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March 28, 2013 at 6:00 AM   |   0 comments

Baby sea lion crashes breakfast at hotel

SAN DIEGO, March 27 (UPI) -- SeaWorld San Diego said it is caring for a sea lion pup that wandered onto the dining patio of a five-star hotel in nearby La Jolla, Calif.

The park said a member of its rescue team responded Tuesday to the Pantai Inn when the malnourished and dehydrated pup was discovered on the hotel's dining patio during breakfast service, KFMB-TV, San Diego, reported Wednesday.

The sea lion will be given a couple of days to recover at SeaWorld before receiving a full medical exam, officials said.


Three hour wait to get into aquarium

CHICAGO, March 27 (UPI) -- Chicago's Shedd Aquarium said long lines to get inside the popular lakefront tourist attraction are no surprise this time of year.

Visitors seeking to enter the aquarium Tuesday, a free admission day for the Shedd, said they waited for more than three hours to get inside as the line to enter stretched nearly three blocks, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Shedd spokesman Roger German said the short spring break season and Tuesday being the last free day until June likely led to the large crowd.

German said such long lines are "not unusual for spring break or some of the peak season holidays."

The spokesman said the spring break season is shorter than usual for local area schools due to the early Easter holiday.

"More people are trying to get in during a two-and-a-half-week window rather than a normal three-to-four-week window," he said.

German said admission was free Tuesday, but the long wait was expected to result in a boost in memberships for people seeking to skip the lines.

"We definitely see a little increase in membership sales on busy days like today," German said.

The spokesman said 5,000 people are allowed inside the aquarium at a time.


Police: Rep. Gohmert 'rude' over ticket

WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told Park Police he would not pay a $25 ticket for parking near the Lincoln Memorial because "oversight of Park Service is my job."

Gohmert got the ticket just after 11 p.m. EST March 13, when he parked his sport utility vehicle in a space reserved for National Park Service vehicles, Politico reported Wednesday. Gohmert had taken his stepsister and her husband to see the memorial after dinner, the Washington publication said.

Citing a Park Police official report, Politico said Gohmert -- a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources -- put the ticket on a nearby police vehicle, along with his business card and a note that read: "Oversight of Park Service is my job! Natural Resources Thus the Congressional Plate in window."

Members of Congress are issued placards allowing them to park their vehicles "in any available curb space in the District of Columbia" when on official business, Politico said.

The Park Police report said a Park Police vehicle arrived and Gohmert told an officer: "I was issued a ticket and I am a congressman and parked my vehicle in the NPS parking only because I have a Congress placard, see. I am going to a meeting on the Hill and I am the one who oversees the National Park Services Natural Resources."

An officer who wrote the official police report described Gohmert as "rude and irate," and another said he was "ranting."

Gohmert spokeswoman Kimberly Willingham told Politico in an email Gohmert was allowed to park where he did and a Park Police officer told him during the incident he saw the congressional placard but did not know what it meant.

"The officer accepted the ticket back and apologized," Willingham said.

The police report indicated Gohmert told the officer he "did not have time to deal with the issue," and said "I am not paying for a ticket" before driving off.


Study: Finnish money Europe's dirtiest

OXFORD, England, March 27 (UPI) -- Researchers at Britain's Oxford University said bank notes from Denmark and Sweden have more bacteria than any other European cash.

Ian Thompson, professor of engineering science at Oxford, said his team found a piece of paper money in Europe carries an average 26,000 bacteria, while Danish krone were found to have an average 40,266 bacteria and Swedish kroner had an average 39,600 bacteria, The Local.se reported Wednesday.

Thompson and his fellow researchers said they found the euro was the cleanest of the 15 currencies examined, with an average of just 11,066 bacteria.

Thompson said the 26,000 bacteria average for European banknotes is more than enough to pass on harmful infections.

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