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Police say man used vacuum sexually

SAGINAW, Mich., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A 29-year-old man was arrested at a car wash in Michigan for allegedly using a vacuum for his sexual pleasure, police say.

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Police Sgt. Gary Breidinger alleged the unidentified man was found at a car wash in Saginaw County's Thomas Township "receiving sexual favors from a vacuum," The Saginaw (Mich.) News reported Friday.

Breidinger said Thursday's incident easily marked the most unusual incident he has ever heard about in the area.

"I've seen some strange things, but this is the weirdest thing I ever heard," he told the News.


Washington: Students paid for hard work

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Students gave the District of Columbia's experimental plan to pay middle-schoolers for hard work mixed results when the first checks were handed out.

In the "Capital Gains" venture between the District and Harvard University, 3,300 students at 15 schools earned a total of $137,813 in checks handed out Friday, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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Capital Gains was created by Roland G. Fryer Jr., a Harvard economist searching for ways to narrow the achievement gap between minority and white students.

While students can earn up to $100 every two weeks, the average award Friday was $43, in part because of a glitch that shorted some students on attendance and behavior, the Post reported, noting the money is to be made up in the next check.

Students' reaction to their checks varied, the Post reported. "I only got $10. I should have gotten way more," said Tarae Graham, 13, who attends the Shaw school with Avontae Matthews,12, who said she was pleased with her $40.

"I participated in all my classes -- even gym," Matthews said. "I raised my hand in social studies, and I paid more attention in math."


National Express losing noisy crockery

LONDON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Britain's National Express railway line says it will no longer offer its traditional crockery to passengers because of complaints it's too noisy.

While crockery has been a cultural mainstay on British trains for 129 years, National Express has sold its traditional cups and saucers to a catering company to avoid disturbing railway customers, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

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First-class dining car customers have been complaining about the loud noise created by the traditional beverage holders when spoons rattle against their fragile frames.

National Express trains will now only carry specialized china mugs that have been tested to ensure they remain silent and sturdy during railway travel.

Anthony Smith of the watchdog group Passenger Focus told the Telegraph the crockery change will be "interesting" to observe.

"It seems extraordinary that the quality of the train and the track is such that it's causing an irritating level of vibration and it will be interesting to see how National Express customers react to this change," the chief executive of the group said.


Group: Pets can be overstressed

LONDON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A group of veterinarians in Britain say pet owners must pay close attention to their animals to ensure they don't suffer from stress during troubling times.

Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals officials said when pet owners are undergoing divorces or other emotional events, the stress endured by their animals can be overlooked, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

Sean Wensley, a senior veterinarian with the group, said during those moments of emotional upheaval, owners must pay close attention for signs of pet stress.

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"We see cats and dogs with compulsive disorders that have been caused or aggravated by the anxiety associated with owners breaking up," he said.

"Cats and dogs, like young children, are sensitive to adult human emotions, and when these become tense or unpredictable this can cause stress-related health problems in our pets."

Among the warning signs of stress in dogs are excessive licking and repeatedly chasing their own tail, the Telegraph reported.

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