Originally created 04/15/04

Odds and Ends



TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A white and tan Taiwanese cat made his successful television debut - on the toilet.

"Tiger" showed off his skills Wednesday, hopping on the front end of the toilet seat and carefully balancing himself as he did his business.

Tiger's owner, Dong Hsiu-yuan, told reporters in her home in central Taichung County that the former stray cat only recently acquired his toilet skills.

"Last week, I saw him jump on the toilet. I didn't know what he was doing and then I noticed he was urinating," she told CTI cable news.

Dong said that Tiger was self-taught. "He would watch me from the bathroom doorway. If I closed the door, then he would meow loudly," she told SCT cable news.

Although Tiger's skills are impressive, he still hasn't mastered the art of flushing.

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- State Sen. Floyd Vrtiska understood when lawmakers forgot about his plan to wear patriotic scarves and ties on the same day.

He forgot, too.

The Nebraska Nurses Association distributed the ties and scarves to lawmakers earlier this year, Vrtiska said.

He asked his colleagues to wear them Tuesday to show their patriotism. At least 10 senators remembered, but Vrtiska had to borrow an extra American flag tie from another senator.

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ALLIANCE, Ohio -- An entrepreneur has won his wiener war with city hall.

A judge granted Walton "Wally" Armour permission to erect a 30-foot replica of a hot dog atop his new restaurant.

City officials had tried to halt the plans, saying it would lead to more and could make the city look like the Las Vegas strip.

The Alliance Board of Zoning Appeals granted Armour a variance allowing him to skirt an ordinance against rooftop advertising. Law Director Andrew Zumbar argued that the ordinance shouldn't be bypassed, but the judge said the city could not challenge its appeals board.

Zumbar said it would be up to the city council whether to appeal Sinclair's ruling.

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WAYNE, N.J. -- Authorities in Wayne are trying to discourage certain residents from staying in the northern New Jersey town.

The township council is scheduled to vote next month on an ordinance outlawing geese feeding anywhere in the community, including private lakes.

The proposed ordinance, if adopted, would fine people between $5 and $50 for bird feeding. A second offense would raise the fine to between $10 and $100. After that, the fine would range between $15 and $500.

Large numbers of geese, and the noise and droppings that come with them, have become a growing problem in New Jersey communities in recent years.

Wayne Councilman Gerard Porter acknowledges that it may be hard for the town to enforce the ban, but he hopes the new law might send a message that feeding the birds affects the cleanliness of local lakes.

"If you don't feed them, they'll go."