By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Odds & Ends in the News
Placeholder Image

Pa. man walks 25 miles to court for DUI sentencing
    CARLISLE, Pa. — A man facing sentencing on a drunken-driving conviction couldn’t get a ride to court. So he start walking.
    And walking.
    Stephen Shoemaker was scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday for sentencing.
    Shoemaker, 33, of Shippensburg, doesn’t have a car or driver’s license. So he started hoofing it to the courthouse at dawn. He kept walking for about 25 miles in 90-plus-degree heat.
    Shoemaker arrived about 3:30 p.m. — after a detour to a hospital, where he was treated for dehydration.
    Judge Edward Guido had issued an arrest warrant when Shoemaker failed to appear. But he agreed to defer sentencing until July. Guido said he hesitated only because ‘‘that means he’ll have to walk back to Shippensburg.’’
    Deputy Public Defender Anthony Adams volunteered to give Shoemaker a ride home.

LA reservoir covered with balls to protect water
    LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of thousands of shimmering black plastic balls were dumped into one of the city’s last open-air reservoirs to prevent a sunlight-fueled chemical reaction that can harm the water supply.
    Workers on Monday unleashed 400,000 of the hollow, 4-inch ‘‘shade balls’’ down a slope to cover the surface of the Ivanhoe Reservoir, which provides water to parts of downtown, central and south Los Angeles.
    Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power drained two of its six remaining open-air reservoirs because a rare sunlight-and-chlorine reaction tainted the water with bromate, a cancer-causing chemical. The amounts were small and didn’t violate federal water regulations, but the water was dumped as a precaution.
    The plastic spheres are ‘‘a cost effective method of creating shade without elaborate construction, parts, labor or maintenance,’’ the department said in a statement.
    The balls are a temporary fix while the city completes an underground water storage project to replace the open-air reservoirs within several years.

90-year-old accepts high school diploma in Mich.
    DETROIT — John Lawrence Locher has accomplished many things in his 90 years, including living through the Great Depression, fighting in the Pacific during World War II and a long career with General Motors.
    But missing was the diploma whose pursuit he abandoned in the early 1930s to help feed his family in Detroit.
    Locher checked it off his list, wearing his cap and gown in Detroit Southwestern High School’s 2008 commencement ceremonies Monday night — more than 70 years after he dropped out.
    ‘‘I feel 100 percent lighter,’’ he said. ‘‘I appreciate this moment very much. ... It really was overwhelming.’’
    The school sent the General Motors Corp. retiree an honorary diploma for ‘‘life credits’’ this past winter to his home in Cape Coral, Fla. Southwestern Principal Garnet R. Green later said Locher’s family had contacted the school about the diploma and allowing him to participate in commencement.
    ‘‘When I opened it up, I almost fainted,’’ Locher said a few hours before the ceremony from his daughter’s home outside Lansing. ‘‘I thought someone was playing a real cruel joke on me.’’
    Locher left school after 10th grade, with the city and rest of the country mired in the Depression and his father suffering from tuberculosis.
    ‘‘My family was starving, literally,’’ he said. ‘‘I had to make some provision to make money. I was the oldest. I had a paper route. I did all kinds of work. I worked one place for 33 cents an hour, and I worked my fanny off.’’
    He latched onto GM in 1936.
    ‘‘I worked 38 years with GM,’’ he said proudly. ‘‘I was a senior design engineer at the time, and I didn’t have a high school diploma. God has been really good to me.’’
    Five of Locher’s eight children and his 80-year-old wife, Mary, were among relatives attending the ceremony.

New catfish named for longtime mailroom supervisor
    PHILADELPHIA — Frank Gallagher spent 37 years as a mailroom supervisor at a natural science museum — so long that he used to wisecrack that he should be part of the collection.
    Now he is.
    Rhinodoras gallagheri is a new species of catfish named by scientist Mark Sabaj Pérez at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
    Sabaj Pérez, who manages the museum’s collection of 1.3 million fish, said he was impressed by Gallagher’s dedication, love for fellow employees and keen interest in science.
    ‘‘I simply thought, ’Here is a guy who should be honored with his own catfish,’’’ Sabaj Pérez said in a statement Monday.
    Gallagher retired in 2003.
    Rhinodoras gallagheri, commonly known as the Orinoco thicklip catfish, can be found in Venezuela and Colombia.
    New species are often named for prominent scientists, generous benefactors or even spouses — but not always.
    A biologist recently named a new trapdoor spider after musician Neil Young, and in 2005, entomologists named a new slime-mold beetle after President Bush.

Mich.-shaped meteorite sells for $20K at auction
    DETROIT — A meteorite resembling Michigan’s Lower Peninsula has been sold at auction, but bidders weren’t quite as smitten with the mitten as the seller expected.
    The 75-pound nickel-and-iron meteorite sold for $20,000 Sunday at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. It had been expected to sell for $32,500 to $40,000.
    Michigan native Darryl Pitt, the meteorite’s owner, says he is disappointed by the low price. He says he thinks the space rock is worth $50,000.
    There was more interest in a three-quarter-ton nickel-iron meteorite that resembles the Indian subcontinent. It sold for $90,000.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter