The morning Odds & Ends |

The morning Odds & Ends

LINCOLN, Neb. Sen. Ben Nelson finally has succeeded in getting President Bush to stop calling him by the detested nickname Nellie.Bush had been referring to the Nebraska Democrat as Nellie since 2001. Nelson disliked the nickname and had asked the president to stop using it.The president likes to give people nicknames. He has called Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, Pootie-Poot, while aide Karen Hughes gets High Prophet.But Bush heeded Nelsons request to scrap his moniker, and at the recent White House Christmas party, the president referred to Nelson as Benny.The president had a twinkle in his eye when he called me that, Nelson said. He knew what he had done. I said, Thank you, Mr. President.

PHOENIX Some Phoenix-area inmates are in the pink pink handcuffs.Maricopa County sheriffs deputies began using fluorescent pink handcuffs Thursday to transport inmates.Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he introduced the pink handcuffs because he was tired of losing them to his own deputies and other law enforcement agencies. He ordered 1,000 of the pink handcuffs, which are made in England, at $19.44 each. The regular ones cost $18.84 a pop.We presume nobody else has pink handcuffs, so we can spot them and know theyre ours, he said.Patrol deputies will still carry the silver cuffs, which they pay for themselves.The new cuffs will go well with the countys color scheme. Maricopa County inmates wear pink boxers and sleep on pink sheets.

MILTON, Vt. Its hard to imagine that a 3-pointer in the second quarter of a high school boys basketball game would turn out to be the winning basket unless its one of only three made in the entire game.That basket, along with an earlier field goal, was all Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax needed to beat Milton on Wednesday night. The final score: 5-2.Ive never had a player hit a game-winner in the second quarter before, BFA-Fairfax coach Glen Button Jr. said.It could not immediately be determined if the score was a state or national record low, but the contest certainly attracted attention.It had to have been one of the most boring games in the world, said Bob Johnson, the director of student activities for the Vermont Principals Association, which governs high school sports.Neither team scored in the second half.It was the ultimate deliberate stalemate, Milton coach Jim Smith said. They didnt come out after us and we didnt go in against them.Smith said the slowdown was implemented because BFA (7-4) has a strong scoring presence, while Milton (2-8) does not. The Milton players believed their best chance to be competitive was to just hold onto the ball.We had a shot go off the rim that would have tied it, Smith said.

BOSTON If youre on the A-list at Suffolk Superior Court this month, then most likely youre also in the jury pool.A computer glitch at the state Office of Jury Commissioner alphabetized names of potential jurors, rather than shuffling them, before summonses were sent out. That created a jury pool of people whose last names mostly begin with the letter A.So far, prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges agree that the error has not affected defendants constitutional right to a fair trial in front of a jury of their peers, jury Commissioner Pamela J. Wood said.There are five trials under way in Suffolk Superior Court and no lawyers have raised objections, said David Procopio, a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Conley.We do not believe that what was basically a procedural defect compromised the integrity of the jury pool, Procopio said. Much more important is randomness based on race, gender, and other more substantive issues, and this pool does have that.The A-list of jurors will continue to show up at the courthouse until Jan. 24.

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