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March 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Mating whales give sightseers a show

DANA POINT, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- A California tour boat operator said his passengers got to see two playful gray whales put on a show that included "obvious mating behaviors."

Tom Southern, a captain on Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari, said he has been leading tours for nearly 13 years but Sunday was the first time he encountered mating whales along the coast of Dana Point and Laguna Beach, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Monday.

"They were rolling on their sides, spinning in circles, and then they'd go down for a few minutes -- obvious mating behaviors," Southern said.

He said the whales would approach boats and go under them, sometimes even moving a vessel.

"We saw some mating, then they went right over to the sailboat and parked themselves under it, pushing it in the water," Southern said. "Not harsh, but very gently playing and rolling on their sides. They kept doing it for more than an hour."

Southern said several of his tour groups were treated to a show from the playful pair throughout the day.


Name drawn from hat to pick new mayor

HELPER, Utah, March 18 (UPI) -- The Helper, Utah, City Council was deadlocked on a vote to pick a new mayor, so Ed Chavez Jr. got the job after his name was pulled from a hat.

The council had voted 2-to-2 Friday in an effort to choose between Chavez and Councilman Kirk Mascaro, KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, reported Monday.

The tie was broken and Chavez was sworn in after his name was drawn from a hat by City Attorney Gene Strate.

Chavez had retired two weeks ago from the Carbon County Sheriff's Office after 25 years and previously served on the Wellington City Council for 15 years.

"Kirk [Mascaro] and I grew up together," Chavez said, "and I'm pretty sure I don't think there's going to be any animosity between us. We'll work together just fine."

Chavez will serve until January 2014, which would have marked the end of former Mayor Dean Armstrong's term in office. Armstrong resigned Feb. 23, two days after his arrest for a suspected third driving-under-the-influence offense.


Cologne smell leads to drug arrest

SALISBURY, N.C., March 18 (UPI) -- Police in North Carolina said the odor of freshly-sprayed cologne at a traffic checkpoint led to the discovery marijuana and pills.

The Salisbury Police Department said Officer J.R. Cable became suspicious when he detected "the strong odor of freshly sprayed cologne" coming from a vehicle at a traffic checkpoint and searched the vehicle, WBTV, Charlotte, reported Monday.

Cable discovered marijuana and pills in the vehicle, police said.

Dustin Stirewalt, 20, was jailed on three counts of drug possession. He was released after posting $5,000 bond.


Police: Man shot off own finger

BRADFORD, Pa., March 18 (UPI) -- Police in Pennsylvania said a man is facing weapons charges after shooting his own finger while attempting to "get rid of his wedding ring."

Bradford police said officers responded at 8:56 p.m. March 2 to a home on a report of a man intentionally shooting off his own finger and they arrived to find Alfredo Fortunato Malespini III, 31, a lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Institution-McKean, bleeding from a severe wound to his left hand, The Bradford Era reported Monday.

Malespini, who police said was highly intoxicated, told officers he was "trying to get rid of his wedding ring" and had decided to "shoot it off."

Police said the man's attempt had been unsuccessful, as the finger was nearly severed but the ring was still attached.

Malespini was arrested and charged with recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and firing a weapon inside the city limits of Bradford.

Topics: Marijuana
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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