Canadian claims world squash record
SIMCOE, Ontario, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A Canadian man has copped the record for the world's largest squash with one weighing in at 1,486.6 pounds, Guinness World Records has confirmed.
The Toronto Star reported Sunday the huge squash grown by Joel Jarvis of St. Thomas, Ontario, surpassed the previous record of 1,234 pounds.
Jarvis, who broke the record Oct. 1 at the Port Elgin Pumpkinfest, said his achievement was "a long time coming."
"I'm 38 and I have been doing this since I was 11," he said. "Sometimes the wind blows the right way and the sun shines right."
Jarvis, who also grew a prize-winning, 1,426-pound pumpkin this year, estimates he will take in up to $10,000 in various prizes for his horticulture efforts.
Florida man repeats as top oyster shucker
LEONARDTOWN, Md., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida man, Michael Martin, Sunday won the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Contest for the second year in a row.
In the competition held in St. Mary's County, Md., Martin, of Panama City Beach, and other competitors were judged on how quickly and completely they shucked 24 oysters, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Martin now has the opportunity to represent the United States in the international oyster-shucking competition in Ireland.
Four-time national champion Deborah Pratt of Jamaica, Va., fell short in her quest for a fifth title.
Pratt began shucking oysters in 1975 to support her children, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported.
"I just went to work to make sure my kids had," she said. "I didn't want them not to have."
Canadian completes round-the-world walk
MONTREAL, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Fifty-six-year-old Canadian Jean Beliveau Sunday completed the round-the-world walk he started 11 years ago to draw attention to the cause of peace.
"The walk is finished," Beliveau said after crossing the Lachapelle bridge into Montreal where he was met by his wife Luce, a squadron of supporters and the media. "The adventure will be another decade with my family to promote the cause of peace for children."
Beliveau's journey officially ended when he reached Place Jacques Cartier.
Since beginning his walk in 2000 after closing his business amid what he called a mid-life crisis, Beliveau wore out 54 pairs of shoes as he traversed about 47,000 miles through more than 60 nations across six continents.
Two-headed king snake found in Tenn.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- A two-headed king snake found in a yard in Clarksville, Tenn., has been given a new home at Tennessee Tech University, a wildlife official said.
Paul Clark discovered the 8-inch snake Monday afternoon, The (Clarksville) Leaf-Chronicle reported.
"My initial reaction was to step away," he said. "I just thought it was weird."
Carver summoned a friend, Dale Grandstaff, to examine the snake. Grandstaff, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources officer, decided to donate the snake to his alma mater.
Grandstaff said the snake was only a few days old and destined for a short life if it remained on its own. Two-headed snakes are rare and typically do not survive long because the heads are unable to coordinate on feeding and moving around.
"With millions of snakes and all the eggs that are laid, there are several babies a year probably born like this," he said. "But for them to make it in the wild, it's basically impossible."
The snake has a better chance at the university in Cookeville, Grandstaff said.