Watercooler Stories

Sept. 12, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Alleged drunk teen drove 118mph in 55 zone

CROWN POINT, Ind., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A Crown Point, Ind., teenager who was allegedly driving drunk was arrested after police clocked her speed at 118 mph in a 55 mph zone, police said.

The 17-year-old driver was pulled over on Interstate 65 at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. She told the officer she was speeding in an attempt to drop off her three passengers, a 16-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys, and make it home in time to leave for school, the Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune reported.

The girl said the group had been at a friend's house and had not been drinking, but the officer smelled alcohol in the car and all the occupants submitted a portable breath test.

All four teens tested positive for alcohol consumption and the driver tested above the .08 limit for driving in the state. Police said she refused to submit to a more accurate certified test.

The girl was charged with reckless driving, unsafe lane movement, speeding, driving without her license, driving while intoxicated and refusing to submit to a breath test. She was taken to the Lake County Juvenile Center.

The three passengers were ticketed for underage drinking and released into the custody of their parents.


Principal apologizes for poop bag incident

PEYTON, Colo., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A Peyton, Colo., elementary school principal has apologized to parents and teachers for a "lesson" that involved students looking inside a bag of human waste.

Peyton Elementary Principal Michael Auclaire said Tuesday the incident Monday was the result of frustration he and the school's janitorial staff felt at recurring messes in the bathroom used by fourth and fifth grade girls, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported.

He said the intention of having the children don gloves and look inside the bag of feces and urine was to help them understand that it is inappropriate to defecate on the floor or toilet seats of the bathroom. However, he conceded that having the children handle the bag "was not the best thing to do."

"So today I went in and apologized to the kids, and I wrote a letter to apologize to their parents," he said.

Some parents questioned whether Auclaire, who started at the school this year, should be fired over the incident.

"I don't know if an apology is enough," parent Kerri Peters said. "How is he any better than the child who did this?"

Peters and other parents said no notices had been sent home about the bathroom problems prior to the incident.


78-year-old man prepares for bar mitzvah

SACRAMENTO, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A 78-year-old Holocaust survivor in Sacramento is preparing for a day 65 years in the making -- his bar mitzvah ceremony.

Bernie Marks said when he was 13 -- the age Jewish when boys traditionally hold the ceremony that represents their transition to manhood -- his family lived in a Nazi-ruled ghetto in Poland where Jewish religious practices were outlawed, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Marks, who has been active in Sacramento's Congregation B'Nai Israel for 54 years, said he recently mentioned to Rabbi Mona Alfi that he never had his bar mitzvah ceremony, and the rabbi replied: "It's never too late -- why not now?"

"It was always my desire to fulfill the dream that my father and grandfathers had," Marks said. "For years, older men weren't afforded the opportunity because it wasn't traditional. But times have changed, and Rabbi Alfi is more progressive."

Alfi said Marks is undergoing the same process as other prospective bar mitzvahs candidates in preparation for his Sept. 20 ceremony.

"Age is only a state of mind," Marks said. "The bar mitzvah was something I was supposed to have in 1942. For years I had this desire -- this is my destiny."


Father, daughter ordained together

ZELIENOPLE, Pa., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A father and daughter were ordained together as Presbyterian ministers in a ceremony in western Pennsylvania.

Stephen Cramer was inspired to enter seminary partly because of his daughter's decision to enter the ministry. He originally planned to get a Master's degree that would not have prepared him for ordination, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, but he ended up entering two years before Eliza Cramer and graduating a year earlier.

"This is an answer to prayer," Cramer said after the ordination Saturday at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, their family church.

Cramer is to be pastor of Cross Roads Presbyterian Church in Pine, Pa. Eliza Cramer is assistant pastor at John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Pine.

For Cramer, 56, the road to seminary was a long one. He dropped out of college after his freshman year and then received a degree in 2000 after years of part-time study.

Eliza Cramer said she began feeling a pull to the ministry while she was in college. While they were in seminary, father and daughter critiqued each other's papers, a habit they still keep up.

"I don't preach a sermon until I have my dad read it," Eliza Cramer said.

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