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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Feb. 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

Boy, 7, suspended over imaginary grenade

LOVELAND, Colo., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A Colorado mother said her 7-year-old son should not have been suspended from school for throwing an imaginary grenade into a box of pretend evil.

Mandie Watkins said her son, Alex, a second-grader at Mary Blair Elementary School in Loveland, was suspended from school when he threw the imaginary grenade -- which was not represented by a real, physical object -- into a box while playing a game he called "rescue the world," KDVR-TV, Denver, reported Wednesday.

"I pretended the box, there's something shaking in it, and I go 'pshhh,'" Alex said. "So nothing can get out and destroy the world."

Administrators said the game violated one of the school's "absolutes" against any weapons, real or imaginary.

"Honestly I don't think the rule is very realistic for kids this age," Watkins said. "I think that when a child is trying to save the world, I don't think he should be punished for it."


Men ordered to pay bar tab with 'fat tip'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A pair of yacht workers in Florida were ordered by a judge to pay their outstanding $260.34 restaurant tab with a "fat tip."

Heinrich Johnson, 21, and Justus Joubert, 34, spent the night in jail after their Monday arrest on charges of defrauding an innkeeper when they were unable to pay their $260.34 bill for food and drinks at the Bahia Cabana Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.

Broward Judge John "Jay" Hurley ordered the men, who are both from South Africa, to pay their tab with a "fat tip" and return to his courtroom Friday with their receipt.

The judge warned the men, who are due to leave the country on a work-related trip next week, that they might have trouble re-entering the country if they do not take care of the issue and have prosecution pending against them when they return.


Pastors protest adultery billboard

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Nearly a dozen Philadelphia pastors participated in a protest against a billboard advertising an adultery-promoting website.

The ministers gathered Tuesday at the entrance to Steen Outdoor Advertising to protest the advertisement for ArrangementFinders.com, a website aimed at facilitating extra-marital affairs, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.

"Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," the ad reads, with the word "not" crossed out.

Debra Hamilton, head of sales and marketing at Steen, said the company was also upset by the advertisement, but officials can't review content for the hundreds of advertisements put up by the firm.

However, A.J. Perkins, a marketing representative for the website, said the company had to approve the ad before it went up.

"They actually own the sign; they approve what goes up," he said. "Otherwise, it would have been a lot more risque, trust me."

Perkins said the sign has led to a 600 percent increase in the number of Philadelphia-area members since it was erected.


Couple honored for 80-year marriage

FAIRFIELD, Conn., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A Connecticut couple married for 80 years were honored as the winners of the 2013 Longest Married Couple Project, which is based on nominations.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter, the Christian organization behind the project, said John and Ann Betar of Fairfield have the longest marriage of any of the couples nominated by friends and family members.

The Betars said they married Nov. 25, 1932, to prevent Ann Betar from having to marry a different man chosen by her father.

"Some people said it would never last. We showed them," John Betar said.

"It is truly an honor and a privilege to recognize John and Ann Betar for their commitment to marriage," said Ron and Judy Pekny, the United States Ecclesial Team for WWME. "We are looking forward to personally recognizing them on Feb. 9 in their hometown of Fairfield."

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