small town news
March 25, 2014
Screenshot/KOCO-TV

Girl Scout Katie Francis crumbled the organization's decades-old cookie sales record, selling 18,107 boxes of cookies over the seven-week sales period that ended Sunday. Although she missed her goal of 20,000 boxes, the Oklahoma City native still broke the Girl Scouts' record by more than 100 boxes.

How did she do it? Francis says she was relentless in asking everyone she came in contact with if they wanted to buy a box. "It takes lots of time, commitment and asking everybody I see," she told KOCO-TV. Her mother stuffed the family's SUV with cookies so she could sell them anywhere, whether she was at school or a dance recital. That strategy worked, allowing Francis to beat the record held by Elizabeth Brinton, who sold 18,000 boxes in the 1980s.

Francis' massive sales revenue will go to a good cause: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research organizations, while her troop will receive the rest of the proceeds. Jordan Valinsky

This just in
4:40 p.m. ET
Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday struck an 11th-hour deal to form a new coalition government, barely beating a midnight deadline to do so.

Nearly two months after winning re-election to a fourth term, Netanyahu announced around 11 p.m. he had cobbled together at least the 61 seats necessary in parliament to form a new government after securing the support of the nationalist Jewish Home party. "Israel now has a government," Naftali Bennett, Jewish Home's leader, said after meeting with members of Netanyahu's ruling Likud party.

Netanyahu came from behind to win a tight election in March, and the thin margin of victory complicated the process of forming a new government. Jon Terbush

From prom dates to court dates
4:21 p.m. ET

What ever happened to a nice bouquet of flowers?

The Idaho Statesman reports that one Idaho teen went much, much bigger with his or her elaborate "promposal." Unfortunately for the budding graffiti artist, spray-painting, "DESTINY, PROM?" in huge pink-and-blue letters across the state's Black Cliffs is illegal.

(Patrick Orr/Ada County Sheriff's Office via AP)

"We realize prom proposals are a big deal these days, but this one was just a really bad — and illegal — idea, which caused some serious aesthetic and cultural damage," the Ada County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page.

If caught, the person responsible could face a misdemeanor charge that carries with it up to $1,000 in fines and possible jail time. Probably not the kind of date with destiny our would-be Prom Hero had in mind. Sarah Eberspacher

Austerity in action
3:57 p.m. ET

The skyrocketing price of college tuition at previously affordable state colleges and universities is a longstanding source of concern, especially for people graduating with mountains of student debt. People have many theories as to why this is happening: administrative bloat, too-high salaries for professors, or perhaps too many unnecessary new buildings.

Robert Hiltonsmith, an analyst at Demos, has crunched the numbers. While the above factors do play a small part, the overwhelming reason for increasing prices at state schools is decreasing support from state governments. Here's the take-home chart:

In other words, it's the austerity, stupid. Ryan Cooper

2016 Watch
3:32 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) on Wednesday proposed legislation that would dismantle behemoth banks, a move that could pressure Hillary Clinton to ratchet up her populist rhetoric as the White House race gets underway.

Entitled the "Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist Act," the bill would require federal regulators to draw up a list of banks whose collapses would devastate the entire economy. The Treasury would then have one year to break up those institutions. In a statement, Sanders said the list would initially include at least eight banks — including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase — and possibly more.

"No single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of Americans or to our nation's economic wellbeing," Sanders, who recently announced he will compete in the Democratic presidential primary contest, said at a press conference unveiling the legislation.

"If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist and that is the bottom line," he added.

Sanders has introduced similar legislation in the past, but this is the first time he's done so as a presidential candidate. Jon Terbush

Quotables
3:20 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

After Hillary Clinton gave a speech last week lamenting America's "era of mass incarceration," critics were quick to point out that the policies she criticized included those implemented by her husband. But now, Bill Clinton has voiced his support for her speech.

In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour Wednesday, Bill said that his tough-on-crime policies cast "too wide a net" and led to too many people being put in prison. 

"We wound up... putting so many people in prison that there wasn't enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs, and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives,"  Bill Clinton told Amanpour.

"I strongly support what [Hillary is] doing, and I think any policy that was adopted when I was president, any federal law that contributed to it, needs to be changed," Clinton added. Meghan DeMaria

So sue me
1:28 p.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sylvia Driskell, a 66-year-old woman from Auburn, Nebraska, wants to sue every gay person in the world.

Driskell will represent herself in Driskell v. Homosexuals, claiming she is an earthly "ambassador" of "God and His Son Jesus Christ." In her seven-page, handwritten petition, Driskell writes that "homosexuals say that it's not a sin to be homosexual, and they have the right to marry, to be parents." She goes on to argue that children raised by "liars, deceivers, and thieves" will "grow up to be one of the three, or all three."

Driskell ends her petition by noting that it is "imperative" for her to "start standing up for the moral principles on which our great nation, our great states, and our great cities were founded on." U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard has been assigned the case, filed May 1, but no summons have been issued thus far. Meghan DeMaria

The icing on the cake
1:26 p.m. ET

There are many ways to inform a boss that your days with a company are numbered. Some are professional, some are ill-advised, and at least one now includes cake.

Mark Herman, a newscast director at Tucson's KOLD station, posted this photo of his very original, very sugary resignation letter on Reddit:

As his next place of employment, WKRN in Nashville, reports, Herman said his thinking behind the stunt was that "nobody can be mad or sad at a cake." Sarah Eberspacher

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