UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

June 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM
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Woman, 97, gets high school diploma

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio, June 8 (UPI) -- A 97-year-old Ohio woman who dropped out of school at the age of 17 was issued an honorary high school diploma by a Shaker Heights high school.

Mark Freeman, Shaker Heights School District Superintendent, gave the Shaker Heights High School diploma to Ann Colagiovanni during a ceremony Wednesday attended by her friends and family, WJW-TV, Cleveland, reported Friday.

"It is my great honor to present this diploma to you, and you'll see it's June of 1934," Freeman said. "That's when we believe that would be the appropriate date."

Colagiovanni's daughter, Emilia Colagiovanni Vinci, said her mother has dreamed of receiving a diploma since she dropped out of school during the depression years to help out at her father's store.

"When I told her she was getting a diploma, she sobbed as if a pain had been relieved from her heart," Vinci said. "I never knew what it meant to her. She wanted this."

Colagiovanni said her father would have been proud to see her receive a diploma.

"He'd be so happy to know that finally I'm going to be, I'm going to be a graduate," she said.

Sunscreen rules baffle N.Y. parents

ALBANY, N.Y., June 8 (UPI) -- Parents in New York state said they are frustrated by the sometimes conflicting rules governing sunscreen use in schools and summer camps.

The New York state Education Department raised the ire of many parents with rules requiring a doctor's note for a child to be able to bring sunscreen to school or camp, the (Rochester, N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, reported Friday.

"I think that is ridiculous. It just seems counter-intuitive," said Carol Prescott of Farmington, who has a third grader and a kindergartener at Victor Central School District.

However, some districts flout the state regulations, with school physicians and lawyers in Rochester and West Irondequoit saying they do not consider sunscreen to be a drug or medication.

Parents in other districts said they find it difficult to understand why after-school programs licensed by New York's Office of Children and Family Services only require a parent's signature while the students need a doctor's note to bring the sunscreen to school during class hours.

New berries discovered in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, June 8 (UPI) -- A previously undiscovered variety of berry found in western Sweden has been dubbed the "blingon," a combination of lingon and blueberry.

Sveriges Radio said the fruit, which was found by botanist Evastina Blomgren, was named blingon because the leaves have a blueberry color and a leathery texture similar to a lingonbery plant, The Local.se reported Friday.

Blomgren said botanists were previously aware of the plants, which grow in several locations in Sweden, but were previously unaware of any instances where the plants sprouted berries. She said the plants are believed to be the result of cross-pollination of nearby blueberry and lingonbery plants.

The botanist said the berries are unlikely to become a popular food source.

"It was no taste sensation. They didn't taste rotten, but they weren't that good," Blomgren said.

Later Nathan's start time could mean heat

NEW YORK, June 8 (UPI) -- The head of Major League Eating said pushing back the start time of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York could affect the results.

George Shea, president of the league, said pushing the start time back from noon to 3 p.m. July 4 -- a decision made by ESPN to accommodate its Wimbledon coverage -- could result in the competitors facing higher temperatures that "should make it much more difficult" to break Joey Chestnut's 2009 world record of 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, the New York Post reported Friday.

"Heat causes the buns to crisp up more and the dogs to expand, making a run at the record nearly impossible," said professional eater Jason "Crazy Legs" Conti.

Chestnut will be seeking his sixth Mustard Belt this year, which would tie him with Japanese eating superstar Takeru Kobayashi, who was banned from last year's contest due to a contract dispute and arrested when he rushed the stage during the event.

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