Watercooler Stories

June 4, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Students get city to allow chickens

CAYCE, S.C., June 3 (UPI) -- A group of South Carolina third-graders convinced the Cayce City Council to allow residents to raise chickens after learning about the birds in class.

The Taylor Elementary School students' campaign began in 2011 after learning that letting homeowners keep hens in their yards could help feed fellow students, The State, Columbia, S.C., reported Sunday.

Until recently, however, raising chickens in Cayce was not permitted.

Teacher Floyd Dinkins, who raises chickens at his home in nearby Pine Ridge, said he had his student write letters to urge council members to approve chicken-raising.

"They decided they wanted to try to make a difference," Dinkins said.

Their work paid off last week when the City Council unanimously approved making chickens an exception to its ban on livestock in neighborhoods.

Next, the student plan on getting permission from the City Council to raise chickens at the school, which city guidelines currently bar.

Dinkins said he hopes to build a coop at the school playground.

Waitress gets half-million-dollar refund

CLEVELAND, June 3 (UPI) -- A Cleveland waitress says she was surprised when she received a tax refund for nearly half of $1 million.

Virginia Hopkins, who has been working at Johnny's Downtown Restaurant in Cleveland for 19 years, was expecting a refund of $754, but the check she received on Tuesday from the Internal Revenue Service was for $434,712, ABC News reported.

"I think I would have to work most of my life to earn that much money," she said. "Even with undeclared tips."

Hopkins said she decided to return the check to the Cleveland's IRS office the next day.

"Would you believe I had to give them a photo ID to prove it was me before I could give it back?" she said. "Otherwise they wouldn't even talk to me."

After she proved her identity, the IRS people were very polite, Hopkins said. They took the check and promised to thoroughly investigate the error.

Now, Hopkins said she is "readjusting" to life.

"It's not easy being poor after you've been rich," she joked.

Italy introduces ice cream for dogs

ROME, June 2 (UPI) -- Dogs across Italy are wagging their tails as a new ice cream for man's best friend goes to market.

It's called IceBau and it was released Friday at a gelato festival in Ancona, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

IceBau creators said the product will hit grocery store freezers across Italy this summer.

Meanwhile, Italians chose not to give up ice cream during the country's economic crisis, ANSA reported.

The Italian Institute of Ice Cream, or IGI, reported Friday sales for pre-packaged ice cream increased 2.2 percent in 2011, pulling in about $2.4 billion. Similarly, the IGI found gelato sales were up all year long, not just in the hotter months, with retail sales up 3.9 percent.

High school junior brings 'Bieber' to prom

GLASSBORO, N.J., June 3 (UPI) -- A New Jersey high school student says he took Justin Bieber to the prom without the pop star even knowing -- as a cardboard cutout.

Glassboro High School junior Leon Purvis brought a life-sized cardboard cutout of Bieber as his "bro date" to prom Saturday, the Gloucester County Times, Woodbury, N.J., reported.

Almost a year ago, Purvis, 16, made a YouTube video in which he asked the world famous performer to accompany him to his junior prom as a "bro." The video received more than 140,000 views, but Bieber never replied.

"I had to do something to show that I have a sense of humor," Puvis said.

So, on Saturday, Purvis arrived at prom with his actual date, Kaitlyn Wright, a junior from Belmar, and the Bieber cutout.

Fellow students cheered him on, yelling "I told you he'd come" as Leon walked throughout the school with the faux Bieber.

"I thought he was brave for doing it," said junior Tony Colon. "I knew Leon was going to do something crazy."

Purvis said he was satisfied with his night overall.

"Hey, I brought Justin Bieber to prom. Never say never," said Leon, quoting Bieber's famous hit single.

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