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January 6, 2015
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City officials in the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country, Missouri, are spending $46,000 to hire sharpshooters to kill 100 urban deer as part of a measure that CBS St. Louis reports has done little to reduce deer-and-car collisions in the city.

Concerned residents of the town who are against this deer extermination policy have planned a candlelight vigil for the town's deer as a way to protest unnecessary killing and the waste of public money. The organizers say other parts of the country have tried similar methods to reduce deer populations in urban areas, and all that such tactics have been ultimately ineffective. Teresa Mull

December 18, 2014
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The government of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, a small town of 3,000 on the Tennessee-Alabama border, has made it illegal for city employees and vendors to speak ill of the town on social media. The ban covers anyone who is officially associated with the town or conducts any business with the city government.

Members of the city commission voted 4-1 to approve the new policy, claiming that online criticism makes it difficult for them to perform their duties. One of the five commissioners, Jeff Powers, said the ban does not mean town employees, contractors and other vendors can't post on Facebook; it means they can't "[shed] a negative light on any person, entity, board or things of that nature." Bonnie Kristian

April 29, 2014
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See what you've done, Miley? Police in the Oregon city of Beaverton arrested three women Monday for "twerking" in front of the town's city hall. KPTV-TV reports that after Coura Valazquez showed up at court to pay a fine for a warrant, she and two friends celebrated by twerking in front of the building's windows, exposing their genitals, and peeing on cars.

One of the women filmed the entire routine with her cell phone, the Fox affiliate reports. All three were arrested for disorderly conduct.

But then it only got worse: Police discovered prescription drugs and marijuana in one of the suspects' cars. The other two women also had rap sheets for possession of cocaine and methamphetamines. All three were put in a county jail. Jordan Valinsky

April 28, 2014

Even if many of us consider our pets to be part of the family, they're still not actually humans. Russell Hoyle, a dog owner in Britain, is in trouble with the police for allegedly registering his 9-year-old rottweiler Zeus to vote — a claim that he denies. The Stockton city council is accusing Hoyle of electoral fraud, and he faces hefty fines and possible prison time if convicted.

Hoyle told the Guardian that a census official came to his house and asked him who lived there. "There is myself and my wife. My son is not old enough to vote," he answered, and added jokingly, "We have got Zeus living here as well and he is 63 in dog years." A polling card addressed to Zeus Hoyle was delivered to the house soon after.

Hoyle asserts that he was in no way attempting to commit electoral fraud. "I am adamant that I didn't fill out the form. This whole thing was just a bit of a joke and now it has gone too far," he said. If convicted, filing false voter information with a electoral registration officer carries a six-month prison term.

The city council doesn't appear to be backing down.

"Though we appreciate that registering a dog to vote might seem amusing it is an offense to provide false information on an electoral registration form and we are obliged to refer cases like this to the police," a spokesman said. Hoyle must be interviewed by detectives at the city's police station. -- Jordan Valinsky

April 23, 2014

There's a price for surviving a malicious duck attack: $275,000. That's what a woman in Washington is demanding after a duck with "abnormally dangerous propensities" recently assaulted her.

According to court documents obtained by a Seattle television station, victim Cynthia Ruddell said her neighbor's dangerous duck bolted after her, and she tripped while trying to flee. Her right wrist and rotator cuff were injured as a result.

Ruddell's attorney said her neighbor needlessly endangered the mobile-home park's residents by failing to control the duck. The neighbor also failed to warn of the duck's "dangerous propensity" for attacking people, the lawyer claimed. Ruddell said the six-figure lawsuit will cover her medical expenses and the "pain, suffering, inconvenience, and humiliation" that she experienced as a result.

No comment from the duck. Jordan Valinsky

April 17, 2014
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Portland is draining 38 millions of gallons of treated water from a reservoir because a 19-year-old man drained himself into it.

Although the man's urine doesn't pose a health risk — animals routinely pee in the reservoirs, after all — a water department spokesman said the city doesn't want to deliver deliberately tainted material.

The incident occurred earlier this week, when three men were horsing around one night at the massive treatment facility in Oregon. A camera spotted one of the guys peeing through the iron fence, while the other two unsuccessfully tried climbing it. Their names haven't been released, but the men were cited for trespassing. The peeing culprit was cited for public urination.

This is the second time in three years that Portland had to drain a reservoir at this same facility. Jordan Valinsky

April 10, 2014
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The smell emanating from a Sriracha hot sauce factory in Irwindale, Calif., is becoming too much for its neighbors to take in, and the town's city council is taking action. Declaring the plant a public nuisance, the council gave The Huy Fong Foods factory, which churns out 100 million pounds of the spicy sauce annually, three months to mitigate the smell — or else.

Since at least the fall of last year, residents have complained to Irwindale that the factory's odors burn their eyes and cause coughing fits throughout the day. The city even won a lawsuit against the plant in November, forcing it to "partially cease operations," but it looks like the council wants more done. The unanimous vote last night was the equivalent of an ultimatum, giving the factory 90 days to reduce the odor before officials order mandatory changes.

An attorney for the company said the city was "flexing its muscle and thumbing Huy Fong in the eye." Nevertheless, they are working with air quality experts to have the problem solved by June 1 — so no need to start stockpiling the sauce just yet. Jordan Valinsky

April 4, 2014
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A homeless man thought it was his lucky day when a broken ATM kept dispensing money. Then cops were called to a bank in Portland, Maine, because the man wouldn't leave the machine. Police soon discovered that the malfunctioning machine dispensed nearly $40,000 in cash, which the man was trying to take by stuffing the bills into plastic bags.

The man, who won't be identified unless charges are filed, had only $100 to his name. Police say he was misusing the ATM's "cash advance" button and requested $700 cash advances more than 50 times. The feature is supposed to work when the customer has a pre-approved line of credit, but the homeless man did not. The ATM has since been taken out of service.

What the man was doing is illegal, cops say, but the bank won't press charges because the money was returned. Jordan Valinsky

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