Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dog is thatcher's rooftop companion


For Axel, the sky is the limit when it comes to his affection for his master. The five-year-old dog clambers up ladders to be alongside owner Richard Haughton, who is a thatcher in Norfolk, England..

Axel, a Newfoundland cross, is currently something of a celebrity in Scottow, near North Walsham, where he can be seen on top of the Three Horseshoes pub as Mr Haughton's team put on a new roof. He said: "Axel was a six-week-old puppy without a home. I was going to take him to the animal rescue centre, but he's been with me ever since and hasn't missed a day's work in the last five years."

Axel, weighing in at 98 pounds, patrols the roof where Mr Haughton's team are working in all weathers. His vantage point in Scottow is around 40ft (12m) off the ground. Mr Haughton said Axel's ability to climb ladders came as quite a surprise.

"We were sitting eating a packed lunch. Axel was on one side of the scaffolding, we were up over the ridge on the other and he managed to come up the ladder. We saw him up on the ridge - basically he thought he was going to get some food - and he's been up with us all the time ever since. He sits on the ridge and moves along it as we're working. We always have to bring him down though. He hasn't worked out going down the ladder yet."

Woman Fired After Donating Kidney to Help Her Boss

Debbie Stevens

A New York Long Island woman said she was fired after she donated a kidney to help save the life of her boss.
Debbie Stevens, a 47-year-old divorced mother of two, filed a formal complaint with the New York State Human Rights Commission last Friday, claiming her boss used her for her organ then fired her "after the woman got what she wanted." Stevens' boss, 61-year-old Jackie Brucia, is one of the West Islip controllers for Atlantic Automotive Group, a billion-dollar dealership operator. Brucia hired Stevens in January 2009 as an assistant.
"She just started treating me horribly, viciously, inhumanly after the surgery," Stevens told ABCNews.com. "It was almost like she hired me just to get my kidney." Although Stevens turned out to be less than a perfect kidney match for Brucia, Stevens donated her organ to an out-of-state stranger so that Brucia could move up on the organ donor list.
Stevens left the company in June 2010 to move to Florida. She returned to New York in September to visit her daughter, and decided to stop in at the dealership, according to the complaint. It was during this visit that Brucia told Stevens of her need for a kidney transplant.
"She said she had a possible donor, a friend or something," Stevens said. "But I told her if anything happened that I'd be willing to donate my kidney. She kind of jokingly replied, 'You never know, I may have to take you up on that one day.'"
A few months later, Stevens moved back to Long Island and asked Brucia if she had any job openings. Brucia hired her within weeks.
Then, in January 2011, Stevens said her boss called her into her office and asked if she was serious about donating her kidney.
"I said, 'Yeah, sure. This isn't a joking matter,'" Stevens said. "I did not do it for job security. I didn't do it to get a raise. I did it because it's who I am.
"I didn't want her to die," Stevens said.
When tests revealed that Stevens was not the best match, doctors agreed to let her give her kidney to someone in Missouri, which gave Brucia a higher place on the organ donor list.
Stevens underwent surgery on Aug. 10, 2011. She said doctors hit a nerve in her leg, causing her discomfort and digestive problems.
She returned to work four weeks later, and said that's when the problems began.
"I don't have words strong enough or large enough to describe her treatment of me," Stevens said. "Screaming at me about things I never did, carrying on to the point where she wouldn't even let me leave my desk. It was constant, constant screaming."
Stevens said she was demoted and moved to a car dealership 50 miles from her home. She said the mental stress got even worse, with her supervisor calling her an "actress."
"It got so bad that I'd start to tear up at times," Stevens said.
After consulting a psychiatrist for her mental stress, Stevens' hired attorneys who sent a letter to Atlantic Automotive Group.
Stevens was fired within a week.
When reached by ABC News, AAG referred all calls about the case to Jackie Brucia, Stevens' supervisor, who could not be reached for comment, at either the car dealership or her home. It is not known whether Brucia has legal representation at this time.
Stevens' attorney, civil rights lawyer Lenard Leeds, said he planned to file a discrimination lawsuit against AAG, and would likely seek millions of dollars in compensation.
"Our ultimate goal is to bring this before federal court," Leeds said. "We're alleging they discriminated against her for her disability and they retaliated against her when she complained about the harassment."
Leeds said the damages sought will be for Stevens' lost pay, psychological and physical well being.
"I have no comment on her. I'm just going walk ahead and live my life," Stevens said.

JOKE: Three POWs

An Australian, an American, and an Irishman were POWs in WWII. The prison commandant was a real bastard and told them he'd kill all three unless their combined pen�s length was twenty inches. The guards measured them and, fortunately, their combined length was exactly twenty inches.

Later, the Australian said, "Well, mates, if it weren't for my 10-incher, we'd all be dead."

The American said, "Naw, if it wasn't for my 8 inches, we'd all be dead."

The Irishman said, "If that guard didn't turn me on, we'd all be dead!"

VIDEO: Frog Sitting On Bench..Yup

Life-Saving Dachshund Up for Award


A dog who has twice saved the life of her owner after she suffered a seizure has been nominated for an award. Miniature long-haired dachshund Ellie-May is not trained for rescues, and first showed her skills when her owner collapsed in a country lane.

Now the three-year-old barks and "screams" to alert people when Yolande Rees-Hopkins, of Carmarthenshire, Wales is in danger. Ms Rees-Hopkins said Ellie-May's ability was amazing and had even saved her from drowning in the bath.

"My husband had gone out and he'd just come back in by the time I was under the water, and he would not have found me in time if it wasn't for Ellie-May," she said. Ellie-May even seemed to sense when her owner has a seizure even if they are apart, she added. "I could be 50 miles away from her and she will still know what is happening. I've never heard of this kind of thing before."

Ellie-May is one of a number of dogs owned by Ms Rees-Hopkins, but none of the others have had the same ability. While Ms Rees-Hopkins said winning would make no difference about how she felt about Ellie-May, it would be "nice for her to be recognised". "She's the only dog in her category which has not been specially trained for what she does," she added.

Judge sentences drunk driver to public humiliation


A judge in Houston, Texas, sentenced a convicted drunk driver to humiliation. The drunk driver killed another man when he crashed into his car. Now the whole city will know what happened.

In June of 2011, 20-year-old Aaron Pennywell was killed when he was struck by 38-year-old Michael Giacona.

On Saturday, after spending 90 days in jail, Giacona re-visited the scene, but not because he wanted to.

Harris County Judge Mike Fields has ordered him to spend the next four Saturdays out there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while holding a sign that says he killed Pennywell.

Man arrested after trying to sell marijuana to his former probation officer


A Florence, South Carolina, man was arrested late on Friday night after he tried to arrange a drug deal with his previous probation officer and then completed the sale to a Florence Police officer.

The suspect was apparently scrolling through his cellphone directory trying to sell some marijuana he had when one of the people he called agreed to the purchase, Maj. Carlos Raines, Florence Police Department, said.

The buyer, who was also the suspect's former probation officer, set up the buy for a shopping centre parking lot and then contacted Florence Police, who completed the transaction.

Raines said the department seized half a pound of marijuana with a street value of $1,200. Cedrick Barnes, 27, of 958 Fore Road, is charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of cocaine.


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