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March 1, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Canada town has dibs on world's best water

GREENWOOD, British Columbia, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- The tiny Canadian town of Greenwood, British Columbia, has the world's best tap water, judges at an international water tasting competition determined.

Nipper Kettle, the mayor of the British Columbia hamlet of 676 people, shipped a sample of Greenwood's drinking water -- which comes from underground aquifers and is untreated -- to the 22nd annual international water tasting competition in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., where judges gave it a score of 40 out of a possible 44.

Water from the communities that entered was assessed for appearance, odor, flavor, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impressions.

"I know the quality of the water," Kettle told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "When I first moved here I used to buy bottled water and I thought, 'Why am I wasting my time buying bottled water when we have the best water?'"

Over at Greenwood's Deadwood Junction coffee shop, Debbie Ruley said she "felt very honored but wasn't surprised."

"I always felt ours was the best in the world," she said. "When I drink water in other places it's just not the same."

Besides worldwide bragging rights, the town receives a trophy.

City blocks chicken-killing art project

LAWRENCE, Mo., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Officials in Lawrence, Mo., said they will not allow a local woman to display and then butcher chickens as part of an art project.

Assistant City Attorney Chad Sublet said legal codes prohibit the harming or killing of domesticated animals within city limits and the only chickens allowed to be kept in the city are domesticated poultry for egg production, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Wednesday.

Amber Hansen, a Lawrence artist, had sought to display five live chickens in a sculpture resembling a chicken coop for one month then slaughter and serve the birds as part of an April 21 community potluck. She said the project, titled "The Story of Chickens: A Revolution," was aimed at getting people talking about food consumption.

Karen Davis, president and founder of United Poultry Concerns, applauded city officials for blocking the project.

"We feel this project and our response to it has helped Amber even though the original project has been blocked," Davis said. "We also feel that she has been introduced to a sensibility about animals that maybe she hadn't been exposed to before."

Tacos-for-harmonicas swap gets man stabbed

WHITFIELD ESTATES, Fla., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Police say a Florida man stabbed another man he had given a ride home from a bar, thinking his passenger had swapped a bag of tacos for his harmonicas.

Sarasota County sheriff's deputies said Bruce Richard Hood, 52, of Whitfield Estates agreed to give a man a ride home from a bar Saturday and the passenger bought a bag of food from Taco Bell during the trip, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Wednesday.

The passenger told deputies he accidentally grabbed the wrong bag as he got out of the vehicle, and Hood followed him and demanded the return of his harmonicas.

Hood allegedly stabbed the man in the wrist and chest.

Deputies said they found the bag of tacos still inside the vehicle.

Hood was jailed on an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge. He was ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Hank the cat seeks U.S. Senate seat in Va.

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Feb. 29 (UPI) -- A 9-year-old Virginia cat's Web site says his bid for the U.S. Senate is aimed at creating jobs and improving living conditions.

Hank the cat, whose campaign is outlined at, is a Springfield native who was born to a single mother on the streets and earned everything he has "through hard work," WRC-TV, Washington, reported Wednesday.

"What people don't realize is that we don't need some new crazy way of doing something to fix our problems," the Web site says. "After all, the problems we face now have been faced by Americans since this great land was founded. Right now we need to fall back on time-tested solutions, not social theory."

The Web site says it is seeking volunteers to "harp for Hank" with door-to-door canvassing, making phone calls, putting up signs and volunteering at polling places.

"As I've traveled throughout the commonwealth I've seen real people with real problems," the Web site quotes Hank as saying, "not guinea pigs for a politician's experiments."

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