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Cheetahs on plane frighten baggage worker on Halloween

ATLANTA (AP) — A Delta baggage worker got a bit of a fright before Halloween when she opened a jetliner’s cargo door and found a cheetah running loose amid the luggage. Two cheetahs were being flown in the cargo area of a Boeing 757 passenger flight from Portland, Ore., to Atlanta on Thursday when one escaped from its cage, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Friday.
“They told us a large animal had gotten out of a container in the cargo hold and they were having to send someone to tranquilize it,” passenger Lee Sentell of Montgomery, Ala said.
He said luggage was delayed, but baggage handlers promised to send his bags to him in Alabama.
The good news for passengers: The escaped cheetah didn’t damage any of their luggage.
The airline summoned help from Zoo Atlanta, and experts rushed to a closed airport hangar and tranquilized the escaped animal and took both big cats to the zoo.
Both 1-year-old female cheetahs were on their way from the Wildlife Safari Park in Winston, Ore., to the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee, Memphis Zoo spokesman Drew Smith said in an e-mail. He said the two cheetahs will stay a few days at the zoo in Atlanta until the Memphis Zoo gets a team together to fetch them.
The cheetahs are on loan to the Memphis Zoo, but Smith said he wasn’t sure how long they would stay there.

Overdue library book returned after 61-year checkout

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A library book checked out from a Tulsa high school in 1947 has been returned – with a $250 check to cover overdue fees. Holland Hall School librarian Betty Niver says the book “New Word Analysis: Or School Etymology of English Derivative Words” was mailed to the school by Martha McCabe Jarrett.
Jarrett, of Venice, Fla., was Martha McCabe, a sophomore, when she signed out the book 61 years ago at what was then Holland Hall School for Girls. She recently found it while cleaning out her other home in Rome, Ohio.
“It was just there, with the things I enjoy and my kids don’t,” she said Friday.
In a note sent with the book, she included the check to pay any fines. But she wasn’t sure how she wound up with the book. “I don’t know if it was something the library was getting rid of, or my Latin teacher had given me, or if I just kept it,” she said.
“I sent it back just because I value the education I got at that school,” she said.
School officials said they were not sure what they will do with the $250 because there is no specific overdue book fund. It might be put toward student scholarships.

McCain-Palin fan shocks boy over campaign sign

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Shawn Turschak of Chapel Hill was tired of someone stealing McCain-Palin campaign signs from his yard. Turschak, with a degree in electrical engineering, hooked up a third sign to a power source for an electric pet fence Monday and also put up a surveillance camera.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that a 9-year-old boy with an Obama-Biden sign grabbed the McCain-Palin sign and got a jolt on Tuesday.
The boy’s father, Andrew Noble, upset that his son had been shocked, showed up at Turschak’s door. Soon an Orange County sheriff’s deputy also showed up at the Turschak’s home.
Noble said his son just wanted to see how the sign was put together. Turschak said the boy intended to swap out the signs.
Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass said he doesn’t plan to file charges.

Missing dog shows up 1,000 miles from home

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RACINE, Wis. (AP) — A Maltese dog named Max is headed home to Florida after he was spotted in Chicago – 1,000 miles from where he vanished. Richard Gonzalez had reported a pet theft after Max disappeared several months ago from his daughter’s yard in Brandon, Fla. Gonzalez says he thought that Max would never get far. But the pooch was identified in Chicago by an implanted microchip.
Gonzalez contacted the Northcentral Maltese Rescue to retrieve Max. Rescue director Mary Palmer had the dog taken to Racine, Wis., and he will be flown Saturday to Florida.
Gonzalez says he has no idea how his dog got so far away. He says he was so thrilled about the find that he almost asked Palmer to put Max on the phone.