COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Some Colorado prisoners are complaining their food is for the birds.

Five straight turkey dinners prompted El Paso County jail inmates to go on a brief hunger strike.

The inmates refused to eat Saturday, arguing that meals such as turkey chili mac, turkey a la king, turkey stew and turkey sausage were unnecessarily cruel.

Sheriff’s officials said Wednesday that the hunger strike lasted a half hour.

“Turkey, turkey and more turkey is not a form of punishment,” the sheriff’s office said in a tongue-in-cheek prepared statement.

“The inmates accepted this reasoning and gobbled up their dinner meal.”

The inmates had spaghetti for dinner Wednesday – with turkey-based meat sauce.

Officer accused of extra flashing

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) – A police officer has been accused of flashing more than his badge.

Edison, N.J., officer David Salardino, 32, and a friend, Brian J. Rossmeyer, were arrested early Wednesday after people complained the men were standing nude in front of their hotel window.

“Salardino was attempting to ‘show off’ by flexing as he stood naked in front of the window in order to attract the attention of the people on the sidewalk in front of the hotel,” according to a police report.

The report also says Salardino identified himself as an officer and later apologized for what he did, while never actually admitting to exposing himself.

Witnesses told police they also saw Rossmeyer expose himself for a brief period of time. Both men were arrested on indecent exposure charges.

Take a bite out of this theft

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) – A thief is taking a bite out of Seth Newsome’s research.

The doctoral candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says somebody stole the century-old seal teeth he’s been studying.

The choppers were on loan from the Smithsonian Institution for his research on the historic ecology of marine mammals.

He has been working on the project for five years.

“At this point, I’d just like them back, no questions asked,” said Newsome, 28, who said he’s willing to negotiate a reward.

His friend, Eva Krivak-Tetley, lost some teeth of her own: the fossil teeth of a sperm whale she needs to finish her senior thesis. Krivak-Tetley, a marine-biology major, had the fossils on loan from Burke Museum at the University of Washington.

The specimens were in Krivak-Tetley’s car before they went missing – along with some CDs, cash and laboratory materials.

Judge: ‘Code’ doesn’t violate law

NEW YORK (AP) – “The Da Vinci Code,” a best selling thriller, does not infringe the copyrights of a book published in 2000 by another author, a judge has ruled.

In a ruling dated Thursday, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels said New Hampshire author Dan Brown’s story exploring codes hidden in Leonardo Da Vinci’s artwork is not substantially similar to “Daughter of God,” by author Lewis Perdue.

He said both novels tell a story based on religious and historical people, places and events but the factual details in each are quite different.

He said Brown’s book “is simply a different story” and fails to support Perdue’s infringement claim. For instance, he noted, there are no substantial similarities between any characters in the books and the heroes and heroines are different.

Jury: Doomed man mentally stable

YORKTOWN, Va. (AP) – A death row inmate whose case led to the Supreme Court’s ban on executing the mentally retarded was found mentally competent by a Virginia jury Friday. A judge immediately scheduled his execution for December.

Daryl Atkins, 27, flashed a peace sign to his family and blew a kiss as he was led from the courtroom after the verdict was read.

Three years ago, Atkins’ case had led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared executing the mentally retarded to be unconstitutional. The court, however, left it up to states to determine whether inmates are retarded.

If the jury had deemed Atkins retarded, he would have been spared execution and instead sentenced to life in prison for the robbery and slaying of an Air Force enlisted man over beer money.

Man sentenced to crochet blankets

HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) – An ex-convict who pleaded no contest to sexually abusing his daughter was sentenced to 320 hours of community service crocheting blankets.

Despite an outcry over the seemingly lenient sentence, the prosecutor said he had been ready to dismiss the case against Robert Wayne Thompson for lack of evidence.

The charges surfaced during a dispute over custody of the child, when Thompson’s ex-wife accused him of sexually abusing their 8-year-old daughter and filed civil and criminal complaints against him.

Thompson had earlier served five years in a Virginia prison for sexual assault.

The criminal case became shaky after the girl told the judge in the civil case that her mother had told her to say Thompson abused her.

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