Watercooler Stories

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  May 1, 2003 at 4:00 AM
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New statistics show while the Phoenix metropolitan area has a very high minority population, few work in the upper levels of county government.

The Arizona Republic says minority populations in Maricopa County "continue to explode" but those groups are nearly invisible if you look at the top ranks of city and county government.

The publication says of the 36 top jobs in the county -- those earning more than $90,000 a year -- only two are members of minority groups.

One of those two is Ben Arrendondo, deputy superintendent of schools, whose pay, while in the top ranks, is 34th among the top 36.


Forecasters along the Gulf Coast say conditions are right for a repeat of the years when bad hurricanes came through the area.

La Niña conditions in the Atlantic and Pacific could create the right water temperature and wind conditions that could spawn several large storms in the coming months.

The Houston Chronicle says both the El Niño and the La Niña can have a big effect on hemispheric weather conditions and weather experts are spending more and more time and resources sampling ocean water temperatures.

One expert recently noted all the major hurricanes that have hit the Texas coast have done so in years when El Niño conditions did not exist -- the La Niña situation.


An Indianapolis K-9 officer faces a one-day suspension for fatally shooting a Canadian goose he says was attacking his police dog.

Officer Mitch Waters says an "aggressive" Canadian goose flew over a fence and began chomping on his dog's nose. The incident happened at an Indianapolis car lot where the officer says he had stopped to allow his dog to stretch its legs. The officer tells the Indianapolis Star he was not aware of a nest of geese nearby.

One of the geese, apparently misunderstanding the dog's intentions, flew down and attacked the animal. Waters shot at the goose and the fowl subsequently died of the injury.

There are an estimated 100,000 of the geese in Indiana this time of year.


Men have dropped the ball in the fruit and vegetable game and to get them back on the scoreboard the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is urging them to "shoot for 9" -- nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

A National Cancer Institute survey finds only 3 percent of men know they should eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Taking on an issue that has touched him personally, former NBA and NCAA star Clyde "the Glide" Drexler has joined HHS and NCI to help spread the word.

"More than anything, I want to be around a long time for my family," said Drexler, 40, who has lost numerous family members to cancer. "Too many men in this country drop dead from heart attacks, strokes, or some form of cancer. I don't have to be one of them."

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