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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes


A jump too hard

It probably wasn’t the message one father was trying to send. Part of a bridge collapsed at Disneyland on Nov. 10 after a man broke it while jumping up and down. Officials with the California park said the man had been jumping on the suspension bridge three stories above the Tarzan’s Treehouse attraction to demonstrate to his children the bridge was safe to cross when a wooden plank gave way. Park officials say no one was injured in the incident, and the bridge was reopened the next day following repairs.


Krieg Barrie

Krieg Barrie

Tiny dancer

A French newborn has something to look forward to when he grows up. Frustrated by personal problems, an expectant mother spent her early-morning hours at a Toulouse, France, nightclub on Nov. 11, when she unexpectedly went into labor. “We had to react very quickly,” O’Club manager Marie-Helene told La Depeche. “The girl was not panicked, but worried.” Before paramedics arrived, the 19-year-old mother gave birth to a boy on the club’s dance floor. As a birthday present, the O’Club manager has offered the newborn free admission for life.




Christmas dressing

Dressing maker Hidden Valley has the perfect stocking stuffer for salad fans: a stocking stuffed with ranch dressing. In November, the California-based brand listed a 15-inch-long Christmas stocking filled with 52 ounces of ranch dressing on its website. The novelty gift features a spout near the toe for easy pouring. The price: $35.




Iroz Gaizka/AFP via Getty Images

Dominique Douthe (Iroz Gaizka/AFP via Getty Images)

Quacks in Dax

The ducks of Dax may quack, according to a French court. The dispute began a year ago when a neighbor made an official complaint about the noise emanating from a flock of ducks kept by retired farmer Dominique Douthe in the southwestern French town of Dax. But a French court threw the neighbor’s noise complaint case out on Nov. 20. “The ducks have won,” Douthe told the Reuters news service. “I’m very happy because I didn’t want to slaughter my ducks.”




Special offers

With New York state’s cash bail system going away for most nonviolent offenses in January, law enforcement agencies are scrambling for methods to coax defendants to show up for their trials. According to WCBS, New York City police are considering instituting a program to offer defendants subway passes, Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards, or Mets baseball tickets to lure them to court. The New York State Legislature voted for bail reform in April, leaving state prosecutors worried that defendants in nonviolent cases who are released on their own recognizance won’t show up for their trials.


Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters/Newscom

The Oxy Pure bar (Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters/Newscom)

Trouble in the air

An Indian health official has prescribed carrots to treat the effects of smog blanketing India’s capital city of Delhi. Minister for Health Harsh Vardhan tweeted out a graphic insisting that Indians can “munch [their] way to good health with winter carrots.” The Indian government has tried several initiatives to mitigate the pollution in Delhi, including prohibiting cars from driving in the city on consecutive days in 2016. The pollution has inspired private solutions as well. The proprietors of Oxy Pure opened a bar in May where they sell Delhi residents concentrated oxygen from a mask. The cost: just over $4 for 15 minutes of air.


Ice Alaska

Ice Alaska

A festival put on ice

This winter’s Christmas in Ice festival in North Pole, Alaska, has officially melted down. Executive Director Keith Fye said Nov. 20 that this year’s event would have to be canceled because of a lack of ice. Sculptors typically harvest ice from nearby ponds to craft a series of ice carvings that form the centerpiece of a six-week exhibition. But, Fye said, the local ponds in the Alaskan city don’t have enough ice on them to make the Christmas-themed sculptures this year. On the event’s website, officials thanked visitors from previous years and indicated they would try again next year.


Krieg Barrie

Krieg Barrie

Bad call

Police in Ontario, Canada, have reminded local residents that phoning emergency services is for emergencies only. The reminder came after a local woman called 911 asking for a ride after she was running late for a train. “Do you guys offer emergency ride services or not?” the woman asked an annoyed 911 operator in a phone call Peel Regional Police released in a Nov. 21 tweet. The operator suggested the woman call a cab and quickly got off the call. In the tweet of the emergency call, officials added, “Calling 9-1-1 to ask the police to act as an ‘emergency’ ride service, to get you there on time? Yeah … not gonna happen.”



Chris Donaghy (Handout)

Not even mostly dead

A British newspaper has had to issue a correction after publishing an obituary of a local community leader. The mistake was that he’s still alive. Editors for The Northern Echo said they “apologize unreservedly” for publishing an obituary for Charlie Donaghy on their website. In the correction, editors said they checked three independent sources to confirm Donaghy’s death. But no one from the paper asked Donaghy’s family, who fired back at the newspaper, saying in a statement that “you cannot unhear or unread that your father is dead.”