Bill: Make 'Atlas Shrugged' mandatory
BOISE, Idaho, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- An Idaho Republican state senator who introduced a bill requiring high school students to read "Atlas Shrugged" said he doesn't plan to push for passage.
Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, introduced the bill Tuesday that would mandate students pass a test on Ayn Rand's 1957 best-seller, frequently cited by conservative politicians such as U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as inspiration for their politics.
When Republican Sen. Bob Nonini asked Goedde why he proposed making "Atlas Shrugged" required reading, Goedde got a laugh when he said, "That book made my son a Republican."
Goedde, however, said he doesn't plan to move the bill forward -- he just wanted to express his unhappiness with the State Board of Education for recent changes in graduation requirements, and a change in the way school principals are evaluated," The (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review reported.
"It was a shot over their bow just to let them know that there's another way to adopt high school graduation requirements," Goedde said.
Rand's book describes an America in which business leaders decide to stop working to protest higher taxes and government regulation.
"When I read 'Atlas Shrugged,' and it's been probably 30 years since I read it, but it certainly gives one a sense of personal responsibility," Goedde said.
For the record, Goedde said his son is not actually "a practicing Republican. But it certainly made him a conservative."
Boy, 10, charged for toy gun on bus
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Police in Virginia said a 10-year-old boy was charged with brandishing a weapon for allegedly bringing a toy gun onto a school bus.
Alexandria police said the boy was riding the school bus home Monday from Douglas MacArthur Elementary School when he showed fellow students the toy gun, which does not fire, "without indicating it was fake," The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Police said the parents of a girl who was on the bus informed the school and officers discovered the orange-tipped toy in the boy's backpack Tuesday morning.
The boy was charged with the misdemeanor count as a juvenile, police said.
The student's name was not released due to his age.
Firefighters free ducklings from drain
CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Florida said they rescued six ducklings that fell through a grated drain cover while walking with their mother.
The Clearwater Fire Department said firefighters responded to a call Monday afternoon from a citizen who spotted a duck making distress sounds over a drain on the street, WFLA-TV, Tampa, reported Wednesday.
The firefighters freed the ducklings, which did not appear to be injured, and reunited them with the mother.
Men bring bedbugs to jail
NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Connecticut police said five officers, police holding cells and some patrol cars were decontaminated after three prisoners were found to have bedbugs.
Norwalk Police said the three prisoners taken to Norwalk Superior Court for arraignment Monday were found to have left bedbugs behind in the holding facility at Norwalk Police headquarters, leading to decontaminations of the cells as well as the officers and patrol cars the men came into contact with, The Hour, Norwalk, reported Wednesday.
Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, manager of communications at the Connecticut Judicial Branch, said bedbug-sniffing dogs were brought to the Norwalk Superior Court holding cells, but they did not detect an infestation.