Watercooler Stories

March 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Mom shames teen for stealing skateboard

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif., March 15 (UPI) -- A California teenager caught stealing a skateboard at school says he was forced by his mother to stand at a busy corner with a sign saying "I am a thief."

The 17-year-old, identified only as Justin, was caught stealing a skateboard at La Canada High School, the La Canada Valley Sun reported. The school called his mother but did not involve police.

The teen said his mother decided his punishment was to stand for 15 minutes Tuesday afternoon at an intersection near the La Canada Town Center shopping Plaza in La Canada Flintridge with a sign that said "My name is Justin. I am a thief."

"It's my 15 minutes of shame," he said.

LA Little League rejects strip club money

LOS ANGELES, March 15 (UPI) -- Officials with a cash-strapped Los Angeles Little League said they turned down a $1,200 donation when they found out it came from a strip club.

Lennox Little League President Roberto Aguirre said the league is desperate for money to save its season, but officials decided to return a $1,200 donation when they learned it came from the Jet Strip Gentleman's Club, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported Wednesday.

"This morning we found out exactly where the check came from," Aguirre said Monday. "It was a shocker to us.

"We do not want the money from the strip club. I think, for us, we do need the money, but we will go some other avenue," Aguirre said.

Jet Strip's manager, who asked not to be named, said the club frequently gives back to the community in ways including an annual festival to purchase school supplies for children.

The manager told KABC-TV, Los Angeles, the money will be donated to another charitable cause.

Booth bobbleheads pulled in Gettysburg

GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK, Pa., March 15 (UPI) -- The Gettysburg Museum & Visitor Center in Pennsylvania has pulled bobble-head dolls of John Wilkes Booth from its bookstore following complaints from visitors.

The bobbleheads of President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, which depict Booth holding a gun, went on sale at the museum's bookstore about two weeks ago and were pulled from the shelves during the weekend after complaints from visitors and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, The (Hanover) Evening Sun reported Wednesday.

"One could say wiser bobbleheads prevailed," Holzer said. "It's inappropriate to celebrate a criminal who took the life of a great American whose memory and words are celebrated at Gettysburg."

Rick Lynn, who sculpted the Booth bobblehead, said it was not intended to make light of Lincoln's assassination.

"I use these bobbleheads as teaching tools," he said. "It's hard to get young people interested in history. But if you make an interactive figure, it becomes tactile and more accessible for them."

"History is filled with unsavory characters and I'm not trying to glorify them," Lynn said. "This guy's not a hero. He's a monster. However, it's nothing to be swept under the rug."

Pastor objects to toy gun Easter baskets

CHICAGO, March 15 (UPI) -- A Chicago pastor said he is expressing his "concern and outrage" at retailer Kmart's decision to sell Easter baskets containing toy guns.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church sent a letter dated March 9 to Kmart officials objecting to the store's sales of Easter baskets containing plastic water guns and Nerf dart shooters, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

"I am writing to express my concern and outrage that Kmart is selling Easter baskets, which are obviously for children, with toy guns in them," Pfleger wrote. "With the increasing gun violence in Chicago and across this country, I am amazed that you would choose to offer toy guns to our children to make them comfortable with playing with them. I am asking you to remove any baskets with toy guns in them from your store's shelves immediately."

Kmart officials said Tuesday there are no plans to pull the baskets.

"We respect the opinions of our customers," said Chris Brathwaite, spokesman for Kmart parent company Sears Holdings. "However, we believe these items are clearly packaged as water toys and are almost identical to items sold by many other retailers."

The baskets, which start at $9.99, are also being sold at retailers including Meijer, Toys R Us, Walgreen's and Walmart.

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