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Urologists throw ‘Urinetown’ party

OMAHA, Neb. – The opening-night party for “Urinetown: The Musical” will take on a urological cast in Omaha. Decorative yellow and white flowers will be arrayed in bedpans. Dessert – something yellow – will be served in specimen cups.

It’s what you might expect from the show’s sponsor, The Urology Center of Omaha.

The 2002 Tony-award winning Broadway musical opens Feb. 9 at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Among the show’s song titles: “It’s a Privilege to Pee.”

The show is about how a terrible drought makes private toilets unthinkable, so such private activities must be done – for a price – in public amenities controlled by a private corporation, Urine Good Co.

Police chief tickets himself for $235

KEWASKUM, Wis. – Police Chief Richard Knoebel says he wasn’t about to take the easy way out when he accidentally drove past a stopped school bus with its emergency lights flashing.

For violating traffic laws, Knoebel wrote himself a ticket for $235, docked himself four points on his driving record and paid the fine the next day.

It happened in September but didn’t make news until after the fine appeared in court records and was reported by a West Bend newspaper. Knoebel says he doesn’t mind getting the belated attention, if it serves to raise awareness.

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“If it brings notice to people that they should be stopping for school buses, I don’t mind the notoriety,” he said.

He said he was on patrol on four-lane U.S. 45 when he was distracted by a stopped dump truck. He saw a car coming from behind and thought it might hit the truck, so he moved to pass the truck before he saw the stopped school bus in the far lane.

He said he didn’t realize he had passed the bus until it was too late.

Man accused of setting bike path traps

LUBBOCK, Texas – A 62-year-old man is suspected of stringing wires at neck level across a popular bike path, as well as scattering nails, broken glass and rocks across the trail in a series of traps set because he wanted to protect the environment, police said.

“This could kill someone,” said Dewayne Wallace, an avid cyclist who said his friend was cut across the neck by one of the wires and was thrown from his bike.

A grand jury was scheduled to review the case next week, to see if the man will face two third-degree felony charges of attempted aggravated assault with a weapon. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Detective Rene Martinez said he questioned the man about the traps set over at least a yearlong period, and the man told him he just wanted to protect wildlife.

“He just loves nature,” Martinez said.

Philadelphia may get rubber sidewalk

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia official wants the city council to look at whether the city’s sidewalks should be made of rubber.

City councilman Jim Kenney recently toured Chicago to see environmentally friendly city projects there. He came back with a number of ideas on which he plans to hold hearings.

One is using rubber for sidewalks.

No, don’t expect to see people bouncing down the street. Kenney says the rubber is very solid – probably harder than a running track. He says rubber sidewalks are made from recycled tires. They don’t crack, and they last longer than concrete.

Kenney says rubber sidewalks could also reduce the number of slip-and-fall accidents and the resulting lawsuits.

Dad accused of using stun gun on baby

ALBANY, Ore. – An Albany father used a 100,000-volt stun gun on his 18-month-old son, police said Monday. Rian Whittman, 23, has been accused of assault and criminal mistreatment. Police said he used it “multiple times” over three weeks. A police spokesman said there were up to 10 instances.

Police said Whittman’s wife, 21, who was not named, reported the abuse on Saturday. The child was treated at a hospital, police said, and then taken into protective custody by the state Department of Human Services.

Capt. Eric Carter said the police haven’t established a motive for the abuse, nor why it began about three weeks ago.

He said the device was not a Taser weapon, named for the manufacturer, but an older model that’s applied directly to someone’s skin.