Watercooler Stories

Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Coyote hazing team to be deployed in Mass.

BELMONT, Mass., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A town in Massachusetts has approved a coyote management plan that involves deploying a team of trained volunteers to harass coyotes that live in the area.

Coyotes in Belmont, Mass., have become too comfortable around humans, The Boston Globe reported Saturday.

The town's Board of Health recently passed a coyote management plan that involves educating residents as well as employing coordinated hazing aimed at scaring off the animals.

"We're happy to sit here and say, great job, move forward," said health board Chairman David Alper. "It is neat to be the first at something, especially something that's going to have a positive impact."

The hazing team would be responsible for responding to calls about aggressive coyotes.

Volunteers will confront the animals with shouts, projectiles and jets of water from hoses and squirt guns.

"The biggest component of this plan is education, and hazing when appropriate," Animal Control Officer John Maguranis said. "As it is right now, we don't have any issues with coyotes. This is something that we're putting in place to curtail any issues with coyotes in the future."

San Antonio hosts 8th pushcart derby

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A crowd estimated at several hundred gathered in San Antonio's East City for the eighth running of the Dignowity Hill Pushcart Derby.

Ten adult teams and three kids' teams lined up Saturday to compete in eight heats of pushcart racing, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

"It's a community event to bring all the neighbors together, to showcase craziness and fun," said Juan Garcia, president of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association, which, along with Texas Public Radio, sponsored the event.

Awards were given for creativity and for winning the pushcart race.

Other festivities at the event included three-piece jazz band played and free samples of Alamo Golden Ale.

"It's about trying to break down barriers about the East Side," Garcia said.

Man willing to pay $200,000 for a penny

HOLLANDALE BEACH, Fla., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A Florida coin trader says he would pay $200,000 for a copper penny minted in 1943.

The 1943 copper penny is quite rare, as that year United States mints in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco struck nearly all 1 billion pennies in zinc-coated steel because of a copper shortage due to World War II, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Saturday.

A few copper blanks were left in the hopper from 1942 and were struck into 1943 pennies. The exact number of copper 1943 pennies in the world varies -- the U.S. Mint, which never entered the coppers in the official record, said there were 40 or more.

Michael O'Higgins, 57, of Hallandale Beach, has placed an ad in a local paper offering $200,000 to anyone for one of the pennies, which can be worth more than $2 million.

"A lot of the time it's a wild goose chase," he said.

O'Higgins said this is the first time he has bought an ad looking for the penny but he figured it's worth a shot.

"Everyone should look in their change," he said.

Massive water balloon fight in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Thousands of people in the United Arab Emirates gathered in Dubai for the city's first-ever Water Balloon Bash on the second day of Eid Al Adha.

More than 6,000 people came together Saturday at Zabeel Park for the 3-minute water balloon war, Gulf News reported.

Participants were divided into two teams and given 200,000 colorful water balloons to hurl at each other.

"The park was not watered for three days, so every water balloon that will be thrown here will go to the ground. There will be zero wastage," Mohammad Itani, one of the organizers from Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, told Gulf News.

Some people in the crowd got rowdy but organizers and security, including Dubai Police, were present to manage the crowd.

"There was a lot of pushing and shoving. As soon as I entered someone pulled my shirt and it got ripped. But it was fun but too short. And we had fewer water balloons as well," Rauna Thakur, a working student from Pakistan who participated in the event, said.

Many people went to the event with their friends and family.

"I came just for fun. All of my friends are here. I spent the first day of Eid with my family, now I'm spending it with my friends," said Ali Nader, 22, from Pakistan.

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