Top student still awaits diploma

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GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) – The valedictorian of Gallatin High School is still waiting for his diploma after he tried to steal the microphone at his graduation and deliver the speech traditionally given by the student body president.

Chris Linzy, 18, grabbed the microphone as his name was called out Friday with the rest of his classmates and said about two sentences before he was cut off.

“I just felt like I had something to say,” Linzy said Monday after meeting with school Principal Rufus Lassiter.

“I’m a little bit frustrated. I felt like I should be able to speak. I was the valedictorian and I was the one who achieved the most,” Linzy said.

Lassiter said school officials have not awarded the diploma and were still trying to decide what action to take against Linzy. After the meeting, it was agreed that Linzy would write letters of apology to school faculty and the Sumner County School Board.

Squirrels, badgers and bikinis, oh my

REXBURG, Idaho (AP) – Law enforcement agencies depend on citizens in the community to be their eyes and ears. But officials in this southeastern Idaho town aren’t sure how to respond to reports of skimpy bikinis, lost TV remotes and menacing squirrels.

Those kinds of calls come in daily to police.

“You try to help, you don’t want to seem uncaring,” said Randy Lewis, a captain with the Rexburg Police Department. Once, he said, he had to use a lasso to capture a hissing badger running loose in an apartment.

“What a mistake,” he said. “It about drug me off.”

Even though many calls don’t fall within normal police duties, officers still respond to complaints of loitering ducks and children who won’t mind their parents.

Rexburg Police Lt. Ron Larson said he thinks many of the calls are caused by residents not knowing the difference between civil and criminal offenses.

Most of the unusual calls come during the summer, he said, and already the department has fielded calls about mean notes taped to trash bins and reports of residents receiving offers of being hypnotized over the phone.

It wasn’t Santa stuck in chimney

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BRAWLEY, Calif. (AP) – A man who got stuck in a home’s chimney claimed he fell in when he climbed onto the roof to look at stars.

Police saw things differently and arrested him for investigation of residential burglary.

“I’ve read and heard of things like that before but I’ve never seen it,” said Brawley Fire Capt. Manuel Sevilla. “The situation, it was more funny than anything.”

Police said the 27-year-old man told them he got stuck near the bottom of the chimney Friday night and removed his pants and waved them around to set off the home’s motion detectors.

Officers responded twice to the home on Saturday morning but saw no signs of an intruder and left.

Police returned again after neighbors reported commotion coming from the home in the Southern California desert 110 miles east of San Diego.

Firefighters also responded and lowered a chain to the man so he could climb out.

STUART, Fla. (AP) – Karma probably was not on the mind of thieves who stole a 600-pound gold concrete Buddha from a local restaurant.

The owners of Sakura Restaurant and Steak House of Japan said they don’t know how the thieves made off with the weighty sculpture devoted to the founder of Buddhism.

“It’s definitely like a three-man work,” owner Ado Tarallo said. “It’s very heavy. It’s not that easy to move.”

The familiar bald statue had sat in the restaurant’s rock garden on top of a large water fountain for 16 years. The 3-foot, 6-inch statue cost $1,500, Tarallo said.

One of the central moral precepts of Buddhism is “do not take what is not yours to take.” Buddhists also believe in karma, which says a person’s actions in this life determine the quality of their existence in the next.

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