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February 1, 2018

SMELLY PLANE, SMELLY PLANE - WHAT ARE THEY FEEDING YOU?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — There was something foul in the air. And unfortunately for passengers, the “air” was the air in their Airbus jet — which happened to be in the air at the time. An American Airlines flight had to return to a North Carolina airport about an hour after it took off the yesterday. The reason: the funk that had permeated the passenger section. Flight 1965 returned to Charlotte after passengers began complaining. The flight was headed to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The cause of the odor wasn’t known and the plane was taken out of service. Passengers boarded a different craft later that day for the flight to the D.R. A spokeswoman for American Air says two of the 183 passengers aboard the Airbus were evaluated and cleared at the airport. And a flight attendant was hospitalized with a condition said to be non-life-threatening.

DOGGING IT? POOCH APPROVED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

SAUGATUCK, Mich. (AP) — Fake benefits? Yep, in this case. A Michael Ryder had been approved to receive $360 per week in unemployment benefits from the state of Michigan. That is, until the state found out that Ryder is a German Shepherd owned by attorney Michael Haddock on the other side of the state in Saugatuck. WZZM-TV reports Haddock got a benefits letter addressed to “Michael Ryder” from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency. The station says Haddock contacted the agency about the letter. The agency says its computer system sent the letter — but that the claim was later flagged as suspicious and denied.

THRIFT STORE - GRENADE LAUNCHER

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — You can find all kinds of treasures at a thrift store. But someone decided to donate something to a Goodwill store near Tampa, Florida that could have left a lasting impression: a grenade launcher, loaded with a live grenade. The weapon ended up with other donated items at the thrift store on Sunday. Employees realized that they had on their hands something that could blow off their hands — so they contacted authorities. Deputies disposed of the active grenade in a Hazmat locker, and the launcher was stored in a law enforcement agency’s property room. It’s not clear who donated the items.

CHICKEN CROSSING

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — It’s one of those age-old questions: why did the chicken cross the road? Now, as a result of lawmakers in New Hampshire, the question may soon have a follow up: was the chicken in in violation of the law when it crossed? Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering a bill that would make trespassing fowl a violation. But the chickens won’t be the ones in trouble with the law; the owners will be. Under the proposed measure, anyone who knowingly, recklessly or negligently lets their domestic fowl enter someone else’s property without permission could run afoul of the law. The violation would only apply if the birds damage crops or property. And just in case you’re wondering if lawmakers are clucks for trying to coop-up only chickens and other types of birds, relax. The law already makes such trespassing illegal when it comes to sheep, goats, cows, horses or pigs.

TOPLESS BEACH

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — It’s a different type of Nipplegate — one that will end up being decided by New Hampshire’s highest court. The justices will begin hearing arguments today in the case of three women challenging a law in Concord that bars them from going topless on a beach. The women are part of what’s known as the Free the Nipple campaign. They were busted, pardon the pun, in 2016 after they removed their tops at a beach — and refused to put them back on when beachgoers complained. The women appealed to the state Supreme Court after a district court judge rejected their request to dismiss the case. The woman say there’s no state law that bars women from baring their breast — and call the case against them a matter of gender-based discrimination because men don’t have to cover their nipples.

POT GIFTING

BOSTON (AP) — We’ve come a long way since a bank would give people a toaster for opening a new account — or gas stations would hand out drinking glasses with each fill-up. Case in point: companies in Massachusetts are taking advantage of provisions in state pot laws that allow adults to give small amounts of marijuana without legal consequences. Taking advantage is probably an understatement here. In one case, a company in the Boston area sells high-priced juice that come with a free “gift” of marijuana. Another sells costly T-shirts — but offers a small amount of pot to take the edge off the thought of buying T-shirts at a big markup. Police in Colorado say they have found similar companies with such “deals” in their state. Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says retail pot shops should make so-called “gifting” operations obsolete.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II