Stateline Story

WORTH NOTING: R.I. Sweeps Out Cleaning Staff

  • July 25, 2008
  • By Leah Szarek

Even Rhode Island's top prosecutor can't spot a fake. A woman who cleans state Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch's office apparently went into hiding the day after officials arrested 31 suspected undocumented courthouse cleaning staff on July 16,  The Providence Journal reports. A spokesman for the Ocean State Democrat confirmed that the woman's documentation was "evidently fraudulent." At least eight other state buildings have reported absentee janitors since the raid.

It's no Batmobile, but a ride with a history of crime-fighting could be yours for $188,000 or less. The Pennsylvania State Police is hawking five Cessna 182 airplanes to the general public to fund the more cost-efficient lease of newer aircraft, the  Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The agency's sales pitch touts the planes' modern styling, exciting past and solid maintenance. They may fly out of here fast, though - several inquiries already have come in from as far as Switzerland and Germany.

Whatever, everybody does it. South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford (D) used the classic teenager's defense when caught on camera parking his car in the fire lane in front of a clothing store to pick up a suit, The (Charleston) Post and Courier reports. A reader of the paper's "Parking Cheaters" feature snapped the incriminating photo of the lawmaker's car - sporting legislative tags - parked in the prohibited zone. "Whatever, I've got no problem with it," the senator told the paper. "If someone does, tell them to go call the tow truck or police."

Even the blue jeans are bigger in Texas - 800 times bigger. The giant denim duds are part of the new wardrobe for Big Tex, the Texas State Fair mascot,  The Dallas Morning News says. It's such a production to outfit the 52-foot-tall cowboy that he hasn't had a makeover in three years. Nine seamstresses worked three weeks to sew the 80-pound pants and new shirt in plenty of time for the September fair. Deep-fried Twinkies and other fair goodies may boost the market for Big Tex's cast-offs.

The Civil War may have ended more than a century ago, but Vermont just called a cease-fire. The state told re-enactors they no longer can fire a Civil War-era cannon because of public-safety concerns, according to the Rutland Herald . Vermont owns the cannon, but the 2 nd Battery Vermont Light Artillery has refurbished, maintained and shot it at annual re-enactments for three decades, until an expert determined continuing to fire it could be risky.

Don't let the bedbugs bite. An Ohio lawmaker is introducing legislation to keep you safe from the nocturnal nibblers that have infested hotels, hospitals and homes,  The Akron Beacon Journal reports. State Rep. Dale Mallory (D) wants to use state funds to educate hotel owners about the pests and set up a toll-free bedbug hotline. While New York hosts the most of these unwelcome guests, the Cincinnati area ranks fifth, according to Susan Jones, an entomologist with the Ohio State Extension Service.