Cougar sightings

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Taking a shortcut down Old Stage Coach Road in Norway, something darted in front of Emily Chappell’s car on Thursday. She wasn’t sure what to make of it until her husband showed her last Friday’s newspaper.

She says it looked like a miniature version of the big cat captured on film in Sidney.

It moved fast and had a long, dark-red tail.

“It was so muscular, I knew it wasn’t a cat; I knew it wasn’t a dog,” said Chappell, who’d been coming back from a trip to Wal-Mart at 1:15 in the afternoon. “If there’s a little one, there’s going to be big ones.”

A week ago, Inland Fishers and Wildlife investigated a backyard in Sidney where a homeowner snapped a grainy picture of a big, tawny cat. A biologist couldn’t ID it. Mountain lions aren’t known to exist in the wild here, according to IFW.

Terrie-Jane Plummer Brann of Whitefield called the paper Friday to say she’d seen one in Sidney as a kid. She lived with her parents on the West River Road.

In the mid-1960s, “My mare lost her foals from being chased by a cougar,” she said. The mare, almost to term, miscarried.

For almost a week before the horse was harassed, the family woke up to terrible screaming noises at dawn, coming from the pasture. Her dad, outside with his shotgun one morning, finally got a look.

“Up in the knoll, he could see what he described as a cougar,” with a big tail, walking real slow, she said.

It went after a neighbor’s goats, killed one of them, and the neighbor took a shot.

“He was sure he hit it, and it disappeared into the woods, and no one ever saw it again,” she said.

– Kathryn Skelton
Hairstyle sighting

How many teenagers does it take to roll over an economy car? Five, provided one wears his hair a particular way.

A teenager was arrested early on the Fourth of July after a group clutched ahold of a Dodge Neon at Howe and Walnut streets and flipped the car onto its side. The bright red car landed beside the street and the hooligans ran away, presumably giggling.

The teen who was arrested was nabbed largely because witnesses described him as wearing an afro tied at the back of his head. When questioned, the boy admitted that he had helped roll the Neon, but he refused to give up his comrades. He was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief, taking the rap for his four accomplices.

Information about their hairstyles was not immediately available.

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– Mark LaFlamme

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