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Nov. 9, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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'Dead' student shows up for school

FISHERS, Ind., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- An Indiana middle school student said his lost phone led to a prank that convinced students and teachers at his school he was dead.

Michael Sinkfield, 14, who attends Riverside Junior High in Fishers, said he lost his phone Friday and many of his friends then received text messages from the device Sunday night claiming to be from his father and saying the youth had died in a car crash, the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.

The news quickly spread through social media networks, leading to shock when Sinkfield boarded the bus Monday morning and went to school.

"When I got on the bus in the morning people were looking at me happy, but other people were crying," the teenager said. "I asked them what was going on, and they told me what happened."

Linda McKinney, Michael's mother, said she had received a call of condolences Monday morning from principal Rob Huesing, who called back later to apologize for the mixup.

Sinkfield said whoever had his phone changed his Facebook password, so he was unable to alert friends to the lost device or log in to see the news of his own demise.

The family said they do not know who was behind the prank.

Network cuts 'gay' out of 'Simpsons'

LONDON, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Britain's Channel 4 admitted omitting the word "gay" from an episode of "The Simpsons" was an "error" made by an overly-cautious compliance checker.

A representative for the network said the original line from character Carl, "Somethin' about being gay," was cut from the 1994 episode "Homer Loves Flanders" during a 1 p.m. Sunday airing by a compliance checker, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

"We always carefully consider the context in which language is used in our programming," the representative told The Independent. "However in this instance the episode was edited in error as neither the word nor the context was unsuitable."

Stolen puppy spotted by worker

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- San Francisco animal rescuers said a puppy stolen from an adoption center was recovered and the woman seen with her was busted on a drug charge.

Krista Maloney, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said a terrier mix puppy named Violet was stolen Oct. 16 when she was left in an observation room by an attendant and an adoption center employee spotted the puppy walking with a woman Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

Police were called and officers arrested Sonya Espinoza, 19, on suspicion of drug possession. Police said they are trying to determine how Espinoza obtained the canine.

The adoption center worker was awarded a $500 prize for finding the dog.

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