Watercooler Stories

Oct. 4, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Old fridge earns man $1,250

BALDWIN, Pa., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania man who received a 1937 Frigidaire refrigerator with his home when he purchased it in 1998 was awarded $1,250 in Sears gift cards.

Richard Linnert, 68, who bought his Baldwin home from his aunt in 1998, said he initially used the old fridge for beverages, but decided recently to recycle it through a program co-sponsored by Duquesne Light, Sears, JACO Environmental and other electric utilities in the state, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday.

The program looked through the 18,360 appliances recycled during the program and awarded Linnert's old fridge the distinction of "Pennsylvania's Oldest Refrigerator," which earned him the gift card prize.

Linnert said he had no idea the fridge was so old and he would have been happy to settle for the $35 given to anyone who recycled their appliances through the program, which was aimed at encouraging people to replace inefficient refrigerators.

Linnert said he plans to spend his winnings on a flat-screen TV and a new phone.

Cops allegedly sent inmates on beer runs

TAFUNA, American Samoa, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A pair of police officers in American Samoa are facing charges of sending jail inmates on shopping trips and beer runs unsupervised.

Officers Fiti Aina and Rocky Tua made their initial court appearance Tuesday morning in District Court on charges of aiding the escape of a prisoner, permitting escape and public servant acceding to corruption, Samoa News reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors said investigators made a surprise visit to the Tafuna Correctional Facility July 20 and discovered an alcoholic beverage in one of the cells. The investigators determined jail inmates were being sent unaccompanied to a local store to buy beer and other items for the officers and their fellow inmates.

Preliminary examination hearings for the officers are scheduled for later this week.

Woman unable to travel gets refund voucher

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- An 83-year-old Connecticut woman who canceled a trip because her health will not allow her to travel said she received a refund in the form of a travel voucher.

Irene Ettre said she booked a $4,000 vacation in March through New Horizons Travel of Durham to visit Prague, Vienna and Budapest, but she soon discovered she would not be able to travel due to a previous stroke and several mini-strokes, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Wednesday.

Ettre said New Horizons refunded her $2,150 and informed her the remainder, minus a 25 percent fee, would come from Brendan Vacations, the company the agency employed to book the trip.

Ettre said her $1,600 refund came in the form of a voucher that could only be used to book travel.

"I thought I bought the complete package," Ettre said of the travel insurance that came with her vacation package. "I thought I was covered for everything."

Brendan Vacations eventually agreed to waive the non-transferable clause of the voucher, allowing Ettre to sell the voucher or give it away. She said she unsuccessfully attempted to sell it on eBay before giving it to a grandchild.

"I'm giving it to my grandchildren, one of whom is going on an archeological dig in Belize. She's 24, so I guess I got my money's worth."

Girl sent home for 'vagina' T-shirt

NEW YORK, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old New York high school student said her free speech rights were violated when she was sent home for wearing a T-shirt reading, "I enjoy vagina."

Brianna Demato said she wore the T-shirt -- styled after the "Enjoy Coke" logo -- to Newton High School Tuesday and was sent home when she refused the assistant principal's demand that she change shirts, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

"It's hypocritical," said the teenager, who said she has worn the shirt to school several times in the past. "They use the word in class -- why can't I, on a shirt?"

Cathy Demato, Brianna's mother, said she went to the school to defend her daughter, but the assistant principal had both of them escorted from the premises.

"They're discriminating against Brianna. They pulled her out of class for nothing," the mother said. "She's not hurting anyone. It's her right to wear that shirt."

The city Education Department said the mother and teen were not kicked out of the school, but rather left on their own.

"The language on the shirt was likely to cause disruption and the language is inappropriate for school," department spokeswoman Margie Feinberg said.

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