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Odds & Ends 12/22

Prank photos on drivers' licenses are being revoked  
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles said ordered two men to get their license photos retaken — this time without the red-painted skin, spray-on hair and fake teeth.
    Will Carsola and Dave Stewart posted Internet videos of their pranks, which included Carsola spray-painting his face and neck bright red and Stewart painting the top of his head black and sticking a row of fake buckteeth in his mouth in an Asian caricature.
    The videos show the men each entering a DMV office in disguise and returning with real licenses.
    ‘‘We have sent letters to the individuals that basically require them to appear at DMV to reapply for their driver’s licenses and surrender any previously issued licenses’’ within 15 days, DMV spokesman Bill Foy said.
    Stewart and Carsola, both 27, said Wednesday they will get their ‘‘real’’ photos taken, and were surprised at how easy it was to get their driver’s licenses, outlandish getups notwithstanding.
    The men did the pranks as part of a new movie, ‘‘and it escalated from there,’’ Stewart said.
    The videos, which appear on YouTube and Break.com under ‘‘DMV Drivers License Prank’’ and ‘‘Getting over on the DMV,’’ have prompted the state agency to review its current ID-photo policies.
    But Foy acknowledged it’s difficult for DMV employees to determine whether a customer ‘‘looks right.’’

Pac-Man rules the road! 

    BUFFALO, Minn. — Pac-Man is back. Only this time, he’s bigger — and he’s gobbling up dots on Highway 55.
    Large white dots painted on the highway to deter motorists from tailgating have been joined by a giant, yellow image of the video game icon.
    ‘‘I drove that road the other day,’’ said an amused Wright County Sheriff Gary Miller, ‘‘and drivers were bunched up to figure out what it was.’’
    The oversized Pac-Man has been on the highway for about a month, and the artist or artists behind it have been back to touch it up at least once.
    ‘‘It’s kind of comical,’’ said county highway engineer Wayne Fingalson. ‘‘Somebody really did a good job of meticulously putting that (Pac-Man) in the dots.’’
    Tom Dumont, the area traffic engineer for the Department of Transportation, wasn’t happy with the addition to the $15,000 project.
    ‘‘I’d hate to say positive things because I don’t want to encourage people to try to paint something on a busy highway. But at least it’s made the project a little more noteworthy,’’ Dumont said.
    The 7-foot dots are 225 feet apart — the distance officials say is needed for a vehicle traveling at 55 mph to stop in three seconds without hitting the vehicle in front of it. Road signs tell drivers to keep two dots apart.
    Patricia Hackman, who teaches driving classes at Buffalo High School, said: ‘‘I don’t know where Pac-Man came from, but anything we can do to bring more attention to traffic safety, I’m all for it.’’
 
Police apologizes for making men rap to get out of ticket
    PHOENIX — A Tempe police sergeant has apologized for a television program that showed him asking two black men to perform a rap song to get out of a littering ticket.
    ‘‘Nothing I did on that day, or nothing I’ve done in any day of my 25 years as a police officer, or nothing in my 48 years of being a human being, was ever driven by race, by the color of a person’s skin or anything of that nature,’’ Sgt. Chuck Schoville told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday.
    Schoville stopped two men in August in a mall parking lot after seeing a motorist toss a paper bag from his window.
    The stop appeared on a segment of the police-produced ‘‘StreetBeat.’’
    Schoville said he talked to the men before the camera started rolling and learned that they were aspiring rappers, which led to his asking them to rap.
    The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, president of the National Action Network in Arizona, met with Schoville on Monday night at a Tempe restaurant and found him to be ‘‘a man of sincere service and integrity.’’
    But Maupin said that doesn’t excuse what happened on tape, and that the men are looking into taking legal action.
    On Wednesday, authorities said Schoville would not be disciplined, but that the department would have to undergo diversity training, and the show will be taken off the air for a few months.

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