The morning Odds & Ends |

The morning Odds & Ends

GODFREY, Ill. James Ross isnt an appliance repairman, a firefighter or a policeman. But hes about to become a prisoner again.Ross, 25, has a history of impersonating officials and has been in prison at least four times.The Illinois Department of Corrections said Ross violated terms of his parole when he was arrested Sunday for posing as an appliance repairman.He approached two women at an apartment complex and said he was there to check on their washers and dryers, according to police.In October, Ross was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to making a false report of murder. He was released in March and put on parole for a year.Ross also has posed as a Marine, a paramedic, a firefighter, a police officer, a federal agent, an evangelist and a funeral director trainee, authorities said.

MADISON, Wis. Big Buckys back.The rare, big and extremely stinky flower that caused a sensation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when it last bloomed in 2001 could become the worlds largest flower when it blooms again next week.The titan arum stood at 6 feet, 4 inches Thursday in a UW-Madison greenhouse, on pace to rival the world record for cultivated flowers when it blooms and releases its trademark roadkill scent in the coming days.Botanists hope it will surpass the record of nearly 9 feet set by a titan arum in Germany two years ago.The university is bracing for thousands of curious visitors hoping to catch a glimpse and even a whiff of the rock star of the botanical world, known as the corpse flower, native to the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia.In 2001, Big Buckys bloom drew some 20,000 visitors who waited in long lines to see the spectacle and caused the universitys Web site to crash under an onslaught of visitors seeking live updates. Botanists were disappointed when the bloom fell just three inches short of the world record, which at the time had held since 1932.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. A man who pedaled from California to Chicago along Route 66 to celebrate his 66th birthday says thats just the beginning.Doug Waterman wants to ride Californias Highway 101 on his 101st birthday in 35 years.Waterman says the 2,448-mile cross-country ride he completed last month isnt something hed ever want to do again. But he says its something hell always remember.The Illinois Route 66 Heritage Foundation thanked Waterman for his ride saying its just the type of thing the route needs to bring it back to life.Waterman says he started the trip to see his brothers in New Mexico and Oklahoma and his son in Springfield. He planned to take a train back to California.

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. An 81-year-old woman who fell into her bathtub was trapped for six days before a concerned neighbor and a police officer rescued her.The woman was alert when the pair got to her, said the neighbor, Larry Nelson.I walked into the bathroom and she said, Hi Larry! I asked if she had heard me rap on the doors, and she said, Yes, but what could I do?A newspaper carrier who lives in the neighborhood noticed papers piled up at the womans home. The Kenosha News carrier, Karen Barker, left a note for a neighbor to check on the woman.She had been drinking water from the bathtub faucet, police said.

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