Watercooler Stories

July 11, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Conn. man donates 18 gallons of blood

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 11 (UPI) -- A Connecticut man who has been donating blood for 34 years said he has donated a total of 18 gallons in 144 separate donations.

Alan Gittleman of South Windsor, first donated blood to the American Red Cross in 1978 as part of the Bridgeport Jewish Community Center's drive in the name of his father-in-law, who had recently undergone surgery.

He said he has donated about six times per year since his original donation, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Tuesday.

"It's the easiest thing you can do," Gittleman said. "It's 10 or 15 minutes out of your day."

Gittleman said reaching his 18th gallon was an important milestone for him because 18 is the numeric value of the Hebrew word for life, "chai."

AT&T offers to drop $1.4 million lawsuit

IPSWICH, Mass., July 11 (UPI) -- AT&T said it will drop its $1.4 million lawsuit against a Massachusetts business owner if he agrees to drop his countersuit.

Kate MacKinnon, a spokeswoman for the telecom giant, said AT&T is "no longer pursuing these claims, though we are entitled by law to collect the amounts owed," The Salem (Mass.) News reported Tuesday.

Michael Smith, who is being sued by the company for $1.4 million in charges and interest for international phone calls made by hackers who used his system at Todd Tool in Ipswich, said the company told him it will only drop the lawsuit if he drops his countersuit, which alleges an abuse of the legal system and a violation of consumer protection laws on the part of AT&T.

"They put me through hell for three years," Smith said.

The business owner said he wants to discuss the matter with his lawyers and family before making a decision.

Teen jumps from skyride to dodge storm

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J., July 11 (UPI) -- A New Jersey teenager who jumped 35 feet from a boardwalk ride that lost power said she was afraid of an oncoming thunderstorm.

Melanie Rossomando, 17, said she was on the Sky Ride at Seaside Heights' Casino Pier amusement park to celebrate her birthday when the ride lost power and she soon saw that the metal ride was in the path of an oncoming thunderstorm, WNYW-TV, New York, reported Tuesday.

"We were three seats away from getting off and then it stopped," Rossomando said.

The teenager said she decided she did not want to be on the ride if it got struck by lightning, so she threw her belongings out of the ride, kicked off her shoes and jumped down to the beach about 35 feet below.

Rossomando said she suffered a few bumps and bruises from her fall.

"Thank God I didn't break anything," Rossomando said.

Bloomberg seeks developer for tiny homes

NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a contest designed to encourage development of tiny apartments for young singles.

Bloomberg said the developer who wins the contest will receive a contract to create about 80 so-called micro units, measuring only 275- to 300 square feet, at a city-owned lot on East 27th Street, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

Bloomberg said he will waive city rules requiring newly built apartments to have at least 400 square feet of space. He said the micro units will make more room for the city's 1.8 million single person and two person households.

"The city's demographics have changed," Bloomberg said. "It used to be the average household was a family, a couple of adults and some children."

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