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Matthew Ambrose needs a little more practice before he’s ready for h

May 21, 1997

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) _ Matthew Ambrose needs a little more practice before he’s ready for his driver’s license.

The 3-year-old boy climbed into his father’s pickup Monday and took off, forcing cars off the road and hitting a gas line in front of a judge’s house before a town police chief caught up with him.

``It could have been a real tragedy,″ LeRay Town Justice John D. Cox said. ``One spark and that truck, with the boy, and my house would have all blown.″

The father, David Ambrose, had the pickup backed into his driveway and never noticed his son getting behind the wheel. The boy shifted the Ford into drive and turned left.

He drove past three homes while motoring on the wrong side of the road, forcing drivers to veer out of the way. One was Black River Police Chief Donald Doney, who saw the truck head over the lawn of Justice Cox, rupturing a natural gas line.

The chief was a bit surprised when he ran over to the truck and saw little Matthew behind the wheel. The child was not injured.

Meanwhile, Matthew’s father had no idea the truck was gone until Doney knocked on the door with the boy.

No charges have been filed, although police said there were conflicting reports about whether the truck was running when Matthew got in or if he was the one to start it up.


CARBON, Pa. (AP) _ Llamas are found in the Andes and in zoos, but not in a rural Pennsylvania polling station.

Republican Jay Ober and Democrat Paul Reed decided against using their respective party symbols of the elephant and donkey in their run for office, and instead went with llamas.

The animals were paraded from poll to poll on election day Tuesday bearing signs for Ober, who was running for country judge, and Reed, a candidate for Hempfield Township supervisor.

Shamrock and Oreo got a warm reception at most of their stops, but in the small town of Carbon they were shooed away by Jackie Houser, a polling supervisor.

``The lady walked up to a group of people there. We thought she was joking. She said in a loud voice, `We just can’t have this ... this won’t do at all,‴ said Elaine Overly, owner of Shamrock, a 350-pound male.

Overly said the llamas are tranquil and unlikely to stampede or hurt anyone, but Houser was adamant.

Although county elections officials knew of no law forbidding llamas at the polls, Overly said it was all for the best. The llamas were tired of just standing around anyway.

Their lack of enthusiasm may have hurt Ober and Reed. Neither won their race.


PHOENIX (AP) _ German shepherds wearing cameras and microphones are the latest security measure being used on Arizona inmates.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has forced prisoners to wear old-style striped uniforms and live in tents, is excited by his latest innovation in prison security.

``All the inmates are going to know they are on candid dog camera,″ Arpaio said.

Starting Thursday, the dogs will patrol the fences surrounding the larger of two tent cities at the county jail, which house 1,000 of the complex’s 1,600 inmates.

The dogs are trained to aim their cameras at attempted escapes, contraband violations, fighting and assaults on guards, according to Arpaio.

Small, wide-angle cameras and microphones will be strapped to their collars, beaming images and audio back to monitors.

``They’ll also have antennas behind their ears so they can pick up conversations and gather intelligence,″ Arpaio said. ``It’s a great idea.″

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