UK council lifts gag on 9-year-old food critic
LONDON — A 9-year-old blogger won a food fight with authorities in her Scottish town Friday, after an online outcry prompted officials to lift a ban on posting photos of her school lunches.
Martha Payne's images of uninspiring school meals — one consisted of two croquettes, a plain cheeseburger, three slices of cucumber and a lollipop —drew international attention. The blog, set up about six weeks ago as a writing project and to help raise money for a school-meals charity, has drawn more than 2 million hits.
Martha, who lives in the coastal town of Lochgilphead, about 130 miles west of Edinburgh, gave each meal a "food-o-meter" rating, and offered an assessment of its contents.
Local officials weren't amused, and ordered the schoolgirl to stop taking pictures.
Martha's father, David Payne, said the blog was never intended to make the food look unappetizing. It includes such positive assessments as "lunch was really nice today and it helped cheer me up."
The ban quickly became an online talking point Friday, with free-speech group the Index on Censorship even weighing in on Payne's behalf. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver tweeted "Stay strong Martha" to his more than 2 million followers.
The Internet storm was quickly followed by an official U-turn. Council leader Roddy McCuish said he had ordered officials to lift the ban on cafeteria photos.
Semitrailer leaks fuel after duct tape patch fails
LIVINGSTON, Mont. — Maybe duct tape doesn't fix everything.
Officials in southern Montana say a Canadian truck driver found that out the hard way when he tried to stop a fuel tank leak with the all-purpose tape before going to sleep at a truck stop near Livingston.
The Livingston Enterprise reports a truck stop employee called Park County firefighters at about 3 a.m. Thursday to report the leak. Fire Chief Dann Babcox estimates about 100 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the tractor-trailer onto the ground.
The truck driver works for a company based in Saskatchewan. He says he thought he might have hit something on Interstate 90, but when he stopped at the time, he didn't notice any damage.
Man calls 911 over beef about sandwich order
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — A man angry that a deli had fouled up his sandwich order decided to take his beef to police.
The man, identified by police as Rother McLennon of East Hartford, called 911 on Wednesday and complained that he "specifically asked for little turkey and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise," and the Grateful Deli in East Hartford got it wrong.
"You're calling 911 because you don't like way that they're making your sandwich?" the dispatcher asked.
"Exactly," McLennon replied.
Deli owner Tila Azinheira tells WVIT-TV that McLennon had placed an order for 14 sandwiches and the deli made them to his specifications. She said he was told that because the sandwiches were special orders, the deli couldn't take them back.
She said he used her phone to call police.
McLennon called the deli back on Thursday to apologize, she said.
No charges have been filed.
Michigan kids, parents claim lemonade stand mark
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — Hundreds of Michigan kids and their parents have claimed a refreshing Guinness World Records mark for setting up the longest line of connected lemonade stands.
The Oakland Press of Pontiac and the Detroit Free Press report last summer's event in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham was a fundraiser that brought in more than $35,000 for area schools.
The stand set up near Beverly Elementary School ended up being 1,399 feet and 11 inches long.
Those involved celebrated the official word from Guinness this week. On Wednesday, a sculpture was unveiled at Beverly Hills Park from brothers Erik and Israel Nordin, who operate Detroit Design Center in Detroit. They say the abstract sculpture has a yellow globe at its center that's a metaphorical lemon.
Police: Man blames dog for apartment arson
LILLY, Pa. — A western Pennsylvania man who blamed his dog for causing an apartment fire has been jailed on charges that he set the blaze himself.
The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown reports Wednesday that Cresson Township police have charged 58-year-old John Saparo with setting the July 12 fire, though police have yet to specify how.
What police did say is that they've determined the fire didn't start the way Saparo claimed. He allegedly told officers he was cleaning and had several fans running when his dog knocked over one of the fans, which, somehow, started the fire.
Saparo remains in the Cambria County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing June 20 on arson and related charges. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.
Women accused of flashing at Illinois golf course
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Two Missouri women are accused of showing off more than their putting skills at a southwestern Illinois golf course.
Madison County Sheriff's Capt. T. Mike Dixon says investigators responded to complaints of lewd behavior Monday at the Woodlands Golf Course in Foster Township and saw the women displaying their breasts.
Now, authorities in Madison County have charged 45-year-old Shelly Lewis and 43-year-old Alicia Binford of O'Fallon, Mo., with public indecency.
Binford and Lewis couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. Binford's home telephone number has been disconnected. Lewis hasn't returned a message left at her home. Court records don't show if they have an attorney.
Both women are free on bond.
Texas woman uses paint ball gun to stop suspect
GALVESTON, Texas — Police say a southeast Texas woman whipped out a paint ball gun and opened fire with distinctive yellow hue to stop a burglary suspect.
Galveston police say a 53-year-old man who sometimes mowed the woman's yard was arrested inside her home.
Bond has been set at $40,000 for Elvis Alexander of Galveston on a charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit theft. Online jail records Monday did not list an attorney for Alexander.
The Galveston County Daily News reports 34-year-old Carrie King called police June 8 to say an intruder was in her home and she was hiding.
An arriving officer heard the firing of a paint ball gun and the sound of impact.
Police say Alexander was struck several times. He did not require medical help.
Ohio tourism board touts Sandusky trial on Twitter
SANDUSKY, Ohio — An Ohio tourism board tweet meant to promote a Father's Day deal in the Lake Erie town of Sandusky instead directed followers to news about the sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The tweet was sent out this week by the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism office. It included the hash tag "Sandusky".
Hash tags are created by Twitter users to help others find tweets on specific topics.
Anyone who clicked on the "Sandusky" hash tag got the latest updates from the Pennsylvania trial, not the town known for its waterfront location and the Cedar Point amusement park.
Tourism office director Joan Van Offeren says they won't be using the Sandusky hash tag again until well after the trial ends.
Woman accused of biting Wal-Mart employee
KODIAK, Alaska — A Wal-Mart employee in Kodiak is taking a bite out of crime — the hard way.
A 33-year-old Kodiak woman is accused of shoplifting and biting an employee in the chest while he was trying to hold her in the parking lot until police arrived.
Hope Fuller is charged with assault, theft and criminal mischief.
The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports authorities say she was shopping at Wal-Mart on June 7. Court documents say she entered with a large, relatively empty bag and security footage shows that bag much fuller after she left a changing room.
She was confronted leaving the store by employees, including Mark Pascua, when she allegedly bit him on the chest. Pascua described the alleged attack as "creepy."
A June 28 court date was set.
Police: Man plants marijuana in front yard
FLAT LICK, Ky. — Police have arrested an eastern Kentucky man who they say had almost 100 marijuana plants growing in his front yard.
Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hensley told WYMT-TV that he observed the plants after responding to a complaint from an anonymous caller.
Hensley said when he asked 42-year-old James Denver Cox of Flat Lick whether he had any more plants, the man pointed out some drying on top of a TV and some under an entertainment center. In all, Hensley said he confiscated 92 plants.
Cox declined to speak with the station and it was unclear whether he had an attorney.
He faces a felony charge of cultivating marijuana.
Beer battle in Ohio marks War of 1812 anniversary
TOLEDO, Ohio — A northwest Ohio brewing company is creating its own version of the War of 1812 in a battle between two beers from that period, with one representing American style and the other English style.
Maumee Bay Brewing Co. is offering its Old Siege Lifter Honey Brown and a King's Shilling Pale Ale at its pub in Toledo's Oliver House and at special tastings.
Oliver House general manager Neal Kovacik tells The Blade the nearby historical site at Fort Meigs battlefield contacted the brewery about creatively recognizing the war's 200th anniversary.
He says brewers tried to use ingredients and brewing techniques similar to those used in the early 1800s in hopes of replicating the taste.
He says so far the beer war for popularity is a toss-up.