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Jan. 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM   |   Comments

Girl in trouble for talking about toy gun

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A 5-year-old girl got in trouble at a Pennsylvania elementary school for talking with a friend about a pink toy bubble gun, officials said.

The incident occurred Jan. 10 while the girl and her friends were waiting in line for a school bus, PennLive.com reported.

"I'm going to shoot you and I will shoot myself," the girl allegedly said in reference to the toy that shoots out bubbles, said Robin Ficker, a Maryland lawyer representing the girl's family.

The girl was labeled a "terrorist threat" by the school and suspended for 10 days, Ficker said.

"This little girl is the least terroristic person in Pennsylvania," he said.

School district solicitor Edward Greco said Friday the incident was being investigated, but neither he nor school officials could discuss disciplinary actions that may be taken against the girl.

Ficker and the girl's parents have requested the girl's record be expunged and she be offered an apology.


Chicken adopters grab wrong birds

DENVER, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A number of people looking to adopt chickens from a farm in Colorado accidentally ended up stealing birds from the wrong farm, officials said.

The three-day Hen Again adoption drive at Grant Family Farms was aimed at helping save the bankrupt farm and saving thousands of chickens from slaughter by finding them new homes, The Denver Post reported.

However, an advertisement for the event in an area newspaper printed the wrong address and a number of people showed up Saturday at the wrong end of the farm and began taking chickens that were not actually up for adoption.

"They saw a bunch of chickens, so they started taking them," said Teresa Redmond-Ott, who heads the Hen Again adoption program. "There were carloads of people just taking chickens."

Hen Again realized the problem and reached out to people via social media, asking them to return the birds on Sunday.

"I know people are good, and I'm pretty sure people will return them," Redmond-Ott said.

Of the hens that were actually up for adoption, about 1,000 were taken on Friday and Saturday, Redmond-Ott said. About 200 hens were still available for adoption on Sunday.


NYC settles lawsuit over subway dancing

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- New York City has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a couple arrested for dancing on a subway platform, officials said.

The settlement puts an end to the lawsuit Caroline Stern, 55, and her boyfriend, George Hess, 54, filed last year for their July 2011 arrest, for which they spent 23 hours in custody, the New York Post reported.

On the night of their arrest, Hess and Stern danced while waiting at the Columbus Circle subway station after a jazz show at Lincoln Center. Two police officers told them dancing was not allowed on subway platforms and arrested the couple after Stern could not produce a photo ID.

Stern said she and Hess were happy about the settlement, but said their arrest have been avoided.

"I'm kind of glad it's over," she said. "At the same time, with all the issues with the stopping and frisking people, I think the cops really have to be better trained in dealing with various situations. This was a huge waste of money and time for everybody involved."

New York City lawmakers have criticized the city's record of settling lawsuits, particularly ones dealing with the police department, with taxpayer money.

"At $75,000 a dance, the city's going to go bankrupt sooner than we thought," said city Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., D-Astoria. "Here, it looks like it was the taxpayers who got served."

The city paid out more that $185.6 million in fiscal year 2011, settling suits against the NYPD.

"Their policy is to settle regardless of the guilt and just throw taxpayer money out there," said Vallone.


Biden calls himself president in goof

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden drew laughs during an inauguration party in Washington after referring to himself as "president of the United States," a video shows.

A video posted online by the site Mediaite shows Biden addressing supporters Saturday at a party sponsored by the State Society of Iowa.

"You saw what America came to see. You saw early on, Iowa Democrats saw early on the incredible promise and the incredible capability, the incredible leadership of the guy I now serve with," Biden began during his address.

"I'm proud to be president of the United States, but I'm prouder to be Barack ..." he said as laughter erupted in the room, CNN reported.

"I am proud to be vice president of the United States," he corrected himself, adding "Well, there goes that."

This isn't the first time Biden has been referred to as the president of the United States. President Barack Obama made the same gaffe in August 2008 when he introduced Biden as "the next president of the United States."

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