I sure could use a few things to read that make me laugh, or at least smile -- how about you?

Goats, donkey corralled after getting loose in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ten goats and a donkey that were helping to clear vines and weeds in a Pittsburgh park were quickly corralled after they got loose from their enclosure.

An Allegheny County 911 supervisor tells the Tribune-Review the animals were reported loose in the city's Brighton Heights neighborhood Tuesday. They were rounded up, and no damage to any property was reported.

A post on the Allegheny GoatScape Facebook page indicates the goats had been in the park for about a week helping to clear vegetation.


For a split second, that gave me the mental image of goats in high-visibility vests, rakes in hand -- er, hoof -- cleaning up the park. But then I realized -- they wouldn't make high-vis vests in a goat's size.

I do wonder, though ... why 10 goats and one donkey? Is the donkey the supervisor? Is that discrimination against the goats?

Questions, questions, questions.

And now ... who says tricycles are only for toddlers?

Michigan retirement home orders European bike for residents

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. (AP) — It's been two decades since Jeanne Brown hopped on a bike. The retired Michigan State University child development professor said she has loved bikes since she was a kid.

Now, she's rolling again and declaring it fun. The return to her childhood joy is courtesy of her retirement home in Williamston, which purchased an expensive, giant tricycle from Denmark called a trishaw.

It's like a pedicab or rickshaw but instead of sitting behind the rider, or pilot, passengers sit up front to experience an unobstructed view and the unobstructed air. The trike is part of a European trend called Cycling Without Age.

"It allows folks to be back on a bike and experience the wind in their hair," said Todd Walter, the owner of Crosaires, a home for six older adults in Williamston. Crosaires is Gaelic for crossroads, he told the Lansing State Journal.

Walter said an intern working at his home was looking for ways to engage seniors last winter and he found an online site about returning the rewards of cycling to those with limited mobility.

Cycling Without Age was started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kassow started offering free bike rides on the trishaws to nursing home residents. It's a movement based on kindness, slow rides and storytelling.

Kassow said, via Twitter, that it's the first trishaw with his movement in Michigan. His website lists 50 Cycling Without Age chapters in the U.S. but none in Michigan.

Walter has become one of 10,000 trained "pilots" across the globe.

It's not surprising that the trend comes from Copenhagen, known for being extremely bike friendly.

The trioBike, the brand name for the trishaw, was an eye-popping $8,000. Walter raised donations to buy the bike from a Copenhagen, Denmark, dealer that he found through the Cycling Without Age website. It was delayed for six weeks when the freight company experienced a cyber-attack. It arrived about a month ago, just in time for residents to enjoy the remains of summer.

Walter said it's helping older adults connect to other area residents, such as a neighbor who grows giant pumpkins and regularly welcomes the trishaw riders to his farm.

"It is a life enhancer, there is no doubt," Walter said.

Friends Ziona Bisno, 94, and Matilda Post, 103, got on for a spin on a recent Friday. The air had a nip of fall and the women were cold.

After a few minutes down the driveway and a ride along Zimmer Road, Bisno, who lives at the home, pronounces the ride "rocky" but she has a big smile on her face as she exits the bike. Her friend Post, who was visiting, tried the ride but wasn't enthusiastic about it.

Walter is convinced they'll ask to ride again on another day.

Brown, the MSU retiree, is a lot more upbeat. She recalls her days teaching in China.

"I've ridden the rickshaw in China. They were scary," Brown recalled. "They never hit anything but you think you're going to die any second."

The trishaw is much slower, no more than 10 miles per hour and Brown contrasts the ride favorably to the long-ago rickshaw.

"It was much more serene," she said.


And now ...

Police: Moving help unwitting accomplices in Montana theft

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Police in Montana say a man told friends he needed help moving and got their unwitting help stealing $40,000 worth of items from another man's home.

One of the friends allegedly rented a U-Haul without knowing it would be used in a crime. The other told police he became suspicious and left after he saw military medals in the Great Falls home. He doubted 36-year-old Patrick Joseph Adams Jr. served in the military.

Investigators say the true homeowner came home later that night, found his home had been burglarized and called 911.

Prosecutors charged Adams on Thursday with burglary and criminal mischief, both felonies. The Great Falls Tribune reports Adams faces up to 30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

It wasn't clear if Adams had a lawyer.


I hope he at least gave them more than pizza and beer for the help moving.

Finally ...

2 cows, 2 cars, 2 crashes minutes apart in Maine

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — A pair of cows is responsible for a pair of car crashes this week in Maine.

Police say one driver who crashed into a black Angus cow was on the phone with 911 at the same time there was a second car crash with a second black Angus cow about 200 yards away.

The Sun Journal reports that it happened early (Sept. 27) in Auburn.

According to police reports, the cows apparently wandered away from a farm.

Neither driver was seriously injured, but both cows were euthanized.

The driver involved in the first crash says there would have been enough meat to fill his freezer. But neither driver was allowed to keep the meat.


Now let's thank the Associated Press for taking the time to do some oddball stories that might make us smile or laugh, or at least don't stir up hate and division.

We could use a lot more laughs these days, couldn't we?

Penny Weaver is the associate publisher and editor of the JG-TC. Her columns include her own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinion or editorial position of the JG-TC. Contact her at pweaver@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6863, and follow her on Twitter @PennyWeaver.


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