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July 20, 2011 at 6:30 AM
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Horse falls into owners' basement

SUN COUNTY MEADOWS, Colo., July 20 (UPI) -- Authorities in Colorado said it took about 4 hours to free a horse that fell into a window well and into a basement, but the animal was not seriously hurt.

Cory Stark, director of emergency management for Elbert County, and Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap said the horse plunged into the large window well, which may have been obscured by tall weeds, and into the basement of its owners' Sun Country Meadows home at about 9 a.m. Monday, The Denver Post reported Tuesday.

Rescuers said the 1,100-pound horse, named Summer, was brought out of the basement about 4 hours later after they excavated dirt from the window well to bring the sedated animal back out the way she came.

Stark said Summer was checked out by veterinarians and found to be free of serious injuries.

"It was a little scraped up and excited from the incident," Stark said.

Heap said the incident was unique.

"I've never seen a horse in the basement," Heap said.

Man who posed as lawyer gets 2 years

SKOKIE, Ill., July 20 (UPI) -- A suburban Chicago man who handled more than 60 legal cases while posing as a lawyer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Tahir Malik, 47, of Skokie, pleaded guilty to forgery and impersonation of a lawyer in Cook County Judge Dennis Porter's courtroom and was sentenced Monday to two years imprisonment, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Authorities said Malik, who worked on more than 60 cases including low-level criminal cases, was arrested in December after suspicious staffers at the Skokie courthouse discovered he was not licensed to practice law.

"No one suspected anything for years because he did everything right -- except obtain a law degree," Sheriff Tom Dart said in December.

Malik previously served prison time for a burglary conviction and has previous arrests for theft, shoplifting and criminal trespass.

Farm lets families 'test drive' rabbits

EVERETT, Wash., July 20 (UPI) -- A Washington state petting farm says it allows families to take rabbits for a three-night "test drive" to see what it's like to care for a pet.

Sherry Russell, manager of the Animal Farm at Forest Park in Everett, said $25 gets a family a three-night "test drive" with a bunny, complete with a cage, shavings, extra hay, food and a water bottle, The (Everett) Daily Herald reported Tuesday.

Russell said the program helps families decide whether they are ready to care for a pet.

"Some families decide it's not for them," Russell said. "Everybody seems to enjoy the experience."

Russell said families aren't the only ones to take advantage of the program, day-care centers have also been renting the rabbits.

"The novelty of cleaning up the poop has worn off by the fourth day for most kids," she said.

Man sues over 'GOPALIN' license plate

CARSON CITY, Nev., July 20 (UPI) -- A lawsuit filed against the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is seeking compensation for the rejection of a man's requested "GOPALIN" license plate.

James Linlor of Douglas County said the DMV denied his application for the "GOPALIN" plate, as well as subsequent requests for plates reading "PALIN," "PALIN12" and "PALIN16" due to rules banning plates "expressing superiority of political affiliation," the Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday.

Linlor said an administrative law judge told the DMV it could not deny his requests for the latter three plates simply on the grounds of being "political," but the department continued to deny his requests for a "GOPALIN" plate.

The lawsuit states Linlor filed to obtain a "GO OBAMA" plate and was approved.

"The actions of the DMV in selectively granting some 'political' license plate requests while denying others are unconstitutional on grounds of content and viewpoint discrimination, and should be enjoined as a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution," the lawsuit states.

Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada DMV, said Monday Linlor was issued a "GOPALIN" plate Dec. 30, 2010. He said the department is reviewing its policies.

The lawsuit is seeking attorney's fees and injunctive relief from the DMV.

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