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March 29, 2019 - 12:06 AM

TAXPAYERS ARE ASKED TO SUPPORT FALCONS, FIGHT PIGEON POOP

BOSTON (AP) — Along with all the usual declarations and deductions, Massachusetts residents have been asked to keep something else in mind this tax season: pigeon droppings.

MassWildlife is urging taxpayers to check a box on their tax forms to donate money to the state's endangered species program. One beneficiary of the program is the peregrine falcon, which preys on pigeons.

In a recent posting on the state agency's website, officials noted that pigeon droppings are extremely corrosive. The sticky messes can damage a car's paint job and cause bridges to deteriorate faster.

A program to reintroduce the peregrine falcon to Massachusetts after the raptor disappeared from the state in the 1950s has met with success.

As the peregrine population increases, the pigeon one is retreating.

POLITICIAN'S CLAIM AS TALLEST MIGHT BE A STRETCH

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — It didn't take long for a New York City councilman's claim that he's the world's tallest male politician to draw some challenges.

Robert Cornegy Jr., a 6-foot-10 (208 centimetre) councilman from Brooklyn, was certified by Guinness World Records in January and honoured for the distinction this week at a City Hall ceremony.

But North Dakota's insurance commissioner, Jon Godfread, quickly stepped forward to say he will contest the title. Godfread, who played basketball at the University of Northern Iowa and played professionally in Germany, says he's 6-11 3/4 (212 centimetres).

Brad Sellers, a former Ohio State and Chicago Bulls star listed at 7 feet (213 centimetres), also says he has a claim. Sellers is the mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio.

Godfread says he didn't know "being a tall politician was a thing."

GIANT TROLL STATUE IN NORWAY THEME PARK BURNS TO GROUND

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Northern Norway police say a theme park's giant troll statue, claimed to be the largest in the world, has burned to the ground.

Police said that at the time of Thurday's fire, the park was closed and no one was inside the nearly 18-meter (59.4-feet) tall attraction made mainly of Styrofoam.

Wary of the smoke, officials protectively evacuated the area near the troll theme park, which sits on the Senja peninsula, some 68 kilometres (42 miles) south of Tromsoe.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Trolls are human-like creatures from Scandinavian folklore who live in mountains and caves.

POLICE ARREST 3 SUSPECTED OF CRASHING 1,800-CAN FOOD DISPLAY

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Police have arrested three juveniles suspected of crashing a display of 1,800-food cans collected for an Alaska food bank.

The chest-high structure built by 17 engineering students at Anchorage's Dimond High School was displayed at the Dimond Center mall.

The display was the only student structure in an annual "Canstructure" competition, which raises food donations for the Food Bank of Alaska. Architecture and engineering firms entered a dozen other entries.

Anchorage police say the suspects slammed their bodies into the display Sunday night and fled.

Two suspects are from Dimond High. The third is a home-school student. Police forwarded vandalism charges on all three to juvenile authorities.

The food was valued at $2,300. Many of the cans were damaged. The food bank is evaluating whether damaged cans can be accepted.

NEW YORKERS NOT AMUSED BY MAN WHO SLICED BAGELS LIKE BREAD

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Midwest man who brought his co-workers bagels sliced like bread is getting an earful from New Yorkers and social media.

Alek Krautmann on Monday tweeted a photo of his Panera purchase and called the vertical slices "the St. Louis secret." Krautmann pointed out it creates more slices and more surface area for cream cheese. He wrote the few remaining slices make nice bagel chips with hummus.

However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York wasn't buying it over the traditional horizontal slice. The Democrat tweeted "St Louis, fuhgeddaboudit."

New York City's chief of detectives Dermot Shea thanked posters for reporting "this crime." He wrote it would never happen in New York.

Panera told Krautmann the bagels "are on us" next time and they'll be sliced however he'd like.

STICKY FINGERS: SYRUP MAKER SAYS 140 SAP BUCKETS WERE STOLEN

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — One Vermont maple syrup maker's season isn't so sweet after 140 of his sap-collecting buckets were stolen from maple trees.

Fred Hopkins says the thief or thieves struck twice, dumping out the sap one of the times and making off with the steel buckets — even though they're not worth much. Police are investigating.

After hearing of the heists, a maple syrup-producing couple offered to lend Hopkins some steel buckets. On Monday, they helped install them. The investigating police officer also chipped in.

Hopkins says the local maple syrup makers association, a maple equipment dealer and another maple syrup maker have also offered help. But he's told them he's all set.

Hopkins makes syrup as a hobby and typically gives much of it away.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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