Originally created 03/16/05

Odds and Ends

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mike Hendricks is hoping he can make his hometown sing a different tune.

Hendricks was baffled to learn "Kansas City," the 1950s ditty that goes, "I'm goin' to Kansas City - Kansas City here I come," was not his city's official song.

So the Kansas City Star writer did what any columnist would do to stir up change - he started slinging ink.

In recent months, his columns on correcting the oversight have caught the city's attention. The effort has even received the blessing of Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, the songwriters who penned the song in 1951.

Hendricks learned the city already had an official song: "Kansas City, My Hometown." The City Council adopted that with little fanfare in 1950, Hendricks said.

"But it sounds like it was written in 1850," he said. "No one today would recognize it."

Not even Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes. When Hendricks asked her, she didn't know an official song was on the books.

This month, the newspaper and city planners will start a campaign to make the song the town's definitive golden oldie. The city hopes to collect a million signatures, then dedicate the song during an Oktoberfest celebration this fall.


POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - Doctors at Portnuef Medical Center recently found themselves treating an additional 770 patients - all dolls and stuffed animals.

The annual Teddy Bear Clinic drew a record turnout of children, who brought their dolls, bears and other stuffed animals in need of medical attention.

Saturday's event was aimed at making a visit to the hospital less frightening for children.

"It's like they are the parent. They get to experience it from the other side," hospital spokeswoman Crista Madsen Smith said. The event is targeted to kids ages 2-12.

Children explain their animal's problems to a receptionist while checking the toy into the hospital. Officials reported stories like "My bear broke his leg by jumping on the bed," or "My sister bit him."

The children also helped doctors decide how to treat the toys.

"X-ray is popular," Smith said. "Casting was probably the most popular this year, but surgery is always fascinating to kids."

If a child opts to put his or her animal under the knife, it is laid out on a table, the youngster gets a surgical mask and then a nurse discusses surgery and anesthesia.

Exhibits also allowed the animals to get immunizations, without needles, or the children were told about the dangers of poisons or given proper hand washing techniques.


SINGAPORE (AP) - The drinks aren't the only things ice cold at the Eski Bar, a new nightspot in tropical Singapore. The room temperature is so chilly that staff wear heavy coats and ski caps, and patrons get a 10 percent discount if they show up in winter wear.

The bar contains a decorated, industrial strength freezer, with the mercury ranging from 28 degrees Fahrenheit to just above zero. The goal is to attract thirsty clientele who need a break from the round-the-clock, sweltering, Southeast Asian heat.

So far, the gimmick is working. The directors of Eski Bar, which officially opened this month near Singapore's Chinatown, plan to open another, larger outlet next month.

The decor features ceiling and wall lights shaped like melting ice cubes, as well as a transparent plastic curtain at the entrance to keep out the heat. Beer and white spirits such as vodka are served ice cold, and one cocktail is called Sleeping Polar Bear.


STRASBURG, Va. (AP) - The police chief of a Virginia town got busted for drunken driving - twice in one day.

Middletown Police Chief Roger Ashley, 41, was ordered held without bail Monday, after spending the weekend in jail.

Officers responded to the first incident Saturday after Ashley's unmarked police car had run into a vehicle. His blood-alcohol level was 0.29, according to the arrest warrant - more than three times Virginia's 0.08 legal limit. His drivers license was suspended.

Five hours later, he was arrested a second time, in his personal vehicle, Strasburg Police Chief Marshall Robinson said. Police said he had a 0.25 blood-alcohol level.

Ashley's trial was scheduled for April 11.

Middletown officials expressed sadness over Ashley's arrests.

"Roger has done so much for the town over the years," Mayor Gene T. Dicks said of the man who has been with the town's Police Department since 1987. "It's a shame he has to ruin his life and throw everything away over something like this."


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