The skinny

Published May 12, 2007



Only recently did it become clear that this needed to be said: Nanny 911 is a television show, not a new public service. But the Fond du Lac Reporter in Wisconsin reports that a Dodge County woman recently made a call to 911 have them send her a babysitter. "This is a nanny 911, " she said. "And this woman was serious, " said Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls. "That's just an example of some of the influences television has on some of the things we deal with." Perhaps the saddest part is that the woman also asked the dispatcher to send her some friends, too. The dispatcher informed the caller that 911 doesn't provide either service. "Okay, " she said, and hung up.

Kid in van is deal breaker for thief

There are plenty of reasons to stop smoking. And there are plenty of reasons to never leave your 2-year-old in a van with the motor running. Here's where they meet: Joshua Madden ran into a Chattanooga, Tenn., grocery store for a pack of smokes. Only take a minute, they always say. So he left his son, Kevin Morris, strapped in. Guess what was missing when he got out: the whole van. He freaked out. But apparently, so did the guy who stole the van, because when he found a kid in it, he brought it right back. The suspect is in custody, and we learn that dad did nothing wrong. It's not illegal to leave your kid in a van with the engine running in Tennessee. But, as reported Friday, popping a wheelie on a motorcycle may soon be.


Robber was serious, clerk had to laugh

A man walked into a convenience store in Inwood, W.Va., about 4 a.m. with the intent of robbing it. He had covered his face with a pair of blue women's underwear and was armed with a pistol-shaped lighter. The clerk reacted much the way you might expect a clerk staring down a guy with underwear on his head and armed with a lighter would. He thought it was a joke and refused to give him anything. So the robber ran to the getaway car, which police caught. They arrested two men. "I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried, " State Police Sgt. T.C. Kearns told the Journal in Martinsburg.


Lunar litter

Scientists have studied the mysterious metallic object that crashed into a New Jersey home earlier this year and declared it ... a piece of space junk. It's not the cool, superdense meteorite that everyone thought it was at first. Including a geologist from Rutgers, whom you might expect to know such things. "I was wrong, " Jeremy Delaney said. "Sneaky little devil." It was about as big as a golf ball and weighed about the same as a can of soup. But it wasn't anything cool. Just "orbital debris" from a satellite or rocket or something.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster.