• Ky. Kills 'Mr. Smiley' License Plates
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- That smiling sun on Kentucky's license plates was just a bit too cheerful for most drivers: Now Mr. Smiley's headed for the recycling bin....
Despite the criticisms, the smiling sun won the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association 2003 award for best license plate, beating Maine's lobster by one vote.
• Speaking of justifiable road rage, I can now confirm for three more states that the more faux-patriotic geegaws are found on a vehicle, the more likely it is that the driver is utterly unaware that anyone shares his roadway with him.
• My Poor Wife kept some notes for me on local goings-on in my absence. My favorite was the local news report (obviously taken from the wires) about the young girl who suffered cardiac arrest after riding a ride at Disney World. The reporter dutifully noted that state officials from some agency or other (my wife didn't quite catch it) were "monitoring" the inspection of the ride. Interesting choice of words there, in that Disney is beholden to no government in the state of Florida except its own; if Disney decides someday to line every seat with broken glass there's nothing any state inspector can do about it. Yet these powerless functionaries get invited to watch the proceedings in an obvious PR move, and it not only gets reported as news, it gets phrased in a way that suggests the state is in control.
• In a similar vein there's the recent report from Carmel, In, Indianapolis' obnoxious Republican wing-nut rich uncle to the north, that sewer bills are about to be raised 9% as part of the city's continuing effort to annex the rest of Indiana block by block. The Star's Lesley Rogers Barrett wants to make sure you get some historical perspective in the first sentence:
Carmel residents face a 9 percent increase in their city sewer bills, but the proposed monthly rate is still lower than what it was a decade ago.
Does such information belong in this sort of story? Probably. Does it generally appear before the first punctuation mark? Only when it's Republicans raising taxes to fund their One World Government schemes.
• T-ball Coach Allegedly Paid To Have Boy Hurt
PITTSBURGH (AP)--A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn’t have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday.
Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, is accused of offering one of his players the money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn’t want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.
Police said the boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and didn’t play, police said....
Eric Forsythe, the president of the R.W. Clark Youth Baseball League, said Downs had two daughters on the T-ball team.
League organizers investigated accusations against Downs before the T-ball season ended earlier this month but could not prove that he did anything wrong. If Downs is convicted of any crime, he won’t be allowed to be a coach next year, Forsythe said. [emphasis mine]
Aw, c'mon. Have a heart.