Iowa teen wins national texting contest
NEW YORK, N.Y., June 17 (UPI) -- An Iowa teenager with extraordinarily quick thumbs has beaten 250,000 competitors to win the top prize in a texting competition in New York.
Kate Moore, 15, of Des Moines won the $50,000 grand prize at the L.G. National Texting Championship, which had its final rounds Monday and Tuesday.
The competition tested speed, accuracy, texting know-how and acronyms.
In one round, contestants had to navigate an obstacle course while texting.
Kate went thumb-to-thumb with Dynda Morgan, 14, of Savannah, Ga., in a final three-round showdown that measured speed in texting lengthy messages without errors.
The third, and tie-breaking, round had both teens rushing to text, "Zippity Dooo Dahh Zippity Ayy…MY oh MY, what a wonderful day! Plenty of sunshine Comin' my way…Zippity Do Dah Zippity Aay! WondeRful Feeling Wonderful day!"
In a text interview, CNN asked Kate, "Do ur thumbs hurt?"
"Hahah not at all! Ud b surprised they don't get stressed out," Kate replied.
Kate's mother Claire said she appreciates always being able to contact her daughter, who typically sends 500 texts a day.
Cloned 9/11 dog produces five puppies
LOS ANGELES , June 18 (UPI) -- The dog who found the last survivor beneath rubble at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City has been cloned, it's owner says.
James Symington's search-and-rescue German shepherd Trakr" has since died, but he got five perfect clones free Wednesday from the Northern California cloning company BioArts International.
Symington, a retired Canadian police officer who now lives in Los Angeles, won a contest BioArts had to find the most "clone-worthy dog."
"Once in a lifetime, a dog comes along that not only captures the hearts of all he touches, but also plays a private role in history," Symington wrote in his winning essay, Bio Arts said.
BioArts said it cloned Trakr working with Sooam Biotech Research Foundation of South Korea under the direction of Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk, who produced the world's first dog clone in 2005.
The Los Angeles Times reported Woo-Suk's cloning work has been controversial and that he has been accused of faking evidence of human cloning.
The Times said the American Society for the Cruelty of Animals raised concerns about animal cloning.
"Reports on the health and condition of mammalian animals produced by cloning have indicated a variety of anatomical and physiological problems," the group said.
Man allegedly posed as dead mom
NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- New York authorities said a man donned a dress, wig and makeup to impersonate his dead mother and collect Social Security and rent subsidies.
Thomas Prusik-Parkin, 49, allegedly took a page from Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" to pose as his mother and collect $115,000 in benefits from the government, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
"I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath, so I am my mother," police quoted Prusik-Parkin as saying at the time of his arrest, in an ominous parallel to Hitchcock's 1960 film starring Anthony Perkins as a man who commits murders while believing himself to be his dead mother.
Authorities said the real Irene Prusik died in 2003 at age 73. They said Prusik-Parkin immediately developed his mother personae, including a fake ID and a fake "nephew" to defraud the government.
Prusik-Parkin was arraigned Wednesday on charges of grand larceny, forgery and conspiracy linked to a deed and mortgage fraud scheme.
Police: Gang of thieves dropped biz card
NEW YORK, June 17 (UPI) -- U.S. prosecutors said a group of New York thieves who allegedly carried out crimes in multiple states left a business card behind at one of their crime scenes.
Prosecutors said nine men from New York's Staten Island and Brooklyn boroughs were charged with burglarizing chain stores under the cover of night in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
The prosecutors said a business card abandoned in a vehicle at one of the burglaries identified one of the alleged thieves as Anthony Kalika, 19, and listed his skills at electrical wiring, plumbing and other trades.
The men were also accused of disguising themselves as police and committing several gunpoint robberies.
The nine men were charged with crimes including burglary, extortion, credit card theft, marijuana trafficking and