After spending 40 of his 56 years in prison, the affable ex-con thinks he has discovered his mission in life. He wants to talk to young people who are either getting into trouble or are on the verge of it.

“I have so many stories to tell,” Ford said. “I’d like to describe to the kids what kind of world they are heading toward.”

After a column about Ford ran in the Sun-Journal, a few people called the paper to ask whether the ex-con might be available for speaking engagements.

School officials at Gray-New Gloucester High School wanted to line Ford up to speak during a week-long program aimed at teaching students about the dangers of drugs. That speaking engagement did not pan out but others are expressing interest.

Ford knows plenty about drugs and alcohol. But his field of expertise is in the world of prisons they lead to.

Ford, an eloquent and profound man to talk to, said he’ll speak anywhere about the horrors of incarceration. He believes young people already heading down the road toward criminal futures might make the best audience.

For instance, those juveniles serving time at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. After all, that was Ford’s first stop at age 13 before he was sent to Thomaston State Prison a year later.

“My ultimate goal is to speak to the kids at the youth center,” Ford said. “If I can just get my message across to one kid, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
– Mark LaFlamme
Caught read-handed
After a Sun Journal article appeared last weekend on the new Web site, mainemostwanted.org, a reader walked into the Lewiston Public Library and did a double-take.

“The guy sitting next to her was on the Web site,” said Wendy Kierstead, a crime analyst with the Brunswick Police Department. “We’ve been laughing our heads off about this one.”

Police were called and Patrick Pennington, wanted for failing to comply with his probation conditions, was arrested. His original charges were burglary and theft of services. Pennington appeared in court this week and was sentenced to three years in prison, according to probation officer Kevin Buckmore.

It has been a busy week for the Web site. They’ve got eight captures and are up to 32 mug shots.

Many more captures, and “we can put ourselves out of business,” said Kierstead.
– Kathryn Skelton
Subservient chicken
Burger King’s newest chicken can tango, moonwalk and riverdance. He also wears garters and gets funky. Anything at all.

He’s called Subservient Chicken, and he’s the Internet invention of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, the Miami advertising agency that makes the fast food giant’s TV ads.

The agency created the site as a promo for Burger King’s “tender chicken fillets” and its reborn slogan, “Have it your way.”

As his name implies, this chicken does what he’s told.

The Web site, www.subservientchicken.com, begins with a simple image of a man in a chicken suit standing in a living room. Beneath the grainy image, a box awaits orders.

Type in “Fall down” and the chicken falls.

Type in “stand on your head” and the chicken tries.

Type in “go to McDonald’s” and he merely shrugs and scratches his comb.

Apparently, there are some things he won’t do.
– Daniel Hartill


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