Watercooler Stories

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Big red fire truck doesn't work

SUMNER, Wash., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A brand new, bright red, $468,000 fire truck in Sumner, Wash., doesn't work and officials haven't decided what to do with it.


"Should we keep it? Frankly, that's not a very attractive option," Mayor Dave Enslow told the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune.

The pumper, which fire officials say has electrical and engine problems, is in the shop for the third time since it arrived in the city of 8,500 -- with much fanfare -- in June.

City officials didn't see the writing on the wall: One of the times the truck broke down was when it was bring driven to Sumner on its maiden trip from the manufacturer in Charleston, S.C.

It broke down two other times within 60 miles southwest of Sumner.

It has not gone out on a fire call yet.


An outside evaluator will examine the city's contract with the fire truck's manufacturer, American LaFrance, which has built fire and rescue apparatus since 1832.

American LaFrance had no comment, the newspaper said.

College releases 'Mindset List'

BELOIT, Wis., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Wisconsin's Beloit College has revealed its sixth annual "Beloit College Mindset List," describing the way the incoming class of freshman views the world.

The college announced that the list, developed by the college and distributed to faculty and staff, is aimed at helping teachers understand the world the incoming class -- most of whom were born in 1985 -- grew up in.

Topping the list is the assertion that, in the minds of the incoming class, "Ricky Nelson, Richard Burton, Samantha Smith, Laura Ashley, Orson Welles, Karen Ann Quinlan, Benigno Aquino, and the U.S. Football League have always been dead."

Other observations included on the list include the idea that "Paul Newman has always made salad dressing"; "Gas has always been unleaded"; and "Don Imus has always been offending someone in his national audience."

However, the list also notes that "students entering college this fall do have a few items on their own lists that will separate them from many of their mentors -- including the fact that "they can still sing the rap chorus to the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' and the theme song from 'Duck Tales,'" and "they know who the 'heroes in a half shell' are."


'Criminalized' for telling off girl

BLACKLEY, England, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A Manchester, England, mother accuses police of treating her like a "hardened criminal" for telling off a foul-mouthed schoolgirl.

Joanne Wilson, 38, says she wants her name cleared.

She was arrested on suspicion of assault after the schoolgirl told police Wilson attacked her, London's Sun newspaper reports. The charges were dropped, but police will not remove Wilson's fingerprints and DNA test results, claiming it would do that only if it proves a false report was made.

"I am a law-abiding taxpayer and yet I was treated like a hardened criminal," says Wilson, who has two children. "My DNA and fingerprints will be on the police database for life."

Greater Manchester police defended their handling of the case.

Even though they dropped the charges, "the initial statement regarding the allegation of assault was not retracted," a police spokeswoman said. "This means there are no grounds for police to substantiate an investigation into a false report being made."

Faith Nights a hit at Minor League games

NASHVILLE, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Fans used to just pray for their team to win, but a Nashville event planner is turning minor league baseball games into Christian festivals.


Third Coast founder Brent High said the events, which feature performances from Christian musical groups, testimonials from Christian players and giveaways of bobble-head figures depicting famous biblical characters, have been staged in 44 markets thus far, and began touring the West Coast for the first time this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

A Faith Night event Saturday at the home of the Stockton, Calif., Ports sold out with 7,200 fans attending, and a Tuesday night event at a Modesto Nuts game had fans driving from hours away to attend.

High, who started the company three years ago, said the company has been looking to branch out from Minor League baseball into other sporting events.

"We are talking to every league you can think of," he said. "We feel like we are on the front lines of a niche that hasn't been tapped."

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