Dispatches > Quick Takes
Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Quick Takes

Issue: "Medical care circus," Feb. 25, 2012

Mad mayor

If Norway, S.C., mayor Jim Preacher finds himself in hot water, it's not because he got pulled over for speeding. It's what came next that has authorities at South Carolina's State Law Enforcement Division scratching their heads. Preacher admits he was speeding in his Dodge Charger on Jan. 18. But after a state trooper issued him a citation for driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, Preacher did something unusual. Flipping on lights and sirens in his own Dodge Charger, Preacher then pulled the trooper over. According to incident reports, Preacher said the office of mayor gives him the law enforcement powers of a constable. The Norway mayor demanded the trooper provide license and registration, but issued no citation or summons. After the incident, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety asked that the State Law Enforcement Division investigate Preacher's law enforcement jurisdiction.

Top dollar dog

Cognac lovers and hot dog enthusiasts finally have something in common: a cognac dog. The pricey wiener is the invention of Canadian hot dog restaurateur Dougie Luv, who owns and operates a hot dog eatery in Vancouver's entertainment district. Those who want Luv's "Dragon Dog" will have to fork over $100 and give Luv 12 hours' notice. But Luv says the price tag is appropriate, considering he plans to season each Dragon Dog with drops of 100-year-old Louis XIII cognac-a variety of brandy valued at over $2,000 per bottle. Other toppings on the hot dog include olive oil, truffle oil, and fresh lobster. Luv told the Vancouver Sun that the Dragon Dog will prove popular: "I have a lot of reservations [for the new dog] already."

Packing a punch

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If it hadn't been for his wife, 82-year-old George Murphy may not have survived his brutal encounter with a moose on Jan. 20. Murphy and his 85-year-old wife Dorothea Taylor had just finished exercising their dogs near the Willow, Alaska, airport when a large bull moose began to charge Murphy. With no trees to hide behind, Murphy dove into a snow bank to hide. But the angered moose quickly found him and began stomping on the retired man's body. Hearing the commotion, Taylor-who stands 5 feet tall and weighs 97 pounds-jumped out of the truck and grabbed a shovel from the bed of the pickup. With nothing but the shovel and some courage, Taylor managed to bludgeon the beast into stopping its attack. "I hit it with everything I had," she told the Anchorage Daily News. Murphy was then rushed by medical helicopter to a local hospital where he's expected to make a full recovery.

Security bees

Looking for ways to stop hoodlums from vandalizing historic buildings in a North Wales heritage park, local officials may soon turn to an unlikely ally: bees. Officials charged with preserving several historic mills at the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park near Holywell, Flintshire, have been considering a proposal to introduce bee hives near the buildings to scare off potential vandals. "They could be a deterrent," Barbara Chick, publicity officer for the Welsh Beekeepers' Association, told the BBC. "I haven't heard of them being used as security bees." But, she allowed, if nothing else, they could help pollinate wildflowers.

Selling point

Asking for a starting bid of $1 million might be steep for any Chrysler product, even one that used to be driven by President Barack Obama. In January, eBay seller Lisa Czibor placed a listing on the site's automotive section purporting to be the late model Chrysler 300 that was once leased by then-Sen. Barack Obama. Czibor, on behalf of owner Tim O'Boyle, provided a copy of the vehicle's title showing Obama as a lessee, but few expect Czibor and O'Boyle to get their asking bid of $1 million. The presidential limousine used by President Franklin Roosevelt sold at auction for only $270,000, while the hearse that carried a dead President John F. Kennedy garnered only $160,000 at a recent auction. In 2007, Obama traded the gas-guzzling Chrysler for an environmentally friendly Ford Escape Hybrid prior to his presidential election campaign.

Chilled thrill

For the five runners who crossed the finish line of the Running Club North's Chilly Buns Mid-winter Fun Run, the impressive part about it wasn't the distance. It was the temperature. When the six runners started the 6.5-mile race, thermometers showed temperatures at 49 below. The yearly event staged on Jan. 26 at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus tests not only the physical fitness of competitors but their ability to generate heat and endure the cold. This year, Alaskan Dirk Nickisch finished the 6.5-mile course first with a time of 50 minutes and 14 seconds.

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