Daily Dispatches

Firefighters rescue poodle trapped in the bath


Selene Ortega, 12, was giving her poodle Morita a bath on Friday in Albuquerque, N.M., when something went wrong. Morita started screaming and Ortega realized her pooch’s paw was stuck in the bathtub drain. With such an unusual problem, Ortega had to make several phone calls: the vet, who told her to call the plumber, who told her to call housing, who told her to call 911. Firefighters arrived on the scene, and after trying to slide the paw out with lotion and shampoo, ended up cutting out part of the bathtub. The Ortega family took Morita to the vet, with the drain and part of the bathtub connected to her leg. The vet successfully removed it, and Morita is doing well and recovering from swelling. Animal Welfare said pet owners should use drain covers to prevent similar situations.

Grandmother tackles man running from police

A Washington grandmother tackled a 20-year-old man fleeing from police last Wednesday. The woman, 40-year-old Becky Powell, was driving with her husband and teenage son when she saw the man running. She told her husband to speed ahead and jumped out of the car while it was still moving. Then, she assumed a football stance. The man tried to stiff-arm her, but she “wrapped him up and threw him on the ground,” pulling his shorts down and exposing his backside. Then she taunted him: “I whispered in his ear, ‘How does it feel to be taken down by a mother of five and grandmother of three?’” Another man helped her keep the suspect pinned down until police arrived. The man had been stopped by police during an argument with another man. He ran because of an outstanding warrant, according to police. Officers gave Powell a high-five but police spokesman Capt. Mike Cobb cautioned against citizens taking on police business: “We appreciate the assistance, but we don’t want to have people get involved because they can get hurt.”

New York county forgives $2.4 million in erroneous speeding tickets

New York drivers who received more than 30,000 speed camera fines this summer are in luck: The county is forgiving all of them. Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said the cameras, installed at six school locations, had problems. He told Newsday five cameras issued tickets on days when school wasn’t in session, and cameras at the sixth location operated prematurely. Mangano declared amnesty on the fines, which totaled $2.4 million. Doreen Delach received 11 tickets, totaling $880, for speeding in front of a middle school. “How are we supposed to know school is in session?” she asked. County lawmaker Judith Jacobs wants larger signs with color and flashing yellow lights to warn motorists: “Otherwise, it’s a speed trap.” 

Canine custody fight

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A Washington family wants their dog back. The Biddles lost Buddy in early July when he ran away. They originally thought he was killed by a cougar on their property, but they saw a picture of Buddy on the local humane society website—with his new owner. A canine custody battled ensued. Roxanne Kendrick, who adopted the dog, claimed it’s her dog, Apollo, who’s been lost since 2013. According to Komo News, Kendrick has posted extensively online about Apollo, and if the dog she adopted truly is her long lost pouch, he would have survived more than a year and traveled 40 miles. The Biddles have a lot of proof that the dog is theirs: adoption papers, a doggie school diploma, family photos with Buddy, and microchip confirmation. Trudy Biddle told KIRO Radio that Kendrick acknowledged to the humane society that the dog belonged to the Biddles, but he was in a good home now. Biddle said she wants 14-year-old Buddy to spend his remaining years with his family: “I really never doubted for a moment, initially, that she would give him back, so that is why I’m in complete shock.”

Allie Hulcher
Allie Hulcher

Allie is a World Journalism Institute intern.


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