The Odd Side – February 6, 2018

Oops! Errant Email Said Students Who Vote Won’t Have Finals

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) – What’s one way to get students to vote for a school bond measure? Promise them they won’t have to take final exams.

That’s what an email sent to students at Warren Central High School in Mississippi said. The principal says the email was sent in error.

The Vicksburg Post reports that a Feb. 20 email asked the students to help pass a bond measure to renovate district schools. The email said those who vote in March are exempt from finals.

Retired educator Diana Emfinger filed a complaint with the county election commission the next day, asking for an investigation because an authority figure “has not just suggested how students should vote, but offered them a tangible benefit.”

District spokeswoman Christi Kilroy wouldn’t disclose the message’s origin.

Fire Breaks Out – In Same Building as Fire Headquarters

BALTIMORE (AP) – Baltimore firefighters probably made record time arriving at the scene of a recent fire. That’s because it broke out in the building housing the fire department’s headquarters.

Fire department spokeswoman Blair Skinner told The Baltimore Sun that an electrical fire Thursday triggered the evacuation of the 85,000-square-foot (7,900-sq.-meter) downtown building the fire department shares with the city’s finance and information technology departments.

Skinner says firefighters responded in a matter of minutes, in addition to the fire chiefs already in the building.

She says the smoke appeared to have originated on one of the floors above the fire department’s offices.

No one was injured. The exact origin is still under investigation.

Car Vandalism Culprit? Evidence Points to Unidentified Bear

SONTAG, Miss. (AP) – Stealing a picnic basket is one thing. Mauling a car is quite another.

A Mississippi wildlife department biologist says a bear attacked a woman’s car Friday in the Sontag community about 60 miles south of Jackson.

Jamie Holt tells the Jackson Clarion-Ledger there were tooth and claw marks consistent with those of a bear on the front wheel wells and hood. There was headlight damage, and the front license tag holder was ripped off. There was also a muddy bear track nearby.

No one was inside the car, and it’s not clear what prompted the attack. There was no food inside.

A nearby trash can was untouched, as were apples in the yard.

Mississippi’s black bear population is growing, and bears are increasingly seen in areas where they’ve not been seen before.