QUIRKY WORLD ... Stop! Lollipop man sacked for blocking fire engine

ENGLAND: A lollipop man has been sacked for stopping a fire engine on its way to a 999 call.

Firefighters were forced to physically remove the man as he continued to help children cross outside William Austin Junior School in Luton last month.

Luton Borough Council said the school crossing patrol officer had been dismissed for gross misconduct. It had initially suspended the man pending an investigation.

Witness Jacqui Brittain told the BBC the man was helping a group of children cross the road when the fire engine approached with its lights on. Ms Brittain, a former lollipop woman, said that he then came into the middle of the road and started a second crossing.

“Four or five firemen got out of the vehicle and escorted him off the road,” she said.

“It was like watching a car crash. I am sorry he lost his job. It is a shame, but based on the incident that day it was justified.”

A spokeswoman for Luton Borough Council said: ”After following our due process, the employee concerned has been summarily dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct.”

Juice benefits

ENGLAND:

Drinking orange juice every day could help improve brain function in elderly people, research has suggested.

A small study, which saw 37 adults with an average age of 67 consume 500ml of orange juice daily for eight weeks, found they had an 8% overall improvement in cognitive function compared with a group who consumed a control drink.

At the beginning and end of the eight weeks their memory, reaction time, and verbal fluency was measured by carrying out eight tests. One of the tests of verbal memory required learning a list of words to be recalled immediately, and again after a 30-minute delay.

Never too old

USA:

A 94-year-old man will become one of the oldest graduates in the history of West Virginia University when he receives his diploma this weekend.

Anthony Brutto, who studied on and off for 75 years, will be awarded his Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. He first entered the university in 1939 when tuition was $50, but was drafted in 1942 and served in the Army Air Corps until the end of the Second World War. Mr Brutto then re-enrolled in 1946 but could not finish because he had to care for his sick wife. A machinist by trade, Mr Brutto jokingly said he will take a break before pursuing a masters.

Condiment chaos

USA:

A New York man became angry when he could not get macaroni and cheese at a service station, then furious when the same restaurant was out of potatoes, police said.

Kevin Nelson, 47, stopped at a Roy Rogers outlet in Cumberland County, then became “angry and agitated and began to curse” after learning the restaurant was out of macaroni and cheese.

Police said Nelson then got coffee from another vendor, and returned to order potatoes at the Roy Rogers. Told they were out of potatoes too, Nelson allegedly became enraged and began throwing condiments over the counter. He was cited for disorderly conduct.

Gone to pot

USA:

An Alabama man stumbled upon a 4.5kg package of marijuana that washed up on the beach.

Ron Smith was taking a morning walk in Orange Beach when he noticed what he thought was a seat cushion floating in the water.

Upon closer inspection, he realised the package was a bag full of compressed marijuana. Smith called police, who picked up the package, said to be worth about $8,000 (€7,000).

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