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June 4, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Fat cats fighting for title

NEW YORK, June 3 (UPI) -- In less than a month after famous fat cat Meow died in Santa Fe, N.M., two New York cats have stepped in to a fatter-cat fight.

Meow, a 39-pound cat who made appearances on "Today" and "Anderson Cooper" died in early May after suffering respiratory distress and then pulmonary failure, the New York Post reported at that time.

On Saturday, a Manhattan shelter cat named SpongeBob was featured in the Post for weighing a hefty 30 pounds.

But then, on Sunday, SpongeBob's fat-cat reign was quickly topped by a 10-year-old long-haired tabby named Garfield, who weighs a staggering 40 pounds.

Garfield was brought to the North Shore Animal League on Long Island Thursday after his owner died.

"My first reaction was astonishment," said North Shore veterinarian Gerard Laheney. "This is the fattest cat I have ever seen."

Laheney said Garfield passed his checkup, but needs to lose about 20 pounds.

Man misses prom after hijacking car

CHICAGO, June 3 (UPI) -- A Chicago man missed his girlfriend's prom because he was arrested and charged for allegedly hijacking a vehicle at gunpoint.

Lorenzo Bracey, 20, was arrested at 7 p.m. Friday while wearing a white tuxedo with white gym shoes, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Bracey allegedly confronted the owner of a 1997 Ford sport utility vehicle with a gun and took some money and the vehicle, said police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien.

Later that day, the victim spotted Bracey and his car in a McDonald's fast-food restaurant parking lot and called the police, the Chicago Tribune reported.

After he was arrested and taken to a district station, his girlfriend complained to police about how "her prom was ruined," police said.

Bracey was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance for having a suspected Ecstasy pill on him when he was arrested, and possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, all of which are felonies.

A judge set bail at $150,000 for Bracey Saturday.

Car dealer proposes 341-foot flagpole

LAKE PARK, Fla., June 3 (UPI) -- A Florida man says he wants to install a 341-foot flagpole at the car dealership he owns in memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, victims and first-responders.

Earl Stewart, 71, proposes putting up the massive flagpole at his Toyota dealership on U.S. 1 in Lake Park, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Saturday.

The steel pole would be about 5 feet in diameter at the base and carry a 50-foot by 30-foot flag. Projected to cost $800,000, it must be built to withstand hurricane-force winds.

The proposal is scheduled to go before the town commission Wednesday. Commissioners will review the proposal and make a decision at a later date.

"I think it would put Lake Park on the map. But we have to look at all the pros and cons," Lake Park Commissioner Steve Hockman said.

Cows have 'relations' on Pa. parkway

RAYBURN, Pa., June 3 (UPI) -- A pair of bovines slowed traffic on Pennsylvania's Parkway West to have "relations in the road," officials say.

Last week, a pig ran out onto the parkway, causing traffic delays, and on Friday, it was the cows' turn, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

A bull and cow were seen at the intersection of Routes 28/66 and Route 85 in Rayburn, "having relations in the road," said Trooper John Corna.

"It's right in the construction zone so it's making a big mess out there," Corna said Friday.

Police had to call in Pennsylvania Farm Bureau personnel, who coaxed the animals into custody.

"We've had cows hit by cars before ... this is a first in my career," Corna said.

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