Obama pardons turkey at White House
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama pardoned a turkey Wednesday at the White House in Washington after the bird was chosen from two finalists by an online vote.
Cobbler, a turkey from Rockingham County, Va., was pardoned by the president at 2 p.m. Wednesday on the White House lawn after he was chosen for the honor by Facebook voters over Gobbler, also from Rockingham County.
More than 150 reporters and photographers and about 50 White House staffers gathered on the lawn to witness Obama give a short speech to pardon the fowl, which will live out the rest of its life with Gobbler at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
The president's daughter, Sasha, gave the turkey a pet on his back feathers while her sister, Malia, declined to touch the bird.
The event continued a tradition of turkey pardoning started by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Artist plans wedding to 'Twilight' cutout
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A Tennessee woman said she will be "marrying" a cardboard cutout of "Twilight" character Edward Cullen as her master's thesis for the University of Las Vegas.
Lauren Adkins, a graduate of the Memphis College of Art, said she will marry the cutout Jan. 26 in Las Vegas as part of an art project designed to be her master's thesis, WMC-TV, Memphis, reported Wednesday.
"It's a theatrical performance in which I'll be marrying Edward Cullen," Adkins said. In the films, Cullen plays a vampire.
The student said she is pleased with the attention her project has received.
"I'm definitely not used to this level of attention but I'm really pleased with it," Adkins said. "It's been kind of a shock."
However, the student said she was dismayed when some British tabloids called her a "nutter" and left out the fact that her planned marriage was an art project.
"They are rewriting the story on their own volition to fit their perceived idea of this crazy female fanatic," Adkins said.
Police officer fired over toddler pee fine
PIEDMONT, Okla., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Officials in an Oklahoma city said they fired a police officer who wrote a $2,500 ticket to the mother of a 3-year-old who urinated in the family's front yard.
Piedmont City Manager Jim Crosby said Tuesday Officer Ken Qualls was fired Friday after a Nov. 14 hearing about the $2,500 public urination ticket he issued Nov. 4 to Ashley Warden after her 3-year-old son, Dillon, dropped his pants and urinated in his family's front yard, The (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman reported Wednesday.
Police Chief Alex Oblein said the charge was amended to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but the Canadian County district attorney's office declined to pursue a case against Warden.
Oblein said the ticket was not appropriate for the situation.
Crosby said Qualls is planning to appeal the decision before a Piedmont personnel board.
A lawyer for Qualls did not return calls for comment, The Oklahoman said.
Police: Woman blamed speed on 'the Lord'
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a woman charged with reckless driving and speeding told officers God told her to drive 100 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Port St. Lucie police said an officer attempted to pull over a silver Toyota being driven by Melissa Miller, 41, around 1 a.m. Tuesday when the vehicle was spotted traveling 100 mph on a 30 mph road with the horn sounding for 10 consecutive seconds, TCPalm.com reported Wednesday.
The vehicle sped up when the officer chased it and swerved across two lanes, nearly striking the curb, before stopping.
Investigators said Miller admitted to speeding and told the officer she "was letting the Lord spirit guide me."
The woman allegedly told the officer she was sounding the horn as a result of "the Lord telling me to do it."