UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Sept. 28, 2009 at 5:00 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Chia Obama headed back to shelves

CHICAGO, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The makers of a Chia pottery plant kit modeled after Barack Obama said the items, which have been in Chicago warehouses since April, are headed back to stores.

Joseph Enterprises Inc. of San Francisco said the pottery plant kits, which are modeled after the U.S. president's head and sprout green plants in the place of hair, were pulled from the shelves by Walgreens in April due to fears they could be seen as offensive, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

"Everybody was afraid that it might be considered racist," company president Joseph Pedott said.

However, Pedott said the remaining 500,000 Chia Obamas, which are being stored in four Chicago-area warehouses, are bound for Walgreens competitor CVS.

Pedott said he was inspired to bring the products back after a free sample he presented to Obama was warmly received.

"I presented it to him (at a reception after his commencement address at Notre Dame), and he said, 'Gee, I've got green hair,'" he said. "Everybody laughed. I was on Cloud Nine."

Woman, 92, executes 'flawless' skydive

SWANZEY, N.H., Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A 92-year-old New Hampshire woman said she jumped out of a plane at 13,000 feet to "just try something different for a change."

Jane Bockstruck of Swanzey said she does not know exactly what inspired her to go skydiving Sept. 19 at Jumptown in Orange, Mass., but she was determined to follow through after making the plan, The Keene (N.H.) Sentinel reported Monday.

"I must have read it someplace and all of a sudden, 'I'm going to go skydiving.' So I did," Bockstruck said. "I've done so many things in life, I figured I'd just try something different for a change."

Paul Peckham Jr., a Jumptown instructor and Bockstruck's tandem partner, said the woman's "form in free fall was absolutely flawless."

Bockstruck said she has no regrets about her skydiving experience, but she does not expect to repeat the feat anytime soon.

49-year marriage found not to be official

WILMORE, Pa., Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania couple who married nearly 49 years ago said they discovered their wedding was never made official under the law.

Frank and Betty Skrout, who married Oct. 6, 1960, at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Wilmore, said they discovered recently while hunting down documents needed for Betty Skrout's pension plan that Rev. James Feehley failed to file the "return of marriage" document at the Cambria County Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans Court, The (Johnsontown, Pa.) Tribune Democrat reported Monday.

"All these years we've been living in sin," Frank Skrout joked.

Patty Sharbaugh, the Cambria County official in charge of the records, said she would file the document and backdate it to the couple's wedding date if it can be located.

"If the priest is still around or if they can locate those church records, we'll complete them," she said.

Officials with the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese said they are searching for the documents to finally make the marriage official.

Flag found to be missing 7 stars

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A San Antonio aquatics center said it has replaced its U.S. flag after someone pointed out it had only 43 stars.

The Northside Independent School District Aquatics Center said the 43-star flag, which would have been correct during the Benjamin Harrison administration in 1890, was a mistake by San Antonio manufacturer, Allied Advertising, KSAT-TV, San Antonio, reported Monday.

"We assume that when you order a flag or purchase a flag it has the 50 stars," NISD Aquatics Director Scott Zolinski said. "We went on good faith that when you purchase the item that it was the real thing."

Allied Advertising, which replaced the flag at no cost, said the flawed flag was created by a designer who is no longer with the company.

"Just a simple mistake, that's all," Jesse Castoreno of Allied Advertising said.

"We don't have stock art, so it was created," Castoreno said. "Nobody looked at it, apparently."

Trending Stories