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Archive for October, 2006

Escaped Tennessee Parrot Turns Up Safe in NY


Escaped Tennessee Parrot Turns Up Safe in NY
Woman knew it was her pet when she talked to him on the phone!
The Associated Press

Updated: 6:35 a.m. CT Oct 12, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — A woman’s pet parrot that flew away from her in Johnson City turned up hundreds of miles away in Long Island, N.Y., despite being a weak flyer.

Kim Kendrick lost her 47-year-old Amazon parrot, Buzzy, nearly two months ago while walking with him outside. But she got an unexpected phone call Tuesday from a New Yorker named Josh Ruderman, who said he had found Buzzy.

"When I heard he was in New York I was skeptical at first," Kendrick said. "But then I talked with Buzzy on the phone and Josh sent me photos and it’s no doubt that it’s him."

The bird didn’t fly to New York. Ruderman had been visiting East Tennessee for two months and found Buzzy in Johnson City four days after Kendrick lost him on Aug. 14.

Ruderman said he searched the papers during the last three weeks of his visit, but could not find Buzzy’s owner. So Ruderman took him home to Long Island.

Ruderman finally found Buzzy’s grateful owner after reading a Sept. 20 article in the Johnson City Press about the missing parrot and e-mailed her Tuesday.

"It really is nice when a story comes together with a happy ending, but for me I will miss Buzzy very much," Ruderman said.

Kendrick said she planned to drive up from Tennessee to Long Island next week to pick up Buzzy.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15233038/

© 2006 MSNBC.com


Hero Pooch is Inducted into Hall of Fame


Hero Pooch is Inducted into Hall of Fame
Fifteen-pound dog named Teddy Bear chases off armed intruder
The Associated Press

Updated: 7:04 a.m. CT Oct 9, 2006

BENTON, Ky. — A 15-pound pooch that fended off an intruder to defend its owner has earned a spot in the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame.

Teddy Bear, a 4-year-old Pomeranian owned by Leslie Ferguson, 24, bit an armed robber in April and created enough of a distraction that Ferguson could escape to a neighbor’s house. The dog was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame on Saturday.

"My husband was out of town," Ferguson said. "He was on active duty in the military, and I had a guy break into my house with a gun.

"He tried to force me into another room. We ended up wrestling for the gun, and Teddy bit him and latched onto his hand. I was able to get the gun from the guy. He ended up getting the gun back, but Teddy distracted him long enough where I could get out of the house."

Ferguson said Teddy Bear never hesitated, even though he had never been vicious toward anyone.

"I guess he realized that I was in danger, and he just took action," Ferguson said. "He did great."

"Teddy followed me and pretty much didn’t let me out of his sight until the next day," she said. "He still keeps a close eye on me."

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15194558/

© 2006 MSNBC.com

Immigrants From Laos Win $55 Million Lottery


Immigrants From Laos Win $55 Million Lottery
Couple plans to give part of jackpot to orphanage where wife was raised
The Associated Press

Updated: 2:52 p.m. CT Oct 24, 2006

SEATTLE – A woman who grew up in a Laotian orphanage in the turbulent 1960s and ’70s says she plans to donate part of a $55 million lottery jackpot she and her husband won to the people who raised her.

Xia Rattanakone said she also plans to return to Laos to search for her birth family.

“I don’t know my parents,” she said after the couple claimed their winnings on Monday. “That is my wish, to find them.”

Rattanakone, 44, came to the United States in 1979 after being adopted by an American family.

She and her husband, Sommay Rattanakone, 52, said they plan to retire from their jobs, his as an aide in the Seattle Public Schools and hers as a temporary worker at Nintendo of America, and travel.

Now able to make a trip home
Neither has been back to Laos since they moved to the United States, and returning for a visit is a top priority, they said. During that visit, they plan to donate some of the money to the Catholic orphanage where Xia Rattanakone was raised.

They also plan to buy a new home and car and put aside college money for their two sons, ages 20 and 14.

The couple bought the winning Mega Millions ticket last week at a supermarket and opted for a lump-sum payment. They stand to receive about $23 million after taxes.

Sommay Rattanakone picked up the list of winning numbers on Wednesday, a day after the drawing, but decided to take a nap before checking the ticket. His wife couldn’t wait.

“I heard her scream, ‘We won,”’ he recalled.

“We couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I prayed for this. It is a dream come true.”

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15402822/

© 2006 MSNBC.com

Frugal woman dies at 100, donates $35.6M


Frugal woman dies at 100, donates $35.6M
Florida native’s fortune goes to local diabetes and cancer research
The Associated Press

Updated: 7:27 a.m. CT Oct 18, 2006

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A 100-year-old woman who quietly amassed a vast fortune before her death last year left $35.6 million to local diabetes and cancer research.

Eugenia Dodson donated two-thirds of the money to the University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute, the largest gift in its 35-year history. The rest goes to the university’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“She didn’t want any recognition in her lifetime, so she directed her lawyer to keep it confidential,” said Dr. W. Jarrard Goodwin, director of the Sylvester Center. “I told her people would be grateful. She said, ’No, I don’t want anyone to know.”’

Dodson lost part of a lung to cancer, and her two brothers died from complications to diabetes, according to Donald Kubit, co-trustee of her fund.

Dodson’s husband had held a stake in a limestone quarry, which went to her after his death in 1949. While she could have afforded a more lavish lifestyle, she instead saved money by living in a small condo and refusing in-home care until she was nearly 100, Kubit said.

“She denied herself the trappings of wealth. She was dead-set on doing good for humankind,” Kubit said. “She had a big heart.”

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15315697/

© 2006 MSNBC.com

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