Jersey voters are taking this seriously."

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

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