School kids plant with Michelle Obama
WASHINGTON, March 18 (UPI) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama had help from Washington fourth- and fifth-grade students to begin the third planting season of the White House Kitchen Garden.
Obama and the children planted vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, collards, Swiss chard and beets in the garden, USA Today reported Thursday.
"Uh oh, the president doesn't like beets," the first lady joked. "But it's OK, we're an equal-opportunity garden."
The planting coincided with the announcement from Crown Books of Michelle Obama's plan to release a tome about her garden and efforts to promote healthy eating habits. The book is due out April 2012 and Crown said the proceeds will be given to charity.
Prairie dog shell shock in Boulder
BOULDER, Colo., March 18 (UPI) -- A machine known as the prairie dog terminator in Boulder, Colo., has residents complaining about rattled windows and nerves.
A propane-pumping machine nicknamed the Rodenator has been blasting the critter tunnels on the outskirts of town since 2007, and a lot of people say they are at the end of their rope.
"That's how I woke up yesterday morning, with just these 'booms,'" said Leslie Middleton, a resident of the embattled Orchard Creek neighborhood. "It seems like it goes every 30 to 90 seconds."
The Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera said Thursday the use of the Rodenator was approved by the state, but is banned within the Boulder city limits. Orchard Creek is adjacent to an unincorporated area of Boulder County where ranchers have been engaging in total war against the destructive pests.
"What we found, legally, is that our hands are tied," said Carrie Haverfield, a staff member of the Boulder County Board of Supervisors.
Ranchers told the Daily Camera they aren't blasting the prairie dog tunnel complexes for kicks. For the record, the Rodenator pumps explosive propane into a tunnel and then ignites it, touching off a blast that can hit 80 decibels.
NYC mob bust includes ice cream truck
NEW YORK, March 18 (UPI) -- Police say the son of a New York police detective supplemented his income by peddling prescription painkillers from his ice cream truck.
Louis Scala Jr. offered frozen Good Humor tasty treats for the kids and Oxycodone for grownups from his Lickety Split truck as he merrily worked his route on Staten Island, authorities said.
"The truck was really a primary sales point," prosecutor Bridget Brennan told the New York Post.
Scala was busted along with a reputed Lucchese mob family associate in what Brennan said was a multimillion dollar prescription drug ring.
If that wasn't enough, Scala lived with his father, Detective Louis Scala Sr., of Manhattan's 10th Precinct, who apparently was unaware of his son's alleged off-the-menu offerings.
A retired police officer who declined to be identified told the Post he wasn't surprised the local Good Humor man was up to something funny.
"It did get a little frustrating when it would be out there at 9 o'clock at night," he said. "I'd think, why the hell is he selling ice cream at night?"
Peace camp evicted from Parliament Square
LONDON, March 18 (UPI) -- A man who has camped in London's Parliament Square for almost 10 years of anti-war protest faces eviction after losing a court fight.
Mayor Boris Johnson has been trying since July to get Brian Haw out of the public square. The High Court ruled in Johnson's favor Wednesday, The Daily Telegraph reported.
That means Haw is likely to be gone by April, when Prince William and Kate Middleton are to be married in nearby Westminster Abbey.
Haw, a London native and former merchant seaman, began his protest in 2001 against Iraq sanctions. His father, who served in World War II, killed himself 20 years after he was one of the first Allied soldiers to view the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Another peace camp, Democracy Village, was ruled unlawful last year. Haw argued successfully his own encampment was separate, extending his stay by a few months.
"Parliament Square Gardens is not a suitable location for prolonged camping," Judge Wyn Williams said in the High Court decision.