Quirky World ... Man elected to school board despite winning zero votes

Spitting Image' puppets of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock andformer British prime minister John Major, in an image that featuresin today's ITV celebration of the station's 60th anniversary.

It’s not all doom and gloom as we take a look at some of the lighter news bites from around the world.

USA: An Iowa farmer who was running unopposed for his local school board failed to earn any votes — not even his own — but he’ll probably still get the job.

Randy Richardson, 42, didn’t find time to vote for himself between his full-time maintenance job at a bean processing plant in Riceville and his chores on his farm near McIntire, the Des Moines Register reported.

Richardson was recruited to run by school staff, and though he said he’s “run paper thin the way it is,” he agreed because he has two kids in the district.

Neighbour Jessie Miller said there wasn’t any key issue to drive her to vote in the school board race. “I would’ve voted for him!” she said. “He’s an awesome guy.”

Across the entire school district, only 36 people voted in the election.

Thief in Elvis wig 

USA: Grover Beach police are searching for a man accused of robbing the Monarch Grover Winery tasting room while wearing a mask and an Elvis wig.

The Tribune in San Luis Obispo reports that the man took about $400 in cash. He showed a black pistol to an employee before binding the employee’s wrists with duct tape and confining the victim to the restroom.

Police say the robber wore an old man mask and a wig. He was last seen walking south on Highway 1.

Loose snake

England: A 2m snake has escaped from its home, police said. The boa constrictor — known for holding its prey in a lethal grip — went missing from a home in Kells, Whitehaven, Cumbria. The snake, a household pet, escaped after being left momentarily unattended while being cleaned.

Groundsman’s gaffe

England: A groundsman who applied the wrong type of weedkiller to the square at Henley Cricket Club has been let go, the Henley Standard reported.

Tony King, whose mistake in July turned a large area of the Brakspear ground brown, has not had his contract renewed.

Club chairman Brian Kenworthy said: “I think sacked is too stronger term. We have agreed to go our separate ways.”

A to ZE

USA: Harvard University is starting to ask its students which gender pronouns they want to be referred by — and is adding more options to the usual ‘he’ and ‘she’.

The registration form includes gender-neutral options such as ‘ze’, and gives new options to transgender students and those who do not identify as male or female. In the past, forms required them to choose between “male” and “female”.

Experts say colleges are changing as they recognise the growing population of transgender students, and many have created special campus housing for the group, but changes have sparked backlash at some schools. The University of Tennessee removed a guide to gender-neutral pronouns on its website after it drew outrage from state senators.


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