Watercooler Stories

April 23, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Alligator invades Fla. home

OLDSMAR, Fla., April 22 (UPI) -- An Oldsmar, Fla., woman said an 8-foot alligator ripped through her screened porch and wandered into her home.

Sandra Frosti, 69, said she went to investigate a strange noise in her home and found the reptile on her kitchen floor, the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune reported Tuesday.

Frosti called 911 and authorities said the alligator was mildly injured during the ensuing scuffle with a trapper.

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said the gator tore through the screen porch, entered through an open sliding door and wandered through the house and into the kitchen before it was spotted by Frosti.

Neighbors said alligators are a common sight in the area. They said the reptiles are drawn in by retention ponds in the neighborhood.

"I've seen them sunning themselves between the pond and the street," said neighbor Emilio Riera.

Mail carrier catches falling baby

ALBANY, N.Y., April 22 (UPI) -- An Albany, N.Y., postal carrier says a baby fell right into her arms from an open window while she was delivering a package.

Lisa Harrell said she normally does not deliver to the neighborhood until about 2 p.m., but she was in the area before noon Monday to deliver an Express Mail package, the Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union reported Tuesday.

She said that no sooner had she pushed a doorbell at an apartment building than she felt something hit her shoulder and instinctively shot her arms out to catch it. She said she was shocked to find a baby that had apparently fallen from a second-story window.

"I noticed the upstairs window open halfway," she said. "The baby fell right into my arms. Everything happened so quick."

Paramedics from the Albany Fire Department said the child appeared to be unharmed.

Harrell said Brenda Morales, the child's mother, ran outside and thanked her before taking the baby and running up the street to her mother's home.

Canadian's vacation home an Arizona record

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz., April 22 (UPI) -- Canadian Stephanie Zekelman says she's surprised the $14 million she has agreed to pay for a mansion in Paradise Valley, Ariz., reportedly is a state record.

"I didn't know it was news," the Windsor, Ontario, resident told Canwest News Service. "It's just a vacation home. I have family there, and I've wanted a home there for many years, and that was it."

The 10,000-square-foot in the tony Phoenix suburb means Zekelman will be neighbors with the likes of former hockey greats Wayne Gretzky and Claude Lemieux, jazz singer George Benson and major league pitcher Randy Johnson.

Bob Hassett, a real estate agent representing the seller calls the community "the Beverly Hills of Arizona."

Priest holds mass in arcade

AVEZZANO, Italy, April 22 (UPI) -- A priest in the town of Avezzano, Italy, said he decided that if he couldn't bring young people to mass, he would bring mass to the video arcade.

Father Duilio Testa, 78, said falling church attendance among the younger generation led him to hold a service in a video arcade that was packed with youngsters, ANSA reported Tuesday.

"At the start, they were all a bit surprised," he said. "But then they stopped playing and helped to prepare an altar and volunteered to read bits of the Gospel. Everyone paid attention throughout the holy mass."

Testa credited his missionary work in Africa with giving him the creativity to bring mass to young people.

''I hit upon this idea thinking about the fact that so many young people are distancing themselves from the church and choosing to hang out together in different ways and in different places, whether they be discos and games arcades, away from parents with whom they don't feel at ease,'' he said.

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