UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM   |   0 comments

Former grad student sues over grade

BETHLEHEM, Pa., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A woman is suing Pennsylvania's Lehigh University, alleging a C+ grade cost her a career as a licensed therapist.

Megan Thode's lawsuit alleges she was an A student until receiving the C+ grade from professor Amanda Eckhardt, who she accuses of targeting her because Thode supports gay marriage while the professor opposes it, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, reported Thursday.

Thode said the grade cost her a degree and her intended career as a licensed therapist. She is seeking $1.3 million for what she described as lifetime earnings from a therapy career.

The school, which contends Thode received the grade because she didn't act professionally in class, said it will not settle the case. Lawyers said they are taking the case to court to defend the grading system.


Census Bureau releases candy, flower data

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau marked Valentine's Day by revealing 1,155 places in the United States manufacture chocolate and 16,182 shops specialize in flowers.

The bureau said census data from 2010 shows 1,155 businesses produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2010 while 409 companies focused on the production of non-chocolate confectionary products.

The figures said shipments of chocolate and cocoa products from U.S. companies amounted to $13.5 billion in 2011.

The average U.S. citizen consumed 24.7 pounds of candy during 2010, the bureau said.

The figures also revealed there were 16,182 florist businesses in 2010 and $365,453,189 was spent on fresh cut roses in 2011.

Meanwhile, there were 23,739 jewelry stores in the United States in 2010, the bureau said, with $2.66 billion worth of merchandise being sold at such stores during the month of February last year.


Census: Nearly 20 percent married twice

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Census bureau data released for Valentine's Day revealed nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults have been married at least twice.

The bureau said 19.5 percent of U.S. adults had been married at least twice as of 2011 while 5 percent had been married three or more times. A total 75.3 percent of U.S. adults who have ever been married only took one trip down the aisle as of 2011.

For those still searching for love, the Census Bureau said there were 393 dating services in business as of 2007, pulling in $928 million annually in profits.


Stolen water buffalo skull returned

COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The owner of a home decor store in South Carolina said a stolen carved Indonesian water buffalo skull was returned with an apology note.

Denise Cellier, manager of Bohemian Home Decor in Columbia, said the $2,800 piece was stolen Tuesday afternoon and turned up Wednesday morning at the nearby fire station with an apology note attached, The State, Columbia, reported Thursday.

"I never ever expected to get it back," Cellier said. "It was a pleasant surprise."

Police said they are still searching for a male suspect and a female suspect.

Cellier said she would rather not press charges if the thieves are found.

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