The morning Odds & Ends
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Florida Legislature is flush with good ideas.Sen. Al Lawsons latest involves a way to pay for wastewater treatment and help small towns and counties upgrade their sewer systems.The Democrat from Tallahassee is proposing a 2-cent-per-roll tax on toilet paper.Weve got 17 million people in this state and all of them can contribute to protecting our underground water supply, he said.In a Republican-dominated Legislature that doesnt like new taxes, the idea could end up in the tank pretty quickly.Senate President Tom Lee said he didnt think it would get too far, but didnt rule it out. Well be getting to the bottom of it real soon, he said.Lawsons been enduring plenty of jokes bathroom humor, you might say but he says its a serious issue.Even if the proposal passes the Legislature, it would need approval from Gov. Jeb Bush. The presidents brother said if toilet paper is taxed, people might use less of it.Thats not necessarily a good thing, he said.
CONCORD, N.H. Two seniors at the University of New Hampshire are putting the marketing skills they learned in college to work to try and pay off the $20,000 they each owe in student loans.Josh Hutchins and Marc Hall, both 22, have requested bids of $40,000 or more on eBay to bicycle from New Hampshire to Florida and back promoting the winning bidders name or product.Theyll do it media interviews, on their clothes and on their bike helmets.The two expect the ride to take as long as two months. Bidding on the offer ends at 3 p.m. Friday.They also promise to donate some of the proceeds to charity.
OGDEN, Utah Police said it seemed more like a movie plot than real life when a taxi driver became the reluctant wheel in for a suspected bank robbers getaway attempt.The hunt for Donald Archambault, 53, who was suspected of robbing a Salt Lake City bank Wednesday, ended 30 miles north of Ogden. Archambault bailed out of the cab and was arrested by waiting police.Cabbie Ali Ahmed didnt realize his customer was wanted until he got a call on his cell phone from a police detective.I was very scared, Ahmed said later. Oh, man, was I scared.Ahmeds fears escalated when the suspect allegedly told him he would empty his gun if Ahmed turned him in to police.The suspect didnt know that Ahmed was talking to a detective throughout much of the Interstate 15 ride.I kept telling him it was my dispatcher wanting to know where we were going, he said.Ahmed eventually pulled over and Archambault fled.There was an officer right by there, so I ran over and told him which way the guy went, Ahmed said.Archambault, 53, was charged Thursday with aggravated robbery.
JERUSALEM One of the Holy Lands toughest plants has a unique link to Israel when examined under a microscope.The cells of the Persian buttercup, known as nurit in Hebrew, look like a six-sided Star of David, a Web site reported Sunday.The Israel 21C site showed a picture of the plants cells as they appear under magnification. The result is a cell that resembles an almost perfect light blue, six-sided star, interlocked with similar cells.Rina Kamenetsky, of Israels Volcani Institute, which specializes in plant and agriculture research, said the discovery was made during examination into how the plant survives the harsh conditions of Israels desert.The plant can lie dormant but alive for long periods of time, springing to life when water appears.Botany experts call such flowers resurrection plants.On the Web:Israel21c: http://www.israel21c.org
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