May 18, 2007

LinkNews Digest [05/18/2007]

Teachers Stage Fake Gun Attack On 6th Graders

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Staff members of an elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.

The mock attack Thursday night was intended as a learning experience and lasted five minutes during the week-long trip to a state park, said Scales Elementary School Assistant Principal Don Bartch, who led the trip.

"We got together and discussed what we would have done in a real situation," he said. But parents of the sixth-grade students were outraged. "The children were in that room in the dark, begging for their lives, because they thought there was someone with a gun after them," said Brandy Cole, whose son went on the trip.

Some parents said they were upset by the staff's poor judgment in light of the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech that left 33 students and professors dead, including the gunman.

During the last night of the trip, staff members convinced the 69 students that there was a gunman on the loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, even pulled on locked door.

After the lights went out, about 20 kids started to cry, 11-year-old Shay Naylor said. "I was like, 'Oh My God,' " she said. "At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped out." Principal Catherine Stephens declined to say whether the staff members involved would face disciplinary action, but said the situation "involved poor judgment."(LINK )

Truck to Biker: I'm Crushing Your Head!

Ryan Lipscomb, 26, said he was riding his bicycle pretty fast down the East Isthmus Bike Path where it parallels Eastwood Drive on Madison's east side just before 3 p.m. Eastwood had a green light, so the crosswalk for the bike path showed a white walk sign, Lipscomb said.

He saw the large truck, the kind that usually makes deliveries to offices, coming down Eastwood, preparing to make a right turn onto Division Street. Lipscomb said he could tell the truck wasn't going to stop. So Lipscomb slammed on his brakes, flipping his bike and throwing himself into the street. He landed right at the intersection of Eastwood and Division.

The truck ran over his head. "I didn't see it coming, but I sure felt it roll over my head. It feels really strange to have a truck run over your head." His helmet, a Giro, was crushed, but Lipscomb's head was fine. Madison Police Department Sgt. Chris Boyd said the officer at the scene urged Lipscomb to keep the helmet. He did. It is all flattened and mangled and broken, unlike his head.

Even though the truck did not stop, Boyd initially refused to call the incident a hit-and-run. "The truck driver definitely would have known. You know when you run over a curb and my head was definitely higher than a curb." Moreover, Lipscomb said, he was already in the street as the truck was turning. "He had to have seen me."

He was taken to University Hospital, but was released by about 6 p.m. "I'm OK except for a concussion," he said Friday night about 10 p.m. (LINK )

Tip: Don't Whiz On The PlayStation 2

Gary Wells just spent 600 bucks on a brand new paperweight PS3, and decided to have a little party on Friday night to celebrate his ballin’ purchase. With no need for his old PS2 anymore, he set up a drawing to choose who gets to destroy it in whatever way they decide. Everyone put their names in a bowl, and by the end of the night when everyone was drunk off their ass, they held the drawing and Gary’s friend Mike won.

This is where it gets interesting; in a blaze of drunken glory, Mike proceeded to unzip his pants and urinate all over the obsolete PS2, not realizing it was still plugged in. Within seconds, the electricity came up through his urine stream, knocking him unconscious on the floor. He was taken to a hospital and released with no injuries.(LINK )

Illinois Baby Receives Gun Permit

Bubba Ludwig may only be 10 months old, but he has already successfully obtained a gun licence in the US state of Illinois. Bubba's father, Howard Ludwig, applied on his behalf after his grandfather gave him a shotgun as an heirloom.

Mr Ludwig said he had not expected to succeed, but he filled in the online form, paid $5 and the license was his. The license includes a picture of a toothless Bubba and a squiggle that represents his best attempt at a signature.

In an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Mr Ludwig, 30, said that he expected the application to be turned down. Two rejections did in fact come, he said, but both related to technical problems - on one application he forgot to tick a box stating his son was a US citizen - rather than Bubba's youth. His third attempt was rewarded with a state firearm owner's identification card (FOID), complete with details of Bubba's height, weight and date of birth.

Illinois gun laws are said to be among the strictest in the US. But Illinois State Police, who oversee the application process, said that they had followed the law in this case. "Does a 10-month-old need a FOID card? No, but there are no restrictions under the act regarding age of applicants," the Associated Press news agency quoted Lt Scott Compton as saying.

Mr Ludwig said Bubba's gun would likely remain at his grandfather's house until he was 14. (LINK )

Trying Too Hard to Be "The Cool Mom"

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 36-year-old German mother-of-five drove her son to a jewelry store he wanted to rob because she was afraid he may come to some harm, Bild newspaper reported Wednesday.

While her 17-year-old son and his two accomplices stabbed and robbed a jeweler in the eastern city of Dresden, the mother waited outside in the car.

"I knew he wanted to rob the shop and I was very worried about him," top-selling Bild quoted the mother as saying.

A court sentenced the woman to three years and ten months in prison, a spokeswoman for the court said.(LINK )

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