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Watercooler Stories

By United Press International

Inmate gets 60 days for lonely wild thing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 27 (UPI) -- A Florida prisoner who made no attempt to conceal his solitary sex act from a female guard has had an extra 60 days tacked onto his 10-year sentence.

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A Fort Lauderdale, Fla., jury took just 45 minutes to convict armed robber Terry Lee Alexander, 20, of indecent exposure based on the sole testimony of the guard, The Miami Herald reported.

Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Coryus Veal said she had observed Alexander busy with himself on two previous occasions, and that he made no attempt to hide it as most other inmates do.

Alexander's defense lawyer argued the jail cell is a private place, but prosecutors said because it is owned and operated by the government, is neither public nor private but is a "limited access public place," the newspaper said.

Veal has charged seven other inmates with indecent exposure based on similar circumstances, the Herald said.


Annual pumpkin-tossing competition ended

MORTON, Ill., July 27 (UPI) -- The Morton, Ill., Chamber of Commerce has canceled the village's annual Punkin Chuckin' pumpkin launching contest.

Morton Chamber Executive Director Mike Badgerow said the event was canceled because the amount of pumpkin throwing machines, the main draw of the event, hadn't increased significantly in recent years, The Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star reported.

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Badgerow told the newspaper he hoped the contest can be reorganized and resumed some day.

"If Punkin Chuckin' is ever going to get to the next level, it needs a large county fair or community carnival-like property that can accommodate things like parking, concessions, electricity and plumbing," he said.

Morton Mayor Norm Durflinger lamented the end of the annual affair.

"Punkin Chuckin' helped put Morton on the map," he told the Journal Star. "It isn't every day that a town our size is mentioned on a late-night TV show," he said, referring to appearances by past winners on "Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."


San Francisco to keep taxicab 666

SAN FRANCISCO, July 27 (UPI) -- The San Francisco taxi commission has decided to keep Medallion No. 666 in use despite the number's negative, religious connotations.

Michael Byrne, a city taxi driver, told the commission he had been plagued by bad luck and misfortune since he was assigned the number in 2006, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Byrne blamed the number's purported connection with Satan for his poor fortune and asked the commission to retire the number.

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However, other cabbies went before the commission to argue in favor of keeping the number in service.

"How dare you take Lucifer's number away," asked Thomas George-Williams, president of the cab drivers union, who was wearing red devil horns at the hearing. "This is a serious issue."

Cabbies warned the council retiring the number could set a precedent that would lead to the retirement of other numbers.

The body voted 5-1 to keep the number in service.


Doctor suspended for dozing off

BOSTON, July 27 (UPI) -- A Boston anesthesiologist who nodded off during an operation has been suspended from the practice of medicine.

Thomas Ho, who admitted inhaling a chemical during his lunch break on another occasion, must show he has been off drugs for at least 15 months before he can reapply for his license to practice, The Boston Herald reported. He must also agree to monitoring for drug and alcohol use.

Ho was the only anesthesiologist present during a surgical procedure when he fell asleep in December 2005. He blamed the lapse on medication prescribed for stress.

A few weeks later, he was on duty at Children's Hospital when he took a hit of Isoflurane, a form of ether used for anesthesia.

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Ho was placed on a voluntary leave of absence soon thereafter.

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