Watercooler Stories

Buried hiker calls 911 from beneath snow

BELLEVUE, Wash., April 13 (UPI) -- A hiker rescued following a Washington state avalanche said he was able to phone for help from beneath the snow.


Ian Rogers said he spent about four hours trapped beneath snow Saturday after an avalanche near Snoqualmie Pass on Granite Mountain and he was able to help rescuers determine his location by calling 911, KIRO-TV, Seattle, reported.

"I was extremely lucky," Rogers told CBS' "The Early Show" in an interview from his room at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Wash. "My legs were completely cramped, but I had a little ... space. It was about a foot wide, a hole going up to the surface, so I had a little light and air coming through."

King County sheriff's deputies said they used the location of the tower that picked up Rogers' call and information the hiker gave 911 dispatchers to find his location.


"It's a good outcome," Chris Bedker of the King County Sheriff's Office said. "We always like it when we get to rescue someone -- especially a difficult and dangerous rescue -- for the outcome to be positive like this."

Police: Dad hid pot in young son's pack

UNIONTOWN, Pa., April 13 (UPI) -- Police in Pennsylvania said a father was arrested for allegedly hiding several ounces of marijuana in the backpack his son took to kindergarten.

Pennsylvania State Police said Ronald Washington, 33, of Uniontown, called Menallen School at about 8:15 a.m. Thursday and asked if his son had arrived because he needed to retrieve something from the boy's "Sesame Street" Elmo backpack, The (Uniontown, Pa.) Herald Standard reported.

The affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Timothy Selden said school officials searched the bag and discovered two plastic bags containing 3.7 ounces of what they believed to be marijuana.

Washington was arrested when he arrived at the school and charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver marijuana and disorderly conduct. The report said Washington told troopers he had done "something dumb."

Washington was jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Officials sent letters to adults' parents


MANCHESTER, England, April 13 (UPI) -- Two adult British skateboarders stopped by police for practicing their hobby illegally said officials sent warning letters addressed to their parents.

Tony Da Silva, 29, a semi-professional skateboarder in Manchester, England, said he was spoken to in February by a police community support officer who took down his name, address and birth date, but the follow-up letter sent by the local council was addressed to his parents and referred to "young people," the Manchester Evening News reported.

"The parent is usually best placed to decide the most appropriate course of action. An early, positive response ensures that most young people spoken to about their behavior do not come to further attention," the letter read.

"I laughed when I read it, but I was also quite annoyed. Someone clearly thinks that everyone who skateboards is a kid, so just sent the letter without thinking. I gave them my date of birth so they knew how old I was," Da Silva said.

Eddie Belvedere, 24, said he received a similar letter as a result of a separate incident.

"I gave my name, address and details. It's obvious I'm over 20," Belvedere said. "There are signs up saying we shouldn't skate and if someone asks me to move on I always do."


Town: No more 'obese' children

LIVERPOOL, England, April 13 (UPI) -- Officials in Liverpool, England, said children will henceforth be referred to as having an "unhealthy weight" to spare hurt feelings from the word "obese."

Council officials in Liverpool, where one in 20 11-year-olds are classified as clinically obese, said they are adopting the new language on the recommendation of the Liverpool Schools' Parliament, which is made up of local students, The Sun reported.

The officials said "unhealthy weight" is being considered as a replacement for "obese" in all Liverpool Council literature.

"The idea is that obesity has a negative connotation behind it," said Jeff Dunn, coordinator of the Schools' Parliament. "They felt unhealthy weight is more positive and a better way to promote it. The term 'obese' would turn people off, particularly young people."

Tam Fry of charity Child Growth Foundation criticized the move, saying it merely obscures the problem of child obesity.

"If you are obese you are obese," she said. "I can see where the children are coming from and the word carries a stigmatization but unfortunately sometimes schoolchildren have to be taught the realities of life. If you start using the phrase 'unhealthy weight' you are just fudging the problem."


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