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Odds and ends

SHANGHAI, China ” The Shanghai city government has a message for its civil servants: You’re fat. Hit the gym.

The city’s Xuhui district says about 15 percent of its 4,000 bureaucrats are overweight, with just 30 percent receiving good or excellent marks on their physicals, the Shanghai Daily reported.

“The biggest problems among government clerks and officials are obesity, poor heart and lung functioning, and poor balance,” Zhang Chengyao, of the Xuhui District Sports Administration, was quoted as saying.

Bureaucrats must join one of 25 designated gyms or sports clubs that offer discounted fees. Those who work out at least once a week get their payments reimbursed, the report said.

Shanghai public health officials say they are worried that men in the hectic business hub are aging quicker due to stress, pollution and unhealthy lifestyles ” a problem that is driving down an already slowing birthrate.

Leap of faith proved hazardous for a smoker

FOREMAN, Ark. ” A leap of faith proved hazardous for a smoker in need of a cigarette fix after a night on the town.

Jeff Foran suffered trauma to his nose, eyes and chin after jumping from a car traveling 55-60 mph. Authorities said he was trying to retrieve a cigarette blown out of the passenger-side window.

Foran, 38, took the leap Saturday night, state police Trooper Jamie Gravier said.

The driver of the car, Jerry Glenn Nelson, said Foran had asked him earlier in the evening to be a designated driver after a night of drinking.

“Foran did the right thing and asked his buddy to drive him home,” Gravier said. “It was obvious he was extremely intoxicated.”

Gravier added: “If anything could make him stop smoking, this should be it. The man is lucky to be alive.”

Carriage horse bolts, races a mile onto a freeway

CINCINNATI ” Whoa, Nelly. Or should that be hail, Caesar?

A carriage horse called Caesar bolted from its usual downtown spot and raced about a mile onto a freeway, startling motorists and a police officer who saw the animal zip past him.

Cincinnati police Lt. Michael Neville called for help Sunday after he spotted the horse pulling an empty carriage.

Caesar, may have gotten scared when the carriage driver began to pull the top up on the buggy, said Jazz Cann, a driver for Elegant Carriages, which owns the rig and the horse.

Or, it may have been trying to get back to a warehouse where it is stabled, but ended up on Interstate 75, Cann said.

A cab driver corralled the horse by an exit ramp until help arrived.

“At least he wasn’t going the wrong way down a one-way street,” Neville said. “He did run a red light, but I’m not going to cite him.”


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