Stateline Story

Abuzz with Xmas spirit

Hawaiians, who import their Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest, might feel stung by the discovery of live wasps nesting in their tannenbaums. State agricultural inspectors quarantined some 1,200 firs infested by an unknown species of yellowjacket, The Honolulu Advertiser reports. Last year, three shipping containers with hundreds of trees were sent back to the mainland after the discovery of needle midges, another insect.

So much for holiday spirit. Tennessee officials were considering pouring 2,400 bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskey down the drain, some of them nearly a century old. Authorities suspect the liquor was going to be sold by someone without a license and seized it in warehouse raids in October. Although some bottles could be auctioned off by the state, Tennessee is required to destroy any that could not legally be sold in the state, for example, those bottles with broken seals, according to The Associated Press .

Former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall sent Alabama Attorney General Troy King an early holiday gift of sorts - an inflatable and sexually explicit pig - meant as a protest of the state's anti-obscenity law. Nall called for a "Sex Toys for Troy King" drive after the attorney general suggested the Legislature could strengthen those laws, according to the (Mobile) Press-Register . "I don't see the police chiefs of Alabama getting around a table and saying sex toys are a threat to our safety in Alabama," Nall was quoted by the paper.

No good deed goes unpunished? In 1991, a jury awarded George Green $13.7 million for his 1991 whistle-blower lawsuit against the Texas Department of Human Services, which investigated and fired him for reporting wrongdoing. Now Green has been ordered by a federal circuit court to pay $3.2 million in federal taxes on the money, according to an Associated Press story in the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram .

Meeting privately with Idaho lawmakers and their staff might be tough when the Legislature meets in January, but not as tough as finding a bathroom during the session. The Legislature will be confined to the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, as the Capitol undergoes a three-year renovation, reports the Idaho Statesman . The courthouse has a little more than half the square footage of the Statehouse and office space is minimal. Worse, there are only 20 bathroom stalls in the spartan digs, compared to 40 in the Capitol.