The Odd Side – April 17, 2018

Florida: Gator in Backyard Pool as Reptiles Warm to Spring

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Florida homeowners beware: one big gator has been found splashing in a backyard swimming pool and it took a trapper to drag it away.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office posted images of the floating gator late Friday on Twitter, saying it measured 11 feet (3 meters) long.

With temperatures warming, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warns that the state’s estimated 1.3 million gators are becoming more active and should be treated with “caution and respect.” There have been at least two other gator sightings in yards recently; one ws even mistaken for a burglar.

As for backyard swimming pools, it makes no mention. But for some homeowners, that too is “swim at your own risk.”

Daffy Idea? Wisconsin Voter Wants to Bring Ducks to Election

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A voter in a tiny northeast Wisconsin town wants to bring ducks to the polling station along with a sign that reads: “If you don’t vote, you can’t squawk.”

Winneconne town clerk Yvonne Zobel says the voter asked town officials Tuesday whether she could bring three caged ducks and the sign to the town hall during the November election.

Zobel ducked giving an answer initially, and instead checked with the state Elections Commission. It advised her to keep the ducks at least 100 feet away from the polling booths so they wouldn’t be disruptive.

Zobel says she’s going to tell the voter everyone likes the idea, but maybe it makes more sense to have the ducks someplace else “where it would prompt somebody to go out and vote.”

Man Sues Ex-Boss After ‘Pocket Dial’ Cost Him His Job

ATLANTA (AP) — A man who lost his job is suing his former boss for listening in on a conversation over the phone after the man accidentally “pocket-dialed” his boss.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that James Stephens was talking to his wife in 2016 about his boss, Georgia Subsequent Injury Trust Fund Director Mike Coan, who is a former state lawmaker.

At the time, Stephens didn’t realize that he had pocket-dialed Coan, who could hear the conversation. Not liking what he had heard, Coan told Stephens he could resign or be fired.

Stephens has now filed a lawsuit, arguing that Coan knew he’d been inadvertently pocket-dialed, but continued to listen to the conversation, violating Stephens’ privacy.

Coan says he is immune from Georgia’s eavesdropping law because he was acting as a state employee.

What a Delivery! Pizza Driver Comes to Rescue in House Fire

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky pizza deliveryman’s customer service was on fire. Literally.

Donatos pizza driver Ralph Letner told WKYT he was delivering pizza Sunday night to a Somerset mobile home park, when he saw a home on fire. Letner says he ran inside, shut off the breaker and found homeowner Jesse Decker trying to put out flames.

Says Letner: “I got down on my hands and knees because the smoke was everywhere, made my way back into his kitchen and got him to go out his front door.”

Decker says Letner is a hero for saving his life. A woman also escaped unharmed.

Letner says his parents raised him to help those in need. He wasn’t even supposed to be working, having stayed past his shift because it was busy. Firefighters say an electrical problem caused the fire.

UF Allows Parking Violators to Pay Tickets by Food Donation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — When University of Florida’s president said on April Fool’s Day that people cited for parking violations on campus over the past year could get amnesty by donating food, many thought it was a prank.

But on Friday, nearly 2,000 people learned it wasn’t.

UF President W. Kent Fuchs said on Twitter that nearly 2,000 citations had been exchanged for 9,455 food donations.

The food: Peanut butter, canned peaches and other canned items will fill the shelves of the school’s Field and Fork Pantry.