Watercooler Stories

May 19, 2011 at 6:30 AM
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Cloned cat nearly 10 years old

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, May 19 (UPI) -- A Texas A&M University researcher who helped create the world's first cloned cat said the feline, named CC, is now nearly 10 years old and has three kittens.

Dr. Duane Kraemer, who adopted CC -- short for Copy Cat -- along with his wife Shirley, said the feline is now living comfortably with her mate Smokey and their three kittens, Tess, Tim and Zip, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Kraemer said he constructed a two-story abode for the cats, including air conditioning, heating, plumbing, lofts, an enclosed outdoor play area and a screened front porch.

CC was one of 80 embryos created for the university's project, but she was the only one to develop into a full-term pregnancy once she was transferred to a surrogate mother. The feline was born Dec. 22, 2001.

Shirley Kraemer said visitors are often disappointed to find CC is basically a normal cat.

"I say, 'But we want it to be just like your house cat. We don't want an extra foot or something,'" she said.

Obama 'Made in USA' shirts for sale

WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's campaign team is selling T-shirts that sport a picture of the president's face and the slogan, "Made in the USA" fundraisers said.

The back of the shirts, which fundraisers said are limited-edition items, features an image of Obama's birth certificate, The Hill reported Wednesday.

The shirts are an attempt to capitalize on the claim, made popular by billionaire business mogul Donald Trump, that Obama's U.S. birth certificate was not authentic.

Obama made public his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate last month.

Man gets food assistance despite lotto win

AUBURN, Mich., May 19 (UPI) -- A lawyer for a Michigan man who receives food assistance from the state despite a $2 million lottery payout last year said no laws were broken.

John Wilson, a Midland attorney representing Leroy Fick of Auburn, said his client did not break any laws by continuing to use his Michigan Bridge Card, an electronic form of food stamps, despite receiving $850,000 after taxes from the "Make Me Rich!" Lottery game in June 2010, The Bay City (Mich.) Times reported Wednesday.

"He did call the state (Department of Human Services)," Wilson said. "Not to mention, the state knows he won. They issued the check."

The lawyer said Fick was instructed to continue using the card and a recent review confirmed his eligibility.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Human Services said they found lump sum lottery payments are not counted toward an applicant's eligibility under federal guidelines. The officials said they are working to close the loophole.

Gisgie Gendreau, public relations director for the DHS, said officials are "aggressively pursuing opportunities to ensure that the state's limited resources are available to those who are truly needy."

Ohio governor doesn't like pink licenses

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 19 (UPI) -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich said his recent comments about doing away with the state's pink driver's licenses were made "sort of tongue in cheek."

Kasich said Tuesday during a speech at the "Dayton's Legislation Day in Columbus" event he is planning to "eliminate the pink driver's license," The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday.

"I just got mine the other day, and it's going," the governor said.

Kasich said after the speech his comments were "sort of tongue in cheek."

"I just got my ... license the other day, and everybody says, 'Can you change it from pink?'" Kasich said. "And then I looked at it and I went, 'Whoa.' So I think we're thinking about whether we can have a better color.

"I have the authority apparently to do it, so we'll see. We're thinking about it," Kasich said.

The licenses, which feature a dark salmon background and light pink coloring elsewhere on the card, were phased in during former Gov. Ted Strickland's administration in 2009.

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