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Watercooler Stories

Officer nixes pot barter deal

CARETON, New Zealand, May 20 (UPI) -- An inebriated New Zealander apparently didn't notice the police officer standing behind him when he tried to use marijuana to pay at a convenience store.

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Wade Churchward, 28, was busted in late March in Careton when he got to the counter, realized he had no cash, and offered the attendant his stash of 21 grams of marijuana in exchange for the bag of chips and two packs of M-and-Ms.

Unfortunately for Churchward, who reportedly had been drinking, a Kiwi cop was behind him in line at the time and made probably the easiest drug bust of his career.

The Wellington Dominion Post said Churchward pleaded guilty Monday to a drug possession charge and was scheduled to be sentenced in July.


School will continue with 5 students

CARAMAT, Ontario, May 20 (UPI) -- A school in a Canadian logging town announced it will continue to have classes in the fall -- with just five students.

The school in Caramat, Ontario, has the capacity for 60 students, but has steadily lost enrollment as the town has shrunk, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.

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The school now has six students, but one is preparing to graduate and move on to a high school in another town.

"My personal opinion, if you shut the school down, you may as well shut the door to Caramat. There'll be no potential," said Armand Giguere, chairman of the Caramat District School Area Board.

Canadian Education Ministry spokeswoman Jan Nguyen said decisions about whether to close schools are left up to local authorities.

"For us as a ministry, we just go with their recommendations. If we agree with the needs, then we continue to fund and it doesn't matter if it's just one child in the school, or two," Nguyen said.


Jerusalem bans 'Sex and the City' ads

JERUSALEM, May 20 (UPI) -- Distributors of the "Sex and the City" feature movie say they have been banned from advertising in Jerusalem because the word "sex" appears in the title.

Forum Films and its publicist, Golan Advertising, said officials in the Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Petah Tikva told the outdoor advertising company Maximedia they would not allow any advertising for the movie, which is based on the popular HBO series of the same name, Haaretz reported Tuesday.

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"The news was a great shock," a Forum Films spokesman said. "We have not asked to advertise nudity, or messages that may be offensive to the general public and the ultra-Orthodox community in particular. Nevertheless, this is the name of the movie. We feel that it is ridiculous to prohibit us from advertising the brand without naming it."


Improper citation-writing cop unsuspended

DALLAS, May 20 (UPI) -- A Dallas city government official has overturned the suspension of a police sergeant who instructed officers to invent occupations for citation recipients.

Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan said in a letter to Sgt. Walter Clifton that she had overturned his five-day suspension, which was imposed by Police Chief David Kunkle, in favor of "documented counseling" sessions, the Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

Jordan said in the May 13 letter that she was ordering the city to give Clifton back pay.

"My decision in this matter is non-appealable," she wrote.

Clifton was suspended after telling investigators that he instructed officers years ago to make up occupations on citations issued for homeless people. He said he wanted to conceal the fact that they were homeless because he believed the courts would not issue arrest warrants for unpaid citations issued to the homeless.

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