2,000 golf balls rain from helicopter
COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A private elementary school in California rained about 2,000 golf balls from a helicopter to its athletic field to raise money for student scholarships.
Carolyn Johnson, advancement specialist for the Mariners Christian School in Costa Mesa, said students sold the balls at $10 each to raise funds to provide scholarships to lower-income families and the golf balls were then dropped from the chopper onto the field Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Johnson said an additional $50,000 was raised by a golf tournament.
"We have families whose children have been here for a number of years," she said. "If they hit a bump [financially] ... this money really allows these kids to stay here."
"I thought it was pretty awesome and really cool," third-grader Gabriella Creamer, 9, said of the golf ball drop.
Kitten rescued from Lincoln statue
CLERMONT, Fla., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Rescuers in Florida said they drilled a hold in an Abraham Lincoln statue to free a 3-week-old kitten that somehow became trapped inside the monument.
The local Humane Society and Minneola Fire Department said they drilled a hole in the Lincoln statue Sunday afternoon at the President's Hall of Fame in Clermont and a firefighter climbed inside to rescue the kitten, WKMG-TV, Orlando, reported Monday.
The Humane Society said the cat was dehydrated and hungry. The feline is being cared for by a veterinarian until it is well enough to be adopted, the rescuers said.
A curator at the President's Hall of Fame said the museum is hoping to adopt the cat and name him Abe.
Some criticize park's fake Christmas tree
BIRMINGHAM, Mich., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Some residents of a Michigan town said they are disappointed the 35-foot-tall Christmas tree in a city park will be artificial this year.
John Heiney, director of Birmingham's Principal Shopping District, which is responsible for the tree in Shain Park, said officials decided to construct the fake tree instead of using the droopy old tree the district has been decorating for years because the fake is so "realistic," the Detroit Free Press reported Monday.
"They're just so good at making them look so realistic now," Heiney said of the fake trees, made from Taiwanese PVC.
Heiney said the decision was made to nix the old tree because decorators had trouble making it look "beautiful."
However, Frank Genovese, owner of Candy Cane Christmas Farm in Oxford and a member of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, said he is not happy about the artificial tree.
"You call it a tree, but it isn't a tree. It's a plastic edifice," Genovese said. "The artificial trees are 99 percent made in China. You're having them imported. Trees provide oxygen and sanctuaries for birds and so on."
Bike theft suspect flees up tree
LAND O' LAKES, Fla., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said they arrested a suspected bike thief who spent nearly 11 hours in a tree while deputies waited below.
Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said Ray Allen Charron, 37, was uncooperative when deputies questioned him about an alleged bike theft just after 2 p.m. Saturday in Land O' Lakes and he climbed up a nearby 30-foot tree while a deputy was calling for backup, WTVT-TV, Tampa, Fla., reported Monday.
Charron, who allegedly pushed a man off a bicycle and put the bike into the back of his truck, spent nearly 11 hours atop the tree while deputies attempted to coax him down. The suspect eventually surrendered around 1 a.m.
Charron was arrested on charges of robbery, resisting arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer. He has prior arrests for robbery, felony battery, operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license, domestic battery, criminal mischief and contempt of court, the report said.