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The morning Odds & Ends

MESA, Ariz. Police tactical units usually dont engage in a lot of monkey business, but one SWAT team wants to add a capuchin monkey to its staff.Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it, said Sean Truelove, an officer with the Mesa Police Department who builds and operates tactical robots for the unit in suburban Phoenix.Truelove said the department is trying to obtain a capuchin, considered the second smartest primate behind the chimpanzee, with about $100,000 in grant money.Truelove says the monkey, which alone would cost $15,000, could become the ultimate SWAT reconnaissance tool. Capuchins are small, weighing between 3 and 8 pounds, have tiny humanlike hands and puzzle-solving skills. He said the monkey could be trained to unlock doors and search buildings.Since 1979, capuchin monkeys have been trained as companions for quadriplegics, performing daily tasks such as serving food, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, and retrieving objects and brushing hair.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. A part-time stuntman has set an explosive new Guinness world record the most squibs detonated on a human body.Mike Daugherty donned a wet suit with 160 of the explosive charges attached and had them detonated. Squibs, similar to blasting caps, are used to simulate gunshots in movies.I was scared to death when we were doing it, said Daugherty, who set the record on April 11, his 35th birthday. But it wasnt that bad.Daugherty, a part-time stuntman, set the record at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, N.C., where the stunt was filmed for a documentary called Shooting the Record. The behind-the-scenes film will include interviews and the stunt itself.Daugherty said his quest began as a joke but developed into much more after he contacted the Guinness Book.Daugherty, who runs a family metal shop in Fairmont, said he got his start as an actor and stuntman after a part in a film about Star Wars fans.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska As armed guards stood watch for polar bears, villagers of tiny Little Diomede Island in the Bering Sea hosted races for young skiers.It was the first home athletic event in a generation for Diomede, the only village on the island, which is walking distance from the International Dateline just east of Russias Chukotsk Peninsula.About 50 first- through fifth-grade students from Wales, Teller and other tiny villages in the Bering Strait School District bundled up against subzero cold and walked over the dateline into tomorrow to participate in the weekend competition.Besides ski races, Eskimo dancing and a scavenger hunt for polar bear fur and king crab legs were held. All in all, a successful meet, said Diomede teacher, ski coach and event organizer Ben Seymour.Putting on any type of event is a challenge on the remote island, where the wind rarely quits and winter lasts half the year.Diomede has not hosted an athletic event with visitors since at least the 1970s, said Mayor Pat Omiak Sr., who remembers a wrestling tournament back then.

NORWICH, Conn. A local man believes the first president to serve under the Articles of Confederation Samuel Huntington of Norwich was technically the nations first president.Now, Bill Stanley is seeking $10 million to build a presidential library for Huntington here.Stanley, president of the Norwich Historical Society, asked the City Council on Monday night to donate $1 million from funds it expects to receive from the Mohegan American Indian Tribe, owners of Mohegan Sun casino.Stanley is also seeking funding from state and federal governments.Facts are on our side. History is on our side, and the first president came from Norwich, and we should have a presidential library, he said at a news conference.But Norwich Mayor Arthur Lathrop said he plans to use the $1 million from the Mohegans for downtown redevelopment, not a presidential library.Huntington signed the Declaration of Independence and served as the states governor from 1786 until his death in 1796. The Articles of Confederation were replaced by the U.S. Constitution in 1789.


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