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NYC man wants $5 million for cat bite

NEW YORK, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A New York supermarket clerk is suing a deli owner for $5 million because of a bite he allegedly received from the defendant's cat, the clerk's lawyer said.

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Attorney Steven Ehrlich, who represents supermarket clerk Jonas Cruz, alleges his client was bitten at the Cold Cut House by a cat belonging to the deli's owner and Cruz suffered an adverse reaction to the animal's saliva, the New York Post said.

"He was immediately hospitalized," Ehrlich alleges of the fallout from the 2008 incident. "His body had a reaction to the bite -- his arm blew up."

Ehrlich alleges in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit his client was unable to work for a month because of an infection caused by the cat bite.

The deli owner, who identified himself to the Post only as Frank, said his cat, Katie, would not have attacked anyone.

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"She never bothers anybody," said Frank, who added he received no complaints from customers about his cat the day of the alleged attack. "He's up for a payday."

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Atlanta bus driver suspended, led prayers

ATLANTA, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- An Atlanta bus driver was suspended for insisting his passengers join him in a prayer, his employer says.

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokesman Lyle V. Harris said LeRoy Matthews received a five-day furlough after passengers said he stopped his bus and asked all riders to hold hands and take part in a moment of prayer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

An unidentified passenger said he was trying to get off the bus Tuesday, when Matthews made his prayer request.

The impromptu prayer session on the public bus lasted at least 4 minutes and the focus of the prayer remained unclear, Harris said.

The Journal-Constitution said Matthews has been a MARTA employee for six years.

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Accused bigamist says he didn't say 'I do'

DETROIT, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A married Detroit man says he can't be accused of bigamy because he didn't say "I do" in a marriage ceremony to a second woman.

Eugene Pallisco, 44, testified Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court that his marriage to Lesley Keith, 38, was a sham and Keith knew it.

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Keith, who now lives in Las Vegas, is suing Pallisco for damages in excess of $25,000 for emotional distress, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Keith told Judge Cheryl Matthews he stood mute during the 2002 marriage ceremony and never uttered the words of consent "I do." Several witnesses, however, testified they heard Pallisco say "I do" and believed the marriage to be legitimate.

In addition, Pallisco and Keith's marriage license was never filed with the county. Robert Zaloga, the minister who married the couple, testified he didn't recall mailing copies of the marriage license to the county clerk's office, but that it was his normal practice to do so.

Pallisco said his wife, who married him about 15 years ago, was not aware of his alleged sham wedding to Keith.

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Black students told to act like slaves

WAXHAW, N.C., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Parents and teachers at a North Carolina school are protesting a history lesson that involved African-American students pretending to be slaves.

Teachers at Rea View Elementary in Waxhaw said they planned to write leaders at the Latta Plantation about a lesson during a Wednesday field trip that involved an African-American tour guide instructing black students to pretend to be slaves while their white classmates looked on, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, reported.

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Parents said the three students chosen by tour guide Ian Campbell wore bags used to gather cotton while mimicking cotton picking.

"I am very enthusiastic about getting kids to think about how people did things in 1860, 1861 -- even before that period," said Campbell, who added he has been a historian for 15 years. "I was trying to be historically correct not politically correct."

Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP, criticized the lesson.

"There is a lingering pain, a lingering bitterness, a lingering insecurity and a lingering sense of inhumanity since slavery," he said. "Because that's still there, you want to be more sensitive than politically correct or historically correct."

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