ROADS REPORT

Article June 11, 2001
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There’s beer down under


There’s beer down under


Who says it’s hard to find good help? When a delivery truck carrying 24,000 bottles of beer plunged into the Tweed River just north of Sydney, Australia, last month, there was no shortage of volunteers to assist in the rescue mission.


The truck was eventually salvaged, but half its cargo remained in the river. So over Easter weekend, dozens of people, some even in scuba gear, assisted police with the recovery of the lost bottles. One man reportedly claimed 400 bottles.


While technically considered theft, police said that they won’t bother going after any convictions.


Oh, deer


Deer can be like cold sores—always showing up at the most inopportune times. Such has been the situation at the Lake in the Hills Airport in Illinois.


Since March 1, deer on or near the runway have caused a dozen takoffs and landings to be aborted. And in mid-March a plane actually hit a deer causing $27,000 in damages to the aircraft.


When sirens, starter pistols and cannons failed to keep runways clear, airport officials consulted with state wildlife experts on a better solution. Their sage suggestion: peanut butter.


So now, for the time being, peanut butter will be placed in cups along the south side of the runway until a solar-powered electric fence can be erected.


London calling


It’s always hard to find street parking. But if you live in London, just call up the police and have them blow up a car for you.


After a number of suspected Irish Republican bombings in London recently, police have been extra cautious of unattended vehicles. So when a London resident recently reported that an Alfa Romeo had not been moved in several weeks, sure enough, the police showed up and blew it up.


The controlled explosion shut down parts of key underground lines and roads at the height of Monday rush hour.


It turns out, though, that the car belonged to a business man on a two-month trip to Hong Kong. Oops.


Is there anybody out there?


Bad news for American rickshaw drivers: they may be facing extinction.


The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the vocation may be cut from its list of 33,000-some occupations for the simple reason that no rickshaw drivers can be found.


The actual number won’t be known until next year, but as of now it looks like rickshaw drivers may be headed the way of the tea ceremony teacher—out. If you drive a rickshaw, you might want to contact the Census Bureau soon.


Dare to be stupid


There may be a time and place for everything, but the middle of the night is not the time to be riding a push scooter dressed in dark clothing with no helmet, sipping from a bottle of Tequila Rose. (That’s what Sundays are for.) And along the center lane of a major road is not the place.


An unidentified 18-year-old man was run over in New Mexico recently doing just that, though. When the driver of a pickup truck veered to avoid hitting him, the scooter aficionado got smacked with the side mirror.


Police Sgt. Brian McCutcheon later decreed that riding a push scooter down the center lane of a major road at night dressed in dark clothing with no helmet sipping from a bottle of Tequila Rose is "a very bad idea" and "extremely unsafe." That’s why he’s a sergeant and you’re not.


Stop that mixer


A Monday on the jobsite just isn’t a Monday without a high-speed chase with guns.


Such was the case in Franklin, Tenn., last month when a worker tried to take off during a lunch break with a cement mixer and $60,000 in tools.


Two other employees chased after the man in a truck. One of them tried to call police on his cell phone and notify them of the stolen truck’s location, but the lawbreaker took too many turns en route to the highway.


So when that didn’t work, the driver whipped out his 9mm and started shooting at the thief’s truck. He managed to shoot out a tire causing the truck to careen when it shredded.


Eventually, both drivers surrendered to police and were arrested for reckless endangerment, among other charges.


State faces potential rat problem


Legislation recently passed the Illinois state Senate that would require the notification of a parent when a 16- or 17-year-old receives a speeding ticket.


This comes as crushing news to some teens who currently enjoy the freedom to go to war and to get married.


But state officials feel that if parents knew of their children’s misdemeanors, tragedies could be prevented.


The move was inspired by a 1998 crash that caused serious brain damage and nearly killed a 16-year-old boy who had several speeding tickets his parents didn’t know about, including a citation just three days before his accident.


Taking out the trash


Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the steepest street in the world. So what better place to go sledding in a garbage can?


That was one question two local college students couldn’t find an answer to. So after dragging a two-wheeled garbage can up the street, they climbed in and took off down the 160 ft., 38û slope.


Everything went fine until the pair collided into a parked trailer. Neighbors said they heard a "hell of a racket" followed by a sickening crash. The driver was killed instantly while the co-pilot suffered serious, though barely noticeable, head injuries.


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