Watercooler Stories

Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

Jesus has company on courtroom wall

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Jesus has company on a Louisiana courthouse wall -- perhaps heading off a lawsuit over a religious image in a government facility.


Images of Confucius, Hammurabi and more than a dozen other historical figures have joined Jesus on the wall at Slidell City Court, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported.

Officials mounted the additional portraits last Friday, one week before a scheduled court hearing at which the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union was expected to ask a federal judge to remove the Jesus portrait as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Mike Johnson, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization that is representing the court, said: "They wanted to erect an artistic display to emphasize the importance of following the law to maintain a peaceful society. The expanded display conveys that same message in a way that is unmistakable."


The Slidell City Court's expanded display also includes a framed copy of the Constitution, the newspaper said. The new portraits contain many of the same figures, "historical lawgivers," depicted on the U.S. Supreme Court courtroom's north and south walls.

However, the Supreme Court's art does not include Jesus.

It's the principle, not the cell phone

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- When a man took his cell phone into an Indiana courthouse despite a cell phone ban, officials took it from him -- now he's lost a legal battle to get it back.

Allen County Superior Court Judge Fran Gull rejected Rick Snider's plea to get his phone back, and ordered sheriff's deputies to destroy it. Snider argued that the cell phone is a tool.

It wasn't as if Snider hadn't been warned.

Gull announced a county judges' decision in January to ban all electronic devices from the courthouse, the Justice Center, the juvenile center and the court annex, which houses the small claims court, The Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette said.

The ban doesn't just include cell phones -- it also includes iPods, cameras and pagers.

But Snider feels he's being treated unfairly.

When he went into the annex, Snider said he saw a sign that said, “No cell phones beyond this point,” so he left his phone near the sign.


It was confiscated anyway.

“I’m not going to let this go,” Snider told the newspaper. “I’m going to take it as high as I have to. It’s not about the cell phone … It’s more of a principle.”

Trash can helps save baby in California

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A mother in San Jose, Calif., hid her baby in a trash can this week in a desperate but successful attempt to protect the infant from a raging pit bull.

The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News said that when faced with the possibility of having the dog attack her 4-month-old son, Angela Silva chose to use a trash can as a temporary baby shelter.

The 32-year-old mother said she was attacked by the 80-pound dog, which lived next door, when she went out to the garage Tuesday, cradling her son in her arms.

Silva said the dog knocked the trash can over and began to close in on her child. She threw herself between the two, suffering numerous bites from the animal before two nearby contractors scared the dog away.

Silva told the newspaper she will never forget the experience.

"This was just so traumatic," she said. "Every time I closed my eyes, I just thought about that dog.”


Pink Tasers still pack quite a wallop

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Arizona's Taser International Inc., looking to the female potential buyer, redefines shocking colors with 50,000-volt Tasers in high-fashion hues.

The folks at Taser are flooding the market with a new Taser geared toward women that delivers a 50,000-volt jolt with a fashionable casing, The Washington Times reported.

The pink, purple, silver and blue Tasers have been selling at a rapid pace since they were introduced in July.

"It's been phenomenal," Taser International President Kathy Hanrahan told the Times.

"There are millions of people who want to be able to protect themselves but don't want to carry a firearm," said Hanrahan. "We wanted to provide an alternative without having to take a life."

The Taser C2 costs about $350 and is about the size of a cell phone.

Latest Headlines