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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes

(Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor/AP)

Moving money

What’s the best way to get people to move to Tulsa, Okla.? Pay them. That’s the solution offered by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. After testing a program in 2018, the Tulsa-based charity announced on Oct. 29 it would pay 250 people $10,000 to move to Tulsa and work remotely in Oklahoma for a year. Last year, the program received more than 10,000 applications and ultimately paid just over 100 people to move to Tulsa. Program director Aaron Bolzle said the initiative is meant to show how Tulsa can be a good, cheap city for workers who telecommute. “Tulsa suffered from a lack of perception,” Bolzle told CNN. “We had an opportunity to expose the country and the world as to what was happening here.”


 

Krieg Barrie

Krieg Barrie

None in a million

Tellers at a Lincoln, Neb., bank say a man tried to open an obviously fraudulent checking account on Oct. 28. The reason it was obvious: He tried to open it with a fake $1 million bill. According to police, the man appeared at a Pinnacle Bank shortly after the bank opened and presented a teller with a bill with an apparent face value of $1 million. After a short argument, the man left the bank with the bill but without a checking account. The largest note ever printed in the United States is a $100,000 gold certificate featuring Woodrow Wilson on its face.

 


 

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Émilie Dubois (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

A sad chapter

The government of Quebec recently denied the residency application of a French national because, officials claimed, she had not demonstrated proficiency in the French language. Earlier this year, Quebec’s Immigration Ministry turned away Émilie Dubois because part of her Ph.D. thesis was written in English. The 31-year-old completed her degree at Laval University in Quebec City, but wrote one chapter of her thesis in English because she submitted it to an English-language academic journal. “I have a diploma from a francophone university, the first in Canada. I’m a French citizen, too, and I did all of my studies in French,” Dubois, who has been living in Quebec since 2012, told Radio-Canada. After reviewing her case, Quebec authorities reversed their decision.


 

Dorset Echo

Dorset Echo

Waaay out of the way

Roadwork on a 65-foot stretch of the A352 in Godmanstone, U.K., has created a 41-mile detour and delays lasting more than an hour. Roadworkers shut down a portion of the road on Oct. 28 to repair sewage lines. Rather than use smaller streets to create a short detour, officials with the Dorset County Council created a 41-mile detour on major roads. Officials said anyone caught driving over the 65-foot section of closed road would face a fine equivalent to nearly $1,300.

 


 

iStock

iStock

Ruffled feathers

Residents of East Arlington, Fla., didn’t buy a neighbor’s excuse for keeping a bothersome pet rooster. The residents say that in October, the rooster began waking them up at 3 every morning. Several neighbors complained to the unidentified owner, but he said he needed the rooster. It was, he said, his emotional support animal. The neighbors didn’t buy it. “What’s strange is the rooster is in the backyard, and if this is his emotional support animal, why isn’t it indoors providing emotional support?” one neighbor told WFTV. After neighbors alerted animal control and the local press, the owner agreed to release the bird on Nov. 1.


 

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Sky-high prices

A project conducted by Russian scientists is under threat by the migration patterns of the very birds they set out to study. Researchers with the Russian Raptors Research and Conservation Network placed tracking devices designed to send text messages with location data on steppe eagles. The plan worked well at first, but then the eagles migrated out of Russia—and began piling up roaming charges. Scientist Igor Karyakin wrote on the group’s website that the birds were “spewing out hundreds of text messages” from “super expensive” Iran and Pakistan. Each message was costing the group about 77 cents, he wrote, and the group has had to take out a loan to pay the cellular bill: “They really left us penniless.”


 

WCIV screen capture

GrayInn Moran (WCIV screen capture)

Out of bounds?

An August kickball game has turned into a lawsuit against the mayor of a small South Carolina city. Umpire Graylnn Moran claims that Moncks Corner, S.C., Mayor Michael Lockliear used the power of his office to have him fired from officiating because Moran called Lockliear’s son out during a recreational league game. According to the lawsuit filed in October, Lockliear approached Moran after the close call and asked, “Are you stupid?” Moran’s lawyers say the mayor continued to yell at the umpire until Moran told him to calm down. The lawsuit says Lockliear then declared, “I own this town,” and that days later Moran discovered he had been fired from umpiring in Moncks Corner. Lockliear told The Post and Courier that the episode had been blown “out of proportion.”


 

ABC 8 News

ABC 8 News

A concrete problem

One day it was there. The next day, Gina Coutlakis’ sidewalk disappeared. The Richmond, Va., homeowner says someone stole her sidewalk while she was at work, and she has no idea who it could have been. The homeowner said she discovered orange caution cones surrounding what had been her walkway on Sept. 26. Neighbors say they saw workmen removing the sidewalk but didn’t notice any company markings on the truck. “I did not ask for this,” she told WRIC. “I did not authorize this.” Coutlakis said she was hoping the mysterious workmen would return and pour concrete for a new pathway. But after a few days of waiting, she said, she gave up hope and filed a police report.


 

Krieg Barrie

Krieg Barrie

Arrest warranted?

Melinda Sanders-Jones of Charlotte, Mich., said she has only a vague recollection of checking out Where the Sidewalk Ends and Night from the Charlotte Community Library in 2017. She returned the books this year after a library employee reminded her, and she expected to get a bill for the late fees in the mail. Instead, the library pressed charges, and local police issued an arrest warrant. Sanders-Jones said her employer informed her of the warrant on Oct. 29 after he ran a background check required for a promotion. Sanders-Jones faces a charge of failure to return rental property, a charge that can carry three months in jail and a $500 fine.