America's best-known "hockey mom" takes the ice herself on Saturday. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who frequently mentions her ties to hockey while stumping for John McCain, will drop the ceremonial first puck at the Philadelphia Flyers' National Hockey League home opener against the New York Rangers, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The gesture may be aimed not only at swing-state voters; it could be a thank you to the Flyers' owner, Ed Snider, who contributed $25,000 to the McCain campaign and Republican National Committee, the paper says.
Talk about a launching pad to the White House: A fierce battle to become the next mayor of Wasilla, Alaska - the job Palin held before becoming the state's governor and the surprise pick for the GOP vice-presidential nomination - will require a run-off to settle the contest, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Voters will choose between a defense attorney and the executive director of a nonprofit organization.
State officials in Texas and the state of Washington are putting their foot down on pedicures - fish pedicures, that is. Finding the practice unsanitary and a potential health risk, regulators in the two states have banned businesses from selling pedicures provided by tiny fish, which cleanse customers' feet by feeding on dead skin, according to reports in The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times . Customers lured by the exotic pedicures - which admirers say are relaxing - will have to look in other states.
Slow-pitch softball can be a bruising game, an appeals court in Iowa has found. The Iowa Court of Appeals threw out a lawsuit stemming from a softball accident in which a first baseman was hit in the eye by a bat that slipped out of a batter's hands nearly 60 feet away, The Des Moines Register reports. "Physical contact is part of the game of softball," the court's ruling said, warning that participants "are at risk of being hit by a bat."