Watercooler Stories

March 2, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Free baby Craigslist post was a 'joke'

CLINTON, Miss., March 2 (UPI) -- Police in Mississippi said a Craigslist posting offering a baby boy free for the taking was "a bad practical joke" by a high school student.

Clinton Police Chief Don Byington said officers tracked the cellphone number in the posting to an 18-year-old Clinton High student and discovered a friend of the teenager had created the advertisement as "a bad practical joke," The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, reported Thursday.

Byington said the teenager's phone number was used in the posting without his permission. He said the prankster took the baby picture used on the site from a Google image search.

"We've talked to everyone involved, and we are consulting with the district attorney's office to see if there are any charges to be brought," Byington said. "We are exploring that."

Firm: Workers distracted by March Madness

CHICAGO, March 2 (UPI) -- A Chicago outplacement firm said employers should be aware of lost productivity from fans who follow the NCAA March Madness tournament.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said employers across the country can expect to lose millions of hours worth of productivity while the Division 1 men's basketball championship tournament is ongoing due to workers watching games online, checking scores and managing pool brackets.

The firm said employers will probably spend a total $175 million paying distracted workers during the first two days of March Madness.

"Statisticians, economists, academia and college basketball fans will likely scoff at that estimate, and rightfully so. It is to be taken with a grain of salt, as it is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek look at how technology continues to blur the line between our professional and personal lives. Ultimately, March Madness will not even register a blip on the nation's economic radar and even the smallest company will survive the month without any impact on their bottom line," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"It's an opportunity to remind workers that practicing some moderation in their March Madness viewing will go a long way toward keeping managers off their back. Meanwhile, it is equally important for employers to cut workers some slack, particularly in an economy that has left many workplaces understaffed and overworked," Challenger said.

Spell-checked text closes two schools

GAINESVILLE, Ga., March 2 (UPI) -- Officials shut down two schools in Gainesville, Ga., Thursday after an auto corrected text message appeared to threaten a terrorist act.

The message -- which said "gunman be at west hall today" -- was sent to the wrong number around noon, and it wasn't even intended for West Hall Middle and West Hall High schools.

The actual text was "gunna be at west hall today" but the sender's new cellphone changed the spelling of "gunna" to "gunman" and law enforcement was notified, the Gainesville Times reported.

Lockdowns were ordered at both schools as officials investigated and authorities said the person who received the message did the correct thing by reporting it.

"It was a combination of odd circumstances," a Hall County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.

"The school system always relies on law enforcement for school safety and anytime they request a lockdown we go with that request," a Hall County Schools spokesman said. "We always take every precaution concerning a potential threat or danger."

Police: Men, 71, accused of teen attack

SHALIMAR, Fla., March 2 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said they arrested two 71-year-old men accused of beating a 15-year-old with metal golf ball retrievers.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said Ronald Richardson and Donald Nieto were golfing Saturday at the Shalimar Pointe Country Club when a group of teenagers blew an air horn at them while they were teeing off at the ninth hole, the Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, reported Thursday.

The teenagers fled when the men tried to approach them, but one 15-year-old soon returned because he had left his jacket.

Deputies said Richardson and Nieto used the metal golf ball retrievers to repeatedly strike the teenager and prevent him from picking up his jacket.

The teenager, who was not seriously injured, was able to obtain video of the incident and the manager of the country club recognized the attackers.

Richardson and Nieto were arrested and charged with child abuse.

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