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I'm being lazy this week, so I'm going to let The Associated Press amuse you.

Some of their stories are funnier than mine -- they just don't always mean to be.

Dry Utah town to keep alcohol ban despite tourist influx

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — One of Utah's last "dry" communities will keep its prohibition on alcohol sales.

The southeastern city of Blanding appeared to vote down Tuesday a proposal to allow beer and wine sales for the first time in more than 80 years.

Unofficial results Wednesday showed residents in the town of 3,500 voted by a margin of more than 30 points to continue making it illegal to sell booze.

Blanding has seen an influx of visitors in recent years, especially with the naming of the new Bears Ears National Monument in the town's backyard. Some restaurant and hotel owners say even though most locals are Mormon and avoid alcohol, Blanding needs to accommodate drinkers.

Others say the town's ban on alcohol is key to its identity, important for public health and safety and prevents out-of-control tourism.


"Out-of-control tourism," huh. When's the last time you heard a town complain about too much tourism? Seems like looking a gift horse in the mouth...whatever that old saying means, anyway.

Jury backs graffiti artists who sued over destroyed work

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal jury has sided with a group of New York graffiti artists who sued over the destruction of their work.

A judge will now decide whether the artists must be compensated for the loss of their whitewashed murals.

The jury's advisory ruling came Tuesday in the lawsuit over a site in Queens known as 5Pointz.

Owner Jerry Wolkoff allowed the spray-paint artists to use his buildings for decades but said they always knew the buildings would be torn down someday.

The graffiti was painted over in 2013, and the buildings were torn down in 2014.

The artists sued Wolkoff under the Visual Artists Rights Act, a 1990 federal law that protects artists' rights even if someone else owns the physical artwork.

A jury in federal court in Brooklyn heard three weeks' worth of testimony, but the attorneys for the two sides agreed last week to have Judge Frederic Block render a verdict and use the jury's ruling only as a recommendation.

Block has asked the attorneys to submit papers over the next few weeks, after which he will rule.

Wolkoff's lawyer, David Ebert, declined to comment on the trial.

Eric Baum, a lawyer for the 21 artists who sued Wolkoff, said that because the case involves "complex issues of fact and law" he believes it is important "to have input from members of the community on all issues but ultimately have the court make a final decision."


"Grafitti: writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place," according to online dictionaries. I'd think the very definition here would erase the plaintiffs' case ... but what do I know?

Police: Thief didn't get far in motorized grocery store cart

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A man accused of stealing a motorized shopping cart from an Alaska grocery store didn't get very far or go very fast before his low-speed getaway attempt was foiled by police.

The battery-operated cart with a basket mounted behind the handlebars has a top speed of 1.9 mph.

Authorities say Rondell Tony Chinuhuk of Anchorage is charged with felony theft for attempting to take the cart early Tuesday from a Safeway store in Fairbanks.

Police say they stopped Chinuhuk while he was crossing a thoroughfare following a 10-minute joyride that consisted mostly of trying to leave the expansive store parking lot.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Chinuhuk was charged with felony theft of the $2,500 cart. Assistant public defender Jennifer Hite says in an email the office doesn't comment on cases.


I am still laughing while picturing this one. It's like a scene right out of "Seinfeld." Imagine a 1.9-mph "joyride." Oh my.

Imitating 'Curb,' St. Louis man ticketed for honking at cop

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man is feeling pretty ... pretty ... pretty ... pretty miffed over a recent traffic ticket.

In an instance of life imitating art — in this case a recent episode of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" — computer programmer Scott Smith says he was ticketed for honking his horn at a police officer.

Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he repeatedly honked at the officer in an unmarked car Friday because the light had turned green and the officer wasn't moving.

He was pulled over and used his cellphone to record the heated exchange with the plainclothes officer, who asked, "Is your horn stuck?" Smith replied: "Is your brake stuck?"

Smith was ticketed for excessive noise from a vehicle. He plans to file a formal complaint.

In the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode, Larry David's character was ticketed for honking at a police car at a stoplight.


Now that sounds to me like the cop just couldn't take the audible criticism of his poor driving skills. Give that guy Smith a brake ... er, break.

Screams of "Help!" draw 911 call, but parrot is the screamer

CLACKAMAS, Ore. (AP) — A deliveryman in Oregon who heard a woman's screams for help had his wife call 911, but when a deputy showed up it turned out the screamer was a parrot, not a woman.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that when Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy Hayden Sanders showed up, all he found was Diego the Parrot.

The green-and-yellow bird was in good health and no humans were involved.

Sheep can recognize Baaaa-rack Obama's face, new study shows

LONDON (AP) — A new study shows that sheep have the ability to recognize human faces from photographs on computer screens.

The Cambridge University study published Wednesday also shows that sheep can recognize the faces of their human handlers without any prior training.

It had been known that sheep can recognize familiar faces of other sheep and of humans.

The researchers say this study of the ability of sheep to recognize faces may be useful in research into Huntington's disease and other human brain disorders that affect mental processing.

Lead scientist Professor Jenny Morton says sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities comparable to those of humans and monkeys.

Among the faces they were trained to recognize were Barack Obama and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson.

The research was published in Royal Society: Open Science.


Well, there are some funnies for your day. They kind of make the animals sound smarter than the humans, don't they? Ought to make us all feel a little sheepish.

The end.

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 or 217-238-6863, and follow her on Twitter @PennyWeaver.


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