Originally created 03/27/04

Odds and Ends



WEST POINT, Utah -- A woman has accused a northern Utah city of trying to sweep her topless maid business out of town.

The West Point City Council has revoked the home business license of Dee Dee Derian, saying she misused it by sometimes running the business from a cell phone outside her home.

The license allowed her to do scheduling and bookkeeping for Black Rose Maids, her topless maid service that also operates in Arizona and California.

Derian, 44, accused the city of discriminating against her because she's not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the dominant religion in Utah.

West Point officials say they are bound by law to prevent Derian from operating the business if it violates her license, and the decision had nothing to do with the nature of her business.

Since January, she has been operating without a license, and she filed a lawsuit this month accusing the city of wrongfully failing to renew it.

Derian received national attention in 2001 when her neighbors complained about her doing yard work in a bikini. Prosecutors declined to press charges after determining she hadn't broken the law.

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MOSCOW, Idaho -- Two men may wish they hadn't called police after a burglary at their home.

They reported that their TV and VCR had been destroyed and their video game console was missing on Wednesday, said Latah County Sheriff's spokeswoman Darla Buckley.

But as deputies checked the perimeter of the home for suspects, they allegedly spotted some pot plants growing in a doorless shed.

Jason Wellman, 19, and Matthew Beyer, 18, were each charged with manufacturing marijuana with intent to deliver. They were taken into custody.

Investigators had no leads on the home burglary, Buckley said.

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Administrators at Southern Illinois University have inadvertently found a way to interest students in campus politics - take away their late-night snacks.

When students heard the school did not plan to renew "Munchie Man" James Rochman's permit to sell food out of the back of his truck on campus, the news inspired a new political party devoted to reversing the decision.

Headed by student government member Rob Taylor, the Munchie Party planned to distribute fliers on campus supporting Rochman.

When students vote in campus elections April 13 and 14, one ballot question will ask whether Rochman should be allowed to continue his campus business after May, when his permit expires. The referendum doesn't hold power against the will of the administration, but if enough students support Rochman, it might influence the administration's final decision, Taylor said.

Rochman, 37, parks his truck in a lot between two residence halls and sells chips, candy and cigarettes. The business was started by his father when he was a university student in 1964.

Administrators said they are trying to control traffic in the area and worry that Rochman's business could cause safety concerns, though Rochman says crowd control and student safety have never been a problem.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Even a baby orangutan is deserving of a noble name.

Out of more than 2,000 suggestions, the Seneca Park Zoo chose "Datu" as the name for its new orangutan, an ape found only in swampy, coastal jungles in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Zoo officials said Datu means nobleman, or chief, in the Iban language, and was a title held by Malay rulers in the 19th century.

The winning entry earned a University of Buffalo student Jason Grubb a year's supply of doughnuts, a zoo membership and a bicycle.

Grubb said he found the name, pronounced dah-too, after checking out an Iban dictionary from the library.