Watercooler Stories

Sept. 4, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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13,000 gallon fish tank bursts at casino

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A Florida casino was forced to close two floors of gambling areas when a second-floor fish tank burst and leaked 13,000 gallons of water into the facility.

Tim Ritvo, president and general manager of the Gulfstream Racing and Casino Park, said two floors of gambling facilities at the Hallandale Beach casino will be closed for at least a few days while crews work to clean up from Sunday's saltwater tropical fish tank spill, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.

Ritvo said a hazmat team visited the facility Sunday to ensure there were no health hazards from the burst tank.

The building's restaurant and stores will remain open during the cleanup efforts, Ritvo said.

"We are currently assessing the damage and working on reopening the casinos," said Mike Couch, gulfstream's director of gaming said. "Our staff worked quickly to rescue all the fish and limit the damage. We will communicate the reopening of our casino to our guests as soon as possible."

Groups race on beds for charity

COCONUT GROVE, Fla., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Organizers of the Great Grove Bed Race in Florida said 30 teams of competitors raced wheeled beds for the largest field in the event's history.

Daisy Lewis Salazar, producer of the Coconut Grove event, said Sunday's race was the largest in the 30-year history of the Great Grove Bed Race, with 30 teams including groups of police officers, firefighters, political campaigners and local businesses, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

The teams, which included those with members dressed in 18th-century French garb, bikini football teams, pirates and men in tutus, each raised money for charities including cancer research and animal spaying and neutering.

Kitten stows away in car for 6 hours

HENRIETTA, N.Y., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Workers at a New York state auto shop said a kitten survived a 6-hour trip inside the plastic undercarriage of a couple's car.

Employees at Smitty's Transmissions in Henrietta said the couple told them they had heard cat sounds outside of their vehicle when they left Connecticut and heard the purring again in New York state, where they were traveling to drop off their son at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and decided to stop to see if an animal was stuck in the car, The (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle reported Monday.

Workers said they found the kitten curled up in an alcove above the vehicle's gas tank.

"It was pretty mind-boggling," said Chuck Evert, one of the workers. "We thought if there's a cat in there, it's not alive. Somehow it climbed up in that little spot and was shielded from the heat and the gasoline fumes."

Evert said he took the kitten home to his wife, Barbara, who works for the foster kitten organization Lollypop Farm. Barbara Evert said the kitten is being cared for until it gains enough weight to be spayed and adopted.

Karin Forte, foster care coordinator for Lollypop Farm, said the kitten, which has been dubbed Connecticut, appears to be about 6 weeks old and was likely feral before stowing away in the car.

Chestnut eats 7.62 pounds of chicken wings

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, the world's No. 1 ranked competitive eater, downed 7.61 pounds of wings at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, N.Y.

Chestnut, 28, took the top prize Sunday at the festival's professional Buffalo Chicken Wing Eating Contest, defeating the No. 4 professional eater, Sonya Thomas, who downed 6.36 pounds of wings in the 12-minute contest, The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported Monday.

Thomas previously won the contest in 2004 and for the five consecutive years from 2007 through 2011.

Chestnut, who said he has previously failed to best Thomas at chicken wing eating, said he believes he downed a total of 191 chicken wings.

"It was incredible, an amazing contest," Chestnut said after the competition. "It was just a matter of getting the right rhythm. And Sonya is a great competitor."

Organizers said Chestnut's victory set a new world record for chicken wing consumption.

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