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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Sara Hinesley (Handout)

Disciplined and dazzling

The newest winner of the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest is a 10-year-old girl from Frederick, Md. But one fact makes her achievement even more remarkable: She has no hands. Sara Hinesley, a student from St. John Regional Catholic School, said she had to adapt her own unique method of writing after she was adopted and moved to the United States four years ago and began learning English. With practice, she learned to pen cursive letters by gripping a pencil between her arms. “Sara is very motivated and a disciplined student,” her mother Cathryn Hinesley told Good Morning America. “She excels really at about anything she tries.”


 

Krieg Barrie

Krieg Barrie

Stuck in the middle

In what must have seemed like an innovative way to break into a business, a burglary suspect reportedly descended down the chimney of the Durango Auto Center in Tulsa, Okla.—and became stuck for nine hours. Employee Eva Sigala told FOX23 that her boss, when he arrived at work on April 22, at first thought pigeons were stuck when he heard noises from the chimney, but “he listened closer and heard ‘help.’ That’s when he left, closed the door, and called the cops.” Tulsa firefighters used a pulley system to extract the man, whom police did not identify, from the chimney.
 


 

Associated Press

Associated Press

A long ride home

A polar bear lost in Russia’s Far East caught a ride back to its home on the Arctic Ocean in April. A fisherman discovered the out-of-place bear near a tiny village on the Bering Sea in Russia’s Kamchatka region. Polar bears are commonly found on the Arctic side of Russia’s Far East, but almost never the Pacific Ocean side. Government officials speculated the bear got marooned on an ice floe and drifted south before washing ashore near the village of Tilichiki. Kamchatka’s governor arranged for wildlife experts to fly the lost bear back to the Arctic coast via helicopter on April 22.

 


 

Handout

Dik (Handout)

Back from the grave

An elderly dog barely escaped death after its owners buried it in a shallow grave. Believing their 18-year-old dog had died in its sleep, two sisters from the Russian village of Novonikolsk near Vladivostok buried their dog, Dik, in a shallow grave after they could not rouse him from a nap. Later, after the sisters left, the dog dug itself out and was found by a passerby who took the tired animal to a shelter. Workers at the shelter located the dog’s owners, who happily took him home after making an $80 donation to the shelter.

 


 

Undersheriff Jason Speer/Valley County Sheriff’s Office/AP

Undersheriff Jason Speer/Valley County Sheriff’s Office/AP

High altitude crash

Some firefighters rescue cats from trees. Volunteer firefighter Randy Acker on April 22 rescued the pilot of an airplane from some trees. Pilot John Gregory and his single-engine Piper Cub plane had become stuck in the trees after Gregory tried to crash land in a field near McCall, Idaho. Acker, who owns a tree removal company, was able to reach the uninjured pilot and use a safety line to bring him down. The plane remained in the trees, most of it “perfectly centered” on a giant white fir, according to McCall Fire Capt. Brandon Swain. “I’ve never seen anything like this happen,” Acker said. “Just glad I was able to help.”

 


 

iStock

iStock

Code for higher rates

They didn’t cross the boundary, the boundary crossed them. Last summer, Christine and David Pindar of Oshawa, Ontario, received notice from Canada Post that a postal code reform had placed their home in a new postal code. Over the last year, the switch has cost the family about $600 more in insurance premiums. The reason: Insurance companies consider the new postal code a riskier area than their old postal code, Christine Pindar told CTV. The Pindars say the postal code change increased insurance premiums on each of their cars by 10 percent and their homeowners’ insurance premiums by 37 percent.
 


 

Kevin McGill/AP

Kevin McGill/AP

Sleeping suspect

Louisiana State Police arrested a man on April 17 for breaking into the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge. Officers say they found the 34-year-old man asleep on a couch in the governor’s residence. The break-in raised concerns over security at the official residence of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Authorities charged the suspect with counts of burglary, trespass, and damaging an antique table.

 

 


 

iStock

iStock

Time for a change

In November, voters in Texas will face a timely question: What time will be Texas Time? State lawmakers in April overwhelmingly passed a bill to put the daylight saving time versus standard time question to voters in a November referendum. Voters will choose to have extra daylight either in the morning or in the evening. Republican Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo tried to add a third option—keep the status quo of twice-yearly time changes—but fell two votes short.

 

 


 

Krieg Barrie

Krieg Barrie

Bump in the road

Emergency responders are crediting an Omaha pothole for potentially saving a man’s life. An ambulance operated by the Gretna Volunteer Fire Department struck a particularly bad pothole while transporting a 59-year-old man suffering from chest pain and an abnormally rapid heart rate to Lakeside Hospital on April 15 in Omaha, Neb. According to Gretna Fire Chief Rod Buethe, the big bump restored the patient’s heart rate to normal. Local emergency room physician Dr. Peter Daher told the Omaha World-Herald that while he had never heard of a pothole restoring a heart’s rhythm, he couldn’t discount it: “That’s a new one for the books.”