The morning Odds & Ends |

The morning Odds & Ends

MONTPELIER, Vt. This years senior prank has left a mark on Montpelier High School that school officials dont plan to erase.The class of 2005 painted a large celestial mural on a ceiling in the main lobby of the school during the holiday weekend, Principal Peter Evans said.Evans said when he returned to school on Tuesday, he looked up at the mural and thought it was an art class project. He soon learned that it was the senior prank, a tradition that usually has a more troublesome impact on the school. About 170 ceiling tiles were painted, he said.In this position we try to figure out how to deal with a case of vandalism thats really quite beautiful, Evans said.The school will not discipline or press charges against the students for entering or vandalizing school property, the principal said.Its beautiful, I think everyone agrees that its beautiful. Were enjoying it right now, and we dont plan on removing it or eliminating it, Evans said.

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. Bored while on a cruise with her family, a 12-year-old girl stuck a note inside her parents empty wine bottle and tossed it overboard.Christina Leyerly never thought anyone would find it.But five months later, a kayaker from Texas saw the barnacle-covered bottle floating and snagged it while paddling near San Jose Island, about 1,700 miles off the Texas coast.When Mark Jackson opened the bottle, the note written in neat, pink bubble handwriting was too damp to pull out from the bottle. So he wrapped the bottle in a sock and smashed it with a hammer.He then dried the note and scanned it on his computer.It read: Dear person, My name is Christina Leyerly. I threw this bottle off a ship/cruise on December 29, 2004. … I was on this ship for 12 days. I live in California, near Laguna Beach. When you get this message in a bottle, please send it to this address.Christina also left $2 for postage.It was a fluke that the bottle was found, said Jackson, 47, a paramedic from San Marcos, Texas. I kind of could tell by the handwriting that it was a little girl, and I thought, By all means I am going to write back because it was a child.

RACINE, Wis. The Made in China tags on miniature models of Wisconsins Capitol on sale inside the domed building in Madison are being replaced. Now its Made in Wisconsin.The state recently pulled the contract from China and offered it to whichever Wisconsin vocational center could reliably produce the replicas without raising their cost.Lakeside Curative Services in Racine was able to meet that test and has started producing the eight-ounce casts of the Capitol. Lakeside plans to provide Madison with 400 or more a month. They sell for $5.Though the state wanted the castings in the original whitish-gray color, Lakeside experimented with painting them gold, silver and copper, said Herb Westmoreland, Lakeside director of subcontracts, sales and marketing.The work center delivered samples of all four to the Capitol. In an hour-long test, the gold ones outsold all others, so Lakeside will begin delivering both gold and unpainted castings to the Capitol.With that level of sales, the new enterprise would bring Lakeside Curative at least $10,000 to help fund its mission of moving people with developmental disabilities into the workplace.

PORTLAND, Maine An 8-year-old boy simply couldnt wait to show off his new gas-powered go-cart. So he sneaked out the house and hit the road for a 20-mile solo ride in the middle of the night.Paul Gilfedders parents, Steve and Wendy, thought their son was sound asleep in the upstairs bedroom of his Cornish home when they were awakened before 5 a.m. Friday by a police officer who told them their son was found on Route 107 in Sebago.It was horrifying, said Wendy Gilfedder. I have four children and I am always careful with them. Yesterday was the first time I could talk about this without crying.Paul was so eager to test out the new machine he had received as a birthday gift that he waited until after his parents and three siblings were asleep to ride it along the highway, bound for Standish to visit a friend.He knew the route because we had driven it many times, the boys mother said.Hours after Paul began his journey, Penny Thorne spotted him standing beside the road as she was riding to work. He was scared and tired, said Thorne, who initially mistook the boy for a deer. He is a brave little boy.The boy had long discussions with his parents about why his midnight ride was a bad idea, talks that were reinforced by a meeting with a police officer. Pauls mother indicated that her son was contrite.He would never, ever do it again, she said.

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